Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Low Cost Glasses!

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

Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, the Pitchon Lev Optical is offering special hours for a one-day event. 

You'll be able to get a pair of glasses - frames + lenses for just 100 shekels! There is an option to have this fee waived in case of need, just ask at the event. You can also buy sunglasses, for 50 NIS.

The event will take place at the Pitchon Lev Optical Center, Rechov HaLevona 1, Karmiel. Eye exams are available from 10am - 7pm. 

Please bring your glasses if you just need new glasses with the same prescription as your old ones, OR if you have a written script for your new prescription, bring that in order to save time. If you don't have an up-to-date prescription, you can have an eye exam done there, but there may be a line.

Some notes from my experience with them: You'll be able to get a pair of glasses (standard frames + standard lenses!) for just 100 shekels! Specialty lenses are subsidized on a different scale (multifocals, for example, will cost about 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. Subsidies are available - ask the person in charge if you cannot afford the 100 shekel fee.

Please note: Glasses are not made on the spot. Be prepared to go back and pick them up in a couple of weeks.

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, May 19, 2019

International Museum Day 2019 - Free Museums on Lag Baomer!

Lag Ba'Omer, May 23, 2019, is International Museum Day in Israel, and many museums around Israel open to the public for free!

The museums on this list are usually quite pricey for a family to visit, so getting in for free is a great way to learn, experience, and see new things, but I will warn you now - get there early or risk having the doors closed due to overcrowding!

I have tried to list phone numbers and opening hours as accurately as possible. However, I cannot take responsibility for any errors, so please call the museums you plan to visit to verify this information before you go.

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.

The list below represents many hours of work translating and researching, and I request that if you want to share this information, you link to this blog post. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Here's the list (the list in Hebrew is available here)

Please note: Generally, free admission will not apply to large groups.


The Open Museum in Tefen open 9am - 4pm 04-9109609

The Chaim Shturman House - at Kibbutz Ein Harud, open 9am - 3pm 04-6486337 | 04-6486328

Bar David Museum for Jewish Art and Judaica - Kibbutz Baram, 04-6988295 open 10am - 4pm

Ein-Dor Museum of Archaeology, Kibbutz Ein-Dor, open 10am -3pm 04-6770333

The National Maritime Museum, open 10am - 7pm 04-8536622

Wilfrid Israel Museum, Kibbutz HaZorea, 04-9899566 open 9am - 2pm 

Watchman's House Museum - Kfar Giladi 04-6941565 open 8am - 4pm

The Haifa Museum of Art 04-9115997 open 10am - 7pm - some exhibits close earlier

The Herman Struk Museum 04-6359962 open 10am - 9pm

The Haifa City Museum, 04-9115888 open 10am - 7pm

The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art,  04-8383554 open 10am - 7pm

Mane Katz Museum, Haifa 04-9119372 open 10am - 7pm

The National Maritime Museum, Haifa, 04-8536622, open 10am - 7pm

The Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum in Haifa - 04-8536249, open 10am - 4pm

MadaTech, open 10am -5pm, 04-8614444


HaGedudim Museum, Moshav Avichail 09-8822212 open 8:30am - 4pm

The Khan Museum, Hadera, 04-6322330 open 10 am - 2 pm

Museum of Archaeology and Glass, Kibbutz Nachsholim, 04-6390950, open 9am - 2pm

The Kfar Saba Museum09-7640868 open 9 am - 7pm

Ramat Hasharon Geological Museum , open 10 am - 1 pm

Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv 03-6415244 open 10am - 8pm

Rishon L'Tzion Museum,  03-9598862, 03-9598890 open 9am - 2pm

Museum and Archives of the History of Holon 03-5050425 open 10am - 1pm
The Hosmasa Museum - Holon - 03-5050425 open 10am - 1pm

Ilana Goor Museum, 03-683-7676, ext. 20, 10am - 4pm

The Petach Tikvah Museum of Art 03-9286300 open 4pm - 8pm

Nahum Gutman Museum of Art, Tel Aviv 03-5161970 open 10am - 4pm

Yemenite Heritage Center, Rehovot, 073-3946150 open 9 am - 5 pm

Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv 03-6077020 open 10am - 9pm pre-registration required at: https://tickets.tamuseum.org.il/calendar/2019-05-23

Agam Museum, Rishon, 03-555-5900 open 10 am - 7 pm

The Hagana Museum - 03-560-8624 open 8am - 4pm

Palmach Museum, 03-5459800 By reservation only

Etzel Museum, Tel Aviv 03-5284001 open 8am - 4pm

The Etzel 1948 Museum, Tel Aviv 03-5177180 , 03-5172044 open 8am - 4:30pm

Toldot Tzahal Museum, Tel Aviv 03-5172913 open 8am - 4pm 

The Lechi Museum 03-6820288 open 8am - 4pm

The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History 073-3802000 open 10am - 6pm

