Sunday, April 21, 2024

Guide to Free activities on Pesach

I just HAD to take a break from Pesach cleaning to share this:
Here's the list of Bank Hapoalim's free attractions for Pesach 2024. I have linked to websites in English, whenever possible. I hope you find this list helpful, and that you get to have some super-frugal fun over Pesach!

*Please note that I put a lot of effort into this post, tracking down websites in English for your convenience. I know the Bank Hapoalim info and other 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 you link back to this post if you share this information. Thank you!*

Please leave a comment with your favorite place to visit!

If you haven't already, go ahead and like my Facebook page so you don't miss out on deals and great info all year round!

The following are free to the public (April 24-28) courtesy of Bank HaPoalim. Pre-registration is required, and will open on Sunday, April 21. Click here to register



Ba'Ofen (Bike Rides)

Meshek 77 (Strawberry picking and more)

Other venues that are also FREE:

The Gush Katif Museum, Nitzan - free to the public on April 24-25, 10am - 4pm. *8947

Tower of David Museum, Jerusalem has special programming for Pesach. Free for kids under 18, Miluimnikim and their families, and evacuees from the North and South. April 24-25, 10am - 6pm

Namal Tel Aviv has several free activities over Pesach. Different activities are available on different dates, check the schedule for more info

Tiyul around the Kinneret, Thursday, April 25. Registration is required. Click here to register for the short one at 9 am or the long on at 11am.

Ramat Hanadiv, Zichron Yaakov. April 24-25, from 10am - 2pm. Outdoor fun - Click here for details. The event is free but the parking lot is not.

First Aliyah Museum, Zichron Yaakov. April 24-25, 9am - 4pm, April 26, 9am - 2pm

Spring Festival at JNF (Keren Kayemet LaYisrael) parks. Specific locations - details and registration links HERE 

Mapah U'Matzah events at National Heritage Sites:
April 24: Golani Memorial Site, Kfar Sava Museum, Mikve Israel Visitors Center
April 25: ICA Museum Farmers Courtyards Kfar Tavor, The Emek Train Site in Kfar Yehoshua, the Khan Museum Hadera, 
April 24 & 25: Atlit Detention Camp, Herzl Center at Har Herzl, Gush Katif Museum, The Future of the Desert in Yerucham, My City Eilat Museum

Israel Parks and Nature: free guided tours at various sites. Register HERE 

Eco-Park Hadera, Spring Festival April 25, 10am - 4pm

More coming soon, as I find them!
5 ​ 6
Have a great time!

Please share this with your friends, so everyone can plan a fun and frugal Pesach!

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Chocolate Cake (Vegan)

this post contains afflilate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you!

My go-to cake lately is chocolate cake. And it's a super simple recipe. (And more often than not, one of my kids makes it.) And it always gets compliments. AND it's vegan!

So since several people asked about it, I'm posting it here. 

The thing about this recipe is it's deep chocolate flavor. REAL dutched cocoa is the secret. If possible, don't use any other kind. And certainly don't substitute with that weird powder Israelis call chocolate for baking. It will be all wrong, so just don't, ok? Thanks!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

This recipe makes 2 cakes - 9 inch round or 8 inch square both work. Actually, this week I made it in my 8.5 inch bread pans and it was extra moist and delicious!

3 cups flour (I used 80% whole spelt, but really any flour should work)
2/3 cups dutched cocoa powder (I get it in the shuk in Teverya, I'm sure you can find it other places too. If you live near me, you can join our group orders from the store that carries them! Be in touch!)
2 cups sugar
0.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking soda

MIX all the above together in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center.

1/3 cup oil (I use sunflower oil, but use whatever you prefer)
1 cup cold coffee (plain, unsweetened, no milk, nothing whatsover added!)
1 cup cold water
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

MIX everything together until well combined. Pour batter into lined or greased and floured pans.

Optional, but highly recommended: 1/2 bag or more of chocolate chips - sprinkled on top!

Bake at 190C for about 35 minutes (test with a toothpick before declaring them done). Cool before cutting.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think!


