L’hitraot from the Editor…

This is me!

This is me!

It’s been my privilege to work at AACI for nearly four years, getting to know English-speaking olim and visitors to Israel and helping them whenever possible. Sometimes my “help” was nothing more than a kind word or a few patient moments to connect with another human being. Sometimes I listened to a remembered anecdote. I made many friends among the wonderful people who are my colleagues on staff at the AACI as well as our amazing volunteers and our far-reaching membership. I loved to welcome friends from the “old country” when they arrived here in Israel.

But every now and then, a little voice says it’s time to move on to something different…

While at AACI, word got out that I love technology and that trouble-shooting problems and teaching people solutions is fun for me. So sometimes I went beyond my role as blog editor/social media coordinator (making videos for AACI) or development staff.

People started to ask me for help with:

an iPhone or other phone,

or a Kindle…

or someone’s email wasn’t letting them open an attachment,

or they were trying to use a list that had been created in Microsoft Word but they needed it in Microsoft Excel,

or they had a question and didn’t know how to search to find the answer,

or they needed to know how to view photographs that had been sent to them,

or their camera for their Skype connection wasn’t working and they couldn’t see their Mom, or their children

and on and on and on. Well, you get the picture. I became somewhat of a go-to person for tasks both technical and frustrating (for them).

And I was able to help a lot of people. 🙂

I taught an introductory course about facebook. And an introductory class about LinkedIn.

When someone would tell me, “That was so EASY!” it was music to my ears!

These experiences inspired me to start my own business which I am calling My Tech Tutor. My Tech Tutor is a way to reach out to people who don’t think everything is so easy when it comes to technology. Because you see, my Mother, of blessed memory, taught me that, “Everything’s EASY when you know how.”

So that’s my new goal, or so that little voice seems to think. To make it EASY for you. To teach you how. How to get more pleasure and productivity from today’s wonders in technology. To reduce the frustration, and YES! Make it fun. Because I think technology is fun and it is one of my greatest pleasures to share my enthusiasm and wonder and joy with you.

My departure is bittersweet because I have loved my time here with you at AACI, but I won’t be far away. I cherish my membership privileges at the AACI and may even offer a blogpost to you, dear readers, as time goes on. To the new blog editor, I wish you much success and continued growth in readership.

Shalom dear friends, l’hitraot, until we meet again. Please be in touch. You can reach me at techtutoril at gmail.com (My Tech Tutor in Israel).

Bryna Lee, My Tech Tutor Personalized training and assistance with your electronic devices. Empowering you to connect, have more fun, be more productive and efficient. My Tech Tutor – find me on facebook or on my soon to be constructed, brand-new website.

AACI is the home for English Speakers in Israel with offices in

Jerusalem, Netanya, Tel Aviv,  Beer Sheva and Haifa.

AACI Jerusalem – Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center

Pierre Koenig 37, corner of Poalei Tzedek 2 (across from Hadar Mall)  Talpiot, Jerusalem

MAP

Buses # 10, 21 & 49 stop on Pierre Koenig across from AACI; 71, 72, 74 & 75 stop at Tzomet Habankim, a 10-minute walk away.

(02) 566-1181 for more information about any programs or to register.

Preparing for an emergency

Special Guest Post by our own David London, Executive Director. And this time, I can safely say that the opinions expressed in this guest post DO reflect the opinions and policies of the AACI, The Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel, serving English speakers from countries all over the world for over 60 years who have decided to make Israel their home!

And now, without further ado, a few words from David London, as it appeared in the Jerusalem Post. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=292969

As we know, life in Israel can be fraught with challenges. That is why AACI has been caring for and supporting Israel’s English-speaking community for over 60 years. In today’s Jerusalem Post (page 7), you will see the first in a series of articles reprinting the latest AACI Emergency Handbook.

Making aliyah, living in Israel and being part of Israeli society is, for most of us, the ultimate expression of our Zionism and Judaism. We should be proud that we have made our homes here and have raised our children here.

We live in a vibrant and vital society where life is never boring.

I made aliyah 22 years ago with my wife and year-old son – immediately after the Gulf War. Over the years three additional children – two boys and one girl (in that order) – were added to our family.

My oldest is finishing his third year of compulsory military service and the others are on the way to serving; thus, one of my children will be serving in the IDF for the next 10 years.

After over 20 years of living in Israel and having worked intensively on the production of the AACI Emergency Handbook in English, I should have been well prepared when the sirens went off in Jerusalem and its environs for the first time last Friday evening. However, I initially froze, like everyone else. Then, after that initial fright, I immediately took action and found a safer location and immediately gathered the frightened and skeptical around me.

Only after we heard the explosions of the Grads did everyone understand that this war was also on our doorsteps.

When I returned home and calmed down my family, my wife complained to me that everyone else had an Emergency Handbook but the family of the director of AACI did not. Obviously, it was because I was focused on getting the handbooks mailed out to all the members of the AACI family, country-wide.

For those who are not members I encourage you to join. However, we have made a free on-line edition that you can find at the websites of the AACI or The Jerusalem Post.

New immigrants always ask when they will become real Israelis. My answer (as well as that of AACI) is that “aliyah never stops.” No matter when you made aliya or how long you have been here, we will always be olim (immigrants) even if we speak perfect Hebrew. I know that when dealing with major issues such as health, finances or, in this case, security I prefer my information in English.

Even when the issue is not life-threatening, many of us prefer their information in English.

For over 60 years AACI has been providing information in English. Information is power, and AACI works hard to provide the latest and most up-to-date information in every area – health, housing, schooling and higher education, employment, military service, finances, tax reporting requirements, voting in Israel and abroad. This material is gathered by AACI’s amazing professional aliyah, klitah and employment counselors, assisted by volunteer experts. We are proud that we offer our services in all of Israel’s major cities; Beersheba, Haifa, Netanya, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

You will find our branches filled with a small, dedicated and professional staff and thousands of wonderful volunteers.

Our volunteers are great and they are there to help no matter your gender, religious or political beliefs or where you live. We believe that the English-speaking community deserves an address to turn to. That place is AACI.

In times of national emergency or just everyday living, AACI is your home and provides that safety net when things don’t go right. I encourage all of you to join AACI and be part of our community.

Our hope and prayers are that you will only read AACI’s Emergency Handbook as anecdotal material and never have to put the recommendations into actual use. May the whole house of Israel return to a somewhat quieter existence, and may the next big lights we see be in our homes during Hanukka.

http://www.jpost.com/Features/InThespotlight/Article.aspx?id=292847

sample page:

Download the handbook at http://www.aaci.org.il/articlenav.php?id=394

Editor’s note:  Do you have an Israeli Army story — or other personal story of life in Israel — that you would like to share with us? We are always interested in stories that will inform, uplift and inspire our readers. Of course, we reserve the sole right to publish or not, and to edit before publishing. Please submit your story, preferably including (non-copyright) photos as well, to bjacobson@aaci.org.ilLooking forward to hearing from you!

AACI Jerusalem – Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center
Pierre Koenig 37, corner of Poalei Tzedek 2 (across from Hadar Mall)
Talpiot, Jerusalem
MAP
Buses # 10, 21 & 49 stop on Pierre Koenig across from AACI; 71, 72, 74 & 75 stop  at Tzomet Habankim, a 10-minute walk away.
(02) 566-1181 for more information about any programs or to register.