Dreams Come True Journey to Kiryat Moshe The Aliyah of Rabbi and Mrs. Shimon Apisdorf

kiryat moshe

As I exit the bus, I notice the prominent white Gesher Hameitarim, Jerusalem’s Chords Bridge looming ahead. The bridge’s structure was designed to resemble a harp, its inspiration taken from the pasuk in Tehilim, “Praise Him with harp and lyre.” A light rail train passes swiftly across the bridge and over Sderot Herzl toward the hustle-and-bustle of the central bus station at the City’s entrance. I am greeted at the station by Baltimoreans Rabbi Shimon and Miriam Apisdorf. They lead me along a narrow path, the back route to their cozy apartment on a quiet, tree-lined street of Kiryat Moshe.

One of a few garden neighborhoods established in the 1920s, Kiryat Moshe’s residents today are mainly Israeli with a small number of American and French families. It has a large dati leumi community, a small chareidi community, and a “secular” population as well – although the Apisdorfs will tell you that what is called secular in Israel has a totally different meaning than it does in the States.

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Filing the FAFSA Form for College Financial Aid: A Guide

financial aid

It is no secret that college costs money – lots of it. However, many students are able to go because they receive financial aid from both the federal and state government. The starting point for all these sources of aid is a form called FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  Bear in mind that many yeshivas and seminaries are legal colleges, so their students qualify.

Some parents think the FAFSA does not apply to them, because they believe their income is too high. This is a mistake, because, even if you do not qualify for government aid, you might be eligible for aid from the college itself, and they use the FAFSA when granting it. Furthermore, according to a recent article by Wall Street Journal, even wealthy students should file the FAFSA. They offered several reasons. First, you might sometimes get aid even if you think you earn too much. Second, by filing the form and getting turned down, the college realizes that you can afford full tuition. Since they need some students who can pay, that might give you an edge on admission!

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Hardening the Soft Targets


Do we now live in a high-crime area? This is the perception many people are getting after a string of daytime and nighttime burglaries and hold-ups have plagued our neighborhoods. Not only were valuable possessions lost, all of us, and in particular the victims of the break-ins and muggings, are left feeling vulnerable and violated.

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Michelle and Alan* are still traumatized after what they found following their return home from a mini-vacation. Their door had been kicked in and was ajar. “I was in total shock, and we are still pretty traumatized by it,” Michelle said. They found the door kicked in and the house ransacked, with many things taken. There had been no cars in their driveway for 24 hours, but they usually have their house alarm on. On that day, it seems the babysitter may not have set the alarm correctly when leaving to take the kids to school. Their home was one of several in their neighborhood that have been broken into within a few short weeks.

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Inside the “Spin Room” Analyzing the First Republican Presidential Debate of 2016


The fireworks were on display in full force at the first Republican debate of the 2016 primary season in Charleston, South Carolina, on January 14. I was privileged to be in the debate hall and later in the “spin room.” After going through airport-style security directed by the secret service, I, along with crowds of other people with tickets in hand, entered the North Charleston Coliseum Performing Arts Center and excitedly awaited the start of the debate. At around 8:50 p.m., RNC Chairman Reince Preibus took to the stage and poured enthusiasm into the packed house. Before announcing the moderators, he passionately proclaimed, “We are the party that is diverse. The other side is boring, old, and stale.” He then assured the audience that the RNC is committed to whoever is the Republican nominee, putting to rest any speculation that the RNC would not back Donald Trump should he become the nominee of the party.

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Crime Reduction in Baltimore


The start of 2016 is a good opportunity to speculate about where our city is heading, particularly by evaluating the past calendar year.  Too little attention has been given to Baltimore’s ranking: in August, it was announced that we went from fifth murder capital of the U.S. to second place.

This ranking should be of concern to entire fifth district, despite generally not seeing homicides in its neighborhoods. It means police and law enforcement are so tied up with murders elsewhere in the city that they cannot pay proper attention to the break-ins, car thefts, muggings, and other lower level criminal activity in our neighborhoods. And crime usually spills over, so the violence doesn’t remain contained in any specific areas, as we saw with the recent murder of a young adult on Pinkney Road.

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New Middos-Transformation Chabura Forming


The Baltimore community is fortunate to have benefited from Mrs. Esther Badian’s Torah wisdom for decades, through her teaching in Bais Yaakov High School, in Maalot, and in Women’s Institute of Torah (WIT). Now our community can learn how to practically transform Torah principles into perfected middos (character traits), as she utilizes her teaching and pastoral counseling skills to facilitate her middos-transformation chaburas (groups).

