The Big Felafel

Another Lesson Learned: Just be a Crybaby

When you are an American attempting to live in Israel life can feel like a smashed banana. It is a feeling of knowing that something beautifully bright and ripe can turn into a mushy dark shriveled mess. And that is exactly how I feel when I lose a battle in Israel.These battles that new immigrants are sometimes forced to learn become vital lessons for survival in Israel. I would like to share my lesson with you in hopes that you can gain something from my horrible experience, without having to actually experience it.

Lesson 239: Don’t be a Tough Guy…Just be a Cry Baby

My parents taught me to always stand up for myself. However, it is difficult to keep that goal in Israel. Whether it is at the municipality, tax authority, social services or at the bank, it seems like everyone is out to screw me.

Case in point is my most recent battle with Bank Leumi. In November my improv group performed for a Jewish Agency Internship group. We were told we would be paid as long as we provided an invoice to the sponsor of the night’s event, Bank Leumi. We gave the invoice to the Jewish Agency before the show and they informed us it would be passed along to Bank Leumi and we should be paid two weeks after the show.

Of course you and I both know that two weeks came and went and we were not paid. After another two weeks I was in contact with the Jewish Agency to check up on our payment. And that is when I went from ripe banana to black mush. I was bounced back and forth between the Jewish Agency, Bank Leumi and our bank, Discount, for the next two months. First the Jewish Agency said we still needed an accountant number and then Bank Leumi told us that we needed another document. When we would go to Bank Discount they insisted we had already given the proper information and it was ridiculous for Bank Leumi (or any client) to insist for more info in order to pay us. Continue reading this entry »