I have been reading – and writing for – The Jerusalem Post for nearly a third of the publication’s 90-year existence. I’ve also done something else that’s been less lucrative but for which I feel an irresistible compulsion: clipping articles of interest.

I’ve been clipping for longer than my relationship with the Post. Growing up, I used to cut out pieces from whatever newspaper I could get my hands on: the San Francisco Chronicle, where I grew up; the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where I went to college; various alternative and underground weeklies. I once saved an entire issue of the Bali Advertiser, following a vacation in Indonesia. 

But 50 years of compulsive clipping has come to an end. Well, the physical part at least. 

Now, when I find an article I think I might find valuable later, I copy the text or the web address into Evernote – and throw away the print version.

I still have boxes and boxes of clippings, though. Which is why I’ve been slowly – very slowly – going through my collection and tossing articles I either haven’t read in years or don’t have plans to ever read again. But, first, I write down the name of the article, its author and a URL if available; if I had the time and hard disk and space, I might have opted to painstakingly scan the actual articles.

Over the years, I’ve rationalized my newspaper hoarding. 

First, as a writer, you never know when you’ll find something relevant for a story you didn’t regard as noteworthy at the time. 

Second, it will be a great way for my children to learn more about their father, after I’m gone.

The pushback: Why burden your children with having to go through your stuff? Take care of it while you’re alive, a legion of professional de-clutterers emphasize. Even if it’s all entirely online, your descendants will still have to decide whether to pay the monthly cloud storage costs – or make the painful decision to delete the account forever.

Still, it’s not an entirely crazy idea. 

When my wife Jody’s father passed away earlier this year, she found a treasure trove of old letters the two of them wrote to each other during college. It’s been an eye-opener.

Now, I don’t expect my kids to care about business plans I wrote in the 1990s for companies that never took off, or technical specifications for building long-forgotten CD-ROM edutainment titles. 

But I do hope they won’t get rid of at least some of the more interesting clippings I’ve amassed. 

Among the discoveries in my many boxes of Post clippings:

Can the Smadar Theater in Jerusalem be saved from greedy developers? An article from 2008 by Peggy Cidor was bleak but the Smadar is still standing, 14 years later.

Are young families leaving Jerusalem? Gail Lichtman wrote in 2010 about how to keep these valuable city residents in town. (It’s a topic that, sadly, never gets stale.)

Larry Derfner wrote about disappointed political doves in “Still liberal after all these years.” (More things that haven’t changed.)

Lauren Gelfand interviewed Moshe Basson, the proprietor and head chef of Jerusalem’s Eucalyptus restaurant. Thirteen years later, I had the best kosher maqluba (an upside-down rice and lamb dish) I’ve ever tasted there. (You’ve still got it, Moshe.)

For a few years, I saved every one of Shlomo Brody’s “Ask the Rabbi” columns. Among the more memorable headlines: “Does Jewish law promote vegetarianism?” “Do demons exist?” “May one invite someone on Shabbat knowing they will drive?” and “Why are yeshiva students exempt from serving in the army?”

Can Orthodox women be rabbis? Haviva Ner David thinks so and wrote about it in the Post.

Why are religious Jews spitting on priests in Jerusalem’s Old City? That was the topic of a disturbing 2009 article, “Mouths filled with hatred.”

Stewart Weiss wondered whether the 2010 earthquake in Haiti was a sign from God. (Note to Stewart: nope.)

Hannah Brown covers movies and TV for the Post, but back in the early days of the Internet, she did a weekly round-up of the most interesting websites called “Couch Surfing.” I clipped a bunch of those, too. 

Naomi Ragen wrote about surviving the 2002 Passover massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya. That was at the height of the Second Intifada, and I found too many articles on the topic in my stash. Among them: a piece about a waiter stopping a suicide bomber at Jerusalem’s Caffit on Emek Refaim Street, and another about the Sbarro bombing. (I eventually suspended my terrorism clippings when it got too overwhelming.)

And yet there’s room for optimism: Saul Singer dubbed our fair city “Jerusalem of charisma” and declared he wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. (He’s still here.)

I didn’t just clip politics and lifestyle topics. I found a strong sprinkling of tech in my collection. 

Nicky Blackburn profiled Jerusalem startup, Versaware, which, at its height in 2000, employed 640 people. And Derfner wondered in 2008 whether we’re all living inside a high-tech bubble.