UPDATED: Buy Blue & White from Overseas (with the convenience of Amazon)

This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at NO additional cost to you! Thanks for your support!

Today's post is this UPDATED post. It's for my friends and followers and everyone outside of Israel, who love Israel and want to support the people here, i.e. "Buy Blue & White".

It's become SUPER easy to support some Israeli businesses from outside of Israel! So I'd like to help everyone stand in solidarity with Israel with this "Buy Blue & White" guide.

So many companies make it easy to buy their products from the USA - especially those with Amazon storefronts (and many ship to other countries too)!

I'm happy to share some options with you - all of the items listed below are a great way to support an Israeli-owned business and still have the convenience of shopping online! I'm sure there are lots more options, but in the meantime - here are the ones that I know of: 

(I hope to keep adding to this list)

Buy Israeli wines (free shipping on 12 or more bottles and $15 off your $200 order with code KW15)

Many Israeli products - art, jewelry, etc - are available at (use the link to begin your purchase AND use code SHOP10 for an extra discount)

You can make your own seltzer (carbonated water) using the iconic Sodastream machine. 

Or buy beautiful Judaica items, like an Emanuel mezuzah case or chanukiyah, or even a great Havdallah travel set! Also from Emmanuel: Chanukah Kippot, Jerusalem Kippot, painted wooden kiddush cup and coaster, "Yeled Tov/Yaldah Tovah" hammered stainless steel kiddush cups, hammered nickel kiddush cups, and colorful candlesticks.

Buy beautiful jewelry from Paz Creations. Also NanoStyle and Happy Lolli.

Refael Jewelry Designer sells handmade jewelry from Israel.

Also check out embroidered jewelry boxes.

Nurture your plants with a LeGrow planter set

Display your love of Israel with these Jerusalem-themed ArtTrivets.

Display beautiful Israel on your wall with an Israel Photo Art Calendar!

Decorate your home with beautiful wooden Wall Art from Tohar Design Store, or a fun Chanukah table runner, or a painted washing cup.

If you love music, check out Day of Rest for something different.

Buy Israeli spices from Izrael Zaatar Ltd and bring the flavor of the shuk into your kitchen (BBQ Grill mix, Galilee Stir Fry Seasoning mix).

Try out Israeli herbal/fruit teas: Golan blend or Louisina make great choices.

Get your kids moving and exploring with Israeli-owned Nona Kid pretend play, outdoor play, and fitness equipment for kids.

Check out the whole line of Qurious educational toys and games.

You can even support an Israeli business when you buy non-Israeli products from an Israeli reseller. They buy items wholesale and list them for competitive prices on Amazon. For example, handbags from BSD Merchant.

And on another note, you can always support Israeli businesses directly: For an interactive Israel-themed online escape room experience, be sure to check out the games at!

And if you love to read, check out books by these Israeli authors:

101 Treasures from the National Library of Israel, by Raquel Ukeles (Author), Hezi Amiur (Author), Yoel Finkelman (Author)

By Light of Hidden Candles, by Daniella Levy (Author)

The 36: A Modern Quest in the Ancient Holy Land, by Josh Even-Chen (Author) (a long-time friend of mine!)

The Scrolls of Deborah (Desert Songs Trilogy), by Esther Goldenberg (Author)

The House of Lost Spirits, by Einat Shimshoni 

Harei At M'guyeset Li, by Segulah Levi (Hebrew novel)

Tully and the Pellmells (Tully Grows Up), by Leona Samson (Author), Idan Ben Simon (Illustrator)

Tales of Brooklyn, by Stan Fischler (Author)

Organized Jewish Life: The Essential Guide for Planning Jewish Holidays, Events and Every Dayby Rebekah Chaifetz Saltzman

Organized Jewish Life Shabbat and Holiday Planner: The Ultimate Organizational Shabbat and Jewish Holiday Checklist and Planning Workbookby Rebekah Chaifetz Saltzman

A Warrior's Guide to Fibromyalgiaby Sara Halevi 

Everything Tracker - The Ultimate Comprehensive CBT Tool Kitby Sara Halevi MA (Author), Liora Sophie (Illustrator)

