Tag: Start Up Nation

“Still better than EL AL”: American trapped in luggage hold of Israeli bus

(Based on a True Story!)

By Mark Levy

Last Updated 1/10/2020 at 3:00 PM

Latrun: A tragedy was averted yesterday after Israeli police rescued an American tourist from the luggage compartment of an Egged bus. Apparently the 19 year old man tried to retrieve a bag from the luggage department, got trapped inside, and the bus driver took off. Now those of you who don’t live in Israel are asking “How the heck could this happen?” Whereas those of you who have ever rode an Israeli bus are no doubt nodding your heads and sadly laughing to yourselves.

Just to make this story even more Israelier, the bus company blamed the young tourist for the balagan. Egged Spokesperson Ron Ratner said “The incident happened on a windy and rainy day, and the driver was unable to foresee irresponsible behavior of the passenger.”  (Note to our foreign readership: the previous sentence is Israeli for “Sorry“…..and yes he really really said this.)

Yet perhaps the greatest aspect of this story was the courage shown by the tourist. The Daily Freier was able to speak with him and get his side of the story. “Flying to Israel on El Al really prepared me for what happened in that cargo hold. The feeling that I was trapped with nobody to help me? If you added the part where our departure was delayed because a Haredi guy refused to sit next to a woman, you’re describing my El Al flight. Also, the bus didn’t lose my luggage.

UPDATE: Nefesh B’ Nefesh wants to use this brave tourist for their upcoming “Only in Israel!” publicity campaign.

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Amazon shocked to discover Israeli delivery drivers act like Israeli drivers

By Chava Ewa

Last Updated 12/29/2019 at 11:00 AM

Tel Tzion: As more and more olim are realizing that they really don’t want to walk to the Makolet and speak Hebrew, the Israeli postal system has become desperately overwhelmed. “I walked out of my building and a guy in a van yelled at me: ‘Are you Leora Cohen?’ Umm…what?” said Tel Tzion resident Hadassah C.  After Hadassah explained that she wasn’t Leora but that she was Leora’s upstairs neighbor, the guy threw a parcel at her and sped off shouting “So, you give this to her when you see her.

Strangely enough, many Amazon shoppers in Israel are finding that just because something comes from an American company doesn’t mean that their Israeli counterparts are remotely sorta halfway holding to the same level of American service. “My parcel was late. And the box looked like it had been taped together. .. and the sweatshirt I had ordered for my husband smelled a bit like arak and nargileh smoke.” complained Chani D., another disappointed shopper. “I’m not going to stop buying from Amazon (chas v’shalom!) but I complained on about 22 Facebook groups, including the one where the guy said he just ordered 16 boxes of Kleenex because and I quote, ‘I’m kind of a tissue snob.‘ Yeah, that one too.

The Daily Freier tried to reach Amazon customer service staff in Americaland to provide some constructive feedback. A customer service representative in Omaha replied “Yeah, yeah, we heard this already. Honestly, we didn’t expect Israeli delivery drivers to be so…Israeli.  Wait, you mean, they’re still doing that after we told them not to? But…but… we told them not to!

“But I’m making a Difference!” American woman creates fake MASA program to stay in Israel

By Mark Levy

Last Updated 12/19/2019 at 3:45 PM

Tel Aviv, Weizman: An American citizen is under arrest today after authorities discovered that she’s been running a fake MASA program for over a year. MASA is a a public-service organization founded by the Government of Israel together with The Jewish Agency. Alison R. was detained early this morning after a month-long investigation.  Apparently she created the NGO so she could stay in Israel “because I LOVE LOVE LOVE it here.” The Daily Freier was able to speak to Alison while she  live-blogged her experience in the Tel Aviv District Court’s holding facility.

I really don’t see what the big deal is.” complained Alison as she posted photos of her detention cell to Secret Tel Aviv. “I’m making a difference in the Community. Also, believe me, I have done A LOT for Israel.

The Daily Freier asked Alison how she first decided to create a fake MASA program and she explained. “So I did my homework…. and discovered that every MASA program needs to be a combination of the following words: Start-Up, Communities, Women, Internship, Impact, Periphery, and Water. So I created ‘Women of the Periphery Sustainable Water Impact Start-Up Internship’. Wait… do you think they’ll let me out in time to go to Kuli Alma before it gets crowded? It’s Old School Hip Hop Night!”

The Daily Freier then spoke with the Israeli Police Anti-Fraud Task Force to demand answers on how this deception was able to go on for so long. Lead Investigator Lieutenant Dalit S. explained. “Our greatest challenge is that Alison’s NGO didn’t sound any less ridiculous than your average MASA program. During our investigation, we uncovered an NGO that builds gender-segregated religious dog beaches. We were about to arrest them until we discovered it was for real.

