Emma Sass
Grateful to be Grateful

Celebrating Israel’s Independence: 71 (+1) Women Who Have Done Nothing

I Am Woman: I am Worthy

Last year we figured that there were plenty of worthy women in Israel who hadn’t actually made their way to the moon, joined an elite combat army unit, or founded the most innovative, technologically-advanced company putting Silicon Valley to shame. We decided that even though these individuals hadn’t necessarily made news headlines for being the best dressed, most perfect ex-wives or witty wonderwomen they deserved recognition. And so 70 Women Who Have Done Nothing (featuring less than 15) came to be.

This year we’ve taken it to the next level and are here to present you with 71 (+1) Women Who Have Done Nothing.  It was either that or make 71 blue and white cookies, but once we had gorged all the icing we were too sugar-high to make that happen. Well it’s not actually quite 71, but we figured we’d use the mathematical dyslexia excuse and present 17 instead. Because after all, we’ve always been taught, size really doesn’t matter at the end of the day does it?

In purely alphabetical order (we did learn something in school), please take a moment to look at these amazing individuals who are shaping lives in way that may never be noted via a Pulitzer Prize panel or an Olympic committee, but are in their own way having a huge impact.

They are brave enough to share the best of being mundane, the greatness of being ordinary and the courage to tell it like it is. Meet them; look at them and hear them roar!

And even if you are not on this list, give yourself a pat on the back and take a moment to celebrate your worthiness  because you too, are  making a meaningful difference by making it through your day, every day!

(1) Tsipi Amiri:
Age: 56
Marital Status: Married + 5 boys
Current City: Oranit

1. I don’t think about accomplishments.
2. I’ve done what I wanted to do with my life.
3. I have a five hour a day job that I love.

(2) Adi Assodri
Age/Status: 59/Married
Made Aliyah in: 1983
1. I take care of my health by taking life as easy as possible and NOT doing sports beside Feldenkrais and sometimes riding my bike. I am a holistic practitioner with a vision that when I help changing the world of one client it has a ripple effect on millions. Therefore I am comfortable with having just a few.
2. My kids live still at home, my daughter is in the army. We had a huge giggle when she told me how her sfardi friends in her base roll their eyes when she tells them her mom is German. “So what if for Shabbat dinner you have a dozens of salads, 3-4 main courses, 2-3 cakes…..we have delicious Shakshuka which my dad cooks.” “And a cake?” “No, but we have always Yolo in the fridge.”  Also, I feel I have accomplished raising two wonderful loving kids who have their hearts in the right place and are empathic despite the fact that the home wasn’t always tidy and ketchup was one of the main Pasta sauces when they grew up.
3. I don’t get up early because there’s no need to. There are days where I wonder what I do all day long and I can’t come up with an answer beside: Woke up, brushed my teeth, drank coffee with a cigarette, grocery shopping, sandwich for lunch, nap in the afternoon, FBooking, etc. and it does’t bother me. In 2018, I’ve been to Germany six times visiting my elderly parents who were in and out of hospitals most of the time. When I manage to make them smile or laugh despite the heartbreaking and challenging health situation they’re in, I feel the happiest person on earth. When I manage not to loose my sanity and stay calm and grounded during these visits I feel more satisfied than having become a career woman.

 (3) Shira Attias
Age: 26
Marital Status: Married
Current city: Jerusalem
1.  I gave up exercising (after barely trying)
2. I never wear makeup.
3. On cold evenings, I get into bed at 6 p.m. and attempt to do the rest of what I need to do without leaving bed.

