If and When (Can Change)

by Haley Plotnik under Israel,Judaism,News

One of the many reasons I often feel like I’m not “Jewish enough” is that I haven’t been to Israel before. I was thinking about going some time in the next year if the opportunity presented itself. It likely would, but I don’t trust my luck. I have always had a sinking feeling that I would be in the one group where things go massively awry.

Right now, a lot of us have friends and loved ones in Israel. Most of the time, I do not really worry about their safety or well-being. So many American college students have an overwhelmingly positive experience in Israel, and many people in Israel probably live in safer conditions than parts the US.

Right now, however, I feel a bit uneasy. I know I would not feel comfortable going to Israel at present. But I feel as though I might be giving up an opportunity that I can’t get back. If I say “not this year” for too many more years, the programs won’t be available to me anymore.

I have to remind myself continually that stepping onto Israel’s soil doesn’t make me a Jew. I am a Jew regardless. Perhaps I feel that missing out on Israel is like missing out on Jewish sleep away camps all over again.


JNF/JDate Singles Trip to Israel – Day 3

by Mark Feuer under Israel,JDate,Judaism,Single Life

New JBlogger Mark Feuer is joining several Jewish singles on an unforgettable singles trip to Israel! Mark will be sharing all about the sights, sounds, flavors and spirit of Israel on his unique and unforgettable journey! Here’s a little snippet from day 3:

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Day 2

The day began with getting up and using the gym at the facilities at the Dan Carmel Haifa Hotel. I really have to say, JNF/JDate set us up at a great hotel.

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View from overlook near the hotel

After a quick shower and change, I met the rest of my tripmates for breakfast, which was typical Israeli fare. We spent the meal discussing the previous day’s events. We were glad that we had not heard a single Red Alert since the tour started. We were very lucky in that regard, but we know that our tour leadership would not knowingly put us in any danger.

Group Pic

Group photo

First Stop – Atlit Displaced Persons Camp – South of Haifa

Today we visited what was once a displaced persons camp where the British detained Jewish people trying to enter the land of Israel while it was under the British Mandate in the 1930′s and 1940′s. We went through the processing center, the barracks, and a replica of the type of ship used to transport Jewish people into the land. It was a powerful experience.

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Sleeping area at Atlit Displaced Persons Camp

Second Stop – En Nof Artists Colony

The next stop was the En Nof Artist Colony. We met with several artists, saw some beautiful artwork, and enjoyed some homemade ice cream to help cool down in the heat!

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Some of the great artwork we saw

Third Stop – Tishbi Winery

After the Artists Colony we were off to the Tishbi Winery for lunch and a wine tasting. Lunch was simply fantastic. Just when we thought that they were done serving us they kept bringing more and more food. Gnocchi, Ravioli, Pizza, Salads of all types and the wine kept flowing too. They took us on a tour of the winery after lunch.

Wine and chocolate tasting

Wine and chocolate tasting

Last Stop: Baha’i Gardens

We were heading back to the hotel but one last stop, literally behind our hotel was the Baha’i Gardens.

Baha'i Gardens

Baha’i Gardens

Bastille Day!

Today was Bastille Day, so there was a great block party down in the German Colony. Everyone there was having a great time, with live music and drinking. Security was high, but non-obtrusive. It was exactly the thing people needed to decompress from the tensions of the past week. The conflict of the past week was on everyone’s minds and this was a great way to blow off steam. When people found out that we came from the states they were always very appreciative for our support in coming.

Bastille Day Block Party

Bastille Day Block Party


JNF/JDate Singles Trip to Israel – Day 1 & 2

by Mark Feuer under Israel,JDate,Judaism,Single Life

New JBlogger Mark Feuer is joining several Jewish singles on an unforgettable singles trip to Israel! Mark will be sharing all about the sights, sounds, flavors and spirit of Israel on his unique and unforgettable journey!

