Ladies and Gentlemen, the finest 6 minutes of cinema in the history of …. cinema: “American Oleh trapped in Ulpan Gordon for 7 years.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, the finest 6 minutes of cinema in the history of …. cinema: “American Oleh trapped in Ulpan Gordon for 7 years.”
Last Updated 4/28/2017 at 3:30 PM
Bucks County, Pennsylvania: With Yom Haatzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) right around the corner, Israelis are celebrating another milestone: the 6th Anniversary of Philadelphia-area resident Jeremy S. being “just about to make Aliyah“. Jeremy, a 29-year-old technical writer and musician, has been “like almost ready” to make the return to Zion since attending a Matisyahu concert in April of 2011 “that like really changed the way I look at life“. The Daily Freier spoke with Jeremy about his on-again/off-again longing for Eretz Yisrael.
“So I’m still like super-stoked to do this.” Jeremy explained, as he ate lunch at a hummus place near Cherry Hill. “But at first it was like, Wait. The Army??? I don’t want to peel potatoes for three years. Maybe if I was promised Intelligence or something. But then there’s my Hebrew. And Ulpan just seems super hard and not really like focused on my needs, you know? Like my friend says it’s full of the French and Ukrainians. So maybe when a lot of Americans start to make Aliyah it will be better for me? I would even do a class with some Canadians.”
Jeremy is already on his 3rd Aliyah Counselor, with his first Aliyah counselor rapidly approaching mandatory retirement age. Additionally, half of the people in his original planned Aliyah group have already integrated into society and become so Israeli that in the Spring of 2015 they moved to Berlin for economic reasons.
Jeremy’s Rabbi in suburban Philly has so far written six letters to the Israeli Government attesting to Jeremy’s membership in the Covenant of Abraham. Rabbi Stanley Green, of Congregation Agudath Israel, has become so exasperated with the process that for the latest request he simply took a sheet of Synagogue letterhead and scrawled with a pen “Not again! He’s still Jewish!”
Jeremy’s gutsy almost-decision has affected his family as well. His mom Linda joined us via Skype after we helped explain “what all of the buttons on the computer do” and shared her concerns. “As a parent, you never stop worrying about your kids.” Linda explained. “So with the crazy situation over there in the Middle East, and Jeremy almost sort of moving there, well you can imagine my almost sort of anxiety. I’m just concerned that if Matisyahu’s band or those nice girls in A-WA tour the East Coast again this Summer, that Jeremy might take the next step and schedule another Aliyah appointment in Manhattan with Nefesh B’Nefesh. But I’m pretty sure Nefesh started screening his calls some time in 2014.”
Reaction to Jeremy’s slow-motion-Aliyah within the Greater Tel Aviv Community have been rather mixed. North Tel Aviv resident Mark S. explained. “So he subletted my apartment in July 2015 because he was ‘this close‘ to moving here for good. And at the end he asked if he could leave a bag in my apartment because he was ‘like definitely making Aliyah after the High Holidays.‘ I guess the joke is on me because he didn’t specify the exact year of the High Holidays after which he would make Aliyah. Also I checked the bag last week and it contains parts of a tent, a tea set, a pair of drawstring linen trousers, some old vitamins, and spices from the Shuk.”
While Jeremy remains on the fence in terms of Aliyah, he has not allowed his cold feet to limit his social activism on behalf of the Almost Maybe Possible Future Olim Community. He started a Facebook group called “Keep Almost Olim Almost in Israel” dedicated to the unique needs and issues facing Almost Olim, to include the lack of support provided by Nefesh B’Nefesh for those who have been about to make Aliyah since Obama’s first term. Jeremy is also contemplating going onto Secret Tel Aviv and asking for future free stuff for when he becomes a Lone Soldier.
By Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 2/25/2017 at 6:30 PM
Tel Aviv, Bograshov Street: The colony of mold that lives in the wall between your bathroom and your laundry room has decided to stay in your Tel Aviv apartment for at least another year. But your landlord wants a co-sign on the lease. So the the mold, who goes by “Yossi”, has asked for your help. Yossi explained his decision to stay another year to the Daily Freier.
“The apartment is right off of Bograshov Street. And besides the fact that it’s basically turned into France, the location is amazing.” Yossi explained, as he slowly continued his expansion into the apartment’s communal hallway. “Plus the landlord is just the best. Doesn’t do anything that would cause problems for me, like modernizing the plumbing, weatherproofing the windows, or replacing the old wooden cabinets. I basically have the run of the place.”
