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Re: Where can I get it? (Israel edition) You get 90 minutes to use the ticket on any combination of buses and train in Jerusalayim.
February 20, 2018, 04:23:08 PM
Re: How hard is it financially to make it in Israel? I can only talk from personal experience but this is what we encountered.  We made aliyah seven years ago with three teenagers (everyone said bad idea), no job (gave up a six figure job) and no place to live a month before moving (also a no no from all friends and family). Sold our modest house and all belongings and quit job so no turning back.  Made a committment to first year of ulpan and adult yeshiva.  Lived off of aliyah benefits and stuffing envelopes for a non profit ( for real, had whole family stuffing and working small jobs.  Also small savings.  Took a job as a kindergarten assistant maternity leave to get a foot in the door.  You do what you need to do, I was a 20 year teacher and university instructor in the states.  Within 3 years was principal.  Daughter went to university for four years, practically free and has two degrees.  Has more job offers than she has time for.  Not great salaries but jobs.  Son did elite army unit and yeshiva (yes it is possible) and completing  first college degree. 
 He Just got married to an Israeli  girl who doesn’t speak much English and they live in a very modest apartment and both work part time as she finishes her second academic degree and he finishes Yeshiva and first degree.  No, they do not get supported by parents, they make it on their own. We live in a modest apartment in Jerusalem with an ugly purple sofa that came with the apartment and no car.  Material wise we live very basically but fulfillment wise all of us couldn’t be happier. 
Is this for all Jews? I wish I could say yes, but know people have different priorities.  If you read this an say “he must be crazy” then that  is your answer.  Are there problems here, both financial and otherwise?  Of course.  Do all make the transition? No.  Who does it make the greatest impact on? The kids.  Kids here are on a whole different level as compared to kids in the states, which is an area for a different discussion.  And yes, our children are even more religious here.  They are living  and making Jewish history. Our  son’s commander’s course was packed with religious boys and our girls do national service. Feel  free to PM me if you have any questions that we can help with. 

April 22, 2018, 11:34:55 PM
Re: Things To Do In Israel Master Thread The 3d movie is fun, the dark water tunnel is great as long as they are not scared or very young, the archeological tour and and discussions are interesting if they are into that stuff.  I would recommend the Temple mount sifting for the kids also run by ir david
June 22, 2018, 10:56:19 AM
Helsinki trip report part 2 As a side point, Helsinki has a 24% vat.  You can get this refunded at the airport on purchases over 40 euro.  Stockmann department store will give you a 10% off pass if you show your passport at customer sevice on the eighth floor.
After we dropped off our bags at the Indigo we took a short tram ride to the water.  Check out the open air market but watch the sea gulls that we saw stealing people’s food right out of their hands. We took the 15 minute ferry to Suomenlinna Island.  The island itself is free but the ferry, tour, and the several museums and submarine on the island cost an entrance fee.  The ferry and all the activities were free with the Helsinki card.  We bought it just for the day and it was well worth it.  I did not think that each individual attraction was worth the cost but with the card it pays to experience each activity for free.  There is a lot of individual exploring that you can do on the island and we devoted half a day to this place.
We took the ferry back and then a short tram back to the central bus station and took a train to Espoo and from there the 245 bus to Haltia nature center and reserve.  Once again the trains and entrance were free with the pass.  I would not pay for the meuseum but it was worth about an hour of time if you have the pass.  Just outside the museum there are a dozen hiking paths from a one hour wheelchair accessible loop to full day hikes.  Ask in the museum for suggestions.  Since it doesn’t get dark until 11 in the summer we took the train back and explored the city by foot.
The second day we started out at the Stockmann store which opens at 9.  They have eight floors of all kinds of stuff including raindeer carpets.  There is a nice grocery store where you can stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables.  We took the 24 bus to Seurassaari open air museum.  The bus drops you off right by the bridge and you walk over onto the island.  There are hiking paths and houses collected from various  places around the country from various time periods.  You can pay to go into each house and hear an explanation but we just viewed them from the outside.  Watch the squirrels.  There is a sign that they are not afraid of people but they looked like they were ready to attack me.  At night we went to the amusement park in town called Linnanmaki.  The all ride pass was about 40 euro but all proceeds go to a children’s project.  There is a huge candy store, several roller coasters and assorted games.  We just went and people watched.  It closes at 10.
On day three we took the free bikes from the Indigo hotel for a ride.  We rode past the open air market and all the way on the bike path by the water.  We passed  cruise ships, joggers and people walking their dogs.  We returned the bikes and took the number 3 tram to the largest park inside Helsinki called Kaivopuisto.  There are places for kids to play, have a picnic or just go for a leisurely walk. 
We had a 7 pm flight so we picked our bags up at the hotel and took the half hour train back to the airport.  Note that the regional transportation pass includes the airport and surrounding areas.  The pass cost 14 euro for the first day and only 7 euro for additional days.  The flight home was aa points business on Finnair so we had lounge access.  The lounge was empty, comfortable but only limited food.  There was a self serve drinks station including beer, and liquor seved including glenfinnich.  Nithing kosher, just oranges and pears.  We had  seats in the first row and the was no one else in the businees section so we had twelve rows to ourselves, our own stewardess and our own bathroom.  Seats were regular seats but I dont think that I ever had an entire section to myself.  Overall a great trip.

July 08, 2018, 02:21:03 AM
Re: Kabrams1618's Helsinki TR Thanks. Three full days, with the late sunset,  is a perfect amount of time to explore Helsinki.
July 10, 2018, 05:49:25 AM