Tuesday, February 12, 2019

It's Time for...

Here in Israel, we recently celebrated Tu B'Shevat, the almond trees are in bloom , and Spring is right around the corner, which means two things



It's almost tax time - time to think about finances

Graphic Novel Format Haggadah

Koren, in the tradition of "the rich legacy of illuminated manuscripts," has recently published


The team of Jordan B. "Gorf" Gorfinkel, Erez Zadok and David Olivestone have created a clever and colorful Haggadah that will enhance any Seder. The varied formats means that turning the pages uncovers new surprises, from the Venn Diagram-like picture illustrating the four types of children, the panels of the Ten Plagues (and Pharaoh's hard heart), the cumulative counting of "Who Knows One," and the page showing poses with everyday items and then with Jewish artifacts. Diversity is also evident (if you didn't notice, it's four types of children, not just sons), with an eclectic group gathered for the "Ma Nishtanah" and Jewish experiences like the Ethiopians making Aliyah and a secret Seder in the former Soviet Union.

There is a lot of information about symbolism and customs, and the "to do" items for the Seder are depicted in blue and white "pop ups," with Father Goat explaining the procedures to his Daughter Goat. My favorite is when it's time to eat the bitter herbs.

©2019 Koren Publishers. Used with permission.

Could the graphic novel format be the modern-day version of manuscript illumination? I think it could:

Kaufmann Haggadah - 14th Century
IWEN Corner

Two of the ladies recently featured here belong to a group called IWEN - the Israeli Women Entrepreneurs' Network. These female business owners in Israel are providing all kinds of good and services. More than that, they are helping their fellow IWENs by offering suggestions and moral support. It turns out many of the members are involved in book-related endeavors, so a new feature at Life Is Like a Library will highlight some of these ladies.

First up, Debbie Sassen. She is a financial advisor. A former investment banker, and the mother of eight, this lady has the experience and insight to help those who might be nervous about taking charge of their finances and investing. We recently met and talked about her soon-to-be available (April) book The $1K Investor: Simple, Smart Steps to Start Investing with $1K or Less (self-published, 2019).

With a minimum of financial jargon, a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of specific financial instruments is followed by Sassen's  four-step process, which starts with defining specific goals, evaluating risk, deciding on the mix of your portfolio, and deciding if you want to do it yourself or work with an advisor. She goes on to address myths and mistakes, then provides some suggestions for getting started.

She generously answered my many questions about the book and personal finance, and she emphasized the value of starting small. It's less scary, and it can eventually become fun. For those who are afraid of losing money, she gives the great example of buying a pair of shoes that were tight, and that you hoped would stretch out. Think of a $100 loss the same way. I had the misconception that everybody is pretty much the same when it comes to investing, and while there are rules of thumb, Debbie set me straight that there is no cookie-cutter approach -- everyone has different goals and different issues.

Debbie works with more than just the numbers. She does a lot of coaching and energy work, and for those who are open, she talks about God, trust and faith. One of the issues she discusses in the book is being comfortable with what you're doing and being confident that your advisor makes your interests a priority. Her book will definitely help the small investor with their decisions.

Thank you to Debbie. If you are interested in the book, or in connecting with her, please visit her website: https://debbiesassen.com/

And, one of the Real Cats of Israel, Toxy, is very excited about the lemons harvested from her backyard:

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for mentioning the Passover Hagaddah Graphic Novel! I checked it out and it will make a wonderful gift for my seder hosts. I would never have heard of it without reading your post.