Sneak Preview of Photos from Children’s and Teen’s Art Show – With Brush and Pen – April 11 2013

Last Thursday, April 11th AACI hosted the premiere of the 3rd Annual Children’s and Teen’s Art Show, with “Brush and Pen” thanks to a generous contribution by former AACI President, Gordon Sugarman (Betsy Sugarman ז”ל Memorial Fund) in memory of his beloved wife, Betsy z’l.

Kol HaKavod to all the kids and teens who participated…and their families…and of course, our beloved staff and volunteers who made this event happen!

In addition, Dr. Max & Gianna Glassman, whose generous gift has allowed us to thrive in our new facility in Talpiot were present and Dr. Max addressed the assembled crowd and Gianna assisted in the presentation of awards.

To say it was an amazing night barely describes the excitement, joy, enthusiasm and talent that we witnessed in a standing room only crowd.

We shot lots of photographs and even some video. The photos are up on our facebook page (please like us if you have not already done so) and even if you do not use facebook ordinarily, you can view them here.
http://on.fb.me/YwxdAg

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Here are just a few of the beautiful examples of talent demonstrated by our young artists. Please come to AACI-Dr. Max & Gianna Glassman Family Center to view the art and prose that is on display. And visit us on facebook to tag your work and photos of you.

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Enjoy the photos and please tag them and share them with your friends and family, and if you have more photos to add, please let us know so we can include your photos too.

Stay tuned for more to come… video, and photos of the entries.

If you are not already getting the AACI e-newsletter, sign up here so that you will be informed about other great events for the whole family happening at AACI.

Plans are already in the works for a great July 4th/Canada Day Celebration and you will surely want to join in for lots of fun!

If you would like to share in the excitement by sponsoring an event like this, or one that would be meaningful to a person you would like to remember or honor, please contact Bryna Lee at 02-566-1181 ext. 324 or bjacobson at aacidotorgdotil.

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.

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Our new VLOG is posted to YouTube. We hope you received a link to it in the latest enewsletter that went out today.

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And if you are not subscribed to the free AACI enewsletter that comes out every other week and updates you about all kinds of programs and useful information… visit our website at http://www.aaci.org.il

Calling Children & Teens ages 5-18

If you live in Israel, and are age 5-18, you are eligible to participate in the AACI Children’s and Teens’ Juried Art Show, With Brush and Pen.

Your art, in any medium, or poetry/prose in English must be submitted this month (February 2013).

Click here to view all the details.

Don’t miss out! If you are an art teacher, please encourage your students to participate. No need to plan for a special project. Surely some of the work already completed is appropriate for the show.

Prizes to be awarding in categories by ages.

All participants will receive a certificate.

Opening night is April 11, 2013. Submit works by the end of February to AACI.

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.

SPOTLIGHT ON A SUCCESSFUL OLAH-Sarah Weinstein of 4U Gifts.

Sarah Weinstein (this article originally appeared in the May-June 2011 edition of the VOICE)

Sarah Weinstein, former financial planner, current small business owner, full-time Mom and AACI volunteer, celebrated her 10th aliyah anniversary last June.

Sarah made aliyah June 21, 2001 from Mahattan New York. Her original plan, to join her parents who lived here, was disrupted by the death of her father, z”l, a few months before she came to Israel. Thus, when she got here, she found herself without a crucial pillar of support she had counted on.

Despite that, Sarah knew this was where she wanted to be. “This is the best place for me to raise Bonnie [her daughter], and I’ve always had a connection to Israel. I thought, if not now, when?” Bonnie was 4 and a half years old when they made aliyah, and has been thriving since. “My daughter is very comfortable. She loves it here. When she goes to America she says, ‘I’m ready to go back to Israel.'”

“It was crazy when I made aliyah, because I moved during the second intifada. It was a dream I had.”

Did you have a plan when you came?
I had absolutely no clue. My father died before I got here. I had been doing financial planning in America for 25 years, but I couldn’t keep my license once I moved to Israel.

What are the biggest challenges of living in Israel?
The language. The bureaucracy is the same all over the world, I don’t believe Israel is any worse when you have to wait online for something. You’d have the same problems in America. It’s no picnic there either!

What do you like best about living in Israel?
The friendships I’ve made are much deeper because everyone is in the same boat. Most people don’t have family here.  And I’m very blessed to have my mother here. And my friends have become my family.

Tell us about 4U Gifts.
6 years ago, a friend told me 4u was for sale, and a few weeks later, I bought it. A few months previous, I had gone to the AACI employment department. I had always wanted to own a boutique on Madison Avenue, but this is much better than being on Madison Avenue.

It’s a Gift Shop, housewares, and our primary business is bridal registrees. People can purchase online from all over the world. We import a lot of high-end brands, not like any other store in the country, customer service is just like America. People in the shop speak French, English and Hebrew.