(4) Naomi Ben-Tzvi
Age: The oldest mother in the school
Status: Married with 4 kids
Current City: Lived here longer than I was in England and still have no idea what I am
1. The other night my youngest son came to me very upset before he went to bed. Why? Because I was dressed so he assumed I was going out. I assured him that I had met a friend when he was in school and was soon going to bed. My kids are not used to seeing me dressed.
2. My biggest achievement of the day is when the house is vaguely tidy, the next day’s aruchat 10 is in the fridge, the kids have all eaten dinner (that can and often does include cereal), bathed and in bed. Then I can do what I do best. Turn on the TV.
3. I was the only one in the house who did not want a dog. I am the one who walks the dog.
4. I have a masters degree from an impressive university which I have never used and am still trying to work out what I want to be when I grow up.
5.  Oops, it was only meant to be three things.

(5) Shirley Dratler Hepner

Age 71
Retired. Made Aliyah with husband in 2014.
Current city: Netanya
1. I decided not to cook any more because it made my kitchen dirty.
2. I am working on an ABC needlepoint after putting it aside for 30 years because I am now a grandmother for the first time.
3. I can be who I am — a Jew.

(6) Maya Gersikova:Age: 43
Marital Status: Single
Current city: Tzfat 

  1. I am single, never married and taking care of a mom with dementia. I went through 3 IVF cycles for the past year, finally got pregnant and all while dating, even managed to go on two dates while pregnant and not throwing up in the middle!
    2. Due to hormones, became completely anti-social and prefer not to minimize my interactions at work and outside. I hardly say hello to my boss and co-workers. one of my pregnancy side effects was losing the taste for dark chocolate (became too bitter) so I’ve now become addicted to hazelnut wafers.
    3. I watch Russian TV mostly, and my favorite reality program in Russian is LETS GET MARRIED. I have watched it for almost seven years non-stop. It makes me feel better that there are losers who are worse than I am, when it comes to love. Coz I’m so tired, most weekends I don’t bother to get out of the house and stay in my bed eating, surprisingly I can still pass for a catalog model.

    (7)  Terri KalkerAge: 51
    Marital Status: Married +5 +3 granddaughters
    Current City: Efrat

  2. 1. I am so ordinary I do not have much to write. In fact, can I even be considered? According to Misrad Hapnim I spend less than the 183 days here and may be a non-resident.
    2. I split my time between Efrat and Kew Garden Hills (NY) and while here Israel I try to make up for  the guilt I feel for the time I am not here by spoiling the kids I have here and even more so, my three adorable granddaughters.
    3. When I can I drive people needing rides, dabble in helping people find shidduchim, and constantly organizing and purging my house of clutter that accumulates when I am away. One day, I hope to be an attorney here (as in NY) and help Agunot. Until then, I am open to suggestions to how to feel valuable in Israel.

(8) Leora Leeder
Marital Status: Single Mother By Choice
Current city: Jerusalem

  1. I am a single mother by choice, both mother and father and the only grown-up in the house… if being a grown-up means knowing all the words of the Static and Ben El songs, and becoming an expert in unicorns and assembling Playmobil.
    2.I go to every school party and dance recital, chaperone at Scouts trips, find creative ways of packing a lunch every day for a vegetarian, and manage not to go mad. I have not spent a single night away from my daughter, except for those three days in the hospital after an emergency appendectomy.
    3. I get alone time for the 10 minutes that I take a shower, and every once in a while, I get to sleep.

(9) Hindy Lewis
Marital Status: Married
Current City: Bet Shemesh
1. I shower on my birthday whether I need to or not (& I was never chucked off a flight!)
2. I did not kill my husband. Yet.
3. I saw my toes this year — without the use of a mirror!

(10) Lisa Margolin   
Age: 46
Status: Pretty damn awesome … oh you mean marital status? Yes. I live with three males that are all bound to me either contractually or genetically. And I don’t let them forget it.

Current city: Before mobile phones, Modi’in, and Next online (1995) and now live in Tsur Hadassah
1. Our kitchen floor is cleaned maybe once a week (plus spot cleans for spills) but I *have* taught my kids to do their own laundry. Feminist evolution, baby!
2. I’ve been in the same job for 15 years. I write, I’ve done stand-up and I can compose a mean parody (I mean a proper parody NOT just a song with different words). One day I’m going to change the world with my superlative communication talents. But not today, there are chugim today.
3.  I count anything that isn’t chocolate-flavored as diet.