Yossi went on to describe just how hard it was to find a place to live in Tel Aviv. “I tried everything. I checked for apartment on Secret Tel Aviv, but it was nothing but freaks. I even tried Keep Olim in Israel, but in the time it took me to post to the site, I somehow got in an argument about Binary Options.”
Yossi says he is going to split the rent with Boaz the cloud from the Golan Heights who saved his IDF platoon from an ISIS ambush. But Boaz is still finishing up the Army and won’t move in until some time in the late Summer after his post-Army trip to India, so your landlord really wants someone else to co-sign. And other than him asking you to try to help maintain a kosher kitchen, and occasionally releasing spores into the air that make you sneeze and cough, he is kind of low maintenance. Come to think of it, he’s probably the most normal housemate you’ve had so far in Israel.
By Yekutiel Bornstein and Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 9/27/2016 at 5:45 PM
Tel Aviv, LaSalle: Today the Daily Freier shares a story of setbacks, the Triumph of the Human Spirit, and an inability to memorize basic verb forms. Now entering his 8th year in Kita Bet, Oleh Not-So-Hadash Jeff S. is still unable to pass the end of course exam, and is thus trapped inside of the Ulpan Gordon Language School in Tel Aviv. The Daily Freier spoke with Jeff during his 10 AM break.
“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong” wondered Jeff. “It just feels like I’m in some sort of rut. I mean, my Hebrew hasn’t really improved since Obama’s first Term, but then again my conversational Russian and French are really getting good!”
Despite Jeff’s failings as a student, the dedicated faculty have not given up on him. When he finally mastered Past Tense Verbs last year, the teachers threw him a party. “It was kind of like a Bar Mitzvah.” explained Ulpan Gordon’s Principal, wiping away tears. “And when he made the Bracha on the wine, he was just as illiterate as he was back in 2009.”
Unable to graduate and thus depart the premises, Jeff survives from day-to-day on the snack bar, occasional birthday cake, and emergency rations from the U.S. Embassy Citizens’ Services Section. Various Birthright tours passing through drop off messages from his family, as well as Hebrew flashcards.
The years of isolation have taken their toll on Jeff. He currently makes cultural reference from the 2000’s Decade, to include “Friendster“, “You’re Fired“, and “The OC“. He is currently unaware of Post-First Generation iPhones. His “Arrested Development” quotes are still funny though.
Jeff has become somewhat of an institution at Ulpan Gordon. His current teacher, Shirli, is in fact the daughter of his first teacher in 2009, Nava. “B’zrat HaShem, some day my granddaughter or grandson will teach him.” mused Nava. Shirli also shared her mother’s affection for Jeff. “He gets along really well with my family. My five-year old Uri adores him. But lately, Uri’s been expanding his vocabulary and finds their conversations somewhat limited and a bit boring.”
In addition to Jeff’s friendships with the faculty, he has managed to maintain somewhat of a social life as well. In 2010, Jeff dated, married, and got divorced from a French Olah in his class. Nava explained the situation to us. “We held the reception in the auditorium. We had soda, cake, and a slide show. It was actually quite tasteful.” In order to get all sides of the story, the Daily Freier contacted Joane, Jeff’s ex. “I really enjoyed class with Jeff. But he was never there for me to help around the house.” explained Joane.
Many people wonder just how this tragedy has been allowed to go on so long. The Daily Freier contacted the Misrad HaKlitah (Ministry of Absorbtion) to find out. “Normally, recent immigrants are only granted 5 months of free Hebrew lessons.” explained Uzi, from the Front Desk. “But we really just want to see where this ends up. So every 5 months we extend his benefits. We actually have a bit of a betting pool going.” Uzi then lowered his voice to a whisper and leaned in closer to us. “By the way, just curious, but when you saw him, was he able to name all of the Hebrew Vowels yet?”
The Daily Freier then contacted Nefesh B’Nefesh to demand answers on how they allowed this situation to continue. A Dati Leumi woman from their Jerusalem Office named BatSheva or Elisheva or JustSheva answered our phone call. “Whenever an Oleh from North America stays here more than six months without moving back, we consider this a win. So he’s really good for our statistics.”
UPDATE: The IDF mounted a clandestine operation this evening to rescue Jeff from Ulpan Gordon, as they have a Squad Leader position in their Olah Hadashah Code Talker Unit that needs to be filled.
By Mia Deych, Mark Levy, and Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 7/26/2016 at 1:10 PM
(DISCLAIMER: TODAY THE FREIER IS TOTALLY NOT SAFE FOR WORK!)
