WordCamp Israel: Exploring Israeli Bloggers

Filed as Features on October 15, 2007 6:21 pm

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One of the things about blogging that continues to thrill me is the ease at which anyone in any language can share their thoughts, feelings, daily life, experiences, history, culture, and expertise with the world. One of the things that pisses me off the most is the fact that there is a huge wall blocking the flow of communication through blogs: the language barrier.

There are translation WordPress Plugins and sites where you can have a web page translated from one language into yours, but only the “big” languages are covered. You have to have access to the Plugin or jump through hoops to get the page translated – which is still a barrier to learning about what Boris in St. Petersburg has to say about his life working as an engineer at a aircraft maintenance facility; or Paolo in Brazil who worries about the floods that recently threatened his home town a few hundred kilometers away and how that will impact his family who has a farm there; or reading what Chyun has to say about her friends at school who teased her recently because she told them that she liked the new boy in class; or learning more about what Siniyah thinks about investing in India and globally.

Until the language barrier is broken on blogs, we’re left with reading blogs written by those who speak and write our language. That is, unless you have friends who can read the language and help you learn more about what others are saying in a language you don’t understand.

Thus it was that I asked two new Israeli friends of mine to help share with you some our favorite Israeli bloggers in honor of WordCamp Israel, October 25, 2007, in Tel Aviv. be I will attending and meeting many bloggers from around the county, and I wanted to share with you some of those who may be attending the conference.

My two cohorts on this project are Miriam Schwab, the blogger behind Illuminea, WordPress Garage, and Israel Plug, the latter being a “good news” blog about Israel, and Tal Galili of Tal Galili and Bio Statistics.

Because Israel attracts so much controversy, there are a lot of bloggers who thrive on controversy, but we wanted to focus on blogs that deal with the day to day life of Israelis, their fears, tears, hopes, dreams, and life in Israel. Between the three of us, we dug up business bloggers, family bloggers, work-at-home bloggers, cultural perspective bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, personal bloggers, and a ton of different types of blogs all written by Israelis or foreigners living and working in Israel. We wanted to introduce you to the real people, the ones who get up in the morning, go to work, raise their families, and want what we all want in the world – to get along and through.

Israeli Bloggers Blogging in English

The first group of Israeli bloggers are written in English. The second group are written in Hebrew.

Hummus 101, in Hebrew and English, is considered the foremost expert blog on the subject of hummus/humus/humos/hummos, that chick pea paste ground up dip for pitas, crackers, and anything you want to smear humus on. The blog features recipes, trivia, video, and recommended restaurants where you can find the best hummus around the world. It’s called “hummus for the masses”, and it is a treat. Who knew there was so much you could write about this ancient recipe enjoyed (and claimed) by Jews, Arabs, Turks, Russians, Spanish, and more. Okay, there is a lot more to write about, but it always comes back to hummus.

Six Kids And A Full Time Job is written by Michael Eisenberg, a partner at Benchmark VC. With seven children, he has a lot of responsibilities and knows how to juggle his priorities. He blogs about his insights into technology, venture capital, and business issues related to Israel as well as the international marketplace.

Blonde 2.0 offers a woman’s perspective on Israel life, but her main focus is on social media and Web 2.0 technologies. While there are many female bloggers in Israel, she is recognized as one of the few and best blogging on technology issues.

This Normal Life is a general look at life in Israel with restaurant reviews, commentaries on the news, life as a parent, religious and cultural news and more about living in Israel “normally”.

Ouriel Ohayon, an immigrant from France, blogs about entrepreneurship, venture capital, investments, startups, social media, and pauses once in a while to share his love of jazz. He will be speaking at the conference on the business of blogging.

Media, Technology, and Rebel Filmmaking covers social media and web technologies, with a special emphasis on Internet video and multi-media. Another speaker on the business panel at the forum, his articles are very indepth and often tackle tough subjects on web technologies.

Adrian Wajsbrem writes on business and Israel and works as a consultant to technology companies. His blog offers statistics, lists, news, tips, and information to help businesses and individuals. While it sounds dry, it is actually very interesting and you never quite know what new bits and pieces he will uncover to help you.

An Unsealed Room (A Window on Life in Israel) with Allison Kaplan Sommer is a personal blog that covers family, life in Israel, and more. Some of it is highly personal and touching, some of it funny. The posts tend to be short and erratic, but often worthwhile.

Aliyah! Step-by-Step: Making a Life in Israel is about Yael and her immigration to Israel and is a lovely written commentary on her life, adaptation, and perspective on the world around her, and passionate about animals, especially her seven cats. A teacher, her writing is insightful, fun, and has a lot of satirical punches.

What War Zone, by Benji Lovitt, is a rip roaring perspective on Israeli life and winner of the People’s Choice Awards and Best Jewish Humor Blogs for Jewish and Israeli Blogs. A fairly new immigrant to Israel who is struggling to find his way around this totally screwed up county, Lovitt shares his view on his new life in Israel with a twisted sense of humor.

