KosherStreet New Series: Brooklyn Mom Raising Israeli Kids -Part I: Shokolad Banana

Brooklyn Mom Raising Israeli Kids

by Shani Goldsmith


Part I: Shokolad Banana



There are a lot of things one needs to get used to as an American raising Israeli children. On the one hand, I want my kids to be well-bred and polite. On the other hand, I don’t want them to be pushed around in the tough Israeli culture. It’s hard to strike the appropriate balance between the two but I think I’ve finally hit upon success. Rest assur ed, before my kids enter any aggressive confrontation with a classmate or peer, you will hear a firm but polite, “Pardon me”.

I also had to get used to the Israeli insults. I had always taught my kids that we don’t call people not nice words. Imagine my surprise then when I overheard them hurl the worst Israeli slur of them all, “Shokolad banana”, loosely translated, “Chocolate banana”. Silly me. I had been so busy warning them against such slander as “stinky” and “stupid”, that I completely neglected to address the flavored produce epithets. I learn something new every day.


Then there’s the language barrier. We went on a shopping excursion to the butcher the other day to place a large order. When my turn arrived, I proudly smiled at my brood, and confidently stepped up the counter and ordered 10 ‘tachtonim’, which logically should have meant bottoms, but was in fact underwear. At the butchers obvious confusion I turned to ask my eldest for her linguistic assistance, only to discover that she was already off in the corner trying her hardest to blend in with another family. The next 2 children seemed to had vanished as well. I looked down lovingly at my baby; at least I still had the unconditional support of my youngest child. Until I noticed that even he was flailing desperately in an obvious attempt to free himself from the reigns of his stroller.

And here I thought I wouldn’t embarrass my children until they were at least 14.


About the Author: We are excited to introduce a great new guest blogger to the kosherstreet Family – Shani Goldsmith – She is a 28 year old Brooklyn NY Mom – who happens to be raising her 4 kids in Israel! She is currently working 2 full time jobs all while trying to raise her rowdy loving bunch. – Watch for some great new posts about how this Brooklyn Mom is Raising Israeli Kids -  with LOVE  and a lot of HUMOR!

You can visit Shani and read some other great advice and tips on her blog :



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  1. I enjoyed reading this guest post, Thanks for the laugh :)

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