Thursday, April 30, 2015

Shabbat Menu Planning

Now that those long Fridays are here, I no longer have to feel like a crazy person for the whole day. We can do our usual morning things and then in the afternoon, do all the Shabbat prep! Definitely makes things easier!

Just want to make it clean though, I usually do not start cooking before 3 pm. Sometimes it's even later. I think tomorrow will be one of those later days, since I already made the chicken...

Here's the menu (it's just us this week)

Fresh whole wheat and oat bran challot
Vegetable soup
Oven-fried chicken
Pan-fried tofu (for the vegetarian)
Roasted Peppers (got a bunch from the sug bet rack)
Spicy Roast Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Beets (got a bunch from the sug bet rack)
Garlic Roasted Potatoes
Salad (lettuce, honey-cinnamon oranges, sunflower seeds)
Black Bean Cholent
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Seudah Shlishit:
Challah rolls
Spreads - peanut butter, jelly, chumus
cut vegetables (we have lots of carrots and sweet peppers)
cottage cheese, yogurt
melon (from the sug bet rack)

That ought to do it! (Notice how all of my vegetable side dishes can go in the oven at the same time?)

What's on your Shabbat Menu?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Free Museum Day is May 7th!

International Museum Day is coming up! On May 7, 2015, 70 museums around Israel will be open to the public for free!
Many museums on this list are usually quite pricey for a family to visit, but i will warn you now - get there early or risk having the doors closed due to overcrowding.

The list is below (the full list in Hebrew is available here).
*Please note that I put a lot of effort into this post, tracking down websites in English for your convenience. I know this info is available to the public in Hebrew, but this blog  post has added benefits for the English speaking community. Because it was so much work, I request that if you plan to share this info, you link back to my site. Thank you for this common courtesy.

The Kupferman Collection, Lochamei HaGeta'ot 04-9933792
The Fisher House, Kiryat Ata.   04-8440207  
Ein-Dor Museum of Archaeology, Kibbutz Ein-Dor 04-6770333  
The National Maritime Museum. 04-853662 
The Open Museum in Tefen 04-9872022
The Open Museum in Tel-Hai 04-6816702/9  
Memorial Museum of Hungarian Speaking Jewry, Tsfat 04-6925881
MadaTech, Haifa  04-8614444
The Underground Prisoners' Museum, Acco 04-9911375
Uri and Rami Nehoshtan Museum,  Ashdot Yaakov  04-6757737
The Galilee Nature Center - Ussishkin House, Kibbutz Dan 04-6941704
HaShomer House Museum - Kfar Giladi 04-6941565  
The Ghetto Fighters' House Museum,  Kibbutz Lochamei HaGetaot 04-9958035
The Chaim Shturman House - at Kibbutz Ein Harud. 04-6486328
The Goara Museum of the Hagana. 04-9597402
The Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum in Haifa - 04-8536249
The Hecht Museum, University of Haifa 04-8240308 The Museum of the First Aliyah in Zichron, 04-6294777 
The Pioneer Settlers Museum - Kibbutz Yifat 04-6548974  
Wilfrid Israel Museum, Kibbutz HaZorea 04-9899566
The Haifa City Museum. 04-9115888
The Herman Struk Museum 04-6359962  
The Haifa Museum of Art 04-9115991
The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art  04-8383554
The Janco-Dada Museum, Ein Hod 04-9842350
Museum of Art, Ein Harod 04-6486038
Mane Katz Museum, Haifa 04-9119372
{And of course, the Maimonides Heritage Center, Tiberias, is always free for individuals. Groups must make advance reservations at 053-530-3018 }


The Weizmann House, Rechovot 08-9344499/4500
Clore Garden of Science, Rechovot  08-9342381
Kfar Saba Archaeology Museum, Kfar Saba 09-7640867/8 
The Israeli Cartoon Museum, Holon 03-6521849
The Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan 03-7521876/7
The Israel Puppet Center, Holon 03-6516848
Museums of Bat Yam, Bat Yam 03-6591140
Ilana Goor Museum, Tel Aviv  03-6837676
Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv      03-6415244
Krinitzi House, Ramat Gan  03-6739050
HaGedudim Museum, Moshav Avichail 09-8822212
The Rubin Museum, Tel Aviv  03-5255961
Toldot Tzahal Museum, Tel Aviv  03-5172913
Man and the Living World Museum, Ramat Gan 03-6315010
Museum of People and the Environment, Petach Tikvah  03-9286900
Etzel Museum, Tel Aviv  03-5284001
The Etzel 1948 Museum , Tel Aviv 03-5177180 , 03-5172044 
The Hagana Museum -  03-560862 
The Khan Museum, Hadera. 04-6322330 , 04-6324562   
Design Museum, Holon   073-2151500
Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya   09-9551011
The Jabotinsky Museum  03-5287320 
The Hosmasa Museum - Holon -  03-5050425
Museum and Archives of the History of Holon, Holon  03-5050425  
The Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center, Or Yehuda   03-5339278/9  
Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies, Kibbutz Tel Yitzchak 09-8999563  
Nahum Gutman Museum of Art, Tel Aviv 03-5161970 
The Rishon L'Tzion Museum  03-9598862,  03-9598890    
The Ramla Museum, Ramla   08-9292650  
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv 03-6077020