There were also articles on food, including quite a few of the Post’s annual sufganiothamantaschen and cheesecake-for-Shavuot reviews, which were delicious at the time, but no longer necessary to keep in hard copy.

I could go on – but then I’d fill the entire Magazine with my irrepressible nostalgia rather than focusing on lugubriously emptying more boxes.

In the meantime, I want to wish a happy 90th birthday to all my friends and colleagues at The Jerusalem Post.

This article originally appeared in The Jerusalem Post’s 90th anniversary Magazine.

Photo by Egor Vikhrev on Unsplash

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The posts in my Facebook feed following the November 1 Israeli election quickly turned apocalyptic – and that’s putting it kindly. 

Is Itamar Ben-Gvir the bogeyman we need?

“Pack your bags, it’s time to go,” wrote one heartbroken friend.

“If you can, leave,” opined another.

I, along with some half the country, was devastated with the results of our fifth election in four years. But there are, in fact, several reasons to be optimistic. 

1. Everything is temporary. Other than a terror attack leading to a loss of life, just about anything in politics can be undone. 

Money for full-time yeshiva learning reduced? Wait, it’s back. Nope, gone again. 

Kashrut reform – we got it. Um, well probably not anymore. 

The Supreme Court is neutered by a Knesset “override clause?” For now, perhaps. But just wait another four years (or less) and, with a new coalition, the law will be reversed.

2. We are in the midst of a Trumpian backlash in Israel. The rise of Donald Trump was a clear backlash to the Barack Obama years, just as Joe Biden’s election was a response to four years of Trump. The ascendency of the far right in Israel today is, similarly, a backlash to the now defunct “government of change.” 

Did voters lurch further to the Right because they agreed with everything Benjamin Netanyahu and his presumed political partners had to say? No. But with the demise of Yamina, moderate religious voters had nowhere else to turn and so, as Carrie Keller-Lynn wrote in The Times of Israel, opted “to hold their noses” and vote for the Religious Zionist Party. 

Has Israel transformed overnight into a racist, homophobic nation? While there are certainly some rotten apples, most Israelis are still kind, helpful and moderate. As Martin Luther King Jr. once quipped, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” 

3. Israel is not alone in its swing to the Right. France, Sweden, the U.K., Hungary, Italy – all over the world, voters have moved steadily to the Right. When Trump was elected president, pundits predicted Americans would emigrate in droves. That didn’t happen, whether out of complacency or a desire to fight.

Frankly, where would you even go at this point? If the backlash hypothesis is true, the United States could be facing its own post-Biden Republican reaction in 2024 (although the results from last week’s midterm elections showed Democrats have more staying power than pollsters forecast).

France’s Emmanuel Macron beat rightist firebrand Marine Le Pen this time, but she still received 41% of the vote (far more than the 11% the Religious Zionist Party got in Israel). Budapest may be one of the world’s most beautiful cities, but Prime Minister Victor Orban’s branding Hungary as “an illiberal democracy” hardly makes it a place to move to.

4. A bogeyman can be a useful foil. Bibi hedges his language in ways only an accomplished politician learns to sublimate. Religious Zionist Party leaders Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, on the other hand, say exactly what they mean. “If they are throwing stones, shoot them,” Ben-Gvir told police officers in Sheikh Jarrah while brandishing his own handgun. But, as Vladimir Lenin once said, “the worse, the better” – that is, it’s only when things seem exceptionally dire that a meaningful uprising can take place. 

If the anti-Bibi block ever wants to win, a polarizing figure might be just what’s needed to scare it into motion. If enough policies are implemented that citizens can’t stomach, a fighting opposition will return to protests outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, stronger than ever. We can’t have the left constantly crying “gevalt” every single election. 

Speaking of which…

5. Losing Meretz may not be such a bad thing. I have nothing against Meretz. Many of my friends and family voted for them. But it seems the party has long since lost relevance, and the annual game of begging the nation to save them, such that they squeak by the electoral threshold, isn’t healthy. 

When a new left-wing party comes to replace the old Meretz, it will need to do more than represent an increasingly small slice of the Israeli population. As Haviv Rettig Gur wrote in The Times of Israel, “the left that just collapsed, in terms of raw political strategy, doesn’t deserve to exist.”

6. A Jewish state comes before a democratic one. Daniel Gordis, senior vice president of Shalem College in Jerusalem, noted on Substack that the Left in general tends to eschew terms such as “Jewish” and “Zionist.” Indeed, in one of Yair Lapid’s final campaign videos as prime minister, he used neither term.

