These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Silent Auction Items for Purim!

Posted on March 7, 2012 by Kalie

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The people have spoken… AND THEY’VE BEEN HEARD. So, below I’ve listed all the impressive items and services for Thursday night’s Silent Auction, which will immediately follow megilla reading. Remember, there will be 5 very special items to be auctioned off LIVE during the shpiel as well. For now, those will remain secret. Just the silent auction items are listed below. Bidding might get ugly people. Try to keep it clean…..


  • Custom crotched kippah, made with a design and colors of your choosing
    Donated By: Aliza Berger
    Nothing screams hypocrisy more than remembering G-d with your kepah… that is adorned with a trademark infringed logo. More and more the FBI is cracking down. Kids are being arrested in FBI patent protection sweeps outside of Hebrew Schools and High Holiday services for wearing kepas with trademarked images. Don’t let it happen to you. Aliza Berger will give you your own trademark and it will make you awesome.
  • Cookie cake, ready for you take home after the shpiel!
    Donated By: Katy Swartz
    Fact. You will be drunk tonight after the Shpeil. Fact. Taco Bell doesn’t exist in Israel and the drive-thu is thus NOT an option. If the best thing in your refrigerator is your tupper-ware from Tuesday’s community lunch than treat yourself…
  • Surfing lesson includes transportation and surfboard rental
    Donated By: Rabbi Hayim Leiter
    Across cultures, surfers are sexy. Hayim Leiter will make you sexy. Imagine yourself, as the sun is rising, the waves are crashing, and the rest of Pardes is… doing nothing, receiving a surfing lesson from THE Hayim Leiter in THE Mediteranian. Imagine being approached, in the middle of the ocean by Hayim, and being asked, “Is everything alright? You ok?” Surfboard rental and transportation included.
  • 2 one-hour chevruta sessions (topic of your choosing)
    Donated By: Ben Barer
    A Chevruta session with Ben has a longer wait list than Green Bay Packers season tickets. Rav Elyashiv has actually expressed interest in this auction item and was turned down because he’s not at Pardes. TMZ quoted him as saying, “inaudible Yiddish words about Ben being smart.” Basically Ben is really smart. And engages text like a beast. Learn with Ben and you will be smarter.
  • Haircut (men or women)
    Donated By: Laura Marder
    Do a google search for ‘haircut’ or for ‘hair’ or for ‘men’ or ‘woman’ or even for the word ‘or’ and ‘Laura Marder will appear in the Top 10 search results. Laura comes from a long line of haircutters, both civil and military. Says Laura, “My grandfather was a military haircutter on the front lines in WWII. During the Storming of Normandy my dad shaved 386 heads… 36 of which were done while parachuting out of an airplane. For a few frames, in the background, of the opening scene in Saving Private Ryan you can see an actor depicting my grandfather shaving Tom Hanks’ head.”
  • Ladies Package: manicure & blow-dry
    Donated By: Laura Marder
    If men create, solve, recreate and then joke about life’s most important issues in smoke filled cigar-rooms at swanky hotels than woman solve, solve, and solve the problems men create while chatting at the Salon. Open up your heart and give your hand and hair to Laura Marder, the 2010, manicurist of the year. Says Laura: “Those Chinese ladies who transcribe manuscripts on a grain of rice always marvel at the intricacy of the designs I can create on someone’s fingernails… I guess I’m just a badass.”
  • Shabbat dessert and walking with Jordan
    Donated By: Jordan Soffer
    “A sweet Shabbat with a sweet boy” (JDATE). “He is a 21st century mensch. The new-Jew. Every woman should be so lucky” (New York Times). “A stand up guy. DTF… dati and totally frum…”(New Yorker Magazine). “I love him. He’s my baby” (Marilyn Soffer; Jordan’s mom). How many NIS will you drop to spend Shabbos eating Jordan’s world-renowned brownie ice creak cake… and that’s not a euphemism. It’s actually cake. How much would you spend to walk it off afterwards with Jordan in Yemin Moshe on a sunny Shabbat afternoon?
