Friday, February 25, 2005



I have been back in America for almost three weeks and I am starting to use that to help form a rational idea about Israel.

First off, I picked an amazing 3 weeks to be in Oregon, it has not rained once since I got back. That has to be a new record for February, it also has been really nice to be back at my house. I love the way I live here and frankly it is just a life that is super amazing.

We only use 1/2 of our house, and it still is 1.5 times bigger then our apartment in Israel, the food is cheaper here for most the stuff we buy, but mind you we shop like americans in both places.

What struck me as a scary comparison was eggs. I was at WinCo which is the american equivalent of Yad Izzac, and I paid $2.30 cents for 3 dozen eggs. This is 3.37 NIS per dozen or 1/3 the price of Israel. Same with milk I paid $1.99 per gallon for milk and it works out to be 2.26 NIS per liter, again just over 1/2 the price. Food is just really really really cheap here. Even the ground chicken is comparable in price, at 24 NIS per Kilo. Whole chickens and jewish food of course is the exception, but I am putting on dinner for 36 for friday night and it is down right cheap to buy the food.

The down side of course is produce. That is where Israel rocks, it is just dirt cheap. I paid $1.68 per pound for tomato's or 17 NIS per KG. That is just way higher, but on the whole I think food is cheaper here.

I miss not worrying if stuff is kosher that I get in Israel, but I really like the way that people say hi to you here and the lack of horns in the store parking lot is way neat.

It is hard, in Israel Iris can easily find work, and the kids are doing great, but for me it is a bit of the middle of nowhere. It is not an easy thing to just say that I will always be there because the one thing that Israel does so great which is community I do not value that highly. I still have not made that many close friends, and I still do not have many connections there. We are loners in Israel, and we are also Loners in America.

The one thing I can say is Day school tuition is cheaper in Israel then in America and if you have 3-4 kids in day school it just makes all the food shopping and apartment and car costs irrelevant.

Gan is the deal of a life time for example.

But I do not see it as dollar and cents, it really is two different ways of life, and in the long run I am not sure I would be happy with either.

All the best,

Benjamin Cox


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