“The problem, for me, is that if you translated this video into French and substituted ‘France’ for Israel, Emmanuel Macron could use it in his next campaign,” Gordis wrote. “It’s a lovely video that would work for any modern liberal democracy. But here’s the rub. I never intended to move to any old modern liberal democracy…I came here to live in a Jewish state, a state that, while not imposing religiously on anyone, would be Jewish in manifold ways – culturally, educationally, in values and much more.”

Many moderate Israelis, who are “without question appalled by some things that Ben-Gvir says… just want to know that there is someone in the room reminding everyone that they are in the business of leading a Jewish state,” Gordis added. These voters may or may not want public transportation on Shabbat, but they want “a Jewish voice in government meetings.”

I do, too, although I disagree with Ben-Gvir, Smotrich, Netanyahu and the haredi parties about the best way to get there. But that day is coming, which is why I insist on remaining optimistic. 

It’s our job now to hasten its arrival.

I first wrote about finding the silver linings in an uncomfortable situation for The Jerusalem Post.

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When our youngest son Aviv moved to New York this summer, I was worried. Not about him finding his way in the big city, but about what he might encounter on campus when it comes to Israel. 

First Zionist Congress

While The New School, where Aviv will be studying music, has not been a hotbed of anti-Zionist controversy, other schools in the city certainly have.

The most shocking stories have come out of the City University of New York, where an antisemitism watchdog reported that more than 150 incidents have taken place on CUNY campuses since 2015.

Perhaps the most egregious was a 2022 letter that declared Israel to be a “settler colonial state” that commits “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” and “funds Nazi militia groups.” The letter further called for Jewish groups to “unlearn Zionism” and labeled the Jewish student group Hillel “a known anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, Islamophobic, and anti-Palestinian organization.”

New York is certainly not alone. I just wrote about anti-Zionist activities at UC Berkeley’s School of Law in my last column. 

So, it was particularly timely that the Magazine recently published a special section marking the 125thanniversary of the First Zionist Congress. Ten influential Jewish leaders weighed in on the question of what the future of Zionism should be. 

The entire section should be mandatory reading for American college students – Aviv included. 

Israeli President Isaac Herzog got first crack at cracking down on the detractors who, he writes, are trying “to turn ‘Zionist’ into a dirty word.” Indeed, “Zio” has becomes the latest antisemitic pejorative.

“We have a duty to reclaim Zionism,” Herzog says. Zionism has created “a powerful vehicle for Jewish collective action. It is through Zionism that the Jewish people are making some of their most dramatic contributions to humanity.” 

Herzog is not saying that Jews on their own can’t have an impact – one need only look at the number of Jewish Nobel prize winners around the world – but rather that Zionism allows those achievements to reflect on the Jews as a whole, not specific individuals.

Moreover, Zionism has created a “safe space,” Herzog notes, “where the Jewish people can continue arguing and debating about their big questions, safe from the fears that had always haunted them.” 

Fears like persecution, on the one hand, and “erasure of their distinctive culture on the other.”

Former head of the Jewish Agency, Soviet refusenik and member of Knesset in the 1990s and 2000s Natan Sharansky shares concern for the second part of Herzog’s equation.

“There are only two factors that can slow down assimilation,” Sharansky writes. “Tradition and Zionism. If you don’t have any connection, neither to tradition nor to Israel, your grandchildren will probably not be Jewish.”

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2009 to 2013, recalls how, at the height of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014, he was called to an emergency meeting with a major U.S. donor to Israeli causes. The donor wanted Oren to come up with a substitute for the word “Zionist,” one that “was less provocative and toxic.”

Oren “disagreed, forcibly.” Zionism, he argued, “had produced one of the most dynamic, creative, powerful, and unerringly democratic nations in the world – the only “ism” of the 20th century to succeed and succeed massively. All that we would forget just because some American students were labeling Zionism racist?”

Zionism by any other name “would still mean all of this,” Oren writes, “and Zionism by any other name would still be condemned by those who hate Israel.” 

By disavowing the nation-state of the Jewish people, home to the world’s largest Jewish community, “the anti-Zionist Jew is opting out of our nation, a fugitive from sovereign responsibility, a refugee from Jewish history, a footnote,” Oren concludes.