UPDATE: Authorities released Alison after learning that 50 people have already applied for 8 positions with her Women of the Periphery Sustainable Water Impact Start-Up February 2020 Internship. Also, half of your Taglit bus wants to extend their trip to volunteer there “because it sounds A-Ma-Zing.

“We just ordered toilet paper!” Anglo Olim react calmly to Amazon’s free shipping

By Chava Ewa

Last Updated 11/24/2019 at 3:00 PM

Ramat Beit Shemesh-Mem Sofit: “Is it a fast day? Some kind of holiday? There is some religious reason why people aren’t shopping now, right?” asked Israeli-born makolet owner Rami K. as he stood outside his mini-market in Ramat Beit Shemesh-Alef. Rami dragged on a cigarette and wondered out loud exactly why his business has come to a dramatic slowdown this past week. “I sell everyday things that people need: toilet paper, trash bags, tissues, laundry soap. These Americans living here still use the toilet, right? So, if they aren’t buying toilet paper in my store, where are they getting it from…. America?… hahahahaha. I make joke, yes?

The Daily Freier had to gently inform Rami that the downward turn of his business was in fact due to Amazon.com and their recent free shipping offer (stop us if you’ve heard this one before). After a few glasses of Arak and an hour on Facebook, we managed to convince our Israeli friend that Americans were indeed buying their trash bags, toilet paper, and laundry soap from the United States. “You Americans are crazy.” said Rami as we showed him that in the great tradition of Jews building community, there are now multiple Facebook groups dedicated to shipping Amazon to Israel… and they can’t stand each other.

The Daily Freier then set out to ask RBS-Alef residents exactly why they were shopping online for their basic necessities. “It’s just easier to buy on Amazon and wait a week for delivery” explained local homemaker Esty C. “If I need to buy from Israeli stores, I actually have to… you know…. speak Hebrew. I thought I was done with all of that… are we still in Hebrew Day School or something?

As we left RBS-Alef, we asked Rami if he had ever considered taking his makolet business online and creating a user-friendly website for Americans to buy his products online. “Yeah, My daughter said I should make a nice website, but then I woud actually have to… you know… speak English.

 

Israel adds extra Yom Kippur just for Scooter Riders

“This is your chance to apologize to us.”
(photo credit: Hazel Orpen)

By Yekutiel Bornstein & Aaron Pomerantz

Last Updated 11/11/2019 at 4:30 PM

Tel Aviv: In the greatest change to Judaism in centuries, Israel has added an extra Yom Kippur. Yet it’s reserved specifically for scooter riders, because they suck  their actions have posed a unique challenge to 21st Century Israeli society. Specifically: how does one repent for anti-social behavior if a single Yom Kippur is not enough? The Daily Freier walked over to the Tel Aviv Rabbanut to get all of the facts.

 

We were greeted in the Lobby by Yossi, the Rabbanut’s Director of Community Outreach. We asked him exactly what prompted this drastic action. “The rise of the scooter has affected us all.” he explained. “Bird, Lime, whatever. Remember when electric bicycles were the most annoying vehicle on the sidewalk? Good Times.”

The Daily Freier asked Yossi just how the Rabbanut could possibly change the Jewish calendar. “Why not?” he replied. “We have 3 Election Days this year. What’s an extra Kol Nidre?” Yossi thumbed through the Gemara looking for a specific passage.  “This extra Yom Kippur…. it is a chance for you to repent for being such a… how do I say this without committing Lashon Hara?….. for being such a sociopathic ass.

The Daily Freier challenged Yossi, noting that anti-social behavior takes many forms. “You raise a compelling point.” Yossi replied, as he pulled another book from the shelf. “Next year, bzrat HaShem, ‘Extra Yom Kippur’ will also apply to people who play matkot on the beach.”

In the spirit of diversity, Daily Freier will also be accepting repentance from those of you who park on the sidewalk.

 

 

Only in Israel: an Amazon Store that sucks!

(Photo Credit: Globes Israel)

By Chava Ewa

Last Updated 10/3/2019 at 10:30 AM

Bet Shemesh: The Anglo Israeli Community was paralyzed with fear today over rumors that Amazon Israel had been hacked… and turned into a website selling a poor selection of overpriced Israeli products. The eagerly anticipated launch of the online retail giant in Israel only fueled confusion and disappointment among Olim.

I put off my yerida for this!” explained Ramat Bet Shemesh resident Dassie S. “I stopped myself from publishing an angry rant on Keep Olim In Israel announcing my departure. I let my brother come and visit from America without bringing me a suitcase of Ziploc bags! They told us Amazon was opening up here, so I decided that I could tough it out. But when I opened my computer and typed in Amazon.co.il and just saw stam overpriced Israeli products, I was sure they had been hacked or something. Why does HaShem hate us?