Diaspora Museum, Tel Aviv, 037457808, 10am - 4pm


Museum of Italian Jewish Art, 02-6241610, noon - 7pm

Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem 02-6544888 open 10am - 6pm

The Old Yishuv Court Museum, 02-6276319, 052-4002478 open 10am - 5pm

Museum on the Seam, 02-6281278 open 10am - 5 pm

The Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem 02-5611066 open 9:30am - 5:30pm

The Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem 02-5661291/2 open 10am - 7pm

The Underground Prisoners Museum in Jerusalem 02-6233166 ' open 9am - 5pm

Tower of David Museum 02-6265333 open 9am - 4pm 11am & 1:30pm guided tours in English  (2 different topics)

The Israel Museum 02-6708811 open 10am - 5pm


The Museum of Philistine Culture 08-6224799 open 9am - 4pm

Yad Mordechai, 08-6720559  open 9am - 5 pm 

The Negev Museum of Art, Beer Sheva 08-6993531 open 10am - 4pm

The Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Culture 08-6993535 open 10am - 4pm

Let me know where you decide to go! I'd love to hear which museum you chose, and what you thought of it!

Find me on Facebook so you don't miss out on more great deals!

Orlah Update - Iyar 5779

Here's the latest Orlah update, so you can shop for fruit in Israel with confidence!

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! 

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES in Israel - Specific Kashrut Issues

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). Without these basics, these fruits and vegetables are NOT acceptable in a kosher kitchen!

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 familiarize 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 orlah (from the first 3 years after the tree was planted). I try very hard to post a monthly update here on my site with a list of the fruits where the percentage of orlah fruits on the open market is greater than 0.5%. These fruits should only be bought from a reputable source that does not sell orlah fruits (i.e. a place with a teudah). This orlah issue is a serious issue for kosher consumers:

ORLAH Update for Iyar 5779

Fruits to AVOID buying without a teudah:
  • Avocado - Haas and Reid varieties
  • Blueberries
  • Peach (Omer, White)
  • Grapefruit (White)
  • Olives for curing
  • Olives for oil (Barnea)
  • Lemon
  • Apricot (large red. Ra'anana)
  • Nectarine (Red, White, Gali-Binyamina, Snow -red speckled, Yellow)
  • Grapes - SBS 125+, oval green grapes, red, dark red, Big Pearl green varieties
  • Pitaya
  • Papaya
  • Prickly Pear (Sabra Fruit)
  • Plum - large yellow, green-yellow
  • Oranges - Choice Valencia
  • Starfruit
  • Passionfruit
  • Almonds
  • Figs

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, and there are differences of opinion about certain fruits and whether they are subject to Orlah. 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, be aware that 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 or like my Facebook page and don't miss out on updates and other posts!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Yom Ha'Atzmaut Car Rental Savings!

(this post contains affiliate links. When you click and make a purchase, I may get paid a commission. Thanks in advance for your support)

Need wheels this Yom Ha'atzmaut?

It can be hard to get around with limited public transportation on Israel's Independence day, so if you have plans to get together with friends or family, or visit one of the 71+ museums that are open for FREE to the public on Yom Ha'atzmaut, you are probably considering renting a car.


There's a Groo deal for Budget Car Rentals, just in time for Yom Ha'atzmaut!

The deal is 71nis per day (including VAT), for an X-class vehicle (Hyundai i10 or similar). Insurance is INCLUDED, and you'll have a maximum of 71 km travel per day. Or choose a J-class rental for 90 NIS per day. Maximum rental period is 14 days for this price, with no option of extending further. 

Rental must be completed by July 9, 2019.

Driver must be at least 18 years old for the X-class rental, 23 years old for the J-class rental and have had a license for at least 2 yrs.

If you exceed 71 km per day, you'll be charged 1nis + VAT for every km over the limit.

Airport rentals are not included, and if renting for fewer than 6 days, there is an extra charge for Eilat pickup or dropoff.

You'll need a valid credit card in the driver's name available.

There are other conditions, please read the Groo deal carefully, or call Budget at *2200 with questions!

Army Bases and Public Military Exhibits open to the public on Yom Ha'Atzmaut

Several of you have asked what else is there to do on Yom Ha'atzmaut besides the 71+ free museums. And it turns out, there will be lots of things for you to choose from:

Here is a listing of some Army Bases that will be open on Yom Ha'Atzmaut, with various activities and exhibitions available:

Ramat David Air Force Base will be open to the public between 8am - 1pm

Air Force Technical Training School, near the Chutzot Hamifratz Train Station (Haifa), will be open to the public between 8:30am - 12:30pm. Parking is available on Rechov Julius Simon.