Jerusalem Area

Yad Vashem  02-6443400  
The Underground Prisoners Museum in Jerusalem   02-6233166   
The Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem  02-5611066  
The Shai Agnon House - open 9 am - 4 pm -02-6716498    
The Nature Museum, Jerusalem  02-5631116  
Hechal Shlomo, Jerusalem   02-5889010  
Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem  02-6544888  
The Old Yishuv Court Museum, 02-6276319, 052-4002478  
U. Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art   02-6241610
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem  02-6708811
The Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem    02-5661291/2
Tower of David Museum   02-6265333   


The Museum of Philistine Culture  08-6224799
The Open Museum, Omer  08-9908121
The Negev Museum of Art, Beer Sheva   08-6993530
From Holocaust to Revival Museum in Yad Mordechai - 08-6720559

Let me know where you decide to go!

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Best deal for National Parks Membership

I know a lot of Israelis like to go hiking. And a lot of tourists like to go hiking. And to do that, you're going to want to be all set for hiking around this country! You've got your sun hat , (or your bandana visor) your water bottle holder , your good hiking shoes ... now you just need money to pay admission to all those national parks!

If that's you, you may want a Reshut HaTeva Membership Card. These cards are available for a yearly membership fee and get you into most of the parks run by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority at no additional charge. At certain parks, you get a 50% discount on admission. For a complete list of perks you get with the membership, check out the official members guide!

If you buy the membership directly from the Parks Authority, it will cost a pretty penny. For a couple with 3 or more children, the category my family falls into, a yearly membership costs 446 shekels.

I've been checking out the few discount deals that are out there and here's what I discovered.

The best deal I can find is the Group-e deal, which is 357 shekels for a yearly membership.

This is far better than some of the other deals I found, which range from 379 shekels for a family with 3 or more children to 437 shekels for a family of that size. So check carefully before you buy a "deal" and be sure you are getting the BEST deal available!

However, if you or your spouse is a member of a union or is a government employee (here in Israel), there is a good chance you can purchase a membership for even less through your union or government discount program, so be sure check that out (and feel free to report back here if you get a good deal!).

So now that you know where the best deal is, feel free to spread the word and share this post with your friends and community lists. And go get your card, if you'd planned to spend even part of this season at the National Parks!

Don't forget to find me on Facebook, where I post even more deals and money-saving ideas!

Snap In's Free Yogurt Deal!

Snap in fans, if you like diet yogurts, you are IN LUCK! now, if you buy 50 shekels worth of Diet Yoplait yogurts, Snap In will give you a 100% rebate!

Offer ends no later than May 26, 2015 (it may end sooner, asthey may limit the number of rebates awarded). Limit one 50 shekel rebate per person.

So hurry and upload your receipts in a timely manner!

You don't have to purchase them all at one time, the 50 shekels can be spread over several receipts. You just have to upload them all before this offer ends.

If you haven't yet signed up for SnapIn, sign up now and start getting rebates for your grocery purchases! 

Their new mobile app makes it very easy to submit receipts, but you also have the option of submitting receipts via their website or by email.

If you've never heard of SnapIn, please take a few minutes to read my introduction to snap in - you can find it here.

Click here to sign up for Snap In!

this post contains affiliate links

Friday, April 24, 2015

Arnona Discounts!

I told you all about the "Working Families Grant"/Ma'anak Avodah back in February. In case you missed that, here's the short version: It's a government program to give a little extra cash to families who are earning on the lower end of the spectrum. It's pretty simple - if you qualify, you go apply for it - it's simple to do, and you'll get some money from the government in your bank account once you're approved.  If you haven't yet checked if you should apply, go ahead and read my post from February about it! Then, register for your grant. Important: You will NOT get this grant automatically, you MUST apply for it.

There are several programs "out there" designed to help people with lower income, besides the Ma'anak Avodah. So today, I'm going to give you the basics of one that many people already know about, but some don't: Arnona Discounts.

