Over the past year, the Daily Freier has grown very attached to our favorite Tel Aviv cult community organization. We even teased them a little in an article! So it was a bit of a shock when we got the news that Kerem House had moved a few blocks away. Anyhoo, we cyber-stalked various Kerem House Committee Members and asked them the reason why they decided to move. So Behold, here is our Research!
1) We received a message from HaShem.
2) The Police started to ask questions about our Crypto Currency.
3) We needed to break up with our vegetable guy at the Shuk.
4) Wanted to be closer to Bograshov when the French arrive in August.
5) It was a chance to score another free Mezuzah from Chabad on the Coast.
6) The guys from MidBurn built a tipi on our roof and refused to leave.
7) We explained this in our Newsletter. Wait, you don’t subscribe to our Newsletter? Here, give me your phone. OK, you’re signed up now.
8) The mold in our bathroom wanted to live closer to the beach.
9) We applied for a Nefesh B’Nefesh “Go North” grant.
10) You’re gonna have to attend our next weird-ass TED Talk to find out.
Tel Aviv, Rothschild: Apparently the Daily Freier is in a lot of trouble. Like, a LOT of trouble. In the spirit of Community, we decided to organize a pétanque tournament. In Tel Aviv. On Rothschild Boulevard. Where apparently a certain….group of Olim congregate and play this really cool looking game that looks like bocce only even more ridiculous. Anyhoo, we organized this Competition, and somehow accidentally added “Anglos Only” to the Facebook Event. Must have been an oversight. You see, the Daily Freier has been obsessed with pétanque for a long time. But now we are getting a bunch of angry texts from the principal of Collège Français de Tel-Aviv, the French Embassy, and that kinda hot/kinda crazy French girl from your Ulpan. The Daily Freier hastily held a News Conference to dispel rumors.
Daily Freier editor Yuval Weiss greeted the assembled press, but before he could finish his introduction, an angry editor from I24-Francaise lit into him.
“It is simply…absurd that the Daily Freier would exclude the very Nation that created this noble sport from your tournament. Do you not notice that the pétanque courts of Rothschild are absolutely French?”
“Wait, they’re French?” replied Yuval. “You sure? Because I’m so Woke that I don’t see race or color or national origin.”
The Daily Freier tried to change the subject to our upcoming Chanukah Scavenger Hunt in Dizengoff Center, but the French Embassy Chargé d’affaires stood on his chair and began reading from the Declaration of the Rights of Man and name-dropping the Marquis DeLafayette.
Finally, Yuval was able to regain control of the Press Conference. “We apologize for the oversight. It’s just that as Anglos we are used to creating new opportunities on very short notice. It’s hard to explain this concept sometimes….. Wait, what’s the word for ‘entrenpeneur’ in French?”
Bekaa Valley, Lebanon: With this week’s little misunderstanding with our Northern neighbors, it appears that the region is one step closer to war. Yes, despite last Autumn’s highly effective #IsraelLovesLebanon hashtag campaign, it appears that not everyone is feeling the love. In fact, Iran continues to arm Hezbollah with advanced weaponry, including its latest “Ben Rhodes” Missile. Yet today the Daily Freier discovered an even more serious escalation: Hezbollah has turned an isolated part of the Bekaa Valley into a realistic simulation of Tel Aviv in which to train its troops. In fact, this “Little Tel Aviv” is so realistic, it’s overpriced, covered in cannabis smoke, full of electric bikes, and smells like dried pee. In order to get a better picture of the situation, the Daily Freier interviewed a Hezbollah representative named “Ali” via Skype.
“Yesterday, we tested one of our squads on what it would be like to be inserted into the city.” explained Ali. “So they hid out in a cafe until dark and ended up spending all of their allotted funds on 30 Shekel cups of coffee. And when they went outside at nightfall, their bikes had been stolen.”
As Ali continued his description, volunteers were visible in the background chugging large amounts of water and tea in order to help put the finishing touches on the city’s unique aromas. “We had to postpone last week’s exercise after our mortar squad tried to take a shortcut through the Namal port and ran out of funds.” Ali then introduced the mortar team leader, Hassan. “We were moving through the Namal and saw a Shuk, so we said ‘Hey, let’s stop for supplies.’ An hour later we wandered out with 4 white potatoes and a jar of tahina for 150 Shekels….. They said it was organic.”
To make matters worse, Ali revealed that their Logistics Unit quit halfway through the Exercise and decided to form a start-up. “Now they just stand on the roof all day with their shirts off playing ping-pong.”
Ali also explained that the problems reached as far as Hezbollah’s Women’s Auxiliary. “Zeynep is one of our sisters in the Resistance who served as a role player in ‘Little Tel Aviv’. But last week she bought a small dog and now she has a fitness-themed Instagram page that tries to sell you nutrition supplements and organic smoothies.”
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.
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.
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.”
(Editor’s Note: See the video version of this article here!)
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.
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.
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:
Does the apartment have a dishwasher?
As a flatmate, I can also bring a kitten.
Pick Me I’m Jewish!
Can I bring my Barbie Dolls?
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:
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’vebeen 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“.
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?”