Machane Natan, Beer Sheva will be open 9am - 2pm with a Land Forces exhibit.

Meitar - Givati Exhibit

The Air Force Museum, on the Hatzerim Base, west of Be'er Sheva, will be open to the public between 9am - 2pm

Yad LaShiryon at Latrun parking area will be open to the public between 8am - 3pm. The exhibit will feature the many aspects of IDF's Land Forces.

Park Givatayim - tank exhibit, 10am - 6pm

Mahane Horon - military vehicles will be on display

You must show your teudat zehut and submit to a security check in order to enter any military base. No guns will be allowed. No animals will be allowed in. No bikes or motorcycles.

Additional Exhibits at the following Parking areas: 

Exhibits will be open between 9am - 4pm:

Maalot (Montfort Lake)

Beit Hillel (near Kiryat Shmona)

Nefach (Karmiel)



Ampi (Bet She'an) 
Karnei Shomron

Etzion District Division will be open 9am - 3pm

Um Tzafa Forest will be open 9am - 3pm

Bet El will be open 9am - 3pm

Ammunition Hill

Sdot Negev will be open 9am - 4pm

Sderot will be open 9am - 4pm

Yaaran will be open 9am - 4pm

There may be others that I haven't heard of, so feel free to let me know if you know of more!

Follow my Facebook page to stay up to date!

FREE admission Yom Ha'Atzmaut 2019

NOTE: This list was UPDATED on Monday, May 6.

Thursday, May 9, 2019 is Yom Ha'Atzmaut, and this year, in honor of 71 yrs of the State of Israel, more than 71 attractions around the country will open to the public at no charge.

The list on this page represents many hours of work translating and researching, and I request that if you want to share this information, you link to this blog post. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

If you need wheels for Yom Ha'atzmaut, check out this great deal for just 71nis for the day!
Go thru this who list - 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 many 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, that I haven't heard of, so please add information for other places in the comments, or send a note to ester@kosherfrugal.com and I'll add it in! Thank you.

I have tried, wherever possible, to link to websites in English. If you find a broken or incorrect link, please email me at ester@kosherfrugal.com so I can take care of it! Thanks!

Have a wonderful Yom Ha'atzmaut. May it bring us closer to the Geulah Sh'laymah!

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

Ben Gurion's Hut (Sde Boker) - open 10 am to 4 pm. Last admission at 3 pm 08-6560469

Maoz opposite 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

Beit Ruchama, 9am - 2pm. Reserve by calling 054-7995149

Metzudat Yoav, The Givati Museum 08-6611316

Be'er Sheva ANZAC Memorial Center08-6205004

Beersheba Turkish Railway Station (Engine 70414), Open 9-5, sign up in advance for guided tour: 08-6234613

Be'erot BaNegev Visitors Center in Kibbutz Alumim, Open 10-2, advance registration required for guided tours, 08-9937300

Jerusalem Area:

The Old Yishuv Court Museum, 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 - 10 a.m - 5 pm. 02-6233166

The Shai Agnon House - 02-6716498

Menachem Begin Heritage Center - 02-5652020 02-5652011 

Beit Plugat HaKotel/Platoon of the Wall House - reservations required. Call the Begin Center to reserve: 02-5652020 02-5652011 

Yad LaShiryon at Latrun - for more info: 08-9784321

Jewish Quarter Tours, at noon and 3pm, from the golden menorah. Call *4987

The Hurva Synagogue
 - *4987

The Burnt House - *4987

Levi Eshkol House, 9-6, advance registration required. Call 02-6313091

Tel Aviv and the Center:

Palmach Museum - Reservations required. 

The Israeli Museum at the Rabin Center - with advance reservations only.*4585 (for ages 10+)

Ben-Gurion House - 03-5221010

The Jabotinsky Museum - open 8 am - 4 pm. 03-5287320 (reservations required for groups of 10, or for groups who need additional assistance due to accessibility issues)

The Joseph Bau House - 054-4301499 (Special programs available for Olim Chadashim and for children)

Rokach House - for more info: 03-5168042 or email info@rokach-house.co.il

Sarona-HaKirya Visitors' Center - 03-604-9634 (you should call to register in advance. Tours on the hour between 10am and 3pm)

The Etzel Museum 03-525-3307

The Hagana Museum - 03-560862

The Lechi Museum - For more info: 03-6820288 or email lehi_museum@mod.gov.il

The Etzel 1948 Museum - open 8:30am - 4:30pm. 03-5177180 , 03-5172044

The Nachum Gutman Museum of Art - open 10am - 3pm. 03-5161970

Bank of Israel Visitors' Center 03-5640781/2 Reservations required (online). For ages 8+. Tours are at 10:00am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, and 2:30pm

The Hosmasa Museum - Holon - 03-5050425 - open 9am - 2pm, guided tours on the hour.

