Monday, July 24, 2017

Vacation Rentals Vs. Hotels: Jerusalem Edition

Recently, the market in Jerusalem for vacation rentals has exploded in popularity. Over the past 12 months, vacation rental sites such as Airbnb and VRBO have seen an influx of traffic from tourists and visitors looking for an alternative to expensive and overbooked hotels. In this article we will explore the benefits and downsides of hotels and vacation rentals in Jerusalem. But first, lets find out why vacation rentals have become so popular recently.

Vacation Rental Marketplaces- A Brief History 

VRBO and Airbnb are the 2 biggest vacation rental sites right now. VRBO has been around since the early days of the internet, founded in 1995. They have more than 794,000 active listings all around the world with a particular emphasis on entire homes and apartments. Airbnb was founded in 2008, but already has more than 1,000,000 listings in 34,000 plus cities spanning 190 countries. The listings are categorized into three categories: shared rooms, private rooms, and entire homes or apartments. The website accommodates instant bookings as well as long-term stays. Most millenials tend to use Airbnb while older couples tend to use VRBO.

Vacation Rental 


  • Privacy - The privacy of having your own home or apartment cannot be matched in a hotel setting.
  • Cost effective for families- When you need a few rooms in a hotel, you pay the same price per room whether booking 1 room or 4. A vacation rental will usually be more expensive for 1 bedroom but each additional room is significantly discounted.
  • Amenities you won't find in a hotel -  A living room, dining room, and kitchen is standard in a vacation rental, in a hotel you can only get a kitchen and living room if you pay for a very expensive suite.
  • Extended stays will be heavily discounted vs a hotel where the rates stay the same.
  • Maid service may not be available, if it is, you will need to pay extra. Tip: Factor in the cost of getting a maid every couple days for about $35-50 for 2-3 hours.
  • Dining- Free daily hotel breakfast is a decent lure, and having a Shabbat meal downstairs is convenient. However, some people prefer to bask in the local experience, if you're considering a vacation rental, it's definitely something to consider!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

PSA from a Concerned Neighbor

Safety on Erev Shabbos and Shabbos
Please be aware that erev shabbos, when many parents send their children to the park unattended, there have been several very inappropriate incidences that occurred, 3 specifically erev shabbos / kabbalas shabbos time. B'chasdei Hashem, there was one mother in the Mishkan Esther park (the only mother in the park at that time) who prevented a serious situation by sending home the many children who had come to play without parental supervision. As always, please make sure that your children are properly supervised, at all times, and may we be zoche to raise our children safely in the kedusha of eretz yisrael.

Originally posted in the Nshei Ramat Eshkol

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wanted: Someone to Take Over this Site

I started this website last summer, feeling that there is a need to have some sort of news source, no matter how unprofessional, for our neighborhood of Ramat Eshkol. Since then, I ended up adding a little chessed project of mine; links and local information relevant to Ramat Eshkol. This project met with great success, along with the rest of the site, and I am happy to say that we had nearly 15,000 visits since then. 

In the past couple of months, I have become very busy, and haven't updated the site in a long time. Along with that, I am expecting to leave Israel in the near future. 

It doesn't make sense for me to run this site 

It is for this reason that I am looking for someone to take over full control of this site. For free. To continue this project, and to continue helping those around us. 

If you think you are qualified, please contact me.

Thank you.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Brachos Party For Adina Bas Chana

From he N'shei Ramat Eshkol: There will be an amen/brachos party in the zechus of a refuah sheleimah of Adina bs Chana Elbaz led by Tovi Barron on Tuesday night, Sept. 11, at 8pm at the Kelaty home, 35 Sheshet Hayamim.  There will be a 20 shekel charge per person.  We hope as many women as possible will join us.  We look forward to seeing you there. Thank you!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Local Shul Times

Hey there! I'm looking to add more Shul times to our site. I would like for our dear readers to pitch in a little bit, as we are looking to make a list of Shul times for Shabbos. We need a names of all the Shuls around the area, with the times of davening. Feel free to comment on this post with your additions (or contact us here), whether it includes one Shul or ten. In the meantime, you can check out our list of daily Shul times to see what we are aiming for. You can also add other information to our growing directory over here. Thanks!

Hafrashas Challah For Adina Bas Chana

This week, there will be another Hafrashas Challah being done all around. The following is from the N'shei French Hill email:

Dear Ladies,

Last week we had over 100 women baking Challah on Erev Shabbos for a zechus for a Refuah Sheleima for Adina Bas Chana (Elbaz)!!!!!!!! Thank you to all of you for your good will and efforts!!!!!!!!! The Elbaz’s mentioned that on Erev Shabbos, they saw positive results in tests that were done and they were sure that it was from all of the Tefillos at the special time of Hafrashas Challah!

We would like to do the same this week. If you are baking Challah this Thursday night or Friday, and making enough to be mafrish, then why not be part of a group of 40 women who will all be united at the same time with the same kavanos which has an even greater impact in shamayim? In this zechus, may Adina bas Chana have a Refuah Sheleima Bekarov and may you all have a Good Shabbos!!!!!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Urgent Tehillim Needed

Most of us have already heard the bad news, that a young teenaged girl, the daughter of Rav Avi Elbaz, of Zichron Nosson Tzvi was hit by a tender, and is in critical condition. Her name is Adina bas Chana.
There are a couple of ways to help out and bring zechusim for this young girl.

