JWR Only in the Middle East!

In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Israel becomes a 'Promised Land' for non-Jewish geeks

By Christa Case Bryant

Cameron Peron left the US in 2005, feeling it had largely lost its entrepreneurial spark. He has thrived in Tel Aviv's start-up scene, and is now vice president of marketing at Newvem

Growing number of non-Jewish expats drawn by the optimism and openness of its technology start-up scene

JewishWorldReview.com |

JEL AVIV — (TCSM) Joe McCormack got on a plane eight years ago to visit an Israeli girl he'd met through Facebook, he knew so little about this "little bit of land" between Europe and Asia that he thought Yasser Arafat was president of Israel.

With a good job at Viacom back in London and no cultural or religious ties to the country, he didn't plan to stay beyond his two-week vacation — let alone move here.

But today he is married to his Facebook sweetheart and serves as CEO of a Tel Aviv-based social advertising start-up, Adquant, which is planning to expand from 30 to 80 employees over the next eight months.

"My first job, I was working for the Jerusalem Post selling subscriptions to the US. It was a horrible job," says Mr. McCormack, sitting in his sun-dappled corporate office and recalling the days of getting on the bus at 3 a.m. after earning less than $7.80 a shift. "That was one of the points when I tried to understand 'What is my place in Israeli society?'"

Now he is part of a cadre of non-Jewish expats who are carving out a niche for themselves in Tel Aviv, where a high concentration of talent and a willingness to try the impossible fuels opportunities to thrive. Their experience, so different from that of immigrants drawn by romantic notions of ancient Israel or modern-day Zionist ideals, highlights a very different side of Israeli society that is often overshadowed by the heated politics of the Middle East.

"The main reason I've chosen to stay here is because of the start-up scene… there's a special kind of approach to business, creating something out of nothing," says Cameron Peron, an American expat who has worked at six start-ups since arriving eight years ago. "The drive to build something, to make it happen against all odds … I didn't see that in the US."

Mr. Peron hails from Port Huron, Mich., and, like many Americans, comes from a family of immigrants who landed in a hard-scrabble environment and pulled themselves ahead with ingenuity and persistence.

However, by the time he graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in international business and marketing, and dabbled in clean tech in San Diego, he felt like America had largely lost its entrepreneurial spark. So when he met an Israeli girl — "there's no other way you can come here [as a non-Jew], by the way" he says — he jumped at the opportunity to come to Tel Aviv.

Today, they are married, and he is the vice president of marketing at Newvem, a cloud-optimization and analytics firm that works with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Windows Azure. Many other Israelis married to a foreigner move abroad, so many people are "very confused about why I chose to stay here for so long," he says.

But he wants to start a $10 million company, and Tel Aviv offers fantastic opportunities. Even compared to an innovation hub like San Francisco it has unique advantages, says McCormack, who started his company in his small Jaffa living room with a colleague from work. Though they never needed outside funding, Israel's close-knit community of entrepreneurs and investors provided a valuable asset.

"Everyone is accessible in Tel Aviv," says McCormack, recalling how in his early days a CEO drove out to a café in his neighborhood to offer advice, without looking for anything in return. "Through meetups you can meet the most prolific angel investors in Israel and you can get introduced. If you have a good idea, you can rise to the top."

To be sure, there are certain challenges that San Francisco entrepreneurs don't face.

When Peron was working late hours ahead of Newvem's general availability (GA) for its AWS analytics service last fall, rockets were falling on Tel Aviv, triggering sirens.

The rocket fire, coming amid Israel's offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, sparked some lively debate with friends. But the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so palpable in Jerusalem, is largely off Peron's radar. When was the last time he was in the ancient city?

"Umm . . . . I was there for a wedding," he finally remembers. "In April . . . 2012."

The last time he chose to go of his own accord was three years ago. With no car and a penchant for international travel, he is far more connected to the cosmopolitan cities of the West than Jerusalem, just an hour to the east.

Others are more dialed in to the political side of life in Israel, though.


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"Israel was the last country in the whole world I ever thought I'd live in, because I totally disagreed with their politics," says Gordon Meagher of Dublin, Ireland, another non-Jewish transplant who followed a girl here. But his now-wife "grew up in a bomb shelter" in Nahariya, near the Lebanese border, and Meagher came to see another side to the conflict.

"I think that some of our [Israel's] policies here — i.e. settlements — that's wrong," he says, noting that his perspective is shaped by the violent sectarian battle the Irish people endured. "If we're ever going to have peace here, that will have to stop . . . I think if we do that, there's enough of this amazing country for both peoples to live in peace."

Precisely because of the transformative impact of living in Israel, Peron thinks that it would be in the government's interest to make it easier for a limited number of highly skilled workers — chosen specifically for their talent rather than their religion — to come here each year, not only to contribute to the start-up scene but also to return home as ambassadors for a more nuanced view of Israel.

But that might ruin a well-kept secret, where a handful of outsiders can enjoy floating in the Mediterranean after work and gazing up a palm trees that their friends back in the rainy United Kingdom could only dream of.

"For me, Israel is like a little unknown kind of paradise," says Mr. Meagher. "Don't tell anyone about it because they'll just come."

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© 2013, The Christian Science Monitor