Misrad Hapnim has some say in Arnona rates and discounts, and all the various discounts are listed on their website. You can see them here, in the original Hebrew.

There are a lot of different categories, including Holocaust survivors, People with Disabilities, Former Refuseniks, Righteous Gentiles, Senior Citizens, and more. Today I am going to focus on the "Low Income" category. (Family size/income levels/discount amount taken from Kol Zchut.

Here's what you need to know:

You apply for the discount at your local municipal offices by filling out a form.
You will be asked to supply copies your tlushim (payslips) from the last several months. If you are atzmai, you will be asked to supply a certain amount of documentation.
In some cases the municipality will order a full financial audit before granting the discount.
In most cases, the discount applies to the arnona charges for the the first 100m - if your home is bigger than 100m you pay the full rate on the portion over 100m.

The table below will help you determine if you are eligible for an Arnona discount. Look for your family size, and determine whether your monthly income is in a discount-eligible bracket.

Family size           Monthly Income up to this amount                 Discount amount
1                             2703                                                               up to 80%
                               2704 - 3108                                                     up to 60%
                               3109 -  3513                                                    up to 40%

2                             4054                                                                up to 80%
                               4055 - 4662                                                     up to 60%
                               4663 - 5270                                                     up to 40%

3                             4703                                                                up to 80%
                               4704 - 5408                                                     up to 60%
                               5409 - 6113                                                     up to 40%

4                              5351                                                               up to 80%  
                                5352 - 6154                                                     up to 60%
                                6155 - 6957                                                     up to 40%

5                              6535                                                               up to 80%
                                6536 - 7515                                                    up to 60% 
                                7516 - 8496                                                    up to 40%

6                              7719                                                               up to 80%
                               7720 - 8877                                                     up to 60%
                               8878 - 10,035                                                  up to 40%

7                              8903                                                               up to 90%
                                8904 - 10,238                                                 up to 70%
                                10,239 - 11,574                                              up to 50%

8                              10,087                                                            up to 90%
                                10,088 - 11,600                                               up to 70%
                                11,601 - 13,113                                               up to 50%

9                               11,271                                                            up to 90%
                                 11,272 - 12,961                                              up to 70%
                                 12,962 - 14,652                                              up to 50%

10+                              up to 1252 per person                                   up to 90%
                                   up to 1440 per person                                   up to 70%
                                   up to 1628 per person                                   up to 50%

I hope this information helps some people out there get the discount they deserve on their Arnona (municipal taxes)! And to those who hesitate to ask for this discount - please don't hesitate! Getting this discount will help you out, and there is nothing to be embarrassed about if you apply for it. Asking for this discount (that you deserve) does not make you less of a responsible person, it just means your income needs a boost, like so many others in this country. And this is one way the government gives you that boost. So go ahead and apply!

Please share this post with your English speaking friends in Israel, so as many people as possible who are eligible for these discounts can go apply for them!

And don't forget to find me on Facebook, so you never miss out on a money-saving post!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Exclusive coupon code for Educents! 
Thinking of buying something from Educents?

If you haven't heard of Educents, you NEED to check it out! They have AMAZING educational resources for enriching your child's education, at "co-op" prices!

And right now, when you use coupon code kosher9210 you'll get an extra 10% off anything you buy!

(Coupon code good thru April 27th)

(Sorry. They don't ship overseas, but you can have items shipped to a US address. Of course, online subscriptions and downloadable materials are available everywhere!)

this post contains affiliate links

Inexpensive books in Hebrew!

I just had to share --- 

(And no, I am not being paid to write about this, nor are there any affiliate links here)

There's a new way to get BRAND NEW BOOKS in Hebrew, in Israel, for 10 shekels each!

Yes. 10 shekels per book.

You heard it here first, and you will thank me up and down when you are looking for a great present for when someone in your neighborhood has a baby and you can buy Eric Carle books (translated into Hebrew) -- just an example -- for just 10 shekels!

And if you don't want to pay for shipping - who ever wants to pay for shipping? -  you can just arrange to pick up your order at the "Bug" store nearest you!

So... go ahead, check out 10Books! And let me know if this changes the book market in Israel!

I think it really will!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Menu for the week!

Alright - it is time to face reality and get back into "things", including making sure we eat properly this week, without spending a fortune - I really don't want to spend more than 100 shekels this week on groceries, as last week, our post-Pesach shopping was BIG, and I hadn't really intended that...

So here's the plan, focusing on using up what I have in the house, especially those carrots, tomatoes, cabbages, and cucumbers we got for 1 shekel/kg!

