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Know any Israeli Accountants? Just One Condition…

In the spirit of “aliyah adventures,” I record here a transcript of a conversation I had this afternoon with an accountant in Jerusalem:

“Hello, this is Avrum, returning your call. You left a message at our firm this morning?”

“Yes, thanks for getting back to me. I am looking for an accountant who can assist me with my Israeli tax return. I was wondering if you could help.”

“Yes, absolutely, we can help. Do you need help with a US return, or Israeli?”

“Israeli only. I have an accountant in the States.”

“Are you sure you don’t need US?”

“Yes.”

“OK. What do you do?”

“Well, I have a few jobs. I work for an Israeli company, but I also freelance as a writer and editor. Oh, and I sort of wrote a book this year – though not a ‘real’ book.”

“What company do you work for here?”

“A literary agency.”

“Do you represent writers in Israel?”

“Um, no, just writers abroad. We sell their translation rights.”

“Oh, I see. And what kind of things do you write?”

“Oh, it matters? OK. Mostly about Jewish things – about how learning Talmud intersects with my daily life.”

“I see. What is your marital status?”

“I’m divorced.”

“When did you get divorced?”

“Two years ago.”

“I see. Well, I don’t do Israeli tax returns –”

“What? You mean—”

“No, but my associate does. You should talk to him.”

“He is American? Or Israeli?”

“He’s like me. American-born, but made aliyah twenty years ago. His kids are Israeli, like mine. So you can talk to him. But you should know that I’m actually a writer, so we have a lot in common.”

“Um, yes.”

“I write for the Wellington Hills Online Journal – have you heard of it? I have a weekly column. I can give you the link. Do you have a pen and paper to jot it down?”

“Yes. No. Sorry?”

“You see, I think you might want to represent my screenplay. I could pay you an hourly rate, say. How much do you charge?”

“Um, no, I don’t represent writers – well, perhaps I should just call your colleague. What is his name?”

“Yossi. I’ll give you his number. But wait, I have to ask you a question. It’s a little off-the-wall. Is that OK?”

“Off-the-wall?”

“Yes, if you pardon the expression. How old are you?”

“For tax purposes?”

“No, no, you see – if you are single then we have that in common, in addition to being writers. How old are you?”

“Thirty.”

“Thirty?”

“Well, actually twenty-nine, to be precise.”

“Oh….. I see.”

“Um, I really appreciate your assistance, perhaps I could get the number –”

“Yes. You should know that I never pick up clients. Ever. You are the first!”

“Thanks, I mean, yes.”

“Maybe we could meet for coffee to talk about my screenplay?”

“I’m sorry, I’m not single.”

“No, you’re kidding me! You never said that!”

“But the phone number –”

“You still want my number? Maybe keep it on file?”

“Oh, I meant –”

“Sure, yeah. I’ll give you my cell phone. 050 841 9926.”

“Yes, OK, well – thank you for your professional assistance.”

“Yes, I have your information, we’ll be in touch.”

“Goodbye, then.”

“Goodbye – oh –” (click)

Still in the market for an accountant. Preferably female, or at least married.

–Chavazelet Herzliyah