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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Naomi, on moving and ballet

The little kids are already excitedly talking about what to pack – I have promised them they can each bring a backpack with their “best” friends and babies so they will be able to play with them right away.  Ted also promised Gavriel Zev that he can bring his inflatable Spongebob bed, so he’s happy.

Today, on our way from one dance class to another, Naomi said, “I hope they have adult ballet classes in Israel.  Because then, when I get there, I can keep taking ballet.”

I pointed out that she will, iy”h, be something between 7 and “adult” for a long, long time… and therefore, probably still eligible for kids’ classes, even at the advanced age of 8. 

But I think I also said they probably do have adult ballet classes.  I hope it’s true!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Everything you ever wanted to know…

image Not my own this time, but two helpful links about buying meat in Israel.  Filing for future reference, but if you’re already there, you may find these helpful!

Cuts of meat, what they’re called, and how to cook them from IsraelEasy.

Interactive SWF diagram of a “caw” (okay, cow, but that’s how it’s spelled in the address bar) so you can see it in realtime!

Good Shabbos, world!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A scary book I don’t want to read

… but now it’s here, and so I must.  Like going to the dentist, it is the right thing to do.

The book is Baruch Labinsky’s A Financial Guide to Aliyah and Life in Israel.  The truth is, I’ve started reading it already and am impressed with the writing – both eminently readable and from what I’ve seen so far, free of typos and other annoyances that are so common in independently-published books (folks seem to think skimping on editing is allowed if they’re not professional writers, editors or publishers).

To be fair to Labinsky, a former Canadian, the book itself isn’t scary – just facing our particular financial realities.  Shudder.

In what I’ve read so far (about halfway), he has lucidly described Israeli credit cards, banking, insurance, employment and much more.  The book tries hard to make itself user-friendly with little cartoons in each chapter, and to some extent that makes it easier to handle.

I am hoping to present a full review of the book, and perhaps even a giveaway, when I’m finished reading it. 

Stay tuned!!!!

Online libraries!

I’ve been so sad about leaving the library behind.

One of the great loves of my life here is the Toronto Public Library.  And once we leave, we will lose access to its amazing physical collection of books of all kinds.  But I also take huge advantage of its electronic “lending” library to take out free audiobooks and ePub ebooks of all kinds, for me and for the kids, and with English books being more scarce in Israel, that’s something I could really use. 

Of course, if my membership is up to date, I’ll be able to keep using the service for a while, but soon enough, it’ll expire… and then what???

So it turns out that there are a couple of libraries in the US that offer memberships to non-residents a library card, including access to their electronic holdings, for a nominal yearly fee.  The full list is here on Wikipedia. (who’dathunk there’d be such a list in the first place???)

The best of them seems to be in Philadelphia, which has a non-resident membership for $35 a year, which allows full access to their Overdrive site for eBooks and audiobooks.  I don’t know if the collection is as large as Toronto’s, but it seems like a good deal.  Even if you only use it a few times, you’ll have saved as compared to buying eBooks and audiobooks online.

Speaking of audiobooks, I was investigating Audible, an audiobook site from Amazon, which – as far as I know – is available worldwide.  That service is $15 a month and includes one free book a month; you pay for any others you download.  However, they do offer a free trial month (which includes one free audiobook), so I joined for the trial month and downloaded the audiobook of Susan Wise Bauer’s History of the Medieval World

I have been wanting to read it, but not wanting to read it, if you know what I mean.  It’s a VERY big book, and listening to the audiobook is a painless way to absorb at least a bit of the information before we embark on our homeschool medieval studies with Story of the World in a month or so.  All of which is another subject for my other blog.

So what’s my point?  Oh, yeah – free audiobook!  And $35 library privileges, worldwide.  There is hope for post-aliyah literacy after all…

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