Israeli Consulate hosting a Twitter Q&A session.

And now, for something new and different.

So… here in Israel, we are more computers than people. And I know I was a bit snobbish when I wrote about the Israeli elections campaigns using internet tech and themes from their American counterparts. But this actually tops all that for real:

The Israeli Consulate has its own Twitter account and will be fielding Q&A today from 1pm-3pm Eastern Standard Time. The consulate also has two blogs, Israel Politik and IsRealli, as well as a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, and MySpace profile.

I suppose it’s logical; Israel is a country that needs more PR than most others. But it might also be nice to have seen the American government hold Q&A sessions on Twitter or sending down-to-earth updates on blog posts or YouTube videos.

Anyway, if you want to know more about the Twitter event, here’s the consulate’s blog post about it:

Tomorrow, 30 December, from 1-3PM EST,  David Saranga, Consul of Media and Public Affairs in New York, will answer your questions about the situation in Israel and Gaza in a “Citizens’ Press Conference.”

You can submit your question by directing it to our Twitter account at . We will do our best to answer through Twitter.  If an answer requires more than the 140 character limit, we will respond on Twitter with a link to an answer posted in this blog.

We hope you will be able to join us–tell your friends!!

I hope it turns out worthwhile.

Tzur Hadassah: The Q&A breakdown (part 2)

Continuing from the last post, here is an email I wrote after a couple weeks of living here. It’s kind of funny how much more I know now… Which makes me wonder if I had thought I did enough research before moving here… But then again, we moved here on pure recommendation from friends. Here you go:

So, we just moved here 2.5 weeks ago… We knew a few couples before we moved, and have met people at the Ashkenaz shul the last two shabbats… It’s a very small start up shul (we like it like that) but the people are friendly and very enthusiastic to have new members. Know that the community at large is actually secular middle class. There is a community of traditional/observant Mizrachis, too, with Sephardi shuls.

Property is still fairly cheap for a suburban yishuv outside of Jerusalem… But it is getting hotter by the year it seems.

There are two gans and a school for up till high schoolers, I think. Lots of small parks sprinkled around. There is a small horse farm including zoo-type atmosphere with different animals, nice for a Shabbat walk. It’s a gorgeous area. There are national parks and trails all around this general area. It’s very very peaceful and quiet, and I’ve seen older kids playing ball outside my building (without many cars passing to disturb them).

Most people here seem to be married with young kids… Our neighbors are nice. Most people here are Hebrew speakers.

There is talk of bringing a supermarket here, in another year. For now there is a large makolet. People pretty much work in Bet Shemesh or Jerusalem and shop there for most things. There is also Beitar 5 minutes away.

Apparently a mikva is built, but there was a problem in the last stages of building and the rabbi is working it out.

There are buses to Jerusalem, but they are sparse… It seems everyone has a car.

There is also a great medical center (this is what people have told me, I haven’t needed to go yet) that takes all kupot and they do blood tests and more, which is handy to have in your neighborhood.