(11) Avital Matalon
Marital Status: Married
Current City: Efrat

  1. I manage to breathe even though I have twins (and an older kid)
    2. Three kids are out of the house fully dressed day.
    3.  I know where my laundry is even if it’s not done. 

(12) Denise Rubin,
Age: 42
Marital status: Married+ 2 kids
Current city: Raanana
1. I’m good with excuses: Quality time with the kids is an excuse to watch Karate Kid or Willy Wonka or play XBOX. Exercise is an excuse to play Nenah Cherry’s Baffallo Stance really loud and dance and make faces in front of the mirror.
2.  Although I am an ambitions career woman with my own clinic, I consider three hours a week busy, but someday I wish to develop a 3D printed tailor made sub mum on steroids.
3. My tips for raising an ecofriendly, sustainable home with domestic efficiency are: a) if it smells decent, it’s good to throw back in cupboard n wear again…and again; b)  kids need only shower 2 maybe 3 times a week — saves water and protects immune system; c) send kids to bed with school clothes on as it saves time and resources. I believe in encouraging my kids to be independent beings.

(13) Emma Sass
Age: 48
Marital status: Married, 2 kids, 1 dog, some tortoises.
Current city: Efrat

1. I watch A Million Little Things instead of doing even one little thing.
2. I tell my kids countless times to get off of X-Box but never follow through, as it means entertaining them instead of watching A Million Little Things.
3. I must be the world’s only person to have started a running course really slow and then, with training, gotten even slower!  But I keep going!

(14) Mikimi Steinberg

Marital Status: Happily Divorced
Current city: Tzfat
1. I like to help people whenever I can if it’s a Tuesday.
2. I am involved on FB w/medical and Bituach Leumi issues because that’s where my expertise lies because of my own issues. As such, I try to keep positive even though most days I am in pain, but if I weren’t in pain, I might not be alive
3. I subsist almost entirely on my friends’ leftovers, especially if burnt.

(15) Kalanit Taub:
Marital Status: Married
Current City: Efrat
Tagline:  Ordinary mom, hear me roar.
1.  I woke up my kids for school this morning.
2. I got my kids dressed this morning.
3.  I got my kids food this morning.

(16) Stephanie Treger
Age:  31
Marital Status: Married 4 children under 8
Current City:  Efrat 
1. I shower once every 2 weeks (maybe) My eyebrows look like a bear’s behind that’s just come out of water.
2. I don’t remember what being under 70 kgs means. And high heels or make up?? What’s that? I have a to-do list in every notebook I buy to “start again” and nothing gets done. But I sure as hell remember where my espresso machine is.
3.  I always promise myself to never forget my fifth child’s name… Netflix (although I can’t tell my twins apart) and my bed is my best friend. 2020 will be my year. 

(17)  Hadass Weissmann:
Marital Status: Married
Current City: Efrat
1. This year I grew a baby in my belly.
2. I also managed to get all the way to the toilet to throw up 10 times a day during #1.
3. I broke the world record for sleeping more consecutive hours then any human has before.

(+1) Gaby Shine Markowitz:
Age: got stuck at 35 around 15 years ago
Marital Status: one day we will get some sleep
Current City: Jerusalem

1. I am writing this entry and editing this article 48 hours before it needs to be published, when I was honoured to be asked to collaborate on it approximately 11 months ago.
2. I got thrown out of the Knesset for clapping for someone who said something sensible.
3. I lost my kid’s school bag in the Pesach cleaning
4. I watch reruns of “Say Yes To The Dress”
5. I’ve celebrated “International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day” on the first Friday of February for 30 consecutive years and brought untold joy to the masses.

Compiled by Emma J. Sass; with fab edits and supplements from Gaby Shine Markowitz

About the Author
At 48 years old, Emma Sass is blessed to be the most content she has ever been.
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