Married Again

Married Again

On Sept 20 I got married, again.

I am very lucky to have found great love – the kind of love that I want to celebrate and announce to the whole world – twice.

The first time I was a 29-year-old bride, focused on building my career, wrapping up a Masters degree, and most of all, dreaming of building a family.

At 48, getting married is something completely different because I already have a family. We stood before the rabbi, with our kids – most of them taller than us – and officially merged our families.

When I think about the future that we will create together, it is a calmer future. It is less about building a family and more about developing and enjoying the family we have.

I can’t think about marriage without also thinking about Jeremy. I was Jeremy’s wife for nine years. Now, just two weeks shy of what would have been our 19th wedding anniversary, I have been Jeremy’s widow for ten.

The truth is that Jeremy, and Alon’s late wife Miri, are very much a part of this marriage and family. Beyond helping to create and shape who our kids are today, they taught us how to make a marriage work and how to function when the worst happens. Alon and I met as we both struggled with their loss and the weight of raising our children without them. It was a long, dark time for both of us, and we helped each other, and our kids through it.

When I was a lot younger, my mother, wisely said to me, “anyone can be a great boyfriend when things are great.” And she was right. It doesn’t take much character or strength to be wonderful in wonderful times. But before our relationship even started, Alon proved wonderful even in the very worst of times.

Now today, we are back to wonderful (“tfu tfu”) – we are happy and healthy with established careers and a warm, beautiful home. I look at these amazing teenagers. Each one of them incredible in his or her own right. The fact that they all look gorgeous is nice but superficial. The truth is that each of them is gorgeous on the inside. They are kind, supportive siblings filled with wonder for the subjects that interest them, whether it be music, sports, gaming, acting, politics or medicine, and I am immensely proud of them.

I look at Alon. My handsome, strong, seemingly tireless partner who despite his never-ending “doing” – whether its working or cooking or driving or running – also knows how to just be…with me. And I am thrilled to spend the rest of my life with him. And I want to celebrate this love and announce it to the world.

How to build your employer brand

employer branding

How do you become the company that everyone wants to work for?

Well, maybe you already are a great employer, but it’s a well-kept secret. Communicating that you are a great company, and encouraging and engaging your happy employees to communicate that they believe you are a great company too, is at the essence of employer branding. I recently gave a presentation on employer branding at Viola Group to their portfolio companies’ HR and R&D VPs. Check out the presentation below or read below my article originally posted on the Viola-Notes blog.

All it takes is some code and a dream to become the next Israeli startup success story, right? The technology scene in Israel is flourishing, and as more and more tech companies start up and the established ones continue to grow, competition for talent to write, package and sell that code is growing as well.

It’s arguably an employees’ market, and the talents can decide which company best suits them, but they have precious little information to predict which company will give them the best return for their efforts. They ask their friends and family and search the web for insight, and this is when your employer brand becomes pivotal.

What is your employer brand reputation? How do people from the outside see your company? Before developing your employer brand, you need to understand how the workforce sees you.

First, ask your newest employees why they preferred your company over other options. Next, ask the employees who have been with you a while, what makes them ignore inquiries from other companies. Finally, ask people who have been through the HR process with your company and turned down your offer, why they turned it down (in case the reason relates to something that you can work on to improve).

What is your company’s story? Who tells it, how and where? Every company has a story, and generally, it is told in a number of different ways by a number of different people.
It’s management’s job to define a narrative that encompasses where the company comes from, where it is now and where it is going, and to help everyone align under the approved story.

HR, R&D, Marketing, the rest of the team, company alumni, social media followers, the press, anyone who has read the press, and more, are all in a position to influence a potential employee’s impression of your company. By keeping the story as consistent as possible within the company, chances are good that the story will remain the same outside the company as well.


Employer Branding Capture2

Who are you looking to hire, and what do you know about them? As with any marketing effort, you need to understand your audience and how to best reach them.
What are they looking for in an employer? What motivates them? What do they read? Where do they look for professional answers? Are they looking at LinkedIn or StackOverFlow or both? Do they read tech blogs, business papers, or both? Your Head of R&D can help direct you so you invest your time and effort in the correct places.

Be heard in all the noise. Reach your target audience using a wide range of channels.
Leverage the communications tools and resources that already exist in your company, and point them in the direction of your current and potential workforce.

