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Gap year and sesame allergy

 
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 3:02 pm
Hello. Has anyone sent a sesame allergic kid to yeshiva in Israel? My son is ANA for sesame and the only time he ever reacted was on a family trip to Israel. If you have ever sent a sesame allergic kid to Israel, how did the Yeshiva deal with the allergy? What questions do I need to ask the schools? What accommodations did you get that helped keep your kid safe? I am so worried but he really wants to go and learn. How can I say no?

Worried Ima
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vintagebknyc




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 3:06 pm
I think if your child is old enough to go away on a gap year, he's old enough to handle this one his own.
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 3:09 pm
I was looking for a more helpful response. If you child did go, what types of things did they do to stay safe in a place where sesame is everywhere!
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amother




Brown
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 3:10 pm
Hi OP. I get your concern - sesame is everywhere in Israel! How the yeshiva handles it will really depend on the yeshiva. Does he have a specific place where he wants to go or are you looking for one? I would try to find a yeshiva that has its own kitchen/cook so that they have better control of what is in the food and can tell him what to avoid.
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amother




Daylily
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 3:23 pm
I live in Israel. My son has a sesame allergy and went to yeshiva here. What type of yeshiva is your son looking into? If you're looking into American gap-year programs, speak to the administration and see how they handle allergies. I'm happy to offer further guidance on handling sesame allergies here, if you would like.
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amother




Chambray
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 3:54 pm
It's not easy with lots of Israeli foods having unexpected sesame. With severe allergies, it can be very difficult. I know of someone who went to a school that did their absolute best to accommodate, and the student still gave up and went home early. That was a very severe allergy, and also to other nuts/seeds, so if your son doesn't have it as extreme, it may be easier.
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amother




Brunette
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 4:14 pm
Ds with peanut allergy is planning to go. Peanuts are also big there. It never occurred to me to hold him back or even speak to the hanhalla, he's a big boy. He carries his epipen and a few benadryls in his pocket at all times. He knows to ask if he's unsure about ingredients.
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amother




Daylily
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 4:23 pm
amother [ Brunette ] wrote:
Ds with peanut allergy is planning to go. Peanuts are also big there. It never occurred to me to hold him back or even speak to the hanhalla, he's a big boy. He carries his epipen and a few benadryls in his pocket at all times. He knows to ask if he's unsure about ingredients.

I looove your attitude. Great parenting! Kids with allergies become adults with allergies, and they need to learn to handle it on their own.
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Iymnok




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 4:57 pm
There is a box in every package with allergy information. Can he have products from a facility that also produces sesame products?
Talk to the staff and have him speak to the cook when he gets there. He may have to bring a roll when he is a guest for Shabbos since most challah has sesame seeds in top. Ask at wash restaurant. He’ll quickly get the hang of it.
DD is 5 and knows how to avoid gluten. I am confident that your son will manage fine.
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amother




Geranium
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 5:16 pm
My brother went to Yeshiva in Israel for 2 yrs with severe allergy to sesame (also to dairy and tree nuts). He had an epipen and benadryl with him and knew what foods are usually safe. He always asked when buying food, eating out. He was pretty responsible about it and was Bh fine.
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amother




Teal
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 5:23 pm
My child with a severe nut and peanut allergy went to Israel-of course with multiple epipens and benadryl. Not always the most attentive to detail child, when sleep deprived at the very beginning said child ingested something that did not appear to be an item typically found to have nuts, but did anyway.
The reaction was not enough for a hospital visit, but as I say--if you are getting a phone from Israel or college from your kid's roommate-it is not usually a good sign.

Takeaway--ask even about items that they wouldn't think would have their allergen but since these allergies are not as common in Israel, even people who theoretically "know" are not as careful.

The only other piece of advice is amount roommates. Is your child airborne allergic? My child is and specifically met through friends another similarly allergic student. This student was ready to be roommates with someone else but that plan fell through when the other student wasn't ready to give up eating peanut butter in the room. As they say with broken shidduchim, better to know in advance if possible. Whereas the hanhala would sometimes stick a random roommate in with people, due to the allergy situation,we were told it would not happen in this case.
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 9:01 pm
Ds does not react to airborne BH. But here he doesn't eat anything that has "spices" or "natural flavor" listed in ingredients since companies are not required to disclose sesame in USA. Does Israel require sesame disclosure on labels?
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amother




Daylily
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 11:50 pm
Food labelling is tricky in Israel. Sesame is considered an allergen but I think allergy labelling is voluntary. The large companies label very well, including for sesame. It is better to stay away from no-name and imported brands, as well as bakery products. For example, you can trust the label on Osem cookies, but maybe not on the cookies sold in a plastic tub that come from some heimish bakery.
Be aware that all bread in Israel has a "may contain" sesame statement, except one or two brands of pita.
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shanarishona




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 03 2021, 12:42 am
When we were planning a trip to israel including my sesame allergic son, I spoke to someone who makes meals for seminary/Yeshiva students with allergies.
Pm me if you want me to look up his name.

I get your anxiety. Even if he’s a big boy, it’s a big deal.

There’s also food allergy concierge - they can make an allergy card, and various other things.
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