Bleary-eyed 2 A.M. car rides to wear out irritable newborns. Toddlers forging night-long sibling alliances against unsuspecting mothers. Exhausted parents resting their heads on their computer keyboards at work.
Years of hearing stories about sleepless nights for babies and their parents inspired Helena Harow, a maternal and child health practitioner, to pioneer Israel’s newly emerging baby sleep consulting industry. Six years ago, the U.S.-born mother of six left her position as supervisor of the maternal and child unit at the Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak to study baby sleep consulting in England and the United States. Together with her colleague, Israeli-born Shira Krauthammer, Harow became Israel’s first certified sleep consultant, earning a qualification as a “gentle sleep coach.” She now works at Babylink, a Ra’anana-based company that provides pre- and postnatal services, including sleep consultations.
Sleep consulting involves training children – primarily between the ages of six months and two years – to fall asleep independently with minimal parental intervention, Harow explains. “A child wakes in the middle of the night and doesn’t know how to fall asleep on his own without being rocked or placed in a car. Sleep consulting is about re-conditioning the child so that he can self-soothe,” says Harow.
The process typically involves one home consultation, a customized sleep plan, and extensive follow-up and support over the phone or via e-mail for the next two months.
To the best of Harow’s knowledge, she and Krauthammer are the only certified sleep consultants in Israel. To date, there is no governing body in Israel that regulates the sleep consulting industry. And, as with other alternative health professions, Israel’s Education Ministry has yet to address certification for sleep consultants. “Anyone can call themselves a sleep therapist,” she explains, cautioning against this phenomenon.
“The fact that Shira and I studied in England and have an extensive background in nursing makes us very strong in the field and gives us credibility,” she says. “However, I believe that parents need to check the background and experience of a sleep consultant. Where have they studied? Have they been certified?”
Pop-rock singer and actress Ninet Tayeb, who this week released the first song from the English-language album she produced in Liverpool, now feels she’s on the right track. Once Israel’s darling, who won the first “Kochav Nolad” contest – Israel’s version of “American Idol” – Tayeb has metamorphosed into a rock ‘n’ roll singer who does what she believes in, even if it means losing fans and large audiences.
You’ve said it was your dream to make an album in English. Since when?
Tayeb: Since I was about 10. My whole childhood I listened to foreign songs.
So what were you searching for all these years if that’s been your dream since you were 10?
Because I didn’t know that’s what I wanted. I didn’t even dare to ask it of myself. The English album was like a sort of hidden dream I was keeping to myself, and when I felt I was capable of making this step and dreaming it out loud…
What made you feel you could “dream it out loud”?
I simply started writing songs in English. I don’t even know how it happened. I played them to Rockfour [the renowned Israeli rock back Tayeb has been collaborating with], and we said let’s do something with it. Of course it was a very long process and many times I gave up in despair along the way.
What kind of despair?
Insecurity. Thinking I couldn’t really do it, didn’t really have it, what am I thinking?
Being able to write and sing in English.
And what about the ability to make it and conquer the world?
I’m not really counting on that. My goal with this album is to appear around the world, on new stages, meet new people, a new culture.
But recording in English and in Liverpool, with a known producer – that does seem to say “I want to make it abroad.”
Obviously I want to, no question. There’s a German label that is very interested and we’re thinking of starting our tour there.
Do you see yourself living abroad?
Don’t know. I want to, but it’s complicated.
Yes, there’s a guy. He works in Hebrew.
Totally, totally, but Yehuda [her partner, actor Yehuda Levi] is totally with me. It’s terribly important to him that I make my dream come true. Yehuda is also an actor who dreams of acting in Hollywood and so do I. It’s like give and take – we both understand each other and each other’s needs and dreams. So when that happens I believe it will be alright, God willing.
How hard was it for you to cope with people’s difficulty in accepting your change?
It was difficult at first. I thought, don’t they see? Don’t they feel it’s real? I didn’t get it and I was angry. But it’s like a relationship, like parting – at first you hate the one who left you, then you repress it and finally you accept it.
Does the change in your music have to come with a rock ‘n’ roll look?
Not at all. I don’t want to go into definitions. Amy Winehouse, for example – the music she made was pop. But she’s the most rock ‘n’ roll possible – with her look, what she said, her persona in general. Rock ‘n’ roll is attitude, it’s doing what you want in principle. That’s my definition of rock ‘n’ roll – doing what you want.
You’re financing the new album, “Sympathetic Nervous System.”
With my money and that of a few wonderful people.
And that’s why you said you were doing a campaign for underwear company Delta.
