Telecommuting No More at Comverse (and Yahoo)

March 21, 2013

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was in the news last month after she announced that the company she heads will no longer support telecommuting. Starting June 1, employees who work from home, all or part of the time, will be asked to report to the office. If they don’t, too bad. The company is even discouraging […]

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Fuze Tea Blitzes Israel

September 19, 2012

You would have to have been living in a cave, under a rock or in general paying no attention whatsoever to TV, radio, the Internet or billboards all over Israel during the past few weeks to have missed the hottest new beverage to hit supermarket shelves. Or more to the point, the hottest old beverage. Fuze Tea […]

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Ten Years of This Normal Life

September 11, 2012

The original logo for This Normal Life It was ten years ago that I started writing This Normal Life, my personal blog. And for ten years, I have posted a minimum of one essay per week. Actually, in the first year, I published more like 2-3 a week, but as the blog became more established […]

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Israeli Summer Camp at One of the Hottest Places on Earth

July 25, 2012

Our 14-year-old son is heading off to summer camp this week. This will be his fifth year at “Kayitz b’Kibbutz,” a Bnei Akiva style overnight camp set at Kibbutz Shluchot in the Jordan Valley, just south of Beit Shean. The camp caters to both native born Israelis and visitors from overseas (the main language spoken […]

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Retiring to Protea Hills

July 11, 2012

It’s too bad I haven’t hit retirement age yet. Because when I do (and it won’t be for a good many more years), I know where I want to live: Protea Hills, a brand new retirement “village” in the final stages of construction high up on a mountain at Moshav Shoresh, about 20 minutes from […]

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Canadian Cop

March 6, 2012

The woman at the rental car agency desk at Toronto’s Pearson Airport eyed my Israeli driver’s license suspiciously. She looked at the laminated card, then up at me, then back and forth several times. “You’re going to have a problem if a policeman pulls you over,” she finally said, explaining her hesitation. “There’s no English […]

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FOMO at the Dead Sea

November 22, 2011

When I was ten, my parents planned a trip for the family to Disneyland. But a few days before we were set to leave, my father got sick – it was a cold or a flu, nothing serious, but still, the trip was cancelled. I was devastated and, since then, I have tried to never […]

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Unaccompanied Minor

August 19, 2011

I took my 13-year-old son Aviv to the airport last night. He was flying as an “unaccompanied minor” to Los Angeles to meet up with his grandparents who have promised him two weeks of unmitigated American fun (roller coasters, beaches and all you can eat sushi – yum, I wish I was 13 again!) The […]

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We’re Number One…in Facebook Use, That is

June 14, 2011

I’ve always suspected it. My kids seem to be permanently attached to Facebook and other social media services. Now, new research proves I’m right. And it’s not just my family – it’s the whole country. According to a just released poll by the well regarded market intelligence firm Comscore, during April the average Israeli spent […]

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The Blum Family Trek to Nepal

May 3, 2011

Over a year in the planning, our 3-week trip to Nepal and India – conceived as a way to celebrate my 50th birthday and Aviv’s bar mitzvah – went off without nary a hitch. Other than some unseasonably bad weather and a few dashed expectations, the trip was so unbelievably beautiful (as well as physically […]

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