Monday, September 25, 2017

Subsidized Glasses and Eye Exams (Karmiel) - Sept.26


Residents of Northern Israel - particularly the Galilee area - it's back! Here's another chance to get a really affordable eye exam and glasses.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 26, 2017, you'll have another chance to get subsidized eye exams and glasses, this time in Karmiel. You'll be able to get a pair of glasses (standard frames + standard lenses!) for just 100 shekels, and sunglasses for 50 shekels! Specialty lenses are subsidized on a different scale (multifocals, for example, will cost 600nis and transition lenses for most prescriptions will cost 300nis - still a really awesome deal! My high index lenses cost an extra 200nis, the cost varies by exactly what you need), and some frames are a bit more expensive, but still affordable. There may be an option to have this fee or a portion of it waived in case of need, so if you cannot afford the 100nis copay, please ask for assistance while you are there.

The event will take place at the Moadon WIZO, at Rechov Sarig 20, Karmiel.

Eye exams are available from 10am - 6pm on both days. If you have glasses already (even old ones - they will help narrow down what you need even if you need an updated prescription) or a prescription for new glasses, please bring them with you to save time.

Please note: Glasses are not made on the spot. You will receive a text message when they are ready to be picked up, at the same place where you order them.

Hope this helps some of you out there! There's been a lot of discussion about the cost of glasses lately.

Be sure not to miss out on more ways to save money - find me on Facebook

I'm sure there will be similar programs in other towns - please let me know if you know of any!

P.S. I am not affiliated with the organizations sponsoring this or any similar events. I was not compensated to post this information. I received a press release, and have passed this information on as a public service.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Orlah Fruits in the Market - Update for TISHREI

This post is a follow up to the Kashrut for New Olim post. If you haven't seen it yet, please check it out -- there's important information there! 


Unlike in other parts of the world, in Israel, fruits and vegetables are NOT automatically "kosher" - here we need to make sure that they are not "orlah" fruits (harvested during a tree's first 3 yrs, with other rules applying to year 4) and that trumot and ma'asrot have been taken (from both fruits and vegetables). 

If you shop at a market that doesn't have an ishur kashrut (kosher certification) on their produce, you'll need to investigate these issues further, if you are interested in adhering to the halachot of the Land of Israel OR if you regularly host people who assume the food in your home is kosher! I must say that it's important to familarize yourself with these special halachot, as they are part of keeping kosher in Israel! (If you say you keep Kosher in Israel, everyone assumes that you have taken care of these issues; and if you don't, then you may be unwittingly putting someone in a situation they don't want to be in!) 

It's definitely possible to take trumot and maasrot on your own (I do it often), so vegetables are easiest to buy without a teudah, as that is all you need to do (and very often, it would be without a bracha). Some of the fruits on the market may be ok to purchase even from a non-certified establishment and just take trumot and maasrot, because of the extremely low percentage of orlah fruits being sold, but those lists change frequently, so you'll constantly need to stay up-to-date.

Other fruits can be a problem, because of a high possibility that they are orlah (from the first 3 yrs after the tree was planted). I have recently begun to post a monthly update on my website, with a list of the fruits where the percentage of orlah fruits on the open market is greater than 0.5%, so should only be bought from a reputable source that does not sell orlah fruits (i.e. a place with a teudah) that should really help everyone avoid the orlah problem:

Update for Tishrei 5778

Fruits to AVOID buying without a teudah:

Avocado - Day variety, Ettinger variety
White Peach
Yellow Nectarine
Prickly Pear (Sabra Fruit)
Seedless Grapes (Round Green)
Clementines - Rishon variety

Please be sure to speak with your personal Halachic Authority about purchasing fruit in Israel without a teudah. Not everyone holds by the 0.5% threshold. This information is just for informational purposes and is not a halachic psak! Even if you follow a psak that relies on the 0.5% threshold, you still must take trumot and maasrot on all produce grown in Israel (or be sure it has been taken), in order to fulfill your halachic obligations.

Also, this list does not apply to fruit grown by an individual. If your friend has a fruit tree, you'll need to find out how old it is! 

I hope you find this helpful! Please follow my Facebook page and don't miss out on updates and other posts!

Food Recall - Chumus and Techina (Israel)

Sorry for not getting online until now! I just saw this recall that was posted before Rosh Hashana -- here's the info:

Brand: Dani Maadani
Product Name: Chumus ("Salat Chumus") and Techina ("Salat Techina")
Size: 4 kg, 3kg, 500g, 250g
Date: Production dates from 1.9.2017 an 8.9.2017 (inclusive!)

The products are being recalled due to possible contamination with Listeria.

Please return the products to the store where purchased, and request a refund.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Fake Honey and Honey Quality Issues

Here's a reminder for all of us that sometimes if the price is too good to be true, it may, in fact, NOT be true!

This year, once again, there seems to be fake honey in the marketplace and/or quality control issues for some honey:

Of the 35 samples tested, the following types of honey did not pass laboratory tests for the standards for pure honey:

דבש פרחי בר, טבעי טהור, מכוורת ניר גלים, משקל: 1 ק"גWildflower Honey, Nir Galim Apiary

1 kg containers
Use by date: 11/12/2019

Tests showed elevated levels of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) - which indicates that the honey may have been heated, stored improperly, or stored for a long period of time.

Find out more about HMF here

In addition, the amount of Diastase enzyme was lower than expected for honey, which indicates that the honey is not of the quality claimed.