  • Distribute a company social media policy, hashtags and handles to your employees, and encourage engagement on official and unofficial social media assets. Provide key employees with (optional!) company-branded LinkedIn headers. For example, look at how ironSource uses branded profile and header images on LinkedIn to set their executives apart.
  • Leverage positive press to help shape the perception of your company among your potential workforce and the people who influence them.
  • Develop and distribute content that is of interest to your potential workforce. When job-seeking programmers learn from an insightful article written by a developer at your company, they get the message that this is a place where people have something to say…and are heard.
  • Use your current internal communications tools to help amplify and distribute branded content. Your employees are interested in reading each other’s articles and celebrating their milestones, so whether you use a company newsletter, Facebook at Work, or internal group emails, make it easy for them to support and share each other’s brilliance.
  • Have a branded presence at relevant meetups, hackathons and conferences. Whether you have a speaking slot, your team is milling the crowd in company shirts, or you give out the coolest stickers, demonstrate that you are leading or at least included in the conversation.
  • It is no longer just about whether you contribute to any causes, but rather how. If your company is not giving back at all, it’s time to start, and if you are already giving back, then it’s time to start talking about your corporate giving and/or volunteering. Good Deeds Day is an excellent opportunity to kick-start branded, community activities for your company in a sharable way.
  • Always be kind when people leave no matter the reason. Former employees eventually find new jobs, and when asked what it was like to work at their previous job (your company) – if they can recall that you parted ways amicably, they should have no reason to say anything but kind things.

How do you know if it’s working?

Define your success benchmarks in advance and decide how you will measure your activities. For example, if your primary goal is recruitment, measure each of your efforts by comparing the cost-per-candidate and the cost-per-new-employee for each channel. Then refine and focus – and do it all again.

Good luck! What did I miss? Please let me know what has worked for you!

Bumped into an old friend…of my late husband


I was sitting at the bar in a crowded restaurant during the lunch rush when the man sitting next to my friend said, “Pamela?”
I stared back and nodded, and he smiled and said, “It’s Jackie.” A shiver ran through my skin. Jackie. The hairdresser-turned-businessman who set up shop in our basement periodically while my husband was weak with cancer treatment to cut his hair…and cut my son’s hair too…and be a friend.
Jackie, who didn’t ask for anything in return except the opportunity to do something kind for a friend and his family when they were in need of kindness.
He got up from his chair and hugged me. His eyes were wet and so were mine. I had not seen or spoken to him since Jeremy died in July 2008. We have just slipped into 2016 which means it’s been 7 and a half years. I didn’t ask him for his number or friend him on Facebook…I doubt we will be in touch. But I am writing this because the next day I am still feeling the shiver and relishing the reminder of how good people can be to each other.
I just wish I could tell Jeremy that I saw him.

Why you need a go-to charity


What’s a go-to charity?

Your go-to charity is the cause that for one reason or another is close to your heart. It’s the charity you choose to support when you run a race or want to honor someone who doesn’t want a gift. It’s your answer when someone asks you, “what’s your favorite charity” because they want to give a gift or payment in your name, but it’s not appropriate to give you directly. For example, a friend of mine’s charity of choice funds research on her mother’s chronic illness.

Why you need a go-to charity

By continuously giving to the same charity over time, you raise the impact of your personal contribution.

give to others

It doesn’t mean not to give to others…

Charitable giving is an action we can take when we feel there is nothing we can do to help or fix something. This has been a rough month. Twice I had to tell my kids that another kid they knew died – one from cancer and then one from terrorism. The kids wanted to donate money in honor of their friends, and sure enough, giving pages were set up so we could choose one that felt right.

My own go-to charity

As the co-founder of Jeremy’s Circle, it is no surprise that it is my personal go-to charity. And the desire to create the organization came from a need to have an impact where I otherwise was helpless. I am in no position to cure cancer, and I can’t bring my late husband Jeremy back. But I can – with my actions and my checkbook – help provide much-needed support to other young families that are coping with cancer now or experiencing a cancer loss.

What is #GivingTuesday?

#GivingTuesday is a reminder, amidst the holiday spending of BlackFriday and CyberMonday, to give back. As they write on their website, “On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.” Whether you choose to give to your go-to charity, or to a new one, it’s a campaign worth joining.

That said, if you choose Jeremy’s Circle, this is the #GivingTuesday page we set up.






To be or not to be at home (working)

work from home

How do you decide where to place your laptop?

Lately, I have met a number of startups and service providers working from attractive and accessible shared workspaces like WeWork and ExodusHub. But it’s not for everyone. It is a hard call when working on your own or starting something new to take on the extra costs of an external office.

So how do you decide whether to stay in your home office or move out? Here are some questions to help.

Do you have an adequate home office?

Maybe you are starting a new chapter in your professional life. Maybe you have been working from home for years, but your kids who have always shared a bedroom now need more privacy. Or maybe you have been ousted from your home office by a new baby and you are now relegated to the kitchen. What you need is a place to work, and unless you are running a home-catering business, if the room doesn’t have a door, you don’t have an office.

