Tzur Hadassah update: It’s getting crowded in here, yo.

Boom, trach. The housing politics are exploding in Tzur Hadassah and its surroundings.

To sum up, there’s been a long-time-coming plan to build 1,500 apartment units in dense buildings 7-9 floors each, located on a plot of land considered part of Mavo Beitar, right across from Tzur Hadassah. Doing this would do three negative things, claims the Va’ad:

  1. Creates more traffic than the area can handle, in the directions of Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh.
  2. Kills the pluralistic look and feel of the area with the type of population it will attract.
  3. Will make Tzur Hadassah a more dense and populated area, changing its nature.

What’s right or wrong? The times, they are a-changin’ for sure. And with the housing crisis and protests going on across the country, I’m not sure the Va’ad will be able to prevent this decision  any longer (apparently it’s a plan 15 years in the making). 

Here’s the letter from the Va’ad:

נלחמים על הבית –רגע האמת הגיע

תושבים יקרים,

לאחר ניצחון בבית המשפט בסיבוב הקודם מגיעה תוכנית מקבת מבוא ביתר לדיון מחודש בועדה המחוזית לתכנון ובניה.

לפי התוכנית מתוכננת בניה של כ-1,500 יחידות דיור, במגדלים צפופים בעלי 7-9 קומות, דירות קטנות, עם מרפסות סוכה ומיעוט מבני ציבור.

התוכנית ממוקמת מצפון לכביש 375 בין הכניסה המזרחית לצור הדסה וצומת צור הדסה, בשטחים של המושב מבוא ביתר. בעתיד שכונת המקבת תהווה חלק אינטגרלי של צור הדסה ותשפיעה ישירות על הישוב.
התוכנית מקודמת מזה 15 שנה עי מנהל מקרקעי ישראלומדינת ישראל. מאבק של תושבי צור הדסה במשך כל השנים הצליח עד כה למנוע את יציאת הפרויקט לדרך.

הסכנות בפרויקט:

1. מערך התחבורה מצור הדסה לירושלים ולבית שמש יקרוס בגלל עומס תחבורה אדיר על הכבישים הקיימים היום. דוח תחבורה מיוחד שהוזמן עי ועדצור הדסה לקראת הדיון בועדה המחוזית קובע שכבר היום נפח התנועה בכבישים אילו נמצא בגבול היכולת האפשרית. הגדלת נפח התנועה יסכן בטיחותית את הנוסעים , יגרום לפקקים ויאריך את זמן ההגעה מצור הדסה ליעדים השונים.

2. אופי הבניה הופך את הפרויקט לאטקרקטיבי לעמותות המייצגות אוכלוסיות השונות לאופי הפלורליסטי של צור הדסה.

3. הבניה המאסיבית תפגע באופי הכפרי והקהילתי של צור הדסה והישוב יהפוך לשכונה עירונית צפופה.

אנו קוראים לכם, תושבי צור הדסה להגיע בהמוניכם לדיון ולהביע את מחאתכם מהתוכנית המטורפת .

 הנסיון מוכיח שנוכחות תושבים משפיעה באופן משמעותי על ההצבעה של חברי הועדה המחוזית.

הדיון המכריע יתקיים ביום שלישי הקרוב, 02.08.2011, בשעה 14:30 ברחשלומציון המלכה 1, ירושלים, מעל המשרד לחידוש דרכונים של משרד הפנים.

ועד צור הדסה


Moussa’s looking out for my children.

Scene: In the office to sign papers, at the water fountain, filling up my water bottle with Bebe Bjorned to me, Moussa is standing at the sink washing paint off his brushes.

“You bring your baby to work a lot.”

“Well, I’m only here to do quick things. I haven’t been working the last few months.”

“Still, you bring her to work; a baby doesn’t need to be at work.”

“Well, I’m not really working…”

“Yeah, but…”

“I don’t work here anymore.”

“I know, but even to come quickly – you don’t have someone to leave her with?”

“My husband works and I’m her mother.”

“Parents at home? Father, mother? Some relatives at the house?”


“Aaah… No. We’re here b’aretz alone.”

“Oh. I see. Oh, I’m so sorry.”

Thanks for looking out for me, Moussa. No, I don’t live with the chamula.

We all have our own challenges…

The Bezeq Parrot does Ke$ha. Of course.

