Weekly Interview: A Mother in Israel


I seem to have been reading Hannah’s blog for as long as I have been reading Treppenwitz, in other words since I started reading blogs more than three years ago. The topics she blogs about are varied and often thought-provoking and I am sure I am not the only one who is inspired by her outlook. Thank you Hannah; I am delighted to welcome you on this blog.

Can you introduce yourself in a few words?

I’m a mother of six and a volunteer breastfeeding counselor. My two oldest sons are training in the Israeli army and my youngest is 6.

What is your religious background (if any)?

My parents were kosher and Sabbath observant, but not Orthodox. My mother escaped Hitler’s Germany with her family. My father, born in Poland, survived the war under a false identity while living in Germany. I became Orthodox in high school.

When and why did you decide to make aliyah?

I considered making aliyah while studying here after high school, but my husband was the one most set on the idea. His siblings all live here now, while my family lives in the US.

Where in Israel do you live and is there a special reason you live there?

We live in Petach Tikva. The only jobs in his industry are in this part of the country, and he doesn’t enjoy a long commute. There is a close-knit English speaking community here along with a religiously, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse Israeli population. Petach Tikva has about 200,000 people. With its new, upscale neighborhoods along with better-priced older neighborhoods, it’s a top destination for young couples looking to buy apartments. Intel, IBM, ECI and Bezeq all have headquarters here.

When and why did you start blogging?

I started A Mother in Israel in June 2006. I found I had a lot to say about parenting and life in Israel in general. I never run out of ideas, although I don’t always manage to mold them into a post. I started Cooking Manager last year as a more professional blog. When I began working with young mothers I saw that many were “starving” for information about how to make things from scratch, use up leftovers, and save on time and grocery bills. My mother, who had rheumatoid arthritis, had limited motion. She was always looking for more efficient ways of doing things, and I think in that way as well.

Have you been surprised by the way your blogging activity has evolved over the years?

I didn’t realize how involved I would be in it, so many years later. It’s hard to run both blogs, and I find myself focusing on one for a time, then the other. Doing it well means staying on top of the trends and technology. This is not my strong point, but I know others who find it even harder. One problem is that much of the technical information is written for other tech bloggers. It’s harder to find good information for beginners, but it’s out there.

To what extent do you feel your blogging activity reflects on the global perception of Israel?

Good question! I often write about unpleasant phenomena in Israel. One commenter wrote that based on a story I reported on and a few others she had read, “Israel’s culture must be messed up.”
I consider my primary audience to be English-speaking immigrants like myself. It’s important for us to have a place to talk about the things that affect us. And sometimes I am compelled to stand up and say I don’t agree with what a particular group or individual is doing. Still, I do write with “global perception of Israel” in mind and censor myself frequently.
I don’t like extremes in blogs so I avoid those that are full of constant complaints about politics, Israel, haredim, or anything else, and I dislike blogs that always present a rosy picture.

What post(s) are you most proud of?

I’m proud of the comments section as well.

A Mother in Israel:
Frugal Tips to Save Money as Your Family Grows, some of these are things I wish I had known before I had kids.
Why the Average Haredi Family Goes to a Hotel for Pesach, a humorous look at cleaning advice.
Street Goats in Bnei Brak
Are Mature Religious Women Leaving the Fold?
In Defense of Israeli “Rudeness”

Cooking Manager:
Extreme Frugality: Twenty Memories of My Mother
Is This Food Safe to Eat?
My Mom, Food Processors, and Norene Gilletz
Interview with Ilana-Davita

Would you care to share a blog or two you enjoy?

I’ve started reading Aliyah By Accident. Gila writes with humor and attention about day-to-day life with her kids. Robin, Life in Israel, Baila, Israeli Kitchen, Kate, Muqata, Orthonomics, Leora and of course you are all friends I enjoy reading along with many others.

Ilana-Davita, like many bloggers I like to talk about myself so thanks for putting me in the spotlight!

Last week’s interview

One and a Half Weekly Review


On My Blog

Photo Memes:
Bread Pudding for SOOC
Country Converse for Ruby Tuesday
Sea View for SOOC
School Art for Ruby Tuesday
Old Doors for Window Views

Weekly Interview: Mimi

Weekly Inteview: Mrs.S.