Yes, but not only that. Obviously the money is very significant here, but Delta came to me with a proposal to do something different, and it’s with a collection I designed. That blew me away.
So you’ll model a bra?
Sort of. I’m going to model a bra and panties, but not the way it sounds. It will be more mysterious, not in your face. That is also something I very much believe in.
World DJ day observed March 9.
Today is the professional holiday of sound producers and hosts of dancing grounds. This youth holiday was initiated by UNESCO 10 years ago. In Belarus DJs not only hold parties, but also collect resources for helping children’s organizations.
Israel’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) added 4.7% in 2011, following an increase of 4.8% in 2010 and 0.8% in 2009, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.
According to CBS data, gross domestic product per capita rose by 2.8%, following a 2.9% rise in 2010 and a 0.9% drop in 2009.
The business sector’s GDP added 5.2% in 2011, following a 5.8% increase in 2010 and a 0.3% addition in 2009. The industrial sector’s GDP rose by 1.9% in 2011, following a 9.7% increase in 2010 and a 5.1% tumble in 2009.
CBS data further suggested that private consumption in Israel was up by 3.6% in 2011, expendable income per capita added 1.4% and private savings came to 11%.
Israel’s national deficit came to NIS 17.2 billion ($4.54 billion) in 2011, making up 20% of the GDP. In 2010, Israel’s national deficit was NIS 17.7 billion ($4.68 billion), making up 2.2% of the GDP.
Israel’s fixed-price exports added 4.9% in 2011, while fixed-price imports were up by 10.6%.
Purchasing power parity (PPP) made up 85% of the gross domestic product per capita in the OECD states.
From the name of a new exhibition in Haifa – “Haifa-Jerusalem-Tel Aviv” – one can already conclude that there is a desire to turn the dominant narrative on its head, to shatter to some extent the hierarchy that views Tel Aviv as Israel’s cultural capital. It seems there is a desire to shed light equally, or even as a kind of affirmative action, on Haifa and Jerusalem.
On Saturday night this large exhibition featuring works by a large number of artists, including many from cooperative galleries, will open in the Haifa Museum of Art.
In many ways the exhibition is divided into the contemporary and the historical. The historical part consists of chapters in the history of art, displayed through works by artists identified in various ways with the cities in question. Michael Gross, Yehoshua Grossbard and Zvi Meirovitz represent Haifa; Rafi Lavi, Yehezkel Streichman and Henry Shlezniak represent Tel Aviv; and Avraham Ofek, Michel Haddad and Leopold Krakauer represent Jerusalem. It is very regrettable that in this geographical-cultural war, men are well represented in this section of the exhibition but there is not a single female artist.
Participating from Haifa, in the contemporary part of the exhibition, is Ha’agaf – a cooperative gallery located at the Haifa Port that has just celebrated its third anniversary. MAX, a group composed of architects, city planners and social activists, is also involved. MAX was established in 2007 and since then has initiated a number of community projects in public spaces, including running a gallery and hosting community breakfasts in the Talpiot Market. A third collective from Haifa, Elat Hamastik, is a group of young artists, most of them poets, who write in Hebrew and Arabic, including for an eponymous literary periodical.
Representing Jerusalem, Barbur, the longest-running collective to feature in the exhibition, was established in the Nahlaot neighborhood in 2005 by five artists who are graduates of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, and the gallery has since then sponsored various activities that include changing exhibitions, lectures and seminars, film screenings, experimental music performances and dedicated involvement in the community and in burning political and social issues.
Also participating from Jerusalem is Maamuta, a center for new media and art in Ein Kerem, established by the Sala-Manca group (Lea Mauas and Diego Rotman ). Since 2009 the group has been working to promote artistic activity with a critical orientation. The third Jerusalem group is Jaffa 23, a somewhat surprising choice for the exhibition in light of the fact that this, unlike the others, is not a cooperative gallery. It is not composed categorically or ideologically by a group of artists, but it is fully funded by Bezalel and has a certain hierarchy. Exhibiting on behalf of Tel Aviv is Hanina, which was established in 2008 by Jonathan Hirschfeld as an exhibition space and since then has developed into its present status as a nonprofit organization that operates as a collective gallery with 15 young artists. Also involved is Hayarkon 70, which opened in 2006 as a center for social and cultural activities and today operates as a gallery surrounded by studios and residences of artists, architects and theorists. Thirdly, the Alfred Gallery, also among the veterans in the exhibition, began its activity in 2005 as an initiative of 14 artists, and later hosted dozens of additional artists. (Daniel Rauchwerger )