Rifka Lebowitz's new book (top) targets English speakers coming to Israel who don’t understand the native banking system. .
(photo credit: MIRIAM LOTTNER)
To the American ear, Rifka Lebowitz’s slight accent hints of her aliya with her family at age 12 from the tiny Jewish community of Glasgow, Scotland. Fluent in Hebrew and living with her husband and children just outside Beit Shemesh, Lebowitz devotes her professional life to her long-held dream of “helping people with their money.”
Her family in Glasgow was so Zionist, and she came to Israel so often, that she was too young on her first trip to Israel to remember it. One vivid childhood memory of Israel involved joining a cousin at a summer camp in Netanya where they drank shoko bsakit (chocolate milk in a plastic bag) and ate lahmaniot (bread rolls) on the beach. Although active in Bnei Akiva while her family still lived in Glasgow, it was clear that the community, whose Jewish education ended after sixth grade, was dying. Israel was always the obvious destination.