Israel Plug is a “good news” about Israel site that features news and information on business, technology, education, art, culture, and life in Israel.

Aliyah Blog – Moving Up in the World is another aliyah blog, a blog about someone immigrating to Israel, though it appears that this blogger has been in Israel for a few years. His perspective comes as a religious man finding his way in a, shall I say “unorthodox” country. His posts are funny and delightful, and he has a great skill for poking fun at himself and his religion, while making some good points.

Treppenwitz is another award winning blogger writing about life in Israel which covers his life as a parent, and trying to cope. His posts are funny, colorful, and often touching as he shares his thoughts.

Hebrew Language Blogs

My friends had a hard time limiting their choices for their favorite Hebrew language blogs, and came up with these, including why they enjoy these bloggers. Note: Publishing Hebrew in WordPress is fairly easy, but has its challenges, especially when my Hebrew is at the preschool level. Spelling mistakes are mine. Apologies in advance.

שיר השרירים is a play on words for “The Muscles Songs”, this blog by Dina Rult, a doctor of biology, shares the interesting news, articles, and research she stumbles across for her work.

יומן האיקידו ויפן של זאב ארליך “is a pearl”, says Tal. It is the Aikido diary of Zeev Eirlich and covers his life with aikido, Japan, and Israel. Tal says “it’s an amazingly sensitive and gentle blog that often brings a smile to your face.”

בצק אלים is another favorite of many Israelis, and title of the blog is a play on words that could be interpreted as “God’s Dough” or “Violent Dough”. Tal and Hannit say that this is one of the most “beautiful food blogs in Hebrew”.

Some other popular blogs and bloggers writing in Hebrew include:

Other Sources for Israeli Bloggers

English-writing Israeli-bloggers is a feed aggregator of Israeli bloggers writing in English, as is Israel Related.

ISerializable – Roy Osherove’s Blog lists Israeli.net Bloggers You Should Read with an updated list, too.

Do you have a favorite we missed?

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  1. By Kfir Pravda posted on October 15, 2007 at 9:27 pm
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    Thanks a lot for the mention – I loved the way you described my blog.

    Looking forward meeting you in Israel,
    Kfir Pravda
    Media, Technology and Rebel Filmmaking
    http://www.pravdam.com

    Reply

  2. WordCamp Israel - updates and tidbits | illuminea marketing & mediaOctober 15, 2007 at 9:27 pm
  3. By Ayelet Noff posted on October 16, 2007 at 1:17 am
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    Thanks so much for the mention Lorelle!
    I look forward to meeting you here soon.

    Best regards,
    Ayelet (aka Blonde 2.0)

    Reply

  4. By Adrian posted on October 16, 2007 at 4:57 am
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    Thanks for the mention.

    Reply

  5. By Benji posted on October 16, 2007 at 5:55 am
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    Thanks for the mention, Lorelle!

    Ehhhhh…ech omrim “rip roaring?”

    Reply

  6. israel » WordCamp Israel: Exploring Israeli BloggersOctober 16, 2007 at 6:35 am
  7. By Jennifer posted on October 16, 2007 at 7:20 am
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    Just a small correction, Brian Blum’s blog is “This Normal Life”, no “is” involved. :)

    Thanks, too, for introducing some new-to-me Israeli English-language bloggers. There’s been a huge increase in the number of Anglo-Israeli bloggers since Sarah Bronson profiled our little group in Ha’aretz in 2004.

    Reply

  8. By Alain posted on October 16, 2007 at 9:35 am
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    And what about the french “speaking” blogs……..????

    Nice post…
    Thanks

    Reply

  9. International probloggers Blog Herald and Lorelle write about Wordcamp Israel 2007 | fiLi’s techOctober 16, 2007 at 11:15 am
  10. By Aussie Dave posted on October 16, 2007 at 3:37 pm
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    I’m going to pimp my blog since it wasn’t mentioned AND it’s done on WordPress (I’m a huge WP fan, and have consulted your blog on many occasions).

    http://www.israellycool.com/

    Would love to make the conference, but have already missed out on registration.

    Reply

  11. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on October 16, 2007 at 4:54 pm
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    @Alain:

    Sorry I overlooked FranceIsrael. As I said, one of the things that ticks me off the most is the lack of easy translation, including in search engines. Our parameters were for English and Hebrew, and sites we personally knew and enjoyed. I guess I have to work on my French! Thanks for the kick. You are so right!

    Reply

  12. By Alain posted on October 17, 2007 at 2:50 pm
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    Thanks Lorelle for the mention.
    You are right, translation is a serious issue; no viable solution yet.
    For french blogs, audience is more limited, but still there few good blogs out there … A good overview like the one you’ve just done is needed; maybe i should try to do it myself.
    I can just tell you that the french israeli blogosphere is getting more and more politically engaged…

    Reply

  13. By Dave Bender posted on October 19, 2007 at 3:52 pm
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    Hi, Great post.