  • Three photography lessons (each about 30 min long). Winner can choose between film or digital photography, as long as the student brings their own camera.
    Donated By: Naomi Zaslow
    Ever considered spending $70,000 a year for a photography degree at NYU? Don’t. You will lose your taste in music and take up smoking cigarettes. Instead, let Naomi teach you what she learned as a photography major. With photo credits in esteemed publications such as Havruta Magazine and…. Um… Google Images, Naomi is well worth the asking price.
  • Hemming of a dress, skirt, or pair of pants
    Donated By: Gail Kirschner
    As we all know, Israel is a culture of fierce image consciousness. Whether the kids laugh at you because you don’t have the newest FOX sweatshirt or the guys wont hang out with you because you don’t wear an expensive tie to Synagogue, we’ve all been whipped by the wrath of wardrobe judgment. Do not settle for imperfection or YOU WILL GET TRAMPLED. Let Gail shorten your skirt, tighten your pants, or make that dress fit. And while you’re at it get yourself one of those Neon Pink tee shirts with out of context Ricky Martin lyrics plastered across the front so you can fit in with the Tel Aviv crowd.
  • Your choice of: a private Hebrew or biblical Hebrew lesson, private Torah chevruta, or a session of one-on-one relationship coaching; winner can choose which of the three they would like
    Donated By: Tovah Leah Nachmani
    Forget all those “How to Pick up Girls” books. You want relationship advice? This is what Tova-Leah does for a living. And she is good at it. Really good. And she’ll be the first to admit it. Says Tova-Leah: “I give great relationship advice, ok? There. I said it. Tiger Woods. Elin Nordegren. I could have saved that marriage. And The Beatles… they didn’t have to break up. I mean I’ll admit it was all Yoko Ono’s fault. And I would have said it to her face. She broke up the band and I hate her for it. But it didn’t have to end the way it did.” Oh… TLN is also good at Hebrew and Torah.
  • Get treated to lunch and get to know Joanne Barth
    Donated By: Joanne Barth
    Joanne Barth: The Sultain of the Secretariat. The Princess of Pardes. Joanne does more behind the scenes work at Pardes than the imagineers do at Disneyland. One of the most special, most fun people at Pardes, Joanne will take you out to lunch where you can laugh and eat and love yourselves until she’s so caught off guard that she gives up the Printer code. You will love this. Guaranteed.
  • 1 hour massage (men or women)
    Donated By: Adam Mayer
    In its March issue, ‘Hands Magazine’ called Adam Mayer “the greatest contribution to the alleviation of stress since the end of the Cold War.” Life is short. It rarely ends happy. Let Adam give you the treatment you deserve. And if Shomer Nigia is an issue, remember, it doesn’t count if there’s money involved. I mean… if it’s for Tsadukkah.
  • Hand-knitted scarf in custom colors
    Donated By: Leah Stern
    Years from now when iron welding and assembly line manufacturing are considered appropriate in-class activities, historians will point to knitting in class as the forerunner of this trend. Leah Stern, a champion of multitasking, will let you own a piece of this history. Personalize your own knitted scarf and keep warm in the coldest city in the Middle East.
  • Personal Training Session
    Donated By: Austin Clar
    Get Jacked for Spring Break. No equipment! No hassle! No sweaty Arseem grunting and making you feel inadequate. Only body resistance, calisthenics, and cardio. Austin Clar, professional Mixed Martial Artist (and that’s not a joke), will come to your home where you have everything you need to turn your monthly rent into a gym membership. Disclaimer: You are beautiful just the way you are.
  • Cooking or Baking lesson
    Donated By: Sara Gunning
    Do you wake up every morning and grab a granola bar? Do you get to school on Tuesdays and thank G-d when you realize that its community lunch and that you therefore don’t have to buy a falafel? It’s time to stop eating cereal for dinner. Bread and cheese is not a meal. It’s a cop out. And Sara Gunning is here to set you straight. Her take no bullshit, tell it like it is, through you into the game cold method of teaching will have you operating a toaster oven quick. Also, if you like tofu… or if you hate it and want to learn to mask the taste… Sara knows what’s good with the tree hugger meat.