Mark grew up in Southern Florida, went to school in Massachusetts, and was recruited by a cruise line where he worked around the world for a few years before he co-founded a tech company, ForensiS, of which he is still a managing partner. This is not Mark’s first trip to Israel, but he looks forward to sharing new experiences in the homeland with other JNF/JDate participants. Here’s a little snippet from day 1 & 2:

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7/12/2014 12:26pm EDT
I am sitting here in the crown room in Fort Lauderdale, anxiously awaiting my flight to start this amazing trip to Israel. I will be meeting up at JFK with several other tour members and we will begin our trek with JDate and JNF. I have been to Israel before, but with everything that is going on there, this trip has a new meaning for me, to stand with Israel , it’s people, as well as JNF.

7/12/2014 6:15pm EDT
I met up with one of my tripmates after landing in JFK and we had some drinks and dinner while waiting for the others to arrive.

7/13/2014
Our Flight was delayed due to a medical emergency, but the four of us on our flight have made it into Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Our driver was ready to meet us at the baggage claim and ready to spirit us off to Haifa to meet the rest of our group.

Our Hotel, the Dan Carmel was beautiful and they had dinner waiting for us along with the rest of our group. After dinner a bunch of us, including our JNF group leaders, Stephen and Jason, went out to a bar to find some place to watch the World Cup Championship. It was a great night and I am excited to see what is in store for us tomorrow.

JNF/JDate Singles Trip to Israel, Day 1

JNF/JDate Singles Trip to Israel, Day 1


Dating & Politics

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Israel,News,Relationships,Single Life

In light of the attack on Israel, and all the conversations and debates going on, it seems as good a time as any to discuss how to deal with politics when you’re dating.

This is not typically a first-date topic, but skimming the surface is important if politics is one of your passions. Knowing if your date shares your stance on domestic and international issues can be imperative in deciding if there should be a second date. Getting into a full-on debate over dinner on your first date, however, is not a good idea. Having a healthy disagreement on a fourth date is awesome though as it will reveal your date’s views on current events, their level of interest in current events, and how well they listen and respect your opinion.

Obviously if you are a pro-Israel advocate, and your date is a Palestinian sympathizer, then you may have difficulties. Same goes for a staunch left-wing, card-carrying member of the NRA and a super-liberal, anti-corporation socialist. Probably won’t work. But never say never. Respect goes a long way!


Israel

by JeremySpoke under Israel

You know how people say that even non-observant Jews feel an indescribable connection to Israel once the plane touches down? Well, I did not.

Immediately when my plane touched down, I felt hungry. Hungry and tired. Hungry, tired and restless. I hadn’t slept for the entire flight and all I had eaten was what United Airlines claimed to be grilled chicken. I’m knocking airline food for no reason.  I’m sorry, it was actually quite good.

I went to all of the holy sites and, though nice, they invoked no sense of sentimentality from me. Many to all of the sites memorialize some moment in history when a whole lot of Jews were killed. I felt really bad that these events happened and continue to happen but I couldn’t identify with them. I do not personally feel that my life is in any way in jeopardy because I am Jewish. I do not have to really fight for anything in my life and, if I did, I would not fight strongly for a faith I do not really know that much about. Also, I am not physically strong, so even if I did fight for my beliefs, I would lose. Maybe that is the plight of the Jewish person. Whether or not we fight, we still lose. In that sense, I do identify with my faith. Whether or not we believe in the things we’re supposed to believe in, we are still part of a larger group of people who would fight for us anyway.

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Weight Loss Challenge: Day 22

by JeremySpoke under Date Night,Israel

I am starting to strongly believe that all food on earth tastes exactly like a turkey sandwich.  This warped, yet understandable, view of reality has been provided to my brain by 22 straight days of eating nothing but turkey sandwiches (and one steak).  Turkey sandwiches have permeated every part of my life.  I dream about being forced to continuously eat turkey sandwiches a la Man v. Food.  I think about turkey sandwiches constantly. Turkey sandwiches have become my currency, and I trade them for other turkey sandwiches.  The only escape that I get from this grueling diet is the transitory pleasure of Diet Coke®.