As Rebbetzin Lea Feldman told WWW, “Esther Badian is a thinking person who is very much aware of the neshama of a human being and what we were created for – to improve ourselves. There is no human being who doesn’t have to perfect his middos – no matter how good you are, no matter how wonderful your middos are, there is always something that one can work on and improve on. Mrs. Badian has a feel for this. She can size up people and help people... I recommend her very highly.”

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Leveraging Food Psychology – and Avoiding Mindless Eating


Do you have a hard time getting your family members to eat leftover cholent on Sunday night? What if simply calling it something else could increase their interest in this leftover fare? How about “Tasty Bean Stew” or “Classic Old-World Goulash”?

Dr. Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and a well-known expert in consumer behavior relating to food and nutrition, calls this strategy “menu magic.” He has documented how descriptive words with sensory appeal – such as “succulent” or “herb encrusted” – can influence our appetite and our desire to eat certain foods.

We’ve all seen how restaurants and food merchandisers take full advantage of this principle, and similar ones, to stoke consumers’ appetites. But some of these same ideas, distilled from the work of Wansink and others, can also help to decrease mindless eating. They can help you naturally self-regulate the amount of food you consume and arrive at the balance that is just right for you. In other words, you can remove or mitigate some of the environmental cues that lead you to overeat.

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Til 120 – in Good Health! Partnering with your Doctor to Keep your Heart Healthy


“Ushmartem es nafshoseichem.” All of us are commanded to guard and protect our lives. This translates into taking care of our health to the best of our ability. As a cardiologist, I have the additional – and sacred – responsibility to treat and, whenever possible, cure illness. But even more important, in my opinion, is to prevent cardiovascular disease in the first place – a statement with which anyone who has experienced a frantic ride to the hospital in the midst of a heart attack would “heartily” agree.

We all know the elements of a healthy lifestyle: Diet and exercise are imperative, of course. Factors less often mentioned are improving one’s emotional health, continuing to learn about health and lifestyle, and regular medical checkups. In this article, I will discuss control of the traditional risk factors for heart disease – hypertension, diabetes, diet, and cholesterol – highlighting actions you can take on your own as well as interventions your doctor can use to reduce your risk and prevent heart disease. Indeed, I believe that good health is a partnership between you, your family, and a dedicated physician.

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Reaching Out in Times of Illness: An Overview of Baltimore Chesed Organizations

sick child

We hope and pray that we should never need it, but as a community, we are grateful to know that the resources are in place if someone is, chas v’shalom, facing serious illness. How do the services offered help in such a devastating situation?

The Matthew family of Detroit can answer these questions all too well, as their daughter, Shifra Tzirel, known as Shiff, was diagnosed with a serious illness. Baruch Hashem, Shiff is in remission now. I asked her mother, Soro Leah, who grew up in Baltimore, how she felt about all the help she and her family received from the Detroit community .

“There is no way I could have managed without it,” Soro Leah says. “The community arranged for my family to get suppers every single night for the entire year. At first, I was reluctant to take it because I thought that maybe some nights I wouldn’t need it, but the woman , who was arranging everything, convinced me that if I got supper one night and I didn’t actually need it, I could relax a little, and that was also okay. She also told me that she never had to call people to make meals, people just approached her.”

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Kollel Nachlas HaTorah Enters Its Second Year


Kollel Nachlas HaTorah opened its doors at Congregation Machzikei Torah on Rosh Chodesh Shevat, 5775. Since then, the daily Kollel has enabled a growing number of Baltimore men to use their free time on weekday mornings to advance their Torah learning in a stimulating and welcoming environment.
 The Rosh Kollel, Harav Nechemiah Goldstein, created a well-structured program which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. from Monday though Friday. The learning program commences after Machzikei Torah’s 8:30 Shacharis minyan, with refreshments available. Monday through Thursday, Harav Goldstein begins with a half-hour halocho shiur, based on the Mishnah Berura, supplemented by a review of relevant piskei halocho on related topics going back through history and forward to the present day. The regular topic (currently Hilchos Brachos) is interrupted when appropriate by topics such as Hilchos Yom Tov in the relevant seasons, and on Friday morning, the halocho shiur is replaced by a shiur on Parshas Hashavua.

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