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Puzzleland: launch new Games for Hanukkah and Christmas

New games available at Puzzleland an Israeli chain that specializes in puzzles and brain games. In Israel, all the games come with dual-language instructions. The launch took place in their store at Dizengoff Center Tel-Aviv.



Puzzleland is currently launching Thinkfun's thinking games - known as leaders of fun and challenging games. The games are suitable for children and adults.

One of the most prominent games that is a cornerstone among the  thinking games are:

  • Rush HourTM (sold in three versions - a junior, an adult and a two-player version), which provides skills of planning, strategy, and special perception. The purpose of the game is to free the red car from the traffic jam. Suitable for ages 8+. Consumer Price: 99-119.90 NIS.



To read the full article:  https://www.israel-best-trips.com/single-post/2018/11/14/Puzzleland-New-Games-for-Hannukah

Photo Silvia Golan




Historic Kfar Hamaccabiah, Israel's Largest Sports Club, Expands 

and Offers Free Half-Year Membership

Kfar Hamaccabiah, the largest private sports club in Israel, recently unveiled its newly expanded and upgraded its facilities and announced a special membership promotion: acquire a membership for a year and receive an extra six months free.

Among the facilities the club provides are:

-- Five (5) swimming pools, two of which are covered and heated

-- A world-class fitness facility

-- Fourteen (14) tennis and basketball courts, plus mini-football fields

-- Studio fitness and exercise classes for all ages, adults, and children

-- The Cube, the new hip-hop exercise craze devised by Israeli celebrities

--  A new pilates and equipment studio with leading instructors

-- Year-round swimming and tennis academies



-- Green lawns and outdoor playgrounds for children

-- Newly refurbished and modernized locker rooms and spa  



In addition to all of the above, Cafe K, a dairy restaurant with a revised, health-oriented menu, will be serving meals seven days a week on the Kfar Hamaccabiah premises.

Management has also announced that studio fitness and exercise classes will now be open to the general public, and the facilities of the club can be hired out for private functions.


About Kfar Hamaccabiah :
Kfar a Maccabiah is the headquarters of the Maccabi World Union.
The Maccabi World Union is an international Jewish sports organization spanning five continents and more than 50 countries, with some 400,000 members. 
The Maccabi World Union organizes the Maccabiah Games, a prominent international Jewish athletics event. 
The movement is named after the Maccabees (Hebrew: מכבים or מקבים, Makabim) who were a Jewish national liberation movement that fought for and won independence from Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Ironically, at the time the Maccabees were staunchly opposed to athletic competitions, part of the Hellenizing cultural tendencies which they opposed.
Athletic competitions held in Jerusalem under the Seleucid rule were terminated once the Maccabees took over the city. However, the modern Zionists who took up the name were mainly interested in the Maccabees as militant Jewish heroes whose example Zionism sought to emulate.
Kfar Hamaccabiah -- Maccabiah Village -- derives its name from the Maccabiah Games,  the Jewish Olympics. Competitions were held here, and participants had accommodations here. Now, the sports club is also home to a hotel and convention center.     
Photos by Silvia Golan



President Rivlin officially opens the visitors’ center at the President’s Residence for the general public to register after a trial period in which 30,000 people visited 

To mark the official launch of the Visitors’ Center, President Rivlin appears in a short film which can be seen at https://youtu.be/e5DISkf-rw8

President Reuven Rivlin:

“The President’s Residence is the home of all Israelis. Not of the majority, but of the whole people. The gates of the President’s Residence were not built to keep Israeli society out, but rather to give them a dignified entry to their own home. This house, when it was built in the past and now in the present, embodies a commitment that Israeli society should visit, host and be hosted at the President’s Residence in a pleasant, enriching, dignified and respectful way.” 



When taking office, President Rivlin announced that the President’s Residence would the home of the Israeli people and would allow anyone who wanted to visit and get to know Beit HaNasi. From his second year in office, a trial period began during which 30,000 visitors came to the President’s Residence. Today, the president is announcing the official opening of the gates of the Residence of the Presidents of Israel and inviting the general public to register online for the Visitors’ Center and workshops at Beit HaNasi. The visit includes a tour of the residence, information about the presidency and its role and an insight into the lives and stories of the presidents of Israel. In addition, the tour includes “Israeli Hope”, President Rivlin’s flagship program to encourage civility and partnership amongst all parts of Israeli society. 

Already, the President’s Residence hosts tours, workshops, and seminars - both for the general public and for a wide range of special groups. Since it opened, the Visitors’ Center has hosted nearly 30,000 people, including:

· 4,000 educators 

· 2,000 academics 

· 4,000 commanders from IDF, Police, Prisons Service, Mossad and Shin Bet 

· 3,500 fellows on various leadership programs and senior leaders from the public, private and third sectors 

As part of President Rivlin’s vision and the national goals of the presidency, the Vistors’ Center and its workshops welcomes groups from across the geographical and social range of Israeli society. Since it opened, groups have visited the President’s Residence from all across Israel: Raanana, Be’er Ora, Tel Hai, Sde Boker, Yarka, Kiryat Gat, Kfar Saba, the Hefer Valley, Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim, Tirat haCarmel, Eilat, Ein Nakuba, Degania, Eli, Sderot, Jaffa, Beitar Illit, and others. 

What does the visit include?

