Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Waldorf Astoria and me

Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria
The Walforf Astoria, Jerusalem

I have to admit it- I never imagined I’d ever have breakfast a the Waldorf Astoria.
But that was before they opened up the Jeruslaem branch.

Well, as an Israel travel writer I had to visit it didn’t I? I mean it would have been remiss of me not to?

In many ways it is just like every  Waldorf Astoria. The same ( well, at least similar) iconic clock. (In case you’re wondering how I know about all the others – it’ s only through internet searches.)

the clock at the Waldorf Astoria, Jerusalem
The Waldorf Astoria clock.

The same  luxurious classic furniture. Armchairs and couches to sink into, gentle lighting, elegant, striking flower arrangements.

Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem lobby flower arrangements.
Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem lobby flower arrangements.

Even the traditional top-hatted doorman is there . Although it was odd to hear him speaking Hebrew.

Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem doorman
Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem doorman

One difference between the Jerusalem hotel and the others is that it has a Mehadrin hechsher (kashrus certificate) and the  restaurant on one side of the lobby serves only dairy food, while the one on the other side serves only meat meals.  And the section in the middle, I was told, is not  served food.

Which makes it a great place to go on a shidduch – when you want to be left alone to get to know your prospective spouse without being interrupted all the time and asked what you want to order.


So now we know why the Waldorf Astoria came to Jerusalem – to play its role in match-making. Mothers will no doubt be thrilled when their daughter comes home and says she was taken to the Waldorf Astoria by her date .

Simultaneous Submissions


Are Simultaneous Submissions a good idea?

Can you submit to several publications at the same time?
This is a question I’m often asked and my answer is always “No.”


Once you have submitted an essay, if it is not rejected immediately as being totally unsuitable, the writing passes between several editors or readers to decide if it is suitable for the publication.
If  an editor accepts your essay, but you then  tell her “Sorry someone else bought it yesterday”, that editor is going to think very hard before she wastes her, and other members of her editorial  team’s, time reading anything else you submit to her.

Following up

Send your essay to one publication at a time and wait for their response.  Sometimes their guidelines will tell you how long you can expect to wait for a reply, if so then wait that length of time before following up.
If there is no indication of how long they usually take to  reply, then wait 7 – 10 days and then follow-up with a short email asking if they have made a decision about your essay.
Attach the essay once again to this email because you will jog their memory about its content.
It’s also quite possible that your original email got lost in cyberspace or in the editor’s  inbox and so you will save her having to ask  you to send it again.

Second follow-up

If you receive no reply whatsoever to your first follow-up, not even a confirmation of receipt, then send a further email about  4  days later.

Still no reply?

If  your second follow-up is also ignored then  I  would then send one more email telling them that due to lack of any response,  you are withdrawing the essay submission.

Now you can send it to the next publication.

But what if it’s time sensitive?

If  your essay is time sensitive, i.e. it’s relevant to a particular current event/ something that just happened / anniversary / yahrzeit / Yom Tov  then put the words time-sensitive in the subject line.
Write a message in the body of the email saying that as the material is time-sensitive,  if you haven’t heard from them within 48 hours / 5 days  ( whichever is appropriate) you will assume they are not interested and will feel free to submit the piece to another publication.

Not just time-sensitive but urgent

If it’s  something that would only be relevant in the next 24 hours, perhaps an op-ed, then if you do decide to send it  to several publications put the word ” simultaneous submission” at the top of the op-ed / essay / article so the editor is aware that she is in competition with other editors.


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Write for your local newspaper


Are you ignoring  a great potential market that is right on your doorstep? I’m talking about your local newspaper.
It may not be glamorous or glossy and it may not pay big bucks, but it needs to fill its pages day after day, or at least week after week, with material that you are in a wonderful position to provide.
It’s also an ideal place to start,if you haven’t yet been published and are nervous about querying the big glossy magazines.
Although it will probably provide a small amount of national or even international news, its importance lies in its local angle. The editor wants to know about people,places and events in the area the newspaper covers.
But it still needs some research before you rush off a query about your nephew’s kindergarten teacher who moonlights as an opera singer.

  • Read the publication thoroughly from front to back making notes about the types of topics that are covered.
  • Note how how much space is given to community events/ education issues / profiles of local people  etc.
  • Read several editions to check if some topics/columns are regulars and are always written by the same person. If so your chances of writing on this topic are less than on a topic which is always written by different people.
  • Look through the list and see which section you could contribute to.
  • Brainstorm some ideas making sure they have a local angle  Perhaps an interesting off-the-beaten-track  local site/ someone with an unusual hobby/ a special activity at  your children’s school
  • .Develop one or two into full-blown queries indicating why you think it would be a good story for your newspaper.
  • Check the paper’s masthead to see which editor covers your topic and send off your query.
  • If you haven’t heard anything within a week, drop another email checking on your idea.
  • If they aren’t interested in these ideas, don’t give up. Think of some others and query those.