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One of the Amal Se'udit chain's facility for the elderly in Raanana is in for a  facelift. 

An unused structure adjacent to the non-profit's 600-resident seniors' residence is being turned into a student dorm instead of a nursing wing – with one to three students per room. The fully-furnished "youth wing" will provide 200 students at local colleges like Beit Berl, the Open University and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzlia with a roof over their heads at cut-rate prices: While elderly clients pay 8,500 NIS a month for a full array of services, student dorms will run 1,100 NIS for a triple occupancy to 1,900 NIS for a private room – no frills attached.

The establishment expects the influx of students will invigorate the social climate and hopes a good number of young tenants will become "live-in help" - employed as part-time paid caregivers, with work conveniently located next door.

Who knows!? While brightening up the lives of their neighbors, Amal's unique social experiment may even provide students with a tuition-free lesson or two from the University of Life - on the house.  (Yediot Aharonot and Maariv)


The Jerusalem Municipality plans to license street musicians, allotting 'exclusive territory' to the best performers as a permanent personal beat – as if they were hocking pickled herring in the Machaneh Yehuda open market. 

Concessioners will have to audition for such spots. The reason: Street musicians of dubious talent have become an environmental nuisance – a form of noise pollution in the minds of some Jerusalemites. 

The lucky winners will receive a monthly municipal stipend for their gigs and can, perhaps, stop soliciting handouts from an open violin case. The program is not limited to instrumentalists such as the harpist who plays on the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall. It includes all kinds of street performers – including dancers and thespians of all kinds.  

* Ir = city in Hebrew


After her house took a direct hit from a GRAD rocket, resident Hannah Na'eh was floored to receive a bill from the Beersheva Fire Department charging her 1,539 NIS ($416) for a service call...

The fire fighters told the thoroughly burned matron that the bill was perfectly legal. 

Legal perhaps, but was it logical? 

There's a happy ending to this tale of woe: ultimately Property Tax authorities agreed to pick up the tab.


The Arab Spring has germinated a wave of appeals to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs for assistance from Arab officials and run-of-the-mill citizens in Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algiers and Tunis who want to collaborate with Israel

Some want to join Israel's CIA – the Mosad...or the IDF.  Others want to convert and join the Jewish people...or seek political asylum.  And then there are correspondents with business propositions.  They range from a Jordanian youngster who said she'd "invented six patents," explaining – "it  seems to me that only Jewish brains can help me apply them," to an equally inventive Egyptian who offered to sell Israel an agricultural breakthrough,  adding that if he didn't get an answer within five days flat, he'd turn to Iran.  

The Ministry's Arabic web site sends a polite personal reply to all comers.


Who says doctors no longer make house calls?!

In an outstanding play, Habima – Israel's national theatre company - took steps to ensure there will always be a doctor in the house – in fact two.  At each and every performance at the newly-renovated theatre there will be two physicians on-call, should one of the actors literally "break a leg," or stage crew or someone in the audience need immediate medical attention.

The move is a join venture launched by Habima Theatre and the Israel Medical AssociationIsrael's MDA.  The theatre will provide two free tickets to every performance, and members of the IMA can call to volunteer to attend plays – on the house.


Unlike patterns abroad, most Israeli homosexuals are socially heterosexual; they don't live in 'segregated' neighborhoods or circulate in single-gender social networks. Family values run so deep in Israel that practically no one is immune to the pressures to "Be Fruitful and Multiply": not only are single mothers a common phenomenon; the number of gay and lesbian couples opting to have children by various means is multiplying.  

By contrast, religiously-observant members of "The Kihilah'" (a Hebrew term for the LGBT community in Israel) often find themselves between a rock and a hard place in balancing couplehood and parenthood – but no more.

A ground-breaking matchmaking service organized by Arale Harel – a 35-year old settler from Shilo who is an ordained orthodox rabbi, couples-up* religiously-observant gay men with religiously-observant lesbian women so they can raise Orthodox offspring together in a traditional albeit highly unorthodox household. Rabbi Harel not only says assisting people have children is a core Jewish value; he believes if the members of such unions seek sexual partners outside shared parenthood without hiding it from their spouses, it doesn't count as adultery. Harel has already matched up 12 couples. Some are already raising test-tube babies together.

* via a website called Kamoha – which means "Like You