I love buying, love being with people, love my clients, never two days that are the same. I loved financial planning because I was very much involved with peoples lives, but I was selling an abstract product. Now I see instant gratification. People generally come in happy and leave the same way.

How did you get involved with AACI?
I had known Josie (Arbel, director of Klitah Services and Programming). Josie had helped me before I made aliyah, and I knew that one lack I had was that I was heavily involved in the Jewish Community in America, but when I moved here, I was limited in what I could get involved with because of the language. I knew about AACI because my father, z”l, had wanted the AACI merger to happen. I had known about AACI for a long time, and I needed something to get involved with, so this was a logical place.

How did AACI help you when you first came to Israel?
AACI is always there as a sounding board. Any questions I have, I always talk to Sheila (Bauman, Klitah counselor in Jerusalem office) or Josie. I email Sheila, she gets back to me.
I sit on the Management Committee, was heavily involved in acquiring the building. I did the picking out of everything that’s in the offices. Chair of Development up until this year. Not involved in day-to-day operations, but in the overall where-we’re-going, what we’re doing, a board perspective, behind the scenes. Half the staff might not know who I am, and that’s fine, I don’t need to be known.
Loves AACI cruises – spends quality time with her mom, a very special time to be on that cruise.

4U Gifts – 41 Hebron Road, Jerusalem Tel. 02-671-8406 Email sarah@4ugifts.co.il

Editor’s note:  Do you have an Israeli story — a 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.

Party Time! A Week of Celebration with AACI

They say the world is divided into two types of people – those who think the world is divided into two types of people and those who don’t.

This same theory could be applied to people living in Israel. There is one ideology that says we are all Israelis, and that immigrants should make every effort to fit in, by single-mindedly adopting the majority language and culture. Others believe that we olim can be committed to our chosen country, while still fondly remembering our former places of residence and some of our old customs.

It is in the spirit of the second school of thought that AACI is offering a week of exciting events to celebrate two national birthdays, Canada Day (July 1) and American Independence Day (July 4).

What an interesting line-up! Advertised as offering “something for everyone,” the celebration certainly lives up to its billing.

Sunday, July 1, Irwin Cotler, Justice and Human Rights critic for the Canadian Liberal party is speaking on “Freedom of Expression.”  What does a Canadian politician have to do with Israel? Well, for starters, his wife, Ariela, is a native Jerusalemite. In addition, Cotler has been working against anti-Semitism for years. In a speech before the Canadian House of Commons earlier this month, he called for a moment of silence at this summer’s Olympic Games in memory of the Israeli athletes z”l who were murdered at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

Monday, July 2, we will celebrate the festive opening of a new art exhibit by Glen Shear, as part of AACI’s ongoing program of exhibitions in our Jerusalem headquarters, the Max & Gianna Glassman Family Center. His work crackles with the energy and color of American pop culture, featuring an occasional Israeli twist. http://www.gotshear.com

Tuesday, July 3 (note new date),  HaHafuch, Israel’s premier English-speaking comedy troupe, will present their zany take on the lighter side of living in Israel. A group of olim from around the world, these improv artists live their philosophy, “Israel is funny.”

Wednesday, July 4, is American movie night, with a screening of the classic Frank Capra film, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Starring that quintessentially American actor, Jimmy Stewart, this film, which describes one citizen’s effect on the American political system, was highly controversial when it was first released in 1939. Gary Levine will provide an informative introduction.

All events will be held at the AACI Jerusalem Max & Gianna Glassman Family Center.

For full details of times and prices, click here.

Well, it’s quite an eclectic schedule, but isn’t that as it should be? After all, we Israelis, olim and Sabras alike, are a very eclectic group — not just two types of people but many, all jumbled together in a colorful mosaic . And that’s what can make life in this country so much fun.

AACI Jerusalem – Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center, Pierre Koenig 37, corner of Poalei Tzedek 2, Talpiot    MAP
Buses # 21 & 49 stop on Pierre Koenig across from AACI; 71, 72, 74 & 75 stop  at Tzomet Habankim, a 10-minute walk away.
For information, please call (02)566-1181.

A Bargain Hunter’s Delight: the AACI Annual Yard Sale

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UPDATE:  Post Yard Sale Report (please scroll down if you are here to read the original post)

The AACI Yard Sale last Friday was a rousing success. It accomplished both of its worthy goals – raising money for our programs and hosting an enjoyable event. As well as English, lively Hebrew and Russian conversation could be heard, as attendees hunted for bargains and chatted with each other. Although the indoor arrangement of tables was a bit crowded, buyers and sellers alike treated the situation with good humor (helped by the pleasant air conditioning), and we are already working on solutions for next time. The vendors pulled an amazing assortment of objects for sale out of bags and boxes, backpacks and shopping carts. There were books and clothes in abundance, but also musical instruments, board games – with instructions in English that parents can read!! – toys, household items both useful and decorative, as well as tons more.

