Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Preparing for Passover in Israel

Yesterday I went to Jerusalem to get my pre-passover haircut. I got to the barbershop around 6:15 pm. My barber was tired but he took me and then another customer. He started work at 7am. He is very aware that Passover is just around the corner.

Here is a cool item about Passover in Israel: Thousands of children started their Passover vacation this week. I do not know many countries where the school system closes for Passover.

Later in the evening I went food shopping in a supermarket in Ma'aleh Adumim. The supermarket was packed and it was a Tuesday night. I usually do not like shopping in a crowded supermarket but today it was something special. Everyone was busy shopping for Pesach. I have lived in Israel for over 22 years (aliyah from New York in 1984) and it is still a thrill to watch Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael prepare for the holidays.

One last item - There were kids outside of the supermarket collecting food for the needy. Two girls were at the entrance of the supermarket asking people to buy extra items to donate on the way out (another group was outside the exit with shopping carts). Kol Hakavod to these girls (and others all over the country) that take time out to help the needy.
Let everyone remember that there are those that can not afford to buy food for the holidays and they need our help. If you do not see somebody collecting food or money for the needy outside your supermarket there are many organizations throughout Israel that you can donate to make the holiday special for those in need.

May your Passover preparations go easily and smoothly.
Have a good night,

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Bit of Nostalgia: Internet in Israel in 1994

A friend of mine sent me an article about the 25th anniversary of the Smiley.
You know :-)

This brought back some memories. Back in 1994 when I started to give lectures about the Internet in Israel, I created a plastic card that on one side had explanations about the Internet and Internet tools (in English and Hebrew) and the other side it had dozens of Smilies with English and Hebrew titles. Everything from a "Mr. Bill" to a Turban wearing Smiley. I have a scan of this nostalgic card at:

It is amazing that in 1994 there were very few people "surfing" the Internet. Back then, Internet was mostly used by computer people and access was through the school systems or research facilities. If you want to really find out who was active back then, ask a person what was Archie or Jughead or Veronica. (yes they are comic book characters BUT they also were names for something else).

I remember my first big lecture at the Dan Panorama hotel in Tel-Aviv. I gave the morning session and the afternoon consisted of 30 minute presentations by each of the new ISP's.
The presenters that I remember were Amir from Actcom and Avi from Netvision. Selling the concept of the Internet and what you can do with it was something new. Most of my lectures were diskette based because it was not easy getting connected to the Internet in a lecture hall.

Today the Internet is everywhere. According to a recent survey by comScore Networks, Israel ranked second only to Canada in the average amount of hours spent on-line. Israeli web users spend an average of 37.4 hours/month online. Most users in Israel have a high-speed Internet connection and I would say that the pricing is reasonable. My connection is a 2.5 meg and I am paying less than $25 a month for the ISP and Bezeq ADSL. This is much cheaper than my 33kb modem connection back in the early 90's.

Now if we really want to talk about nostalgia, I have a few stacks of Brooklyn College punchcards in one of the storage boxes in my home. Anyone out there remember what a punchcard looks like ?

Time to start cleaning for Peasch.
Shavua Tov and Chodesh Tov,

Monday, March 12, 2007

My First Learn Hebrew Video

Today I decided to create an educational / promotional video. I spent all day re-doing it several times until I got it right.

I posted the video on YouTube at:

Feedback is welcome!

Have a good night,

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Pictures of the Purim Parade in Ma'aleh Adumim

On Sunday, March 4, there was a Purim parade / carnival
in Ma'aleh Adumim. The parade (called "Adloyada") started
at 11:00am. The theme of the parade was bible stories.

I posted 314 pictures of the parade at:


When the first page comes up, press the F11 key on the
top of your keyboard for a full page view.
Use the icon buttons on the bottom of each page to navigate.

Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

CJI Salary Survey Results Posted Online

Hi Everyone!

I just posted on the Computer Jobs in Israel (CJI) website the
results of the annual salary survey.
A record 865 readers took part in the salary survey this year.
Each person answered 24 questions about their salaries and
their work benefits.

The results are posted (in English and Hebrew) on the
resource page at:

If you do not see March 1, 2007 on the top of the web page,
hold the control key and press the F5 key to refresh your browser.

Shabbat Shalom,
Happy Purim,