He’s done it again…

Warning: May cause urge to get the F out of the country.

Bezeq Parrot does Ke$ha to sell you cheap international phone rates

Don’t shoot me, I’m just the deliverer.

Actually, it’s a pretty good deal – 10 shekel for unlimited international land line calling. As long as the Parrot doesn’t pick up on the other end…

My time at the Human Genetic Center.

I found out a year ago that the variation of the BRCA gene, which gives women a hereditary risk for breast and ovarian cancer (on top of usual risks), was found in a tested family member. I decided after this past pregnancy to get tested. I like having information, and I don’t think I’m the type to obsess if it is positive for the gene. I really just need a kick in the ass to do the self exams.

Anyway… I went with Bebe this week to Hadassah Hospital’s genetics department to get a consult with a genetics adviser/researcher, along with the blood test.

The funny thing about going to a genetics clinic with your baby is… well, you’re a bit of a live case study. Anything’s open for inspection: “Oooh, your baby looks Asian! Must be something from your Sephardi side, yes?”

The other funny thing about this clinic in particular was, it being focused on women’s issues and being fully staffed by women, well, the baby was a big hit. Bebe was held, coo’d at, fussed over. I was offered to take care of anything I needed to and leave her there. I’m 99% sure the offer was real. I’m not one of those types of women, so it always comes as a shock to me when people want to hold other people’s babies. Like, really want.

The family history stuff is always interesting. We built a tree and took down what I knew, related solely to breast and ovarian cancer. Genetics is very cool to me. Being in Israel and learning genetics is even cooler because it can get so personal. For instance, there’s a possibility my family isn’t genetically Sephardi; the gene mutation is pretty much an Ashkenazi thing, though they’ve recently started finding it in Sephardim, which made my case interesting to the researcher who wants to meet up again when the results come in.

Lastly, I signed a waiver to donate my DNA to cancer research. I thought on it for a few seconds; the idea seemed troubling: A rogue scientist + my DNA = millions of little me clones running around, destroying the Earth. Then I stopped giving my DNA so much credit and signed the form.


That pilot is me…

Scene: Sixt car dealership, Jerusalem. Sasson the excellent salesman is chatting away at my husband, with me listening as I inspect the silver Ford Focus in front of me.

“So, what’s the difference between the Mazda 3 and Ford Focus?”

“Go with the Focus, trust me. The time of the Mazda 3 reigning in Israel is ending… For so long, everyone has just accepted that it was the obvious choice, and we’re moving on from that to other, much better cars.”


“Look at this lot – see all the Mazdas? No one wants them anymore now that they realize that for families there are much better and just as affordable options. You know what Mazda is good for? If you’re single and want to pretend you’re a pilot. But now you’re married, with kids.”

I didn’t look at my husband, but yeah. That pilot is me.


Things I love: Telling it like it is to the NYTimes.

Like this quote, from this recent New York Times article:

Israel Debates Two-Day Weekends, and Its Lifestyle

“People really look forward to Election Day because you get the day off and it’s not a religious holiday,” said Gil Hoffman, political correspondent for The Jerusalem Post. “The problem is that this government is so stable we have a long wait for the next one.”

We were all thinking it, and that guy said it.

Bebe update: Three months.

Let’s share a warm welcome with Bebe, fresh out of the fourth trimester.

How do I appreciate you, little one? Let me count the ways.

  1. You are delicious. Your face is actually edible; not in a creepy Twilight way, but in a way that I could take bites of you and it would never be too sweet.
  2. You are my calm after the storm. I know it’s unacceptable to compare kids, especially when talking to your kids. Koala is amazing, but let’s face it, Beebs – he’s a storm and you’re the calm. You take it as it comes. You complain little, and when you do, you’re a kitten about it. You have a boiling point, to be sure – let’s not forget whose daughter you are. But until it’s reached, you try all other outlets. Maybe world leaders could learn from you.
  3. You’ve doubled my excitement over being a mom. Being a mom in general is one thing, and now I’m a mom to a daughter… Jokes aside… It’s a relationship I held sacred as a girl among brothers. Now I get the chance to feel the other side of the equation, and share everything I’ve gained with you.

I’ll stop at three to celebrate your monthly milestone, but stay tuned for more, Bebe. We’ve only just begun…