Crystals for Vertigo
Following the article on vertigo in your October issue, I would like to share my personal experience with you. Having suffered from vertigo (the positional kind, i.e. left side), for some time and having visited ear, nose & throat specialists, neurologist, heart specialist et al to no avail, I had given up hope.
Then I heard via an American niece the word "Crystals" and began to look out for this concept. To my surprise I found that one of the physiotherapists in the Clalit Sick Fund had passed a course in this. When I went to see him, he said he was sure he could help me and started treatment at once. He banged my head quite hard on the affected side (which caused the world to spin round madly) and also knocked my head repeatedly. After the treatment I had to wear a collar for 48 hours and sleep at an angle of 45 degrees for a week. At the fourth treatment I did not react at all to his maneuvers and was pronounced "cured".
It was nothing short of a miracle. I live in Jerusalem, and I would be delighted to give all the details to your readers. My phone number is 02 673 8267. Good luck.
A Unique Publication
I must compliment you Merle on the last magazine No.156 – it really gets better and better. It is surely a unique publication, distributed to nearly the entire English speaking community and being in every sense a community publication, full of articles and tidbits of interest to us Anglos and providing us with a venue and voice. It is both apolitical and multi-focused, truly representing the fascinating experience of living in Israel through our immigrant eyes. I see that ESRA is now marketing the magazine internationally and for anyone interested in knowing how life really is, for us – it gives a broad perspective. To my mind, a subscription to the magazine should be part of the package given to all would-be new immigrants and those who have already made aliyah.
Bank charges at discretion of branch management
ESRA is a powerful force in the Anglo community, and also in Israel generally. It provides guidance, support and help to its members in many ways, and I would like to suggest that it extends such guidance, support and help into the field of banking.
The banks in Israel have, on the whole, a bad reputation and many ESRA members must, I believe, have a tale to tell. Our older members and new immigrants are particularly vulnerable.
I wrote to the manager of my branch three times requesting advice. All of my letters were ignored. I then lodged a complaint with its Head Office in May 2010 along the following lines.
"Your branch does not answer letters. It is charging me about £20 for banking a UK check, or for receiving an electronic sterling transfer, whilst a friend at another branch of your bank, is being charged only $3. Your branch refused to offer the same service to me when I asked.
The branch also wanted to charge me about £20 for receiving a quarterly electronic shekel transfer from my pension fund in the UK; £80 per annum. The same charge was wanted for my wife's shekel transfer - £160 in total.
I find that your branch has no standard tariff. It charges what it can when it can.
Last year I was promised an interest rate on my sterling deposit and the branch then credited me with a lesser interest. I cannot work in this shuk environment. I was not brought up to it".
I have now changed banks and found one offering the services I require, either free of charge or at much reduced rates.
After a delay of some three months the bank's Head Office replied, and I quote an extract:
"We wish to clarify that concessions and benefits in relation to charges and interest on deposits are determined by the management of the branch, in accordance with the bank's scale of charges, business considerations, customers profile, volume and range of activity at present and anticipated in the future. As a matter of course, we do not interfere in these areas under which the jurisdiction and responsibility of the branch.”
This reply confirmed that which I had already expected. The old and the inexperienced are often ripped off. Some members of ESRA must have the experience to advise in this matter and can do much to improve the plight of the old, the new immigrant and those that just do not know. Perhaps members of ESRA could undertake some research and prepare a guide. If such a guide was made known, it alone might make the banks think twice before trying to overcharge our members.
Editor’s Note: It is worth reading the article “The power balance in the bank – client relationship is far from even. Know your rights and protect yourself” by Hila Raz (Haaretz, The Marker, A9, October 1, 2010).
Bureaucracy, but worth it in the long run
In 1988 at a time of thoughtlessness and impetuousness, I made aliyah to Israel. At the time, I was working as a volunteer on a kibbutz and I thought I was sure that this was what I wanted to do. My enthusiasm was shortlived and I returned home to South Africa not much more than a year later.
I married an Israeli woman, and after living in Cape Town for some time, we decided to return to Israel.
In July 2009 we approached the aliyah department in Cape Town and asked for assistance in this respect. After providing all the relevant documents, the responses we got were disappointing, to say the least. They were unable to ascertain what my status would be upon my return. My wife was a returning resident, but was I an oleh, a returning resident or did I fall into another category?