Room at Exodus Hub
Virginia Woolf is not the only one who may need a room of her own…A private room at the ExodusHUB in Petach Tikva

Do you need to meet with clients frequently?

It is perfectly reasonable and acceptable to hold intimate meetings with clients or partners at coffee shops. Larger meetings requiring a large screen or whiteboard, or with more than four people really need a room. Shared workspaces often allow you to schedule meeting rooms with the necessary equipment.

Can you afford it?

In the past, the cost to rent office space seemed prohibitive but today shared workspaces make your office away from home very accessible. If your start-up is just starting up, you can rent a smaller space and trade up as your team grows. In Central Israel, you can get a good looking office with parking and amenities starting at about $200/month in Petach Tikva with prices doubling and growing higher as you grow closer to downtown Tel Aviv.

Is it easy?

Dorothy nailed it. There’s no place like home. So if you are going to give up the conveniences of working from home, make sure to minimize the obstacles to your new office. Is there plenty of parking? Is it a short commute? Do you like the overall look and feel? Are you comfortable with the other people that are working there?

Are you distracted at home too easily?

For my entire career, I have moved between outsourced and in-house positions and I always enjoyed working from home when I could. Personally, my best work hours are in the early morning. Will you be tempted to take a “quick break” to put in another load of laundry or unload the dishwasher, or other tasks that should be saved for less creative hours? Decide whether you can (and want to) balance the distractions and responsibilities at home during your more fruitful work hours.

Are you a lone wolf, or are you better in a pack?

One of the biggest advantages of shared workspaces is not the snacks in the kitchen. It’s the people you meet while making coffee. Depending on your business, you might find your best leads or strategic partners down the hall. While some people enjoy working in solitude, others feel more comfortable when there are other people around.

wework dubnov
Credit: The WeWork Dubnov, Tel Aviv website

There are plenty of shared workspace options out there, with various degrees of shared resources and interaction with others. If you decide to leave your home office, it’s just a matter of deciding what’s right for you.


How not to go to pieces when your child is struggling

Sad teenager sitting on window

“You are only as happy as your least happy child.”

That is what my mother – who raised six children – told me. She was talking about her adult children but at the time I was struggling to watch one of my kids struggle in school.

I am not talking about a rough day. Even our happiest children have downs. I am talking about a struggle with a learning disability, bullying, or physical or emotional issue. I have been down this path a few times, both as a single parent and together with a husband, and this is what I learned.

How not to go to pieces when your child is struggling

First, remember to breath. The flight attendants tell us to place our own air-mask on before our kid’s each time we fly because it goes against our natural instinct not to put our child first. As parents, we can’t take care of anyone if we fall apart.

We also have to keep it together because the children are watching. If they see us look worried, the message they receive is that the issue is worrisome. This works for and against us. On the one hand, sometimes we want them to know that we are taking a given issue seriously. On the other hand, we are setting an example: this is how adults react to stressful situations.

So take care of yourself. In my earliest days as a caregiver when I was in pure survival-mode, I went to a nutritionist. I asked her to tell me what to eat so I could stay on my feet. Later, as our stressful life moved into more of a routine, I found ways to treat myself. An episode of a well-written TV show. A long run. Coffee with a girlfriend. I tried to find something to treat myself every day, even if it was as small as a really good cookie. This is harder than it sounds. When we are caught up in taking care of our kids, we often forget to take care of ourselves too.

Build a team but understand their agendas

When a child is struggling, there is rarely a quick and easy answer. We need to recruit a team of supporters around our kid for both the short and long term. Teachers may change each year, but usually the school counselor and principal stay the same. In an ideal world, they are all super professional, warm and wise. Hopefully, they have seen this before, and have suggestions that might or might not work. For example, a school counselor suggested my dyslexic child take notes with a laptop instead of a notebook, and to get some of his books on tape. The laptop worked great – he could take notes much more quickly and neatly – so we kept that up. He hated the books on tape – so we stopped using them.

Of course, we can’t always pick the team, but we have to make the best of it. I forced myself to smile at the teacher who told me how surprised she was when the same child started scoring near-perfectly once she finally agreed to give him tests aloud. I tried to understand her perspective. She had a lot of other students and it is time-consuming to test my child separately. And alienating her was not going to help my kid who sat in her classroom nearly every day.

The good side of worrying

I have been told a number of times that nothing good comes from worrying. I disagree. Worrying about our kids is not bad when it leads to positive action. I don’t mean obsessing. But worry often leads to careful thought, brainstorming, and discussion with our friends, family or other supporters which in turn leads to new ideas or perspective that can be very helpful.