Weekly Recipe: Bread Pudding

Elsewhere in the JBlogosphere

The current edition of KCC (the Kosher Cooking Carnival) is up at Leora’s

Ode to Ozzy, a post by Baila

I have selected two posts by Shimshonit this week: Integration, Israeli-style, in 2010 (or, welcoming haredi Jews into the rest of society) and Conspicuous Consumption

A Freiburger Yid reviews: Loulek”, or, “Do Not Raise a Hand Against the Boy

Heblish: Bagrut Edition, a post by Mrs.S.

Leora shares some of her Salute to Israel Parade 2010 photos

The Summer Game: Baseball and the Jews, a post by William Kolbrener

Shabat Shalom!

Bread Pudding


Bread Pudding
Yields 4 Servings
2 oz sultanas
orange marmalade
grated lemon rind
2 eggs
3 level tbsps caster sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 packet of vanilla sugar

Spread marmalade on the buttered bread. Place bread in lightly buttered over proof dish in alternate layers, sprinkle each slice with sultanas, except the last ones. Beat eggs lightly with the caster sugar and the milk. Add the lemon rind, cinammon and vanilla sugar.
Pour over bread and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture. and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 30 minutes.

Let cool slightly and enjoy! Nice with custard.

School Art




We went to Honfleur yesterday where we walked throough a park near the sea front. A school was showing some art made on tiles by the pupils. Apparently all children had painted a tile and the tiles had been put together to create a mosaic.

On Tuesdays, just post any photo you like (it must be one of your own) that contains the color RED and then link to this blog.


This lovely badge was created by Leora from Here in HP.

Weekly Interview: Mrs.S.


I have been a regular reader of Mrs. S.’s blog for quite a while now and always enjoy her sense of humor, especially in her Heblish or teenager posts. Thank you Mrs.S.; it is a pleasure to feature your wonderful contribution on my blog.

Can you introduce yourself in a few words?

I was born in the US and made aliyah with my husband and older kids almost twelve years ago BA”H. (Our younger children were born in Israel.)

What is your religious background (if any)?

Dati-Leumi Torani.

When and why did you decide to make aliyah?

During our first date, my husband and I discovered that we each dreamed of eventually moving to Israel. We had both spent a considerable amount of time in Israel and felt very comfortable here. But most of all, we were – and, of course, very much still are! – motivated and inspired by Religious Zionism.

When our eldest was born, we decided that the time had come to make concrete plans.

My family had spent a two-year sabbatical in Israel when I was in elementary school, and so I had firsthand experience of moving to Israel as an older child. We didn’t want our kids to have to go through that, and so we resolved that we would make aliyah before our eldest started school. Baruch Hashem, everything fell into place, and we were able to come the summer before our eldest entered first grade.

Why did you choose your specific community?

About a year and a half before our aliyah, we decided to purchase a home in Israel. We felt that owning something would force us to actualize our aliyah plans. To that end, we came on a pilot trip and looked around.

Ironically, we had a very different type of community in mind for most of that trip. However, we were having a difficult time finding a specific house or apartment which would fit our needs. And so, our Israeli relatives recommended that we check our current neighborhood out, and the rest is history… ☺

When and why did you start blogging?

I’d been lurking on other people’s blogs for a while, and it looked like fun. And then, two years ago, our home renovations (shiputzim in Hebrew) provided me with a good excuse to finally take the blogging plunge.

Have you been surprised by the way your blogging activity has evolved over the years?

I certainly never imagined that I’d still be blogging two years later or that blogging would play such a major (and enjoyable) role in my life. A frequent refrain in our house is, “Imma, are you going to blog about that?” ☺

To what extent do you feel your blogging activity reflects on the global perception of Israel?

In general, my blog is deliberately apolitical, and I tend to shy away from current events. IMHO, there are many other bloggers out there who are much better equipped than I to make Israel’s case to the international community.

Instead, I focus on everyday Israeli life. My hope is that someone out there will read my blog and identify with me and my family and, as a result, perhaps take his/her own aliyah plans to the next level.

What post(s) are you most proud of?

Without a doubt, the most amazing post on my blog was the now-famous letter written by the brother of an IDF chaplain during Operation Cast Lead. I think this incredibly moving letter speaks volumes about the inherent beauty of both Israel and Judaism.

Thank you, Ilana-Davita. I really enjoyed doing this interview.

Last week’s interview