Barry Kreisberg is looking at Brooklyn from afar
Barry Kreisberg is a Lafayette High School graduate and classmate as well as a former Brooklyn neighbor of mine. Today he lives in Israel and discusses his new life in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
He lives some 5,692 miles from downtown Brooklyn, yet Barry Kreisberg manages to read the Brooklyn Eagle on a regular basis.
That’s because he spent his childhood growing up in the borough.
His life changed in June 2017 when he called Jerusalem his home.
“When I visited Israel in 2016,” he told the Eagle, “my soul connected to the land of Israel. I felt like the best place for me to live the rest of my life was in Israel so I could do more mitzvahs, chessed and chuva (repentance).”
The closest Kreisberg ever came to religion while living in Brooklyn was playing basketball either at Cropsey Park in the spring and summers, and at the Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst during the winter.
Yet there are challenges.
“Living in Israel where I don’t speak Hebrew can be challenging sometimes; however, the people are very nice and always willing to help,” he said.
Kreisberg says he studied at a Yeshiva when he first arrived in Israel but decided to work with a study partner.
“We used to learn together – in person – now we learn on zoom since the Corona virus,” he said.
So, what’s the major difference living in Israel?
“The young people in Israel take their responsibilities very seriously about protecting their country,” he said. “It’s much different than the Americans of similar age.”
He says he’s especially impressed with the youngsters. At 18, they either go into the Army or do national service for a few years. Upon fulfilling their duty, they either go to the University or go to work.
And for sports?
“The big sport in Israel,” he says, “is soccer, yet basketball and baseball are very popular.”
Kreisberg says he follows his favorite American teams from his computer. “I subscribe to express V.P.N. which allows me to watch the games, if I want.”
In the center of Jerusalem, he says there’s a local bar that broadcasts games from America.
The athletic former Brooklynite claims he walks between five- and six-miles a-day. “I usually listen to audio books while walking. Over the past year, I’ve listened to over 100 audio books,” he said.
The cost of living, he claims is similar to Brooklyn, if you live in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. “Outside of these cities,” he said, “he cost is less. I’m always watching he relationship between the dollar and the shekel. When I moved to Israel,” he continued, “the relationship was 3.7 shekels to the dollar. Now it’s 3.2. The American dollar value has decreased so my costs are higher because my income is in dollars which I have to convert into shekels.”
So, is a visit in the future?
“I was supposed to visit New York this past summer but canceled my trip because of all the crime on the streets and in the subways. I didn’t want to have to deal with this,” he said.
In Israel he feels safe.
“Yes,” he said, “I feel very safe in Israel. The IDF is constantly on alert. I feel safer here than in America. Israel has the best cyber security in the world.”
He looks at his former home quite differently these days.
“It’s very sad for me to see how America has changed culturally since I attended Lafayette and the first seven months of the Biden Administration,” he said. “I hope the country will wake up and get itself back on track. It’s difficult for me to believe that intelligent people are not deliberately trying to destroy America.”
Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR
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