We went to an ‘Aliyah Expo’ and spoke to a representative of the Jewish Agency. After outlining our situation, he took our I.D. numbers and said that he would get back to us.
After months of waiting, and having written letters to Sofa Landver and Ze’ev Bielski (Former Chairman of Jewish Agency), without any responses whatsoever, we decided to “go it alone” and landed in Israel in February 2010.
Determining my status seemed to be something that nobody wanted to do, but eventually the question was answered and we started down the bureaucratic road.
We were recognised as residents by National Insurance and applied to the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption for aid in the form of courses, which I am told is our right. They advised us that they have no budget. We went to the Department of Labor and they also told us that there was no budget. It is now fully a year after we started our inquiries, and we still feel as if we are tennis balls, being bounced around between the various government agencies, although it seems there may be light appearing at the end of the tunnel.
I am writing this, not as a complaint, but as a reminder. I forgot what a bureaucratic nightmare Israel can be and if any of you have loved ones who intend to make aliyah, good advice is to get one's “ducks in a row” before arriving – as difficult as that may be.
It's worth it in the long run
ESRA Modiin - a force to be reckoned with...
Out of the sandy valleys in Modiin a bud has blossomed into a major force - an entity to be recognized. A group of "Green Horn volunteers" have been banded together and in less than a year have placed ESRA Modiin high up on the map of achievers.
From quiz evenings and orchestral performances to assisting English in the Bagrut year, to Cheese and Wine on the beaches at sunset, to movie evenings and lectures, the availability of Ethiopian handiwork. All events have been fully subscribed and SOLD OUT.
This week saw the opening of the ESRA second hand book shop-not in the side streets of Modiin (Modiin has no side streets) but in the prestigious Azrielli Shopping Complex. WOW!
All this has been achieved through the tenacity and untiring efforts of two individuals - Jackie Klein and Cynthia Barmor, co chair persons of the branch. I think that they should be elevated to "Throne Persons" of ESRA Modiin. Kol Hakovod - to you and to your wonderful team - all the "kudos.'
I enjoy the ESRA Magazine which is constantly improving its high standard, and which is understandably attracting more and more advertising. As an early advertiser in ESRA I am happy to see this positive trend.
Your magazine is great and the covers are outstanding. They get better and better and the cover of the June/July/August issue is so beautiful it leaves me speechless. You can see and almost feel the joy of the people bathing in the sea and the girl exercising.
From the bottom of my heart I compliment whoever photographs and then chooses the cover and everybody else for their outstanding ability to make this magazine so attractive. It is always a joy to open and read the ESRA Magazine and I always look forward to receiving my copy.
They are so artistically printed that I loathe to throw them away... but what can one do with them after reading them! I always keep a few of the latest back copies but when they get too many I have to, finally, dispose of them.
Thank you all so very much for your outstanding work in setting out and publishing this magazine.
The game of the spelling
In his letter (to me?) about his book Leaving Home, Going Home, Returning Home, Mr. Alster brings up an interesting point: the lack of a consistent policy in Israel for spelling place names in English.
One example – for more than 40 years I was sure I lived near Pilichowsky Street. Then one morning I saw that, no, it is Polichowsky Street. I had been mistaken all these years! Further down the street I was reassured that Pilichowsky still existed – the street was trying on a few newly-painted “coats”.
Another example – this last holiday, after leaving Tel Aviv (Tel-Aviv), I passed through Herzlia, Herliyya, Netanya, Natanya, and eventually reached Qaesarea. At this point I decided to concentrate on the traffic jams, which were far more potentially dangerous than any innocuous street sign.
I’m sure readers can add even better examples to this “game of the name” situation.
I’m just surprised (still – after 45 years!) that this “hi-tech” country can show such carelessness. Or is it indifference?
Water exercise classes
I read with great interest your article, “Aqua Gym”, (ESRA Magazine No.156, Sept/Oct 2010).
I was a Water Exercise teacher for many years in the United States before coming on aliyah working with the general population as well as with the handicapped.
When I joined the staff of the Herzliya Country Club, although there were two large swimming pools there were no water exercise classes. I requested permission to start one which proved to be very successful. Within a short time there were more participants than would fit into our limited space and a second class was added. We continue to add classes as the demand grows as there are now many participants who are sent by their doctors particularly following accidents and/or surgery.
Unlike at the conference held in Raanana, my classes do contain a goodly number of men.