Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The truth is in the, er, appliances??

Good morning, class.

As you’ll recall, we’re in the middle of our unit on the American oleh, and today we’re going to learn how to figure out which year an oleh arrived in Israel.

Now, as we’ve discussed many times, there are many clues which can give us a general idea:

And so on.

The answers to these questions should help you determine whether the oleh is just off the boat or else a veteran Israeli.

But what should you do if you want to know the exact year he arrived?

No problem.

Get yourself invited to his home*, and check out his… household appliances.

Yes, you read that correctly.

You see, everyone who made aliyah in a given year has the exact. same. major appliances.

For instance, anyone who made aliyah from the US circa 1998 – as we did – probably brought most or all of the following items on their lift:

  1. A Maytag washer and dryer
  2. An Admiral (or Maytag or Magic Chef) self-cleaning gas stove (More on this oven coming soon...)
  3. A GE Profile refrigerator
  4. A Miele dishwasher

Feel free to try this [more or less] fail-safe technique* for accurately guessing an oleh’s aliyah date.

You’ll be the hit of the party as you amaze your friends and relatives with your uncanny abilities…



* Void where prohibited. The Our Shiputzim management is neither responsible nor liable for any adverse results or undesirable outcomes. :-)


  1. A Maytag washer and dryer
    I assume these are washing and drying machines. What else would one wash and dry?
    Do people buy a new dryer once the other one is out-of-order - I mean israel is supposed to be hot most of the time.
    What if people sold their stuff before leaving and got everything brand new on arrival?

  2. my parents went Maytag for their dishwashers... and they got a Sauter electric oven... but other than that... right on the ball ;)

  3. Hmmm. Now lots of olim don't bring appliances (we didn't). Someone once told me you could tell the year a woman made Aliyah by her clothes--she's still wearing the stuff she stocked up on before she came and looks hopelessly outdated.

  4. I think you can also date their arrival by what car they drive, for those that bought new cars w their zechoyot. There are the MPV drivers, the Toyota Avensis drivers, the Grandis drivers etc.

  5. WHat kind of washers and dryers to they bring now? That old commercial of the Maytag repairman waiting for someone to call him has proved true in our case-only one small repair in 13 years (pooh, pooh, pooh). We did buy an Israeli fridge, though, and are also very happy.
    And BTW although the majority of my clothes are now bought here in Israel, I still have not brought myself to buy a pair of shoes here...

  6. A lot of people still bring Maytag or GE Wash & Dry, though you can get larger capacity machines in Israel now.
    Other appliances are just no longer worth bringing over the way they used to be.
    The biggest item that I'd stock up on if I were making Aliya now is men's clothes - men usually don't change sizes, and men can wear Dockers/jeans/whatever in the same 3 colors for years. If I ever get a chance to shop in America, I'm going to get my husband like 15 pairs of pants, and a whole bunch of permanent press white shirts.

  7. Ok, since we're on the subject of appliances, I had to post this one on how to cook salmon in your dishwasher:

    Sounds disgusting to me, but hey, to each his own. This is what the magazine that featured it had to say bout it:
    Why you would: Because it’s an Internet cliché that happens to work. Impress friends! Make kids laugh!
    Why we wouldn't: Our food editors tested this “recipe,” and though the fish did cook, the dishwasher reeked afterward (shocker). Plus, you’re actually cooking the salmon with your crusty dishes and coffee-stained mugs.

  8. Ilana-Davita - Yes, I meant a washing machine and a clothes dryer. The thing is that in the US, the electricity is 110 volts, but here in Israel, it's 220 volts. In other words, the appliances that one had in the States won't work here in Israel. (And transformers usually aren't recommended for large appliances.)

    LeahGG (1) - Okay, so maybe it's not EXACTLY like looking in an [appliance] mirror, but 3 out of 5 isn't bad... :-)
    Did your parents make aliyah in 1998?

    Baila - I was actually going to write that nowadays, it doesn't necessarily pay to ship appliances. But I imagine that even recent olim who buy their appliances here end up buying the same things as everyone else who came at the same time...

  9. Rachel - Good point. As you can see in the pictures of our "mobile" succah, we are MPV people, while those who came before us all bought SpaceWagons or other diesel vehicles.

    Malke (1) - I actually bought shoes here well before I started buying clothes here.

    LeahGG (2) - While I've bought clothes for myself - and certainly for the kids - here, all of YZG's clothes still come from the US.

    Malke (2) - Plus, you’re actually cooking the salmon with your crusty dishes and coffee-stained mugs.
    I'm SOOO glad I read this right before I went to eat supper... ;-)

  10. yeah - my parents sent their lift and bought their home in '98. Their actual aliya dates... well, it's a bit more complex.
    IlanaDavita - everyone *did* get rid of their old stuff and bought new immediately before leaving the US back then. Now most people buy most appliances here. The taxes used to be completely prohibitive back then, but they've been dropped since then.

  11. LeahGG - "back then" - I love it that we've been here long enough that our aliyah date can be referred to as "back then"!

    (I wrote about something similar in this post.)

  12. We're from the days before many of you were born. Our Vera tablecloths outlasted the tables, and we have Corelle teacups which can't be stacked, bought during our first visit back, when they were a new product.

    Yes, we're old.

  13. Batya - It's amazing how much has changed here in Israel in a such a short period of time.


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