If anyone would like to make meals for the Elbaz's, please call Esther Adler at 581-0843. There will be a gathering on Motzaei Shabbos, 15 Elul, 9:30pm at the Stark home, Ramat Hagolan 53, to say Tehillim for Adina bas Chana .

And lastly, there is a group of women who will take Challah for her z'chus. Here is the email explaining it all:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Teshuva B'Simcha- Live Performance in Jerusalem and RBS

A new live performance, featuring different ways of achieving Teshuva through Simcha, will take place first in Ramat Beit Shemesh tonight and later in Jerusalem on August 29th. 

For every last detail, click on the image to the right.

Kennes Chizuk For Women- Dealing With Modern Technology

There's another Kennes Chizuk that's meant to help women face the challenges of modern technology. There will be a video message from R' Matisyahu Solomon Shlita, followed by Rebbetzin Rena Tarshish and Rebbetzin Dina Schoonmaker.

It will take place at Nevat Hall on Rechov Shmuel Hanavi 24 (near Zvhill), on Wednesday, August 29th-11 Elul, at 8:15 PM. Price at the door is 15nis, pre-purchase for 10nis. For more details click on the photo.

What challenges do women face in modern technology? I assume that a woman's biggest issue with technology is how to  properly deal with other family members consumption of modern technology, ie. husband and children.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Local Email Listings

A new email listing service has been started today for us Ramat Eshkol'ers. I noticed a bunch of signs posted all over Ramat Eshkol advertising the new service. The service advertises itself as completely free to post/free to subscribe email list, and the email is sent out every Motzei Shabbos. I contacted the person running the listing service, and was sent the following info:
Weekly Ramat Eshkol Free Listings by Email 
We list Gemachim, Shiurim, For Sale, Rentals, Lost & Found, Local businesses, neighbourly notices etc. All Adverts are FREE and any email address can sign up. Sign up or send us an advert at
Honestly, I do not know who the person running this service is, but I'm quite happy that this has been started. As some readers may know, recently, the N'shei Ramat Eshkol email list has become partially commercialized, while the necessity of a free email list is important. I don't mean to knock the person/people running the N'shei list, as they have done a terrific job. Rather, I believe that this is the type of job that in order to be done properly, it must be done as chessed. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Daytime Theft: Luggage Stolen

There was a theft reported in the N'shei Ramat Eshkol email. I am reposting to notify others to be careful and aware, while possibly finding the culprit:
My sisters hand luggage was stolen outside their apartment on Ramat HaGolan. If any one saw any suspicious people walking around or know of anyone with a surveillance camera near Ramat Hagolan 37 please call or email 054-846-5467

Parshas Shoftim

6:37 - Candle Lighting
7:17 - Shkia
7:49 - Motzei Shabbos
8:28 - Rabbenu Tam
-Have a Good Shabbos!

The Rebellious Son and the Fundamentals of Education By Rabbi Zev Leff
When you go out to war against your enemy and you see horses and chariots, an army greater than you, do not fear them, for Hashem your G-d, Who took you out of Egypt, is with you. (Devarim 20:1).

How can we possibly expect to achieve such a high level that we do not fear when we go into battle? Even Moshe fled in terror when his rod was transformed into a snake. Yet if the Torah commands us not to fear the impending battle, it must be something within the capability of every Jew.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Igloo Park: Keep The Kids Away Or Keep 'em On A Leash

After reading this weeks N'shei Ramat Eshkol email, it seems to me that we may have a repeat offender on the loose. I repost the following quote for your perusal:
PSA from a Concerned Neighbor - There is a man who is not 100% who frequents the Igloo park, saying things like "cute, cute" whenever he sees kids. He seems harmless and I don't want to cause unnecessary concern, but I wanted to let parents know that I found him at the top of the hill, in the sewer area of the Igloo park, with two boys who were around 10 years-old. He was having an arm wrestle with one of the boys and they were playing and shmoozing with him. It could be that nothing suspicious was going on, but something about them being in a very secluded area together and the way they were playing together made me feel uncomfortable.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A New Blog in Rechavia

A new blog has been started by a Rechavia community member. It's a blog aimed at keeping the local community safe from predators and molesters, somewhat similar to this one. 

The author has asked me to publicize it, so here it is, at As of now there is only one post, and I'm not sure that the site is going to write about every incident, but we'll find out soon enough.

This may be a good time to offer my (free) services. I would be glad to help anyone that would like to get a blog up and running for their local neighborhood. As long as it's safety based.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Beware of Collectors

I don't know why, but in my opinion too many people are not worried enough of the collectors that come to their door. The following  incident was posted in the N'shei Ramat Eshkol email on June 7:
Warning for our neighborhood: Last week, I answered the door for a tzedakah collector who looked like a young American Yeshiva bochur. When I gave him some money, he asked for a bracha for a shidduch. I gave him one, and he started saying very inappropriate things that made me feel uncomfortable and frightened. I quickly closed the door and locked it. I now do not answer the door for strangers if my husband is not home. Please be aware and be safe.

I am not shocked, though it's sad to hear that stories like this still happening. I personally do not let my wife open the door for collectors when I am not home. Even when I am home, I take extra precaution to open the door myself. There has always been crazy people making their rounds collecting in houses, and unfortunately it's not safe for a woman to open the door while being alone. 

Just because someone is dressed like a beggar doesn't nor shouldn't give the person automatic access to your open door. If you really think that the beggar is worthy of your money, don't open the door unless the door is chained shut with a small hole to pass money.