Lunches: Soups, sandwiches, salads and leftovers from supper

Sunday: Pasta (whole wheat) with tomato sauce (and veggies) and cheese, carrot and cucumber sticks

Monday: Sloppy sams, homemade rolls, carrot and cucumber sticks, cabbage salad

Tuesday: Split pea soup, Rice, Stir-fried vegetables (cabbage, carrots, kohlrabi, onions, peppers) with cashews

Wednesday: Crock-Pot Mushroom-Vegetable-Barley Stew, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, tomato and chick pea salad

Thursday: Felafel night? I think, as it's Yom Ha'atzma'ut!

 What's on your table this week?

Food Recall! - Undisclosed Dairy Ingredients

Due to the presence of undisclosed dairy ingredients, the following product is being recalled:

"Almond Nougat" Spread, produced by The Almond and Marzipan Center in Kfar Tavor, sold under the brand name  "Ofaimme".

The product has barcode number 7290003100569, and includes all expiration dates through 25.01.16

Consumers are asked to return the Almond Nougat to the store where purchased for a refund.

Please share this post, especially with those who are allergic to milk and may be adversely affected by this!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Free things to do on Yom Ha'atzmaut

--- Retrieved from ---

This coming Thursday, April 23, 2015, is Yom Ha'Atzmaut (celebrated), and this year, in honor of 67 yrs of the State of Israel, more than 67 attractions around the country will be open to the public at no charge. These are sponsored by Misrad HaTarbut V'HaSport and the Mo'etza L'Shimur Atarey Moreshet.

--- Retrieved from ---

Check it out and find a place you've never gone to, and go have fun! In past years we've gone to museums that were free on Yom Haatzmaut, and they was almost completely empty. I think Israelis prefer their mangal in the park and sitting in traffic. I prefer free admission!

I'm sure there are other places that are offering free programs or free admission.
Please add information for other places in the comments, or send a note to and I'll add it in! Thank you.

I have tried, wherever possible, to link to websites in English. There were some museums/historical sites that only had Hebrew websites, though. My apologies in advance.

Have a wonderful Yom Ha'atzmaut. May it bring us closer to the Geulah Sh'laymah! 
So, let me know where you'll be going! Just leave a comment below this post.

Be sure to find me on Facebook and stay up to date about great Israeli free and frugal living ideas!


Yad LaIsha HaLochemet in Nitzanim - guided tours 9 am - 1 pm. 08-6727895
The Open Museum in Negba -  050-55605540 

From Holocaust to Revival Museum in Yad Mordechai - 08-6720599 , 052-3923104
The Water and Security Museum in Nir Am - 050-5709042
Mitzpe Gvulot - Kibbutz Gvulot - 054-7919000
Ben Gurion's Desert Home (Sde Boker) - open 10 am to 4 pm. Last admission at 3 pm 08-6560469
Maoz across from Gaza in Kibbutz Saad 052-3726644
The Joe Alon Center for Bedouin Culture at Kibbutz Lahav 08-9913322
The Revivim Museum named for Yosef Weitz. 10 am - 2 pm  08-6562570 \ 08-656263
Metzudat Yoav, The Givati Museum  08-6611316 
B'erot BaNegev Visitors' Center - Kibbutz Alumim 08-9937300

Jerusalem Area

The Old Yishuv Court Museum, 10 am - 3 pm. Guided tours available 02-6276319, 052-4002478
Ammunition Hill Memorial Site - 02-5829392/3, ext 115,
The Yellin House - in Motza -  052-4257345
The Gush Etzion Visitors' Center - in Kfar Etzion. 02-9935160
The Tower of David Museum - 02-6265333 or *2884
The Underground Prisoners Museum in Jerusalem - interactive programs 11 am - 4 pm, open from 9 am - 6pm. 02-6233166 

The Shai Agnon House - open 9 am - 4 pm -02-6716498
The Bank of Israel Visitor's Center - with advance reservations 02-6552828,0 2-6552520, 02-6552718
Alone on the Walls of Jerusalem - open 9 am - 5 pm - for more info: 02-6265906
Menachem Begin Heritage Center - free tours, fee for the movie. 02-5652020 02-5652011
Yad LaShiryon at Latrun - for more info: 08-9784321 