My impending date is coming quickly.  By Friday, I have to pick out the lucky girl.  Right now, it looks like only one girl will actually be in the same city this weekend.  I am also pretty sure that she still thinks that it’s a joke.  I am sure  I will have the last laugh as she sits across from me at a small table at a restaurant and sees that I am wearing a suit while the wait staff sings I Swear to her a cappella style.  Hopefully, if things go well, I will ride that positive momentum and lose my final 20 pounds.

After that, I leave with my family to go to Israel to rescue my brother.  He has been in Jerusalem for the past year studying to be a rabbi.  I do not know where he gets his ultra-religious tendencies.  Regardless, it gives me a free trip to Israel.  Hopefully I will meet my wife there like that  woman last month told me I would.  Oh drunk woman, I hope your insight leads to the fulfillment of that prophecy.

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First Annual JDate Day!

by JeremySpoke under JDate,Single Life

Hear ye!  I have a proposal involving all members of JDate.  When you read this, please keep an open mind.

Okay.  Here we go.  I think that once a year everybody on JDate should say and act in real life the same way they do online.  For example, instead of using the ‘Search’ feature, members should literally go door-to-door and assess each person that answers.  I realize that this may work better in more densely populated Jewish areas like Israel or New York City and so, therefore, you must first ask the respondent’s religious persuasion.  This will likely offend almost everybody.  Next, if their persuasion is of your liking, you must then read from a prompt.  Following is a prototype:

“Hello. My name is (insert username).  (Look at the person).  Now that I have visual confirmation, I will proceed with my next set of questions.  Now, please hand me at least four photographs of yourself.  I will use them to analyze whether or not further conversation is necessary.”

If you are still interested say, “I generally like your photographs.  May I ask your age, please?  Also, please give me a short description about yourself.  Telling me your physical characteristics is moot as I am looking you in the eyes right now.  Please do tell me of your ideal relationship as well as your past relationships.  What have you learned from them?  Also, what does your perfect first date consist of?”

If all goes well, finish with, “Thank you for your time regarding my interest in dating you.  Please give me your phone number and email address so that we can continue conversing in a normal matter such as this.”


No New Mail

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,Online Dating

Dear Gems from Jen,
 
I am interesting, cool, smart, warm, honest, creative, fun, and a well-traveled artist, who is 53 years young.  I am truly one of a kind and I look good. I am not thin, but not fat, an American Israeli and at the moment in Israel. In my profile, I let men know that I will be back in the USA in about 2-3 months. Men don’t look interesting, it’s unreal. Many Success Stories start from overseas, but it seems that American men want to find love next door. Isn’t it stupid? Even when I write to them I try to explain and say, “Think outside the box.” Still nothing, nada!

Dear No New Mail,
 
I’m not so sure this is just an American man issue.  My sense is this is a universal issue.  Long-distance relationships are hard work, no matter how great a catch you might be.  My best suggestion here is to have some patience.  It sounds like you possess some fantastic qualities and there are plenty of men out there willing to get to know you.  However, right now you are not geographically desirable to the men you are trying to communicate with.  I do understand you want to meet someone, but do yourself a favor and wait until you get back to the states. I think a lot of men are unwilling to begin something with someone who is not available to meet for a few months. Once you arrive back in the states re-visit some of the interesting profiles here on JDate and write the men you are interested in getting to know better. Good luck in your search!
 
Signed,
 
Gems from Jen


Dr. Ruth Making Love and War

by JewishFactFinder under JFacts

Celebrity sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, best known as Dr. Ruth, was a sharpshooter during Israel’s 1948 Independence War. She lived in an orphanage in Switzerland after her parents were captured by the Nazis during World War 2. In 1947, she joined the Haganah (The Defense) in Jerusalem and, even though she stood at a diminutive 4’7”, she was trained to be a sharpshooter. In combat during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Dr. Ruth was hit by an exploding shell and was unable to walk for several months. After recovering from her injury, she decided to study psychology at the University of Paris. Our sex lives have been all the better for it.