    Just wanted to note that the blog, “Batzek Alim,” as it’s originally spelled – first letter “ayin,” instead of “alef” – is actually a great play on words for phyllo dough (that you’d use for puff pastries, usually meat or vegetable-filled).

    THAT’S where the clever inside joke is, about the Hebrew (mis)termed “God’s Dough” or “Violent Dough” foodie blog.

    Best,
    Dave Bender
    “Israel At Level Ground”
    News & Views, Original Photography & Video about Israel

    Reply

  14. By Avi posted on October 21, 2007 at 10:22 am
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    Somehow you forgot one of the leading Israeli Blogs, “Israel On Blog”.
    well, it can happen, so here it is: http://www.israel-on-blog.com

    Reply

  15. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on October 21, 2007 at 4:39 pm
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    We didn’t forget. Do you know how many “leading” Israeli blogs call themselves “leading”, “most popular” and “award winning” blogs? :D We went through our lists and picked our favorites, under a very narrow perspective for Israeli blogs that do not deal with politics or “issues” but life, personal blogging, and good news. We’re only three people and there are TONS of Israeli blogs for every possible style.

    Thanks for adding yours.

    I would have loved opening it up to more political rather than apolitical blogs as there are some brilliantly written blogs covering all the different sides of the issue, but we had our restrictions. :D

    Reply

  16. WordCamp Israel 2007 Unofficial English ScheduleOctober 28, 2007 at 8:07 am
  17. By Maya Norton posted on November 7, 2007 at 7:12 pm
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    Hi Lorelle,

    Great list, which I’ll certainly be following up on, link by link.

    Of course I have to add my own WordPress blog, dear to my heart, The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy (www.TheNewJew.wordpress.com).

    I am also a big fan of a number of blogs in the comment section, so I’m glad to see them there.

    Thanks again.

    Maya Norton

    Reply

  18. By Oren Todoros posted on November 15, 2007 at 7:41 am
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    Hi Lorelle

    Good work recaping some of the best names in Israeli Blogging… Allow me to throw my blog into this comment. http://www.hebrish.ning.com

    Please take a visit!

    Reply

  19. By mother in israel posted on December 3, 2007 at 3:42 pm
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    Israelity.com is another good resource for Israeli blogs. It highlights entertaining blog posts about life in Israel. My own blog, A Mother in Israel, is not the most popular (yet) but was chosen as a finalist for the 2007 Weblog awards in the category “Africa and the Middle East.” I’m a mom of six writing about parenting, motherhood, life in Israel, and more.

    Reply

  20. By Guy Mizrahi posted on December 5, 2007 at 5:54 am
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    Hi Lorelle,
    Thanks a lot for the mention of my blog.
    in my post about Wordcamp I wrote that I was listening to Hannit and you talking and it was very interesting :-)
    loved your talk there,
    Guy (Zull, Hacker’s Blog).

    Reply

  21. Any (Word)Press is Good (Word)Press « What War Zone???December 24, 2007 at 9:53 am
  22. By Deborah posted on January 7, 2008 at 12:11 pm
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    I made Aliya from France 2 years ago.
    I had good times in Israel and less good times, but I know it was the right decision to come here.
    I will be happy to answer any questions from people who think of doing it and give my advise to them.
    Having relatives in Israel already is a big asset.
    In case someone wants to find new relatives and stay in touch with the old ones, I can recommend the Israeli website http://www.jworld.famillion.com
    Famillion is a worldwide family project connecting people across the globe, transcending borders and languages. you simply build your family tree and the system matches it with related trees and that way you connect to new or old relatives and make your family tree grow. you can also upload pictures and exchange family stories.
    It s a great tool to find relatives and stay in touch with them.
    So, guys, let s get all connected!!!
    looking forward to receiving your comments…
    Stay in touch,

    Deborah

    Reply

  23. By Avi posted on January 8, 2008 at 10:36 am
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    Hi Debby,

    I totally agree, life aint always easy here!
    being here is more than weighing the pros and cons, if u ask me. It s a clear decision. I decided for myself to do it and I haven t had doubts about it a single day.
    Famillion is Israel? Ah, I didn t know that. I heard about it, but havent checked it out yet. Is it a social website, just with families???
    Well, I will have a look at it!!!
    cheers,
    Avi

    Reply

  24. By Deborah posted on January 10, 2008 at 5:58 am
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    Avi, hi, thanks for writing.
    Let me know when u have built ur tree at http://www.jworld.famillion.com

    thanks and good luck!
    Debby

    Reply

  25. By Deborah posted on January 10, 2008 at 5:58 am
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    Avi, hi, thanks for writing.
    Let me know when u have built ur tree at Famillion.

    thanks and good luck!
    Debby

    Reply

  26. By rose ramadhan posted on August 22, 2010 at 6:53 pm
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    77. But seek, with the wealth which Allah has bestowed on you, the reward and happiness of the Hereafter. Do not forget your share (of the needs and provision) from this world, and be good (to others) as Allah has been good to you (by giving you more than what you needed), and do not seek mischief in the land. Allah does not like the mischiefmakers

    Reply

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