It was Gol Kalev, author of the book Judaism 3.0, who really drove it home for me.

“We are in the midst of a historic transformation of Judaism,” Kalev writes. “Zionism is becoming the organizing principle of the Jewish nation-religion. It is the primary conduit through which both Jews and non-Jews relate to Judaism, whether positively or negatively.” (Which would explain the international obsession with the run up to this week’s elections in Israel.)

Kalev divides Jewish history into three eras: Judaism 1.0 covered the days of the First Temple and a Jewish physical presence in the land. Judaism 2.0 came during our 2,000 years of exile and the development of Rabbinic Judaism. 

For Judaism 3.0, Zionism is “the one aspect of Judaism that cannot be ignored,” Kalev writes. “It evokes emotions, passions, anger, pride and engagement.”

Kalev proposes that more Jews embracing Zionism could take the wind out of the Israel denigrators’ sails. 

“Israel-bashing is by now too entrenched in mainstream society to be countered through rational argument,” Kalev posits. But “once there is a broad recognition that Judaism has transformed to Zionism, Israel-bashing becomes Jew-bashing [and] while being anti-Zionist is a rite of passage in certain circles, being anti-Jewish is a career-ending taboo.” (Witness the slow but steady fall of Kanye West.)

Kalev’s analysis resonates with my own Jewish journey. If I’m being honest, I’d say I made aliyah for the kosher food. That is, my family and I moved to Israel for religious reasons. But as my observance waned, I discovered myself without the religious anchor I had held onto for some 20 years. To my surprise, something else had taken its place: Zionism. 

That said, I’ve been guilty of not embracing my Zionism with the enthusiasm I’m espousing here. When I interview someone in the U.S. for an article and they find out I live in Israel, I’ll usually be asked, “So why did you move there?” 

I’ll typically hem and haw a bit before responding, “This is a historical moment and I wanted to be part of it, to make Israel – which certainly has its share of problems – the kind of place in which we can all be satisfied.” 

That’s a kind of subtle Israel-bashing, too, I realize now. 

Going forward, there’s only one response to that question, one that I’d recommend to Aviv, too.

Because I’m a Zionist and proud of it.

I first wrote about reclaiming Zionism for The Jerusalem Post.

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When did we lose the ability to laugh at the linguistic changes coming at us at an ever-increasing pace? 

I had intended to write a column on how some of the language we use these days can be difficult for older folks like me to assimilate. I recall how, in the 1970s, we all could have a chuckle over “political correctness,”whether we were coming from the left, right or somewhere in between.

But when I asked on Facebook for examples of “modern-day euphemisms” that readers felt had perhaps gone too far, I opened a spigot of social media venom that has yet to be closed. To which I feel obligated to say: 

“Guys, you’re taking this all too seriously! I just wanted to have a spot of fun.” 

The trigger for my latest lexical exploration came when I was listening to a podcast during which, in the course of an episode discussing various aspects of parenting, the host never once used the word “mother.” Instead, it was “birthing person.” 

I understand the reasoning: In an age when a trans man may still have the physical equipment to give birth, “mother” may not be an inclusive enough term.

It seems, however, that my age may finally be catching up with me. I’m finding it difficult to close the generation gap. 

I’m not alone in my perturbation.

“What about women who cannot give birth, or who have adopted, fostered or used a surrogate? ‘Birthing person’ excludes them,” wrote several similarly “mature” commentators to my Facebook query.

“It’s best not to label someone at all. Refer to them by function,” another person helpfully offered. So, rather than use “male” or “man,” instead say, “a person who could get testicular cancer.” 

Isn’t this all really a form of kindness, asked Josh, “seeing people as they are and not using labels that render them invisible?” 

Perhaps I protest too much?

But then I read about several developments that had me stretching my euphemistically befuddled brain. Such as the latest pronouncement from WPATH, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, that there’s a new gender identity that must be supported – the eunuch – complete with freely chosen castration. 

Or as Andrew Sullivan, host of the popular Dishcast radio program, points out, look at the latest statement from the Human Rights Campaign that one should feel free to identify however one wishes, even if that’s as a “tree” or a “fish.”

Whether you’re sniggering sympathetically or stifling simmering outrage, politically correct euphemisms have always been designed to obfuscate the uncomfortable realities lurking underneath. 

That’s how “double mastectomy” becomes “top surgery” or a “chest-masculinization” procedure. It’s how what was once called a “sex change” is now a “gender-confirming” operation.