The Daily Freier then went to Amazon Israel’s Headquarters in Haifa to demand answers. “No, we haven’t been hacked.” replied an exasperated Customer Service rep named Yuval. “It’s not a prank. Yes, it’s supposed to be like that. And no, I haven’t heard about your special steak spice. Can’t you just buy your spices at the Shuk? I’ve had this conversation a million times today.

Sadly, this was indeed not an elaborate prank. After several email exchanges with Amazon Israel customer service, the Daily Freier confirmed that they do not intend to stock Montreal Steak Spice, Neosporin, or the snack-size Ziplocs that you can’t even find at Osher Ad. They do, however have t-shirts from Adika (um… whoever they are) and dishes from Naaman. We caught up with our friend Dassie to get her opinion on this business model.

So, like instead of going to literally any Israeli mall to buy Naaman dishes, I can pay extra on Amazon and still have to wait for the Doar? Yeah….no.

These spoiled Americans, they expect too much.” laughed Yuval. “They want cheap prices, they want fast delivery, they want cheerful customer service reps. Who do they think we are? Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting their parcels delivered by flying robots. Hahahahaha.

If you don’t think I’m going to complain about this in my Aliyah Blog, you’re in for a big surprise.” warned Dassie. The Daily Freier admonished Dassie that as we approach Yom Kippur, it’s imperative not to spread malicious gossip. Yet she was adamant. “It’s not Lashon Hara if it’s true.

 

“What’s an Appointment?”: a guide to Misrad HaPnim

By Chava Ewa

Last Updated 9/22/2019 at 2:30 PM

Jerusalem: You want passport? Meet me at 6 in the morning. Don’t worry about computer.

It was with this cryptic reply that our Daily Freier reporter first encountered Magda, a Polish-born Olah with a reputation as a ‘fixer’ in the government bureaucracy. I needed a passport for my son and the Misrad HaPnim (Ministry of the Interior) website showed no appointments available for months.

If there’s anything we learned in Poland, it was how to stand in line.” noted Magda as we arrived at the Misrad Hapnim office at 6 AM. “Website not important. If you come early enough they always let you in.” Amazingly enough, a line soon formed, consisting of everyone who isn’t using the website: Senior Citizens, the Haredim, and former Soviet Bloc citizens who chatted in Russian while smiling with a faint tinge of nostalgia. And yes, they gave me a number and processed my passport even though I didn’t make an appointment online. Who knew that would actually work?

Your cousin needs papers signed? Meet me at Aroma in one hour.” was Magda’s reply when I called in a panic about my cousin Shlomo, a Lone Soldier who needed to get medical paperwork signed immediately and couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment.

Shlomo and I rushed to Aroma and Magda was waiting for us on the street. “Go inside and buy a box of rugelach.” Magda ordered him.  As a Lone Soldier, Shlomo found this confusing. “Buy something? Like, actually pay money?”  But Magda was insistent. “No rugelach, No paper.

As we entered the Kupat Cholim (Insurance HMO) office, rugelach in hand, Magda explained: “Kupat Cholim secretary is Queen of the office. If you want help, you bring gifts.” And yes, after handing the secretary the pastries, she was surprisingly helpful and let Shlomo see the doctor for just a second to get his paper signed.

In Poland, we knew how to get things done.” Magda explained. “Communism wasn’t such a bad system, it was just different…but we knew how to get around it.” This reporter was surprised at Magda’s candor and suggested that perhaps she could leverage her expertise in dealing with Israeli government bureaucracies into a successful business venture. Magda laughed. “You Americans and your jokes. Open a business? What does that mean.. open… a… business? Who do you think I am? The Minister of Labor or something? That’s funny. You Americans!”

New App alerts you whenever Ariel Gold says something stupid

By Mark Levy & Yuval Weiss

Last Updated 9/10/2019 at 5:00 PM

Tel Aviv: Startup Nation has done it again, releasing an exciting App this week to great fanfare. ‘That’s Gold!’ is an application for Iphone and Android users that alerts you whenever noted BDS supporter/Deep Thinker Ariel Gold says or does something ridiculous. The Daily Freier wandered down to that WeWork office near Rothschild (no not that one, the other one) in order to meet the creators of this amazing application.

With our ‘That’s Gold!‘ app, we provide our customer with a one-stop shop to stay up to date on the latest dumb shit that Ariel came up with.” explained lead engineer Pinchas G. “Our state of the art algorithm pulls data from Ariel’s Twitter feed, Code Pink press releases, and the comments section for Hen Mazzig’s pet rabbit’s Instagram page.” Pinchas feverishly typed a line of code on his Macintosh and continued. “The 2.0 version even has a feature that notifies you whenever she uses a Yiddish phrase incorrectly.

Well if you think this App is selling like latkes in December, you are correct. The Daily Freier ran into a number of happy customers on Rothschild Boulevard.

OMG This is A-Ma-Zing!” extolled Arielle (NOT Ariel) C. “This gives me something to do whenever the Daily Freier is going through Writer’s Block.

