Yekutiel Bornstein: Yekutiel is slowly getting back on the Derech. He grew up frum, but couldn’t quite fit in with the religious lifestyle. A Yeshiva drop-out, Yekutiel did his military service in a religious unit, which kinda helped him to get his act together. He still knows WAY WAY WAY more about Halacha than the rest of the writers (Yuval disputes this, but it’s true), and hence is the Daily Freier’s author of record on issues relating to Judaism. Yekutiel is currently checking the Gemara to see what it says about weed.
Mia Deych: Mia was born in [country] on [mm.dd.yy]. She graduated from [school] and worked as a [profession]. Essentially, Mia’s life had been boring and dull until she (somewhat suddenly) made Aliyah to Israel on February 13, 2013. Since then, Mia has constantly felt amazed, provoked, astonished and riled at the same time, which allowed her to start writing for The Daily Freier. Currently, Mia lives in Tel Aviv and this jaw-dropping city inspires her every day.
Chava Ewa: Chava is an olah not-so-chadasha who came to Israel from Canada in 2006, although she is quick to point out that she was actually born in Europe. Which makes her European and not actually Canadian…. because you know, apologizing 400 times a day can get really tiring. She lives on a religious yishuv 15 minutes north of Jerusalem with her husband and seven children. Like all Israeli yishuvim, it’s the kind of place where you tell someone you have seven children and they say “Don’t worry…you’re young, you have time“. Her hobbies include shopping at Osher Ad for 10 kilo bags of ptitim (Israeli couscous) and posting Facebook photos of her 10 kilo bag of ptitim. Chava is fun to hang out with and has lots of stories about her crazy ultra-religious neighbors, just don’t mention to her that you’re going overseas, because she will stalk you on every social media platform you frequent and ask if you have room in their suitcase to bring back “just one thing… something small… you won’t even notice it.“
Emily Goldstein: Emily writes for our “Dating and Relationships” column, and when she is not busy with this she updates her very own Aliyah Blog, does some nannying, and gives English lessons. Emily grew up in Maryland. She used to work for Nefesh B’Nefesh. Emily loves dogs (As per her latest Instagram post: “OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE Dogs!”), and wants to adopt a dog from Gan Meir. But she thinks this is a bit of a “Big Step” in terms of actually “staying” in Israel and stuff. She is currently dating several Israeli guys, which is going about as well as you think it would be going. Emily dropped out of Ulpan Gordon halfway through Kitah Bet. She is a big fan of Israeli breakfast.
Mark Levy: A native of South Africa, Mark is currently working at his 6th Start-up, and hopes this one will end up better than the others. The previous ones included an App that diagnoses your dog’s psychological problems, E-Z Steal: an App that allows you choose the best time to have your bike stolen, an App that translates your sexts into Morse Code, an App that allows you to understand what the Tel Aviv Beach Lifeguards are actually saying, and a Dating App that matches you with someone else who is also waiting on Line at your Post Office. He also accidentally worked in FOREX for two weeks before quitting. Last year he had a tragically unsuccessful relationship with a French Olah, and he works through the pain by writing the “HaTzarfatim” column about the activities of our French brothers and sisters. Mark passed the “idealistic” phase of Aliyah several millenia ago and is well into the “cynical” phase, yet he is determined to stay in Israel for good. Last month he moved to Givatayim to save money. He checks Secret Tel Aviv, but unlike the rest of the Staff (Emily: cute guys, Aaron: inspirational weirdness for an article, Yuval: evidence that Tel Aviv is absurd, Yekutiel: “Chabad on the Coast” events), he actually checks Secret Tel Aviv to buy or sell items. Mark is currently single, and is hoping somebody designs an app to explain Israeli women to him.
Aaron Pomerantz: Nobody really knows what Aaron does for a living or how he receives funds. When he first made Aliyah, Aaron lived in Jerusalem, but he hated it and moved to Tel Aviv after four months. Aaron knows his neighborhood bars fairly well, and goes there to observe Tel Avivians and later write about them. He considers the bartenders his friends, and sometimes writes about their adventures, even when this isn’t the best idea. Despite the hurdles of Aliyah, Aaron maintains a certain level of idealism and actually still thinks he could “make it work long-term” with an Israeli woman and secretly enjoys their drama. Every day in Tel Aviv presents an opportunity for more of Aaron’s observations about life here. His daily routine involves waking up, drinking coffee Hafuch, and scanning Secret Tel Aviv. He loves going to the Shuk, but tends to stop at the Beer Bazaar to “people watch” for two hours every time he goes.
Lee Saunders: Lee’s ambitions as a writer were stoked and prodded during his frustrated adolescent years on the rain-soaked cobbles of Bury, Lancashire. The product of a controversial love story across the divide – the M62 – between a Scouse mother and a Mancunian father left him confused and torn. It was no wonder Lee left home at 18 to channel this confusion into a Languages degree, and pint glasses at Leeds University before wandering the earth, moving to the big smoke and apparently abandoning his roots. He turned his writing into four best man’s speeches, scripts, and a personalized poem business. He then went into journalism and PR but found genuine creative salvation and solace at the Daily Freier. Lee’s boyfriend is totally okay with his Bar Refaeli obsession.
Josh Warhit– Josh can’t ride a bike (his fault) and can’t fold the bottom bed sheet properly (not his fault). He became afraid of the monkey bars in kindergarten and got over it in IDF Basic Training. A sucker for Star Wars, starry nights in the Negev, and star-studded sports lineups, he considers himself both a strong Jew and a loving human. If he has wronged you in any way, please feel free to let him know at any time, but try to avoid the weeks leading up to Yom Kippur – he’ll be busy preparing that day’s menu and movie lineup. Josh and his wife live in Tel Aviv, but still prefer the water in their shower to AC condensate.
Yuval Weiss: The son of Israeli parents, Yuval grew up on the East Coast, but returned to Israel for the Army and then School. Yuval’s politics are decidedly to the right, which leads to a bit of teasing from the more “Tel Avivi” members of the Daily Freier Staff. He is half Sephardic, a fact that he does not hesitate to share with the decidedly Anglo writers at the Daily Freier. Yuval’s extended family indirectly feeds the office via the food he brings back from his weekend trips to the North. He continues to maintain an interest in World Events, and is the Daily Freier’s resident expert on things that exist beyond the Ayalon Highway. If a story involves Roger Waters, BDS, Haaretz, or John Kerry, you can be sure that Yuval had a hand in it. Yuval’s low-key knit yarmulke signals his Dati Leumi street cred. His girlfriend thinks the Daily Freier is “stupid“, “a waste of time“, and distracting him from “the important stuff“, like advancing his career and proposing to her. Therefore, he tends to write his articles when he is called up to do Miluim (Reservist) Duty. For professional reasons (he wants to keep his job), he would rather not say where he works.