Tel Aviv, Rothschild: Recently, a woman posted on Secret Tel Aviv seeking a roommate under…… “special conditions”. The Daily Freier was going to try to explain the post, but whatever we say won’t do it justice:
Anyhoo, Secret Tel Aviv being Secret Tel Aviv, the readers reacted with a mixture of shock and anger that….. JUST KIDDING….. the men of Tel Aviv went on Full RED ALERT and sprang into action, replying with such important questions as:
Despite the story seeming to be just an innocent request for a live-in sex object, the truth is far more sinister: the entire set-up was simply a ruse by a woman who works in the Human Resources section of a prominent FOREX company in Ramat Gan, and the men who responded found themselves not in a Get-Your-Freak-On scenario, but a Binary Options Job Interview. The Daily Freier waited outside the Apartment and conducted Exit Interviews with the traumatized men of Tel Aviv as they learned the bitter truth.
As he left her apartment, local guy Shai (from the coffee kiosk) said “I’m into experiments, but this pushed my boundaries WAY too far. I might be a submissive, but I’m not into Cold-Calling torture!”
We then spoke with recent French Oleh David as he skulked away in shame. “I walked into the interview thinking I was, how do you say, ‘Overqualified?’ Because I am… French? But I’m into bondage, not Binary Bondage.”
Yet there was somebody who DID seem OK with the arrangement, but wished to remain anonymous. The Daily Freier asked the Mystery Man if he had any comments. “Yeah, can you adjust my leather collar? It’s itchy.”
We actually volunteered to check out all of the details of the arrangement. Just as advertised, They DO provide lunch and breakfast. There ARE good showers on site. If you work night-shift, there ARE beds. The only thing we couldn’t figure out was…..uhhhhh….. this:
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
By Mia Deych, with Mark Levy
Last Updated 7/21/2016 at 1:20 PM
Tel Aviv, Bograshov: If you’ve ever heard of the French diet also known as the ‘French paradox’ (the observation of low coronary heart disease (CHD) death rates despite high intake of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat – This phrase was copy/pasted. Thank you, Google), you are probably aware of how many contradictions and how much mystery there is about the French.
Typical Tzarfatim are easily spotted in Tel Aviv, neither because they are cooing in French, nor because men’s hair is perfectly messy and women’s outfits are out-of-this-world trendy, but rather because they are unbelievably TAN. By that we mean not just a “I’ve been to the beach a lot” tan, but a very specific shade of brown with a hint of clove and a whiff of cherries and black currants. We would even call this colour ‘Burgundy‘, but we are not French, so we don’t dare.
So how does one achieve this branded shade? The Daily Freier compiled a list of “Do’s and Don’ts“.
1. Hang out with French people, eat at French-owned restaurants, and buy French products.
2. Become fashionably religious, keep traditions strictly (like Kashrut or Shabbat), but do it gracefully.
3. Keep on being slightly condescending, but add a solid touch of the Israeli chutzpah.
4. Be very proud of being French, but insist on speaking solely in Hebrew with all non-French people.
5. Spend a lot (read: “all“) of your time at Lala-Land Restaurant on Frischman Beach.
6. The corner of Bograshov and Ben Yehuda is the new Center of your Universe.
1. Don’t even try to do everything above. You do not have the panache to make this work.
De mes plus sincères salutations,
By The Daily Freier Staff
Last Updated 4/26/2016 at 3:00 PM
Tel Aviv, Bograshov: Local waitress Anat S. can’t quite pinpoint it, but something is different around town. Ever since she drove back from the big dinner at her parents’ house in Holon on Friday, some people have just been acting….weird. Anat sat down with the Daily Freier to share her observations.
“So a customer asked if we had pastries made without wheat flour. And I was like ‘You mean like gluten-free? Of course!‘ And I brought them out some gluten-free muffins. And the guy just stared at me. Like what’s his problem?”
Anat munched on a pita and shared another life event from this week. “I don’t know what it is. But I’m definitely feeling different vibes this week. Like two hours ago, these French tourists came in and asked me if we had a “hescher“. I said ‘I don’t know. Would you like to see if it’s on the menu?‘ And then they left. At first I thought that they were just being French. But then an English couple walked in and asked the same thing. And they were wearing those little things on their heads. So I handed them a menu and asked them to point to what they wanted. And they left too. Strange.”
Anat continued. “I pride myself in being observant. But I can’t figure out what’s different. I mean, Why is this week different from all other weeks?”
Finally, she gave up. “I guess I’ll just ask on Secret Tel Aviv”