The Big Felafel


A Post to Jerusalem’s Mayor Barkat: Did Your Landlord Raise the Rent Too?

apartment-drawingThis is an open letter to Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat, the city council and young frustrated Jerusalem citizens who have waited for change long enough.

Dear Mayor Barkat,
What’s up? I’m sure you’re busy, but this is an urgent matter which affects the young population of Jerusalem. Six months ago you were elected into office promising great change for the city. But when it comes to your commitment to the young people of Jerusalem and the disastrous housing problem, you have yet to make a dent, submit a proposal or take action on the matter.

Once again, I know you are the mayor and dealing with a full plate, but I can’t help but feel neglected. And I am not alone. I also point my neglected finger at the party Hitorerut-Yerushalmim (Wake up-Jerusalem) that also made unfulfilled promises to young voters.

Although the economic situation is running on an empty tank of gas, landlords across Jerusalem continue to raise the price of rent. Almost every person I know has been informed by their landlord that their rent will be going up at least 10%. So, while your apartment ages and becomes more rundown you find yourself paying more to live there. Fair? No. Is our city council and mayor aware of the situation? Yes.

Mayor Barkat today is the day to make change. Why are there no proper consumer rights organizations to protect you from corrupt landlords? Why is their no proposition making its way to the Knesset floor demanding rent control? The stories I have heard from rent raising to threats of being kicked out, are endless yet there seems to be no beginning to your fight against this fraud.

There was so much talk about affordable housing before election day but come the day after and the day after that, I have yet to hear another word about it. While Israel and the international community debate about construction in settlements and outposts, no judgment is made on the housing catastrophe in the country’s capital.

Is asking for rent control such a far fetched concept? Isn’t it you who wants and needs people to stay put in your city? Students and young families belong in the heart of the country and are the key to the revitalization of this city, but you have yet to try to open the locked — bolted — doors. Soon the only doors left will be those of vacant apartments where the rent became more than a couple could budget, or a landlord that yelled at his tenants too many times or simply homes that are unsuitable to live in — leaving the young to move out of the city and out of their dreams.

Do not become like all the other politicians, representing their interests before concerning themselves with their citizens’ fears. Give the next generation what they rightly deserve, a home for the future at a reasonable price.

Yours truly,
Molly, a concerned young citizen of Jerusalem


Sderot or Your City? The Click To Care Campaign

sderotThe barrage of rockets continues to hit Sderot, and have now made their way to Ashkelon. While I worry about where and when the next rocket will hit, I can’t help but wonder if I am the only one. It is clear that we can not leave it up to the government to effectively run this country or military operations-but I still have faith in the people.The below video is a part of a Click to Care Campaign that I hope all of your will participate in. By clicking on this video and passing it on to friends and family, I hope we can get the word out about Sderot. We must educate the world in order to be heard.

Watch the video- click to care- and pass it on. Below, you will also find a list of organizations dedicated to helping Sderot and victims of terror. There are many ways to support Sderot: volunteer, donate, speak out, and make your voice heard with the click of a video.

HELP!
Sderot in our Hearts: http://www.sderotinourhearts.com/
Being run by a number of organization including OU Israel and Nefesh B’Nefesh, Sderot in our Hearts is dedicated to bringing Purim joy to the traumatized children of Sderot.

Challot from Sderot by Standing Together: www.stogether.org/sderotchallot
Standing Together is dedicated to helping brighten the day of a soldier. This project allows Israelis to order challot and other baked goods directly from bakeries in Sderot for pick-up at different locations in Yerushalyim (and elsewhere) on Friday mornings.

One Family Fund:www.onefamilyfund.org
Raises money for victims of terror.

Connections Israel: www.connectionsisrael.comsderot
This Purim, Connections Israel plans to deliver a holiday gift basket to every family in Sderot (10,000 families in total) with a letter of support from a Jewish family overseas. This project will connect families and communities in a major expression of Jewish unity.

Amit: http://www.amitchildren.org/sup2n.asp
Amit’s Campaign for Sderot has helped hundreds of children to advance in their studies, to continue their education, and to succeed in school despite tremendous obstacles.

Table to Table: www.tabletotable.org.il
Table to Table with the assistance of private donors is bolstering Sderot’s food industry through the purchase of food from local caterers, bakeries, butchers and grocers.

Chabad of Sderot: http://www.helpsderot.com/

Sderot Media Center: www.sderot-media.com
SMC aims to convey the Kassam rocket reality in Sderot and Western Negev to the Israeli and international community through media documentation and investigative journalism.

The Israel Project: http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/c.hsJPK0PIJpH/b.3831671/

israel project
The Israel Project is providing journalists with royalty free pictures of Sderot, in order to promote Sderot’s image in the media. They also have informative links about the current situation and history.

Children of Sderot Summer Relief Projecthttp://www.SderotKids.org

The directors of 11 large Jewish summer camps from Boston to Montreal to California have joined together to create this ambitious project to airlift 110 children out of missile-bombarded Sderot and bring them to North America to experience the summer of their lives at these camps.

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An Israeli Errand…Not Just a Stop at the Dry Cleaners!

The Israeli lifestyle often involves lots of errands. Unlike the errands most of us are used to: dry cleaning, grocery shopping, post office and the bank in Israel you can add bureaucratic government offices to your list.

A typical stop at your local health office, municipality or tax authority means you are stuck in lines without ropes, rude tellers and paper work you can’t understand. Sometimes you might even get stuck with a bill!

But for me, last Thursday at the Television Tax Authority was so much more than that! I can’t even put it into words luckily I had my video camera with me and taped the eventful errand!