Modern age euphemisms are not exclusive to gender issues. 

“War” gets repositioned as a “campaign or an “intervention.” (Russia is particularly guilty of weaponizing this euphemism, although Israel doesn’t escape notice, either.)

“Healthy” could be construed a microaggression for someone who’s not. So, let’s replace it, some suggest, with “temporarily abled.” (Being “temporarily cancer free” isn’t particularly reassuring.)

“Cultural appropriation” may be the grandfather of 21st century newspeak. What was once a laudable goal – the melting pot, where a heady mix of cultures leads to all kinds of delightful instances of “fusion,” from food to art – has been transformed into an approbation. 

In 2016 I wrote about an Oberlin College student who criticized campus food services for preparing a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich with ciabatta bread instead of a baguette and coleslaw instead of pickled vegetables. 

There was also the the cancelation of a longstanding yoga class taught by a non-Indian woman at the University of Ottawa. The instructor, Jennifer Scharf, who had been offering the class for free for seven years, offered to rename it “mindful stretching.” 

Her proposal was rejected.

U.S. college campuses have seen their share of anti-Israel protests over the years. But don’t call it antisemitism. Anti-Zionism is now the “kosher” alternative for Jew haters who don’t want to be called out on their bigotry and racism.

To wit: a number of student groups at UC Berkeley’s School of Law passed a bylaw banning “Zionist” speakers from its events on campus. Beyond the quad, U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib warned that support for Israel is antithetical to being “progressive.” To which Representative Ritchie Torres of New York tweeted, “There is nothing progressive about advocating the end of Israel.”

Find “pedophiles” upsetting? Don’t worry, that’s been cleaned up – they’re now “minor attracted persons.”

A program for older adults was once phased out due to “natural disenrollment.” That is, the participants died.

To be fair, I’ve not been immune to political correctness. I once posed for a picture in front of a poster that read “Power to the Sandinistas” during my own studies at Oberlin. I doubt I had any knowledge of what the Sandinistas were all about (they were the socialist rulers of Nicaragua who battled the U.S.-backed Contras in the early 1980s).

Now, before you “OK Boomer me” for being hopelessly out of touch, can we accept that the pace and breadth of these changes in language are coming too fast for my and many of my peers’ set-in-our-ways, middle aged brains to grok?

We want to be upstanding, woke citizens of the world, but maybe we’ll have to settle for something more achievable: To simply be a good person struggling to make sense of a rapidly radicalizing world, with mild chortles where appropriate.

Here’s one change I think we can all get behind: Renaming “mail man” as “person person.” (OK, seriously, that would be “postal carrier.”)

It’s at least worth a sly grin.

I first wrote about woke euphemisms for The Jerusalem Post.

Saturday Night Live took on “woke jeans” in this bit.

Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

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El Rancho Navarro is an unlikely name for a Jewish summer camp. It’s not a well-known brand like Ramah, but it’s nevertheless where I spent several formative Julys in the early 1970s. In many ways, I attribute the Zionism I came to embrace later in life to my summers at El Rancho.

My old summer camp is now a meditation, yoga and ecological retreat center

I hadn’t been back to my camp, located outside the tiny town of Philo, Calif. in picturesque Mendocino County, for nearly 50 years until a recent visit to the United States when I was invited by Bob Wilms to learn more about The Land, the latest incarnation of the El Rancho property.

Instead of bunk beds in rickety cabins, arts and crafts in the afternoon, and horseback riding on good ‘ol Fred through the lush redwoods, Wilms has transformed El Rancho into a 162-acre rustic meditation, yoga and ecological retreat center.

There are no more horses at The Land; the barn has been turned into a hybrid co-working space and yoga studio with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the old paddock. 

The original horse paddock and barn
The new interior to the barn

The main dining hall, where the counselors forced us to take oversized salt pills with our oatmeal for breakfast, looks mostly the same with the addition of an impressive brick fireplace. 

Brian and Bob Willis in front of the dining hall fireplace

The flagpole where we gathered every morning to pledge allegiance is gone, as is the small room where Audrey, the nurse’s daughter who I had a fifth-grade crush on, and I used to play top-40 records while working on the camp newspaper – it’s now a tasteful gym stocked with exercise equipment. 

The old top 40 room is now a gym

I wasn’t able to enter any of the cabins (they were fully occupied when I visited), but photos on The Land’s website reveal luxurious beds with nary a bunk in sight. 