Mikveh Israel Visitors' Center - 03-5030489 Advance registration required. Tours on the hour from 9am to 1pm

The Rishon L'Tzion Museum - open 9 am - 2 pm. 03-9598862, 03-9598890

The Eran Shamir Moshava Museum in Mazkeret Batya - Open 10:30 am - 3:30 pm 08-9349525

Ayalon Institute, (Bullet Factory) Rechovot - Open 9 am - 4 pm. Last guided tour (special Yom Ha'Atzmaut tour) at 3 pm (tours in Hebrew only!). Advance reservations required. 08-9406552 

Netanya Museum, Open 9:00am - 2:00pm, 09-8840020. Reservations required.

HaG'dudim Museum, Moshav Avichayil. Open 9-4 09-8822212

The North and Northern Coast:

Beit HaShomer Museum, Kfar Giladi - 04-6941565 open 8am - 4pm

Tel Hai Courtyard - 10 am - 2 pm - 04-6951333 

Beit Zinati, Pekiin - 04-9997197 open 9 am - 2pm, Reservations required.

HaReut Museum, Koach Fortress - 04-6432810. Open 10am - 4pm, tours on the hour. movie for ages 12+

The Restored Pioneer Village at Rosh Pinah, open 10am - 2pm, 04-6936913

Beit HaMeiri, Tzfat - 04-6921939, open 10am - 2pm. Guided Tours require advance registration. last tour at 1pm

Yigal Alon House at Ginosar - Reservations required for the escape room - 04-6727704/0

The Kinneret Courtyard - guided tours at 10, 12, and 2. 04-6709117

Naharayim Experience in Gesher. Guided tours at 11:00 and 12:30. Open 9 am - 2 pm. 04-6752685

The Palmach Cave at Mishmar Ha'Emek- guided tours on the hour between 10 and 3, and the "Escape Park" competition. 04-9898946 ,052-4471109

The Historic Nahalal Police Station - guided tours at 9 am, 11am, and 1 pm. 04-6415073

The Nahalal "Sliq" - guided tours every hour from 9 am to 3 pm. 052-3347194, advance reservations required.

The Emeq Museum - Kibbutz Yifat. Open 11 am - 4 pm. 04-6548974

The Chaim Shturman House - at Kibbutz Ein Harud. Open 10am - 2pm. 04-6486337 | 04-6486328

The Tower and Stockade Museum at Hanita. Open 9am - 2pm. 04-9859677

The Jezreel Valley Train Museum - Kfar Yehoshua. 04-953-4226 open 8am - 1pm

The Treasures in the Walls Museum, Akko. Open 10 am - 4 pm. 04-991-1004

The Underground Prisoners Museum, Akko. Open 8am - 4:30pm with guided tours on the hour from 9-2). 04-991-1375 

Beit Fisher, Kiryat Atta. Open 9am - 2pm. 04-8440207

Atlit Detention Camp, Open 9am - 2pm, 04-984-1980

The Museum of the First Aliyah in Zichron. Open 10 am - 4 pm. 04-6294777 - Reservations required for guided tours

The Khan Museum, Hadera 04-6322330 , 04-6324562 
open 10am - 3pm, guided tours at 10, 12, and 2.

The Feinberg House, Hadera - 04-6343296, 

The Echad Ha'Am School Visitors' Center, Hadera - 04-6343296

Haifa City Museums:

Etzel Museum at Shuni Forest. 052-8330177 Open 9am and 3pm - audiovisual presentation and guided tours on the hour.

Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum, Haifa 04-8537672 open 9am - 4pm

Other FREE and discount attractions and activities:

Army Bases and Public Military Exhibits

The Israel Museum - pay what you want to pay

The Open Museum at Tefen - 04-9109609 (The museum is generally open from 9am - 4pm. Staff takes breaks for lunch from 12:30-13:00, or 13:00 - 13:30)

Madatech in Haifa is just 10nis on Yom Ha'Atzmaut!

Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem is just 10nis on Yom Ha'Atzmaut!

HaShomer HaChadash Independence Day Celebration at Moetza Ezorit Sdot Negev - registration required (online) 10am - 5:30pm

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

So, let me know where you'll be going! Just leave a comment below this post. It's a good idea to confirm in advance that the place you plan to go will be open as posted. Some places require advance bookings even if not specified.