Tel Aviv and the Center

Independence Hall -03-5106426,  03-5173942 
The Israeli Museum at the Rabin Center - with advance reservations only.*4585
Ben-Gurion House - 03-5221010
The Jabotinsky Museum - open 8 am - 4 pm. 03-5287320
The Joseph Bau House - 054-4301499
Rokach House - for more info: 03-5168042 or email
IDF Historical Collection Museum - (Toldot Tzahal) -03-5172913 , 03-5161346 
The Etzel Museum 03-525-3307
The Hagana Museum -  03-560862
The Lechi Museum - guided tours at 10:30, 12:00. 1:30. 3:00. Trivia contest at 1 pm. Reservations required. For more info: 03-6820288 or email
The Etzel 1948 Museum - open 8:30am - 4pm. 03-5177180 , 03-5172044 
The Nachum Gutman Museum of Art - 03-5161970
The Hosmasa Museum - Holon -  03-5050425
The Mikveh Israel Visitors Center - with advance reservations.  03-5030489
The Rishon L'Tzion Museum - open 10 am - 3 pm. 03-9598862,  03-9598890
The Eran Shamir Moshava Museum in Mazkeret Batya. Open 10 am - 4 pm. 08-9349525
Ayalon Institute, Rechovot. Open 9 am - 4 pm. Last guided tour at 3 pm. 08-9406552
Weizmann House, Rehovot 08-9343230

The North and Northern Coast

The Sliqim at  Kfar Giladi - Guided Tours every hour from 9 am - 3 pm. 052-2512915
HaShomer House Museum - Kfar Giladi. open 8 am - 4 pm.  04-6941565
Tel Hai Courtyard - 10 am - 2 pm -  04-6951333 
The Birya Fortress - open 9 am - 4 pm. 04-6922433
The Restored Pioneer Village at Rosh Pinah, open 10 am - 2 pm. 04-6936913
The Kinneret Courtyard - guided tours at 10, 12, and 2.  04-6709117
Naharayim Experience in Gesher. Guided tours at 12:30 and 1:30. Open 9 am - 4 pm.  04-6752685
The Palmach Cave - guided tours on the hour between 9 and 5.  04-9898946 ,052-4471109

The Historic Nahalal Police Station - guided tours every hour from 10 am to 1 pm.  04-6415073 
The Nahalal "Sliq" - guided tours every hour from 9 am to 3 pm.  052-3347194
The Pioneer Settlers Museum - Kibbutz Yifat. Open 11 am - 4 pm. 04-6548974  
HaReut Museum - 04-6432810  open 9am-4pm  
The Chaim Shturman House - at Kibbutz Ein Harud.  04-6486337 |  04-6486328
Beit HaMeiri, Tsfat 04-6921939  
The Jezreel Valley Train Museum - Kfar Yehoshua. 04-9534226   
Clandestine Immigration Boat Tour, Atlit. For more info and reservations: 04-9841980
The Treasures in the Walls Museum, Akko. Open 10 am - 4 pm.  04-9911004
The Underground Prisoners Museum, Akko.  04-9911375 
The Fisher House, Kiryat Ata. Open 11 am - 6 pm.  04-8440207
The Museum of the First Aliyah in Zichron. Open 10 am - 4 pm. 04-6294777  
The Chanah Senesh House, Kibbutz Sdot Yam.  04-6364366   052-8795366 
The Gdudim House Museum. Open 9 am - 4 pm. 09-8822212    
The Khan Museum, Hadera. Open 9 am - 3 pm.  04-6322330 , 04-6324562     
The Haifa City Museum. 04-9115888  


Other FREE attractions and activities:
Ramat HaNadiv in Zichron
Neve Tzuf Forest - family celebration, 10 am - 4 pm - 02-9977101
The Pinat Chai in Katzrin (always free)

I will add more free attractions in this space as I find them!

And don't forget to find me on Facebook!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Shabbat Menu Planning

Here's my plan for this post-Pesach Shabbat!

I'm still a bit under the weather (yes, it's getting ridiculous already), so I hope this plan is not too ambitious. Most of the oven cooking will be done all at the same time, and I'm putting my kids to work chopping all the various vegetables...

Fresh Challot
Vegetable-noodle soup
Black bean Cholent with vegetarian kishke (have to write up that recipe someday soon)
Oven Fried Chicken
Baked Rice with garlic
Apple Crisp
Roasted Vegetables (I've got kohlrabi, kishuim, eggplant, and peppers)
Make your own salad

For seudah shlishit, I'm making challah rolls and salads:
pasta salad
potato salad
cut veggies

For dessert, I will have one of the kids make a chocolate chip cake 

What's on your Shabbat menu?

Faulty Ketchup Caps!

Osem has announced that some ketchup bottles, labeled with the words "New Cap!", have faulty caps.

They are removing ketchup bottles with faulty caps from store shelves, and are offering replacement caps to anyone who  has bought their ketchup with a faulty cap. If your bottle says "New Cap" and has an expiration date before 30.10.2015, it may have a faulty cap.

To request a replacement cap, please call Osem at 1-700-70-7676.