The transformation of bucolic El Rancho to opulent environmentalism was jarring at first to my nostalgic eyes but, as Bob showed me around, I began to see the logic of repurposing a no-longer-used space. 

It’s something we see in Israel as well. Indeed, in the spirit of the current season of physical and spiritual renewal, here are a few of my favorite such projects in my hometown of Jerusalem. (This is by no means an exhaustive list and there are similar projects outside of the city. Feel free to add your own repurposings in the comments online or write a letter to the editor.)

Train Track Park. When the train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem stopped running in 1998 to the former station in the German Colony, the tracks from there to the new station in Malcha were fenced off, becoming an eyesore of trash, weeds and stray cats. The tracks are now a seven-kilometer, wonderfully landscaped park, similar to the High Line in New York City, with a popular parallel bike path. The old station has become the Tahana HaRishona – a shopping, dining and entertainment complex. Take the train to the other end, and you’ll find the original station near Jaffa has been similarly transformed, as have some of the nearby tracks.

The Clal Building. Intended to be Jerusalem’s most state-of-the-art mall when it was built in the early 1970s, the Clal Building instead gained an unsavory reputation with its incomprehensible Escher-like layout, a miserable lack of heating in the winter, and a skylight that collected grime and bird droppings. It’s still an ugly monstrosity – except for the top floor, which has been transformed by the Muslala organization into an eco-friendly center teaching visitors about urban farming, sustainability, and renewal. Concerts and events are held on Muslala’s spacious outdoor patio. You can even pitch a tent. There are plans afoot to convert the rest of the Clal Building into “The Jerusalem Home for NGOs.”

Hansen House. Would you visit a leper asylum to see an exhibit of modern art? Put aside your misgivings, as Jerusalem’s Hansen House, a former home for lepers established in 1897, is now an interdisciplinary cultural center and branch of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. A variety of permanent and changing exhibits dot the space; a two-story multi-screen video installation is on display until November. There’s a small museum depicting the original asylum, as well as the scrumptious Offaimme Café which spotlights sustainable organic food.

HaMiffal. The Lorenzo-Serafin House on central Jerusalem’s Agron Street was abandoned and dilapidated when the art collective “Empty House” essentially squatted inside the building. The Jerusalem Foundation got behind the group and, today, HaMiffal – “the factory” in Hebrew” – is a cultural and arts center which also offers a trendy co-working space and café. The Foundation describes the whole space “as a massive work of art” which, while still quite rough around the edges, provides opportunities for over 200 local artists.

Gazelle Valley. This urban oasis was almost lost to real estate developers, who at one point surreptitiously moved tractors and other equipment into the area. The environmental activists eventually prevailed, quashing plans to build 1,400 apartments, and transforming what was once agricultural land belonging to two nearby kibbutzim into a preserve for a family of Jerusalem gazelles. In 2015, the lovely 64-acre Gazelle Valley opened, complete with bird watching huts, picnic areas and guided tours for local school children. The only downside: You can’t come with your dog as they could scare – and chase – the gazelles, who roam freely (this is no zoo). 

I’m glad that Bob Wilms has taken such good care of El Rancho Navarro and preserved its historical cabins and lands rather than constructing fancy condos. And now, all that could be yours, too: Wilms is in the process of selling the property in order to expand the ecological principles he and his staff have refined to rehabilitating inmates in prison. (More at https://unconditionalfreedom.org/)

I first wrote about The Land and El Rancho Navarro in The Jerusalem Post.

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New Year’s predictions from the past

September 25, 2022

When I was a teenager, every New Year’s Day, my family would gather together to make predictions about what the coming year might bring.

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The bully in my brain

September 12, 2022

Bullies love to tell lies But the worst ones are the bullying voices in our brains. Can we stop them?

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Embracing the empty nest

August 27, 2022

On the day we took our son, Aviv, to Ben-Gurion Airport to begin his new life as a music student in New York, we couldn’t stop crying.

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50 shades of chutzpah

August 18, 2022

When our hotel canceled us at the last minute, I demanded an upgrade. Was that Israeli chutzpah or just being assertive. (It worked.)

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The legacy of Marla’s babies

July 31, 2022

Twenty years ago, our cousin Marla was killed in a suicide bombing at Hebrew University. Since then, more than 25 babies have been named after her.

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