דבש Honey, Fogel's, תכולה: כ-20 גרם, 09 17 Fogel's Honey, single serve size
20g containers (I saw these being sold at stores like Zol Stock)

Tests showed that sucrose levels were higher than should be for pure honey, and both fructose and glucose levels were lower than should be for honey. In additon, the amount of diastase enzyme is lower than expected.
(My note: It is reasonable to assume this honey is not pure honey.)

Misrad HaBriut is conducting more tests, and if they add more varieties to this list, I will post about it!

Wishing you all a happy, sweet new year, with REAL, good quality honey!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Whole Spelt Honey Challah

--- Retrieved from -

I change up my challah recipe sometimes, and this is our Rosh Hashana version! It's been a hit with my family. If you make it, I'd love to hear your feedback!

You can also make this with raisins, if you're into that.

Whole Spelt Honey Challah

8 cups whole spelt flour, sifted
1 cup oat bran  
2/3 cup ground flaxseed  
1 T. salt  
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey 2-2.5 cups of lukewarm water*  
1 tsp sugar  
2 tsp dry yeast
1/3 cup oil + a little more for oiling the bowl (I use olive oil most of the time)

 *I find that the amount of water needed varies a lot - depends on the temperature and humidity in my kitchen on a particular day, and different batches of flour behave differently

Directions: 1. Mix 1 tsp sugar with the water. Add the yeast. Allow to proof for about 10 min

2. Mix together dry ingredients (flour, oat bran, flaxseed, salt, sugar)

3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add liquid ingredients. Mix well. Then knead. 

4. Coat the dough with oil and flip over a couple of times, so the bottom and sides get oiled too. cover with a tea towel to rise till doubled. On warm days, this can be about 1 hour, but can take up to 2 hours.  
5. Punch down. Shape your challot. Cover with a tea towel to rise for about 1/2 an hour. (I usually make 3 challot out of this size batch, so I often double it!) I usually make these in round pans as "pull-apart" challot. Sometimes I brush the tops with honey mixed with some hot water before baking. You can egg wash them if you like, if you're not avoiding eggs.
6. Bake for about 30-40 min at 350 F (175-180C)
Allow to cool before you devour them. My kids like it when I let the tops get extra dark...

Enjoy your Honey Challot!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

EXTRA iHerb saving right now!

This post contains my iHerb referral link. You'll save money using it (even existing customers), and I may be compensated by iHerb. It won't cost you extra - but it WILL save you money!

It's back! The good folks at iHerb keep giving us amazing deals with extra coupon codes! And I've promised to share them whenever I hear about them, so none of you will miss out on the extra savings!

Right now you can get 5% off your next order PLUS if you order $50 or more worth of items, you can get an additional $5 off:

Click here to Shop at iHerb and automatically add the codes to your cart!
or simply enter the following 2 codes in your shopping cart at checkout: QEJ101 and SEP1
The Sep15 code is available for one use per customer.

These extra savings even combine with Trial items and Weekly Specials! This is definitely the right time to stock up! I just checked, and my $50 order got the discount PLUS it says it will ship for just $6!

Take advantage of this offer before it ends on Wednesday, SEptember 20th!

Not sure if shopping at iHerb makes sense?

I shop there pretty often, as you may already know. I find it makes life easier for me - not only do they make it easy to find some "hard to find" products my family needs (like fragrance free shower products), but I save a significant amount of money on things like vitamins and probiotics. They are definitely less expensive at iHerb than my local stores, and shipping is VERY affordable as I mentioned above.

Here are some of the things I like to buy at iHerb:

Palm Oil (this eco-friendly version is not available in Israel at all, and is perfect for making frosting or fudge)

Magnesium Tablets (these and many other supplements are quite pricey in Israel and iHerb is a great way to save!)

Stash Teas (I buy these when they are on sale, as the sale price comes out to less than the lowest price I can find herbal teas for locally, and these are just SO MUCH HIGHER quality than teas I can find for an affordable price!)

Vitamin D (so many people are deficient, it turns out! And my doctor prescribed a rather high dose, and what's sold here is very low dose and more expensive)

Probiotics are far less expensive from iHerb than any I've found in Israel, and they don't weigh much!

EO shower gel (we like this kid friendly all-in-one shower product that doesn't irritate our skin!)

Ricola throat drops (these work out to be only slightly less expensive than the local price, so I use them as a "filler" product, never as my "reason for buying")

Witch Hazel (it's really not easy to find witch hazel products locally, and if you love witch hazel, you'll be thrilled with iherb's price. This one is a toner with alcohol in it - some people like the alcohol in it, but if you don't, they also have plenty of no-alcohol witch hazel products)

Coffee Filters (unbleached) - I can find the #4 size locally, but I use the #2 size, and it's so easy to order it, rather than running around town!

Brown Rice Pasta (only when they're on sale, great for people who don't eat wheat! The local equivalent is more expensive unless there's an amazing sale)

Grapefruit Seed Extract (similar product, 1/4 of the size, cost more than twice as much at my health food store, and many people are convinced this keeps colds away,!)

Essential Oils (I use them in homemade cleaners) - for a fraction of the price here in Israel! Yes, they are real and natural (and not an MLM)!

Soy-free Teriyaki Sauce (for my soy allergic child)

Calendula Cream (so soothing and wonderful for eczema!)

Aquaphor Ointment - impossible to buy locally!

I also regularly check the Specials Page to see if products I use are on sale and work out to a better deal thru iHerb during a sale, and I also occasionally will order a hard-to-find spice.

If you haven't ordered from iHerb, now is the perfect time to check it out!
And please let me know what your favorite deals are!

Don't get surprised by import taxes! If you are ordering items from overseas, be sure to familiarize yourself with the most recent personal import regulations!