The Breast Cancer Checklistby Fern Reiss

The Publishing Game: Publish a Book in 30 Daysby Fern Reiss

30 Jewish Superheroes: An Amazing Collection of Jewish Superheroes (Coloring book)by Hillel Penrod (Author), Ayelet Hashachar Penrod (Editor)

15 B'nei Noah Superheroes Coloring & Activity Book: Heroes from Around the World! | Color, Read, and Learn to Draw Your Own Hero, Torah Comics Paperback by Hillel Penrod (Author), Ayelet HaShachar Penrod (Editor)

Inner World (Kindle book) by Hillel Penrod (Author, Illustrator), Ayelet HaShachar Penrod (Editor) 

Israel 201: Your Next-Level Guide to the Magic, Mystery, and Chaos of Life in the Holy Landby Joel Chasnoff & Benji Lovitt

Nehama Leibowitz: Teacher and Bible Scholar (Modern Jewish Lives)by Yael Unterman

The Hidden of Things: Twelve Stories of Love & Longingby Yael Unterman

The Street Cats of Nahariya by Jennifer Pyatt (Author), Aya Navot (Illustrator)

White Zion, by Gila Green (see all of her books here, and pre-order the newest one!)

Iconic Jewish Women: Fifty-Nine Inspiring, Courageous, Revolutionary Role Models for Young Girlsby Aliza Lavie (Author)

Getting Ready for Shabbat! Let's Make Soup! (Getting Ready for Jewish Holy Days), by Chaya Bluma Gadenyan

Girls' Names from the Hebrew Bible: A Children's Bilingual (Hebrew-English) Coloring Bookby Chaya Bluma Gadenyan

The Adventures of Incredi-Wheels & Triple S: The Mysterious Missing Bookby Rebecca Rubin Seligson

Storky's Journey Homeby Nachshon Meir Spiegelman

The Lazy Investor: How to Set a Profitable & Hassle-free Investment Portfolioby David Mann (Author)

Tribal Lands: The Twelve Tribes of Israel in Their Ancestral Territoriesby Tamar Weissman (Author)

The Koren Tanakh: Esther (English and Hebrew Edition) (Graphic Novel Format) by Jordan Gorfinkel (Creator), Yael Nathan (Illustrator), Jessica Sacks (Translator)

If you want to be added to this list, please email me at!

Thanks for supporting Israeli businesses! Let me know if you found this list helpful, and feel free to share it with all of your friends!

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Shopping Finds of the Week

This post contains affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission (never at any additional cost to you)

Today I am here to admit that Aliexpress is still my friend, and here's why:

We've been having trouble finding leotards for our athletes with the sleeve length we prefer. So we ended up buying long sleeve leos, promising to alter them. But paying a seamstress to do the alteration just jacked up the cost too high. It was time to break out our own needle and thread.
The problem was - STRETCH. It's hard to sew in a way that still leaves stretch if you don't really know what you're doing, so we decided to take a different approach. We chose to do the hems with elastic thread. The only elastic I had in the house, though, were too thick for this! And the sewing store is in a different city and I didn't feel like trekking there without knowing if they'd have what I wanted. So - online shopping to the rescue!
After searching a LOT, we found this elastic sewing thread that is priced really low, arrived really quickly, and did the job well! Kudos to my daughter for sewing it herself!

Another super find was these packing organizers! They make it so much easier to stay organized while traveling. I got them for one of my kids and they have gotten so much use! And they are SUPER discounted right now, so you might want to grab them. (I definitely paid at least double!)

And lately, Aliexpress offers to combine your order into one package and ship FAST. And it WORKS!!

So those were my finds that I had to share this week! Hope you found this helpful!

Monday, April 8, 2024

What you REALLY need for Pesach

 Pesach's almost here! And the stores are getting full of special foods for Pesach. And isn't that so exciting?!
But then, you start to pile them into your shopping cart, and you suddenly realize that the cost really ADDS UP FAST. Uh oh. What about that little thing called "a budget"?