And it seems like news of the sale spread far and wide. After I left the building, a woman approached me to ask simply, “Effo ha’Americaiim?” (“Where are the Americans?”) I gave her directions and a big American-style smile.

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You might think it couldn’t be done, but we’re doing it. No, this is not the new motto for all of us English-speaking olim – I’m talking about the transformation of AACI’s huge multi-purpose room into a yard. Why? You may ask. Well, to host the super-duper AACI Jerusalem Glassman Family Center annual yard sale, of course.

This exciting event, scheduled for Friday, June 8, from 9 AM to 1 PM, is a chance to browse tables full of  second-hand books, jewelry, clothes, bric-a-brac (the uptown name for tchotchkes), artwork and household goods galore. You’re likely to find some “hidden treasure,” such as vintage Mad magazines from 20 years ago. There will be bargains galore, especially in the last few minutes before closing.

Last year the yard sale was held as part of AACI’s July Fourth/Canada Day celebration. It was so successful, with hundreds of shoppers throughout the day that this year the sale is being offered as an event all on its own. The AACI Jerusalem Glassman Family Center is air-conditioned, so you can shop in comfort, and has an elevator to make it a little easier to schlep all your great finds home.

While you’re at the AACI, you may also want to take a few minutes to check out “With Brush and Pen,” a delightful exhibit of artwork and writing by Israeli children, which is part of our ongoing series of exhibits by local artists. (If you can’t make it on Friday, “With Brush and Pen” may be viewed free of charge during AACI’s regular office hours until June 15.)

Suggestions for shoppers:

  • Take a few minutes to look around at all the tables and see which ones have the type of items you are most interested in.
  • If you are planning to buy major amounts, especially of books, bring some bags or a cardboard carton to carry home your new treasures.
  • Please bring some small bills and coins to pay for your items. Our vendors are not professional merchants, and will have only a limited supply of change.
  • Snacks may be purchased across the street at the Hadar Mall. Sorry, food and beverages are not permitted in the yard sale venue.
  • Most important, bring your friends and your high spirits, and have a great time!

 The AACI Yard Sale will be held Friday, June 8, 2012, from 9 AM to 1 PM at

AACI Jerusalem – Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center, Pierre Koenig 37, corner of Poalei Tzedek 2, Talpiot    MAP
Buses # 21 & 49 stop on Pierre Koenig across from AACI; 71, 72, 74 & 75 stop  at Tzomet Habankim, a 10-minute walk away.
For information, please call (02)566-1181.

P as in Protekzia: AACI’s Navigational Series

The concept behind AACI’s popular Navigational Series is simple: putting those of us who don’t know together with someone who does. Both aliyah and what comes after – daily life in Israel – are quite challenging. All of us, no matter how long we have been in this country, still have many new things to learn. (TRUE STORY: Although I have lived in Israel for 20 years, I just found out a way to save money on my health care payments from someone who made aliyah last Tuesday.) Dealing with bureaucracy and solving problems require not only time, energy and money, but often something more.

The missing ingredient is what is referred to as Vitamin P, P as in protekzia, which can be defined as connections, pull, knowing the right people and the right procedure. Problem is, most of us olim haven’t got it. We are often somewhat isolated, without a solid grasp of the language or the strong family ties so important to native Israelis. Like the simple son in the Passover haggadah, we don’t know who or even what to ask.

That’s where AACI’s navigational series comes in.  It is a series of talks by English-speaking experts in fields such as housing, health care, banking, education, insurance, American citizenship/Social Security and much more. The subjects, which are generally repeated from year to year, stem from the questions most commonly asked by callers to AACI’s counseling hotline. (For short aliyah-related inquiries, call 02-566-1181 Sunday through Thursday from 12:15 to 1:15 PM.)  

Counselor Sheila Bauman, finding that the same topics came up again and again, decided that having those questions addressed in detail, by an experienced professional, would be   a great way to reach large numbers of olim.

And the response has been extremely positive. The lectures are well attended, by English speakers of a wide assortment of ages. Although each lecturer is a professional businessperson, they are donating their services and the purpose of the evening is not promotional, but informational.  The speaker tries to address the concerns of every person in the room. Sheila makes the impressive statement that no one leaves with his or her questions unanswered, whether in the public forum, or by speaking privately with the lecturer after the talk. And, knowing how many questions we puzzled Anglos can come up with, that is saying a lot.

Watch for the next Navigational Lecture on Monday, June 4, at 7 PM. Advocate Deanna Fein will discuss “Housing Contracts: Rental & Purchase.”

All Navigational Lectures take place at the AACI Jerusalem Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center. Cost is NIS 15 for AACI members/NIS 20 for non-members.  Please call 02-566-1181 to register.

AACI Jerusalem – Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center, Pierre Koenig 37, corner of Poalei Tzedek 2, Talpiot    MAP
Buses # 21 & 49 stop on Pierre Koenig across from AACI; 71, 72, 74 & 75 stop  at Tzomet Habankim, a 10-minute walk away.