  • Three Guitar Lessons
    Donated By: Sam Rotenberg
    When asked by a Rolling Stones Magazine reporter what it feels like to be the best guitarist ever, Jimmy Hendrix answered, “I have no idea. Ask Sam Rotenberg.” Let Sam turn YOU into the next Jimmy Hendrix (If under 27 insurance may apply).
  • Challah Baking Lesson
    Donated By: Suzi Brozman
    Challah is kind of important. For Jews. And non-Jews like it too. They call it Jew bread. Very few things are more fulfilling than cooking your own Challah. Suzi will show you how.
  • Culinary Guide to Jerusalem
    Donated By: Kalie Kelman
    Need a good Shidduch spot? Kalie has got the food beat on lockdown. Kalie has been in Israel for two years and has cooked only four meals. Every other meal has been eaten out or ordered in. Guaranteed that Kalie will hook you up with an offbeat spot to impress a date or a cool Ethiopian place for when you get tired of using silverware. Let Kalie teach you how to eat out like a champ…
  • Essay writing help/editing for an application
    Donated By: Andrew Lustig
    In 2008 Andrew wrote the application essays for 70% of Harvard’s accepted students. If you want to get into Grad School or turn your lonely words into purposeful poetry let the Archduke of Adjectives, Andrew Lustig, sit with you at a café and craft your essays to reflect your own brilliance. Remember, Pirkei Avot 7:9 says “its not plagiarism if Tsadukkah is involved.
  • Hand-knitted scarf, ready for you to take home after the Shpiel!
    Donated: Natalie Shnider
    Nat has finished her masterpiece. A hand-knitted scarf, crafted with wool from the nearly extinct Vicugna pacos alpaca and stitched with spines stripped from poisonous sea urchins. When asked how it was made, Nat responded: “I think its more natural to stitch the scarf ‘before’ shaving the wool from the alpaca. So I’m pretty much just following the herd around as they graze in the Andes of Peru and Bolivia. I really can’t you how annoyed alpacas get when you try to knit a scarf using wool that is still attached to their bodies. It took me two years to make. It took seven visits to the Emergency Room… both from unappreciative Alpaca’s bites and from sticking myself with the urchin spines. But it was worth it. I mean it’s all for the Tzedakah box, right?”
  • Dinner for 6 with wine (veggie/fish only)
    Donated By: Jonathan Tassoff
    This item is for six people. Bid alone and invite your friends or bid together with 5 friends. Or 5 acquaintances who you want to get to know better. Bid with 5 people you don’t like at all and struggle through dinner offering visceral responses to sly questions and targeted comments while avoiding eye contact. Drink top shelf* wine, eat food that was never alive… and eat fish which, well, they… aren’t**… animals.
    *The wine will not be top shelf.
    **are animals.
  • Cooking Lesson with Pardes’s “famous” Chef David S. Berman
    Donated By: David Berman
    Learn to make three items of your choice (e.g. starter/soup; main; dessert/cake/pie) with Pardes’s Tadmor Hotel School-trained chef in the warm and intimate Pardes Kitchen. You will learn cooking skills and methods, and might also pick up some useful cooking tips! All ingredients will be provided, and you will get to take home whatever you make and bake! All dishes will be Parev (Non-Dairy) or Chalavi (Dairy). Special dietary limitations can be accommodated.
  • Baked good of your choice, anything dessert-ish
    Donated By: Deborah Galaski
    Deborah is a magical, special person. Special. Special. Special. Deborah makes very special brownies. And cakes. And cookies. Pick any desert you want and Deborah will make its SPECIALLY for you. And she will even give you the right to say that you made it if anyone asks. Bring a delicious batch of homemade cookies to your next Shabbos meal and let your hosts believe that you made them. But if they’re for an entire Shabbos table they can’t be too ‘special.’