Changed my life!” enthused David S. “I really like the feature that alerts me whenever she takes a selfie with Neteurei Karta.

Unfortunately, not all of the feedback was positive. The Daily Freier stumbled upon Alert Local Ronit S. as she desperately tried to silence her beeping Iphone at the coffee kiosk on the corner of Allenby. “Ariel just got into a one-way argument with Jason Greenblatt and now my phone won’t shut off…..thanks a lot.”

The Daily Freier looks forward to Ms. Gold’s inevitable response to this story, because it would no doubt trigger this app, thereby becoming the most Meta thing like ever.


p.s. Yes, we wrote a similar story about Margot Wallstrom back in 2015.

p.p.s. With Margot retiring, we saw a chance to reuse a theme.

p.p.p.s. At least someone around here is bothering to recycle. What, do you hate the Planet or something?

Red Sea Diving Resort tells the unbelievable story of an affordable Israeli hotel with good service

By Mark Levy & Yuval Weiss

Last Updated 8/3/2019 at 11:00 AM

Tel Aviv: There’s a hot new Netflix film called “Red Sea Diving Resort”, and people in Israel can’t stop talking about it! The film tells the story of the Mossad’s clandestine operation to rescue Ethiopian Jews in the 1980’s and bring them home to Israel. But perhaps the most unbelievable part is that in order to make the mission succeed, the Mossad set up a really good hotel. That’s right. An Israeli hotel that was affordable AND with good customer service! The Daily Freier wandered around Central Tel Aviv pestering random strangers for their feelings on this crazy tale.

Amazing!” enthused Ron C. as he sat on a bench on Dizengoff. “The way the Mossad went “deep undercover” by teaching their agents to treat the customers like ‘customers’ instead of ‘somebody stopping me from taking a smoke break.’ I mean, this didn’t just happen overnight. Ron took a drag from his cigarette and continued. “The flashback scenes were perfect: The meticulous planning, including a mock-up of the hotel where the waiters were specially trained not to throw their menus at the customers and demand tips! I felt like I was there!”

I was sitting on the edge of my seat with suspense!” remarked Alert Local Ronit S. “I mean, the most suspenseful scene? Probably when they almost blew their cover after a customer asked for ice and Chris Evans laughed and said ‘This isn’t America’.  You could just cut the tension with a knife until he recovered, smiled, said he was just joking, and brought a full carafe of ice.”

The Daily Freier then solicited the opinion of tourist Jessica H. “So the scene where the unsuspecting European tourists check in, and the Mossad is running Zodiac boats just 200 meters away? That was cool, but the whole time I was thinking, ‘Wait, someone cleaned their rooms!’ Also, Mossad Headquarters got a native English speaker to proofread all of the signs in the hotel so that they didn’t just say ridiculous nonsense! I couldn’t believe it!”

As the article went to print, several Facebook groups popped up with Israelis asking the Mossad to take over hotels in Mitzpe Ramon, Eilat, and basically all of Tiberias.

 

 

 

Daily Freier cured of Writer’s Block! Also, Shmuley Boteach’s Daughter just opened a Sex Shop in Tel Aviv

(Photo Credit: They have an Instagram Account!)

By Emily Goldstein & Aaron Pomerantz

Last Updated 7/28/2019 at 3:00 PM

Tel Aviv, Montefiore: A beloved Tel Aviv literary institution is recovering nicely from a month-long bout of Writer’s Block. After weeks of not having goofy yet funny ideas pinging around our respective minds, the Staff of the Daily Freier are now firing on all cylinders. The creativity is happening! We’re busy type-type-typing away! Baruch HaShem!

Oh Yeah….. in completely unrelated news, Rabbi Shmuley’s daughter Chana just opened a Sex Shop in Tel Aviv. Not sure why we bothered to mention this, as it has nothing to do with our miraculous recovery from Writer’s Block, which we attribute to plenty of bikram yoga, a juice cleanse in the Negev, and the Keto Diet. But sure…. Chana, who is clearly carrying on the Boteach family tradition of keeping a low profile/avoiding sensationalism, just opened “Kosher Sex” on Montefiore Street. Plus, it doubles as a clothing boutique!

So the Boteachs are back on the scene! No doubt after they finished sitting Shiva for Rabbi Shmuley’s Bromance of Blessed Memory with T-Bone’s neighbor Senator Cory Booker. And let’s keep it real here. This is INCREDIBLE news for the Daily Freier, which has been really struggling to capture the Tel Aviv wackiness that once put us on the map. This might be better than the time that our female friends compared their ex-boyfriends to city bus lines. Or, you know, the time a guy went onto Secret Tel Aviv to try to sell his porn collection.

The Daily Freier looks forward to the Kosher Sex shop providing the Daily Freier with material for years to come.