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Aliyah Manifesto: JOBS & Protexia

'Protexia,' the unique Israeli system of workplace advancement, is no laughing matter, says a Jerusalem comedian
A client seeks work at an unemployment office in Jerusalem (Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
A client seeks work at an unemployment office in Jerusalem (Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Where is my Protexia? Is that another English word they messed up? Why is there a whole chapter on Protexia?
The Middle East is a tribal culture. You want to make it, figure out who your people are. This does not meant to get in good with the people in the Hi-tech world. Get in good with the people in the Hi-Tech world, if you want to make money. If you want to make it in Israel, you got to get in good with your Protexia. This, ‘my friend,’ is more important than a job.
You might have the job as the computer programming engineer. But just remember who is relaxing, sitting by his computer, watching reruns of ‘My Friends’ starring Ross and Josey. That guy is the one who has made it. He may not be able to hold a sophisticated conversation, or a job, but he is getting paid and ‘my friend’ is doing absolutely nothing. Anybody can get a job because they have knowledge or experience. That is easy. But those jobs come and go. ‘My friends’ can make you feel bad. ‘He’s my friends’ can make a man feel guilty. That is job security.

It all starts with Protexia.
You have to get the ‘in.’ I never had the ‘in.’ Protexia is the in you have when you are able to get something, so minimal, without working for it. You score the Protexia and the next thing you know, you don’t have to pay for the popsicle. You now have Protexia. You got the ices for free, and your friend stole from his boss.
To own a business. That is not Protexia. Getting the job is Protexia. Owning the business is inheritance.
Protexia is the in you have which allows you to not get screwed over. For example, if you are running a legal business, Protexia allows you to run that legal business. The Protexia gets the city to sign off on your business, which allows you the right to pay the 300,000 shekel a year, city tax.
Protexia can be manifested in many different avenues of life. Protexia may be used to help people get decent jobs in the army and any other menial job thereafter. Protexia can keep you living steadily on a 3,500nis monthly salary. If you don’t know the conversion rate, you are one who has no Protexia in the religious community of Jerusalem.
Protexia comes from the word protection. Meaning, another English word that has been destroyed. It is the kind of protection you can only get from being on the inside of the cartel. They don’t hand out silk suits in high schools. And they do not hand out an extra falafel balls in your Laffa wrap.

I did not know about Protexia when I moved to Israel. If Protexia worked in the US, I would have been set with a job as a nurse at the Jewish Home in Rochester. However, in America, you need credentials. That is useless in the Middle East.
Protexia is about receiving. There is no room for achieving in if you want to make it. Achievement has already been done. It is your job, your degree, what you have done in the past. Who cares about that? What is that going to get you? Wow, a doctorate. Look at you. The real question: Do you know Shmulik? If you don’t, you are getting the milk that is expiring tomorrow.
Upon Aliyah, you have to question why you wasted time going to university. You have to start asking yourself the question: Why did I not drink more?
Once you come up with answers to these questions you will be feeling stupid for not having Protexia. You will feel like an idiot, as you have a degree and the ability to analyze why it would have been more financially worthwhile for you to have skipped college. You will be able to come to the conclusion that you are financially stuck because you did not marry a native Israeli. And now, because of your degrees and studies, a conversation with Shmulik is tedious.
But you are in Israel because of your love for the land and the people. That is why I have been working on my Protexia.

I have a masters. Useless. Degrees. Useless. Nurse, teacher, doctor, all other jobs where they expect a degree. Useless. Be a waiter or waitress, you get the tips. The real money is in the stuff you don’t have to report. Protexia. Lawyer. OK, one job you have to study for which can help with Protexia, once you get caught stealing ices.
Where can you find Protexia? Find the poorest neighborhood in your city, and you will find some real good Protexia. Don’t let the money fool you. The people that are making it are not the ones with the big houses. They ‘my friends’ are not the friends with the guy at the Makolet. They don’t know Shmulik. They might show up one day, and not get the newspaper. The newspaper which is sitting down there on the counter, waiting for you, because you know his name is not Shmuel. You know the importance of the word ‘Achi’/my brother.
Saying ‘my brother’ to a man who cannot understand a word you say, because your accent is horrific, is your graduation certificate. It is just as good as being ‘my friend’ in the Arab shuk, when he wants to sell you something.
The problem with university is you wasted all that money and time, and they don’t teach you, ‘Do not report your income.’ And never have I been to a class where they taught me the word ‘Protexia,’ let alone mentioned it. Pointless. Five years of graduate school? Protexia! With the Protexia, they would have given me the degree. At least I would have been invited for a cigar with the dean.

To note, tour guide is a great job too. That is the world where Protexia meets professionalism. You go to a two year program and next thing you know, tips. You get paid and tips, which you do not report. Now you are in the world of making it in Israel.
The greatest part of the tour guiding is that when you went university, there was no way you thought you were going to be a tour guide. But you moved to Israel, your profession has no way of translating over and you like going for long walks and talking to ‘my friends.’ Protexia. You are not David the engineer playwright anymore. You are Dudu. And you are not friends with Shmuel. You are the ‘Ach’/brother of Tzimi, the guy who works at the art store, who gives you kickbacks and also gets free popsicles from Shmulik, Achmads ‘friends.’
The real issue is that you still don’t have Protexia with Sallie Mae. And they want your student loans. To deal with that, you need ‘Protection.’

That is a lot of Protexia writing here. A manifesto on Protexia, if I may say. I think we are all on the same page now. You and myself have no idea what Protexia is.
What I can tell you, is that if you are now studying Protexia, you are not with ‘my friends.’


About the Author
David Kilimnick: Jerusalem's Comedian performs at his Off The Wall Comedy Basement- Jerusalem's first comedy club, every Thursday in English and every Wednesday in Hebrew, in downtown Jerusalem. David may also be contacted to perform for tour groups in Israel & Synagogue fundraisers around the world, and for your private parties. Contact: 972(50)875-5688 David Kilimnick, dubbed Israel's father of Anglo comedy by the Jerusalem Post, is leading the new pack of English-speaking stand-up comics in Israel . At his Off the Wall Comedy Basement club in Jerusalem (the first of its kind), Kilimnick has been offering up penetrating observations of life in his turbulent adopted country. Tourists and native Israelis alike have been flocking to his cozy, intimate club and raving about his unique ability to transform the daily chaos and aggravation of Israeli life into an evening full of laughter. Kilimnick's material covers the rocky transition from his "New York Cocoon" to his new life as an "Oleh Chadash" or Israeli newcomer. Still single, Kilimnick touches on his religious upbringing, his rabbinic insights, the injustices of Jewish grammar school and Jewish summer camp, and the looks he gets from his Jewish mother because he isn't married yet. Meanwhile, Kilimnick's universal humor takes you on a tour of funny through the Holy Land. Incorporating routines from his shows 'The Aliyah Monologues Classic 1 & 2','Find Me A Wife,' 'Frum From Birth: Religious Manifesto', his music show 'Avtala Band' & more, David Kilimnick justifies his Aliyah (move to Israel), while taking you through the reality of life as a single immigrant, Israel experiences, holidays & family left behind. You are sure to walk away entertained, enlightened, or with David. David has recently appeared on "Bip" Israel's comedy network, צחוק מעבודב and has been hailed by the tough Israeli media as a rising star who possesses Seinfeldian charm when he takes to the stage.
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