Your child is not your BFF

When your child is struggling, he needs support and friendship, but most of all he needs a parent. Your kid might have work to do, but you must captain the ship and navigate him in the right direction. While showing your child that his issue impacts you as well reminds him that you are human, there is a danger in over-sharing. Showing a child that his issue is hurting you, grows the issue unnecessarily and can make him feel worse.

Until things get better

You have done the work. You built an effective team, and you worried, analyzed, consulted, discussed and decided on a plan to help bring your child to a better place. He is still struggling but at least he is moving in the right direction. It can take months or years for the problem to resolve itself, or to minimize into something more manageable. But he is on the right road. So what do you do in the meantime? Just keep breathing…and pass the cookies, please.


What would Dexter do?


I love watching TV. I’m sorry if that makes me sound lazy or unambitious. After all, I can list all the books I could be reading, languages I could be learning, bookshelves I could be building instead of binge watching another b-level series on VOD.

I’m not unapologetic – I am sorry. There, it’s off my chest and now I can move on with my friends and role models, Dexter, Alicia Florrick and Olivia Pope.

Role models? Yes.

What would Dexter do?

Wouldn’t it be great to go through life with a team of writers planning how you will calmly respond to every conflict? To be ready with a carefully calculated quip for every workplace dig? To respond with wisdom, humor and clarity to my children’s issues.

So I think to myself, when faced with a particular dilemma, what would they do? How would Dexter get the eight year old to care about homework? How would Olivia deal with this particular power grab at work? How would Alicia handle that comment from my neighbor?

Of course, this is just a moment I take to myself before muddling through the best I can without my team of scriptwriters. After all, my issues are not going to wrap up neatly after 40 minutes and the other characters in my life are not going to conveniently forget what I say and do now…when the next episode rolls around.

The myth of moving on

myth of moving on

A young husband in my extended family just died suddenly, leaving a younger wife and a two-year-old son. Talk quickly shifted to how she could possibly get on with her life. But it isn’t really possible.

Moving on is a myth. There is no “moving on” after a life-changing event like a personal tragedy. We do not walk down some linear path, wait for a few beats for the mourning to pass, and then keep walking in that same original direction.

It’s been about seven years since my husband died and eight since his game-changing diagnosis of terminal cancer. The family we created with three small children and a couple living and working as partners with workaholic habits and really really good cooking (him) no longer existed. I didn’t only mourn the loss of my husband, I also mourned our life. There was no moving on. That life was as dead as my husband.

Together with pain and loss came reinvention.

The reinvention process started without me. I was no longer Jeremy’s wife. I was Jeremy’s widow. The crazy-haired, red-eyed mom that just lost her husband and seemed to be losing it in general. People looked at me in a different way and they looked at my kids in that abhorrent, side-tilt, we-pity-you way too.

I needed to change the subject.

My next reinvention was the Runningmom. When people asked me how I was doing, I told them, “I ran 12KM today!” I needed time to mourn before I could even start to figure out who I was without my husband, and the Runningmom gave me some space to do so. As more time passed, I continued to redefine myself, as we all do as we move through different stages of our lives.

So what can you say to someone who’s life has just been kicked into a parallel plane?

What do you do when the worst happens and your life as you know it is changed forever? The best advice I received (though it was hard to follow) was this: Breathe. Drink plenty of water. Sleep.

But please don’t ask them to move on.

What are Pamunications?


What are Pamunications?

It does seem a bit self-involved to name a form of communication after myself, but hey, so is creating a blog. The truth is we all have our very personal ways to communicate – effectively or not so effectively. Pamunications are my personal and professional truths in written form.

The name comes from work – I am the VP Communications at the app delivery company ironSource. When the company was still relatively small, I handled all the communications myself – PR, internal com, SEO, social media, community outreach, web content, conferences, and more – so Communications and Pamela merged into one word.  Today I have a small team, but the name stuck in my head.

So here is my list of topics that are important to me and I believe I have something worthy to say.

  • Corporate communications is evolving as quickly as our mobile phones.  And I love it.  I will write about new ways to deliver messages effectively and the old ways that haven’t changed.
  • The world seems crazy sometimes – and I will write about my struggle to raise children sanely in this crazy world. All my kids – 3 biological and 2 step – lost a parent to cancer. My experience as a caretaker, widow and mom to kids who have seen hell up close impacts how and what I write.
  • There is the work I do for my head, and the work I do for my heart. I will write about balancing the two – drawing from my roles as founder of a charity, and the lead of the community outreach program at ironSource,
  • And then there is everything else…running and Pilates…those people who walk in front of my car at night when its raining, dressed in black…life as an NY expat in Tel Aviv…my love-hate relationship with kube…and all that other stuff that I’d like to squeeze out of my head and shape into a coherent meaningful thought.