Here's the thing. Pesach is ONE week. So if you can make it one week without buying premade cakes and cookies and crackers and who knows what else, you'll save a lot of money.

There are some things you really do need for Pesach:


Grape Juice or Wine

Maror (this can be lettuce! But I also bought a small piece of horseradish for about 6 NIS at Yesh)

Karpas (Potatoes or Celery)

Charoset (I always have to improvise this one because of my nut allergy and other family members' uncooked apple allergies. (So much fun!) Last year I made a stewed fruit charoset - chopped apples stewed with cinnamon, raisins, dates, and grape juice. I might have put some dried apricots in there but that's no longer an option for me due to another allergy popping up. It worked out well, though, so I'll probably do something similar again.)


Other basics for things you like to eat.

I make sure we have these foods available:

Chicken (whatever's on sale leading up to the holiday)

Beef if there's a good sale or if I stocked up another time and there's some in my freezer labeled Kosher for Pesach

Fish fillets if there's a good sale or if I stocked up another time and there's some in my freezer labeled Kosher for Pesach





Cream Cheese

Basic fruits and vegetables (including potatoes and onions because we MUST have potato kugel)

Ingredients for brownies not already listed above: potato starch, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, chocolate chips

If we buy tomato paste and cheese, we can make matzah pizza or matzah lasagna, so we try to make sure there's some of that around.

I like to make a HUGE vegetable soup at the beginning of the chag and use it for the chag and also several days of Chol Hamoed - this way there's food around.

I am committed to avoiding making anything that takes too much time or energy so that also will keep my expenses down.

Everything else is extra. My family really likes eating kneidlach and pesach rolls so having a couple packages of matzah meal on hand is good - but I don't personally make these anymore because my wheat allergy gets activated when I touch wheat-based products and any matzah meal dust in the air is hazardous to me...

I personally stock up at Pesach on things that are not going to contain traces of wheat at this time, but you don't need to if you don't have a reason to! So don't go crazy. 

If it's been a tough year for you financially, you can do this simply. Just make sure you have brownies on hand to keep everyone happy - make the recipe I posted and you can't go wrong! Warning: You may have to make a batch every day😀.

Do you have other "must-haves" for Pesach? Let me know!

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Free Gift Cards and more - one way to get them

I'm going to assume that if you're reading this, you really appreciate FREE stuff! Sometimes, the only free things you can get are pretty useless junk, but sometimes there's actually something really worthwhile out there!

If you're a Clalit Mushlam member, there's a way to get points towards a VERY WIDE variety of free things that you may be currently missing.

So if you are, indeed, a member of Clalit Mushlam, you're paying a monthly premium for the plan. This plan gives you discounts on things at Clalit pharmacies, and some health-related perks, like the ability to see a private doctor for a copay that is much less than the cost of going fully private. So here's a perk you might not have heard of:

Clalit Active. This is Clalit's healthy lifestye app, where you accumulate points for completing health-related goals. You can redeem those points for rewards. We've gotten health-related items, like a Mi swartwatch, exercise equipment, and a massage gun. We've also gotten gift cards for stores like MegaSport, and even Lenovo earbuds. You can also redeem them for things like discount admission to pools, and health clubs, wipark admission, electric toothbrushes, smoothies, shakes, high coverage swimsuits, discounts on Clalit Mushlam complementary health services, and more (the list changes from time to time).

Now, everyone knows I'm not exactly a big exercise buff, but even I go walking and eat things and drink water, so it's pretty easy to get points! And redeeming them is fun and rewarding!

Want in on it? Just click this link from your phone to get it! And if you use referral code JPAJKYK, you'll get a 600-point sign-up bonus - there's a section called מישוש חבר מביא חבר where you enter the code - find it when you tap on the menu a the bottom far right of the app screen. Be aware that you have to put the code in on the same day you activate the app to get the bonus. When you use my code, I'll also get a bonus, so thank you in advance for using it!

So, do you want to start getting more things for free? Join and start today. And please share this post with anyone you know who might want to join!