This and That

Random bits of my life

A bit about me…

I’ve been blogging since June 28, 2009. I am a software engineer (after 12 years of technical writing) at Cisco. I live in Maale Adumim, Israel, with my husband, a microbiologist in the pharmaceutical industry, and teenage son. I am Japanese-Canadian-Israeli, a former Roman Catholic and Swedenborgian, and a convert to Orthodox Judaism.

I’ve been dabbling in photography since 2008. I currently shoot with a Canon 550D and an S95. Although I accept the occasional paid job (small events, portrait, and products), I mostly shoot for pleasure.

I knit, crochet, spin, weave, sew, draw, paint, do beadwork and calligraphy, tat, make bobbin lace and needle lace, do counted cross-stitch embroidery, blackwork, and paper cuttings, … but not all at once. I haven’t yet figured out a way to stretch 24 hours into 48! I walk, jog, and do yoga, and hope to run a marathon before I die.

I have a BA and MA from the University of Toronto and a PhD from Harvard University in Second Temple Jewish Literature (Study of Religion, 1996). I edited several books on Dead Sea Scrolls, when I was Director of Publications at the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hebrew University. The royalties, alas, do not allow me to quit my day job.

I can be reached at and I’d love to hear from you!

12 Responses to “A bit about me…”

  1. cmonday said

    Wow, you have a website. Loved reading this. Knew you were a gifted photographer, & now know you are an amazing person, as well.

    I’m book marking this site:)

  2. I was looking at your images of puncetto and have a few questions for you on making the lace. 1) How to you make the upright bars/lattice work? I have figured out the basics of the puncetto stitch from the youtube video, but still can’t quite get how to make the upright bars and move to the next one without leaving a thread exposed. If you could give some simple directions, I’d really appreciate it.

    Thank you,
    Martha Rice

  3. Shmuel Browns said

    ありがとうございます for blogging. With your background you certainly bring a unique view.

  4. Judah HaKohain said

    Just stumbled upon this site. How fantastic! Great photos and thoughts. Please keep it going. Hatzlacha Rabba!

  5. T said

    You need to be reproducing, or at least cloning…you are amazing and we need a ton of little yous around !

  6. Cassandra Adams said

    Hi there I am a student in Sydney and am interested in using your image of the OVO installation at the Jerusalem light festival for an assignment. You will receive full credit for this, please contact me.

  7. Lynda Dodd said

    Thank you so much for posting the pattern for the Irish leaf. I am crocheting a scarf with flowers and leaves and didn’t like the leaf in the pattern so I’m using your pattern instead. Thanks again! Lynda in Sealy, Texas

  8. carmen said

    Hola, llegue a este sitio por puncetto valsesiano. Ahora que ya aprendí, necesito libro. En Chile no se encuentra. ¿podría escanearlo y enviarmelo?

  9. Vivi said

    Hi Avital, you write also about food, so here is a nice blog, with kosher food.

  10. luigi del monte said

    I am very interested in your pictures of Ketubot!
    Best regards,
    Luigi Del Monte

  11. Betsalel said

    Hi Avital, I saw and am working with a non-for-profit that wants to use it in a flyer. How can I get in touch with you about getting permission to use the photo?

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