  • Bike Tune-up: adjust breaks and gears, plus clean and oil drive train
    Donated By: Adam Masser
    The Mukalooga Indian tribe of the Mexican Steppes have a saying. Translated from their native Na-Comecrudan it reads: “A man who tunes up a bike is like the man who fixes your soul. The man who adjusts your breaks is more valuable to a community than the man who feeds the poor. The man who understands what the hell a drive train is, is more important to your family than the mother of your children.” (Although a poetic people it’s no wonder the Mukalooga didn’t last…)
  • One private yoga class and 3 complimentary classes during Sunday lunch – a value of 175 shekel
    Donated By: Leah Kahn
    99% of military strategists predict a nuclear war in the next three months. Living in the likely center of it all, a little Zen won’t hurt. Come to one lunch-time class, see how much you suck and how un-limber you are, get depressed and then schedule your private tutorial. Show up to the next two lunch sessions and be a boss with your perfected form. In both war and peace this art will keep you calm. A lifetime supply of coconut milk is NOT included.
  • Hand-knitted hat; not customized because it’s ready for you to take home after the Shpiel!
    Donated By: Noa Hemstrom
    When asked about the worst part of customized hat shopping, 94 out of 100 customers say ‘waiting for the hat to be made.’ For those of us who love customized hand-knitted hats but hate waiting for them to be made, Noa has revolutionized the customization process. Noa’s solution? Says Noa, “Get over yourself! My hats are bitchin. You don’t even know what you want. I know what you want. I’m beast. Your not. Buy my hat the way I made it, take it home with you today, and love it. One.”
  • Roast beef dinner for 4 at the Hattin home in Alon Shvut
    Donated By: Rabbi Michael Hattin
    On his deathbed, philosopher and priest, Thomas Aquinas, responded to the question, “What is happiness?” by anachronistically and prophetically answering “Happiness is a roast beef dinner with 3 friends and the Hattan family in Alon Shvut – Pleasantville in Palestine – which I will never have the opportunity to experience because I live in the 13th century… Oh and boo the Jews.”
  • Homemade Quiche Lorraine
    Donated By: Falynn Schmidt
    Okay, not really, but Falynn will make you this traditionally traif treat with the best damn meat substitute around. Take it home and enjoy as a main course any time of day… seriously. Falynn doesn’t care when you eat it. Honest. Falynn actually doesn’t care when you eat it. You can eat it any time of day…
  • Choose one community lunch to be announcement free
    Donated By: Karen Feuer
    Do you crave authority? Do you get pleasure out of silencing people? Want to taste power like never before? Want to enjoy one meal with your friends without being forced to hear about this week’s jousting club meeting? The winner of this item will be given the nuclear codes to Community Lunch. The winner will be given the POWER to designate one community lunch to be announcement free. Think of all the possibilities. Think of all the POWER. All the people who prepared announcements or who are excited to share news with the community… POWER.
  • Courier service – order up to 5 pounds-worth of online products and have it delivered to Esther’s home in New York. She will bring it to Israel for you when she returns from the US on April 16th. All orders must arrive to Esther’s home by April 10.
    Donated By: Esther DuBow
    You all know Esther as a skilled Educator and a good friend. The FBI knows her as an international arms dealer. Americas Most Wanted knows her as the most skilled drug runner since Pablo Escobar. Help Esther get back on the derech. Send her something legal to transport! Think of all the things they don’t have in Israel that would make your life AMAZING… like Cheddar Cheese or Mountain Dew or good customer service! How about some pre-made cookie dough or Lisol Wipes or Mexican people… whatever you want.
  • Introduction to Wine Tasting with Pardes’s “famous” Chef David S. Berman
    Donated By: David Berman
    Imagine you and seven friends together with Chef David Berman drunk off your asses on wine, crying on each other’s shoulders about how much you all love each other and about how life is so unfair, in the Pardes kitchen… while everyone listens from the Heder Ochel. Enjoy an hour’s workshop learning the basics about wine production and tasting! Included in the workshop will be an overview of wine production, with an emphasis on Kosher Israeli wines, grape varieties, types of red and white wines, and will include the tasting of (at least!) two red wines and two white wines in the warm and intimate Pardes Kitchen. Topics such as wine pairings and wine storage will be covered, and snacks to accompany the wine tasting will be included. Suitable for a group of up to 8 participants.