· A tour of the President’s Residence including the ceremonial areas, the history, the stories, the art, and the archeology

· Information about the institution of the presidency and the presidents of Israel whose personal stories are woven into the history of the State of Israel

· Discussion of the partnerships within Israeli society and its centrality in the vision of the presidents, particularly President Rivlin’s flagship “Israeli Hope” program 

“Israeli Hope” is the president’s flagship program to strengthen civility and partnership between the four main groups that make up Israeli society – secular, national-religious, ultra-orthodox and Arab – in key civic areas including education, academia, employment, sport, local government and others. By creating broad partnerships with government ministries and philanthropic foundations, “Israeli Hope” aims to strengthen the ‘together’ in Israeli society while respecting and giving space to each of the groups that make it up, and by so doing to strengthen the prosperity and resilience of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. 

How to book a visit?

Visiting the President’s Residence is by free guided tour only. To book a tour, please send an email to the Visitors’ Center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., giving details of the group and a phone number for further details and final confirmation of time and date of the visit. 

For more information, please visit http://www.president.gov.il/VirtualTour/Pages/ToursAndVisits.aspx 


Photo  Credit President's Office



LOEWENSTEIN HOSPITAL  A special fundraising day will take place on 25.11.2018

 Telephone  09-7709030   054-6474122

Mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Attached is the program to expand the children's school at the Loewenstein Hospital!

A special fundraising day will take place on 25.11.2018 live on radio 100 FM for expansion of the educational center at the Loewenstein Hospital in parallel to the increase in hospitalized patients!

The educational center at the Loewenstein Hospital is a recognized and official educational center of the Ministry of Education, affiliated with the Department of Rehabilitation of Children and Youth and serves the population of hospitalized children aged 3-18 years.

The educational center is an integral part of the department and the rehabilitation process that each child undergoes.

All the children hospitalized in the department for rehabilitation study in parallel with the medical and paramedical treatments, in accordance with the Children with Disabilities Law (2001).

  • Ages 3-18 years.
  • The population of hospitalized children:

o Tumors:

o Central nervous system: brain and spinal column

o Bone tumors

o Secondary complications of oncological treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

o Acquired brain injuries secondary to:

o Secondary head injuries to a road accident or falling from a height

o Brain events

o Anoxic brain damage secondary to resuscitation due to drowning, heart blood, etc.

o Autoimmune diseases

o Infectious diseases that affect the central nervous system

o Spine injuries are acquired secondary to:

o Traumatic injuries

o Autoimmune diseases

o Vascular events

o Burns

o Complex orthopedic injuries:

o Amputation of limbs

o Multiple fractures in several areas of the body

o Bone surgeries such as limb extension

o Surgery for children with polio resection including tendon extension, reduction of spasticity using Dorsal Rhizotomy or Baclofen pumps

o Peripheral nerve diseases

o Genetic and metabolic diseases.

Children studying at the center suffer from disabilities due to these injuries, which include:

o Cognitive Disabilities

o Motor and sensory impairments

o Speech disorders in speech communication

o Swallowing disorders

o Behavioral changes

o Emotional problems

The Vision of the Educational Center:

The Beit Lowenstein Rehabilitation Educational Center aims to return the hospitalized student to a healthy normative system (in various sectors) while addressing his/her cognitive, educational, emotional and social needs. All these, by maintaining educational continuity, maintaining contact with the educational framework in the community, while adapting a personal educational program.

The team enables each student to express his/her skills, abilities and feelings in a variety of ways while strengthening his/her "healthy self".

All these are held in full cooperation with the multi-disciplinary staff in the Children's Department (regular staff meetings, meetings of sector leaders, consultations according to need, regular weekly update meetings with the department director, etc.).

The staff of the Educational Center (19):

o School principal (1)

o School counselor (1)

o The teaching staff of special education teachers from different sectors (5).

o Professional teachers who submit to matriculation during hospitalization according to the student's needs (3).

o A rehabilitation sports teacher (1).

o Emotional caregivers in expression and creativity from the different sectors (3).

o Assistants (4).

o Service (1).

Pedagogical rationale, principles and guiding values:

  1. The educational center operates according to the holistic approach and as an integral part of the overall rehabilitation treatment of the hospitalized child.
  2. The rehabilitation process includes the medical, emotional, educational, physical and social aspects, in cooperation between the various therapeutic teams, and contributes to the success of the overall rehabilitation process.
  3. The educational center in the rehabilitation department is a healthy normative compass within the patients, the pain and the crisis of the disease.
  4. The study rooms constitute an educational-learning environment that arouses interest and is rich in various technological and artistic means.
  5. Educational-learning activities are designed to help the child cope with a state of illness and continue rehabilitation while working on skills that have been damaged, strengthening self-confidence, accepting the variability and returning to normal functioning as much as possible.
  6. The Loewenstein Educational Center believes and works through innovation, entrepreneurship, and teamwork and coping with changes.
  7. The Loewenstein Educational Center is in constant contact with the student's previous educational framework and leads the integration back into the community for discharge from the hospital, including:

o Training of the family and the student.

o Contacting the Department of Education in the Authority, including placement and placement committees, and community colleges.

o Training the staff of the receiving educational framework.

o Physical preparation of the educational framework in the community for the re-integration of the student.

o Emotional preparation of the student and of the students in the receiving class prior to integration.

  1. The Levinstein Educational Center operates a control system to receive feedback about the student's integration into the community.


  1. Building a personal education program - monitoring and controlling student progress.
  2. Promoting meaningful learning that will lead to scholastic achievements and self-realization.
  3. Closing educational gaps of all ages in the core subjects and preparing and submitting matriculation examinations in various subjects.
  4. The education system will be adapted to the 21st century digital age.
  5. Coping with families in crisis.
  6. Transition program integration and follow-up of students after hospitalization. Working meetings with community-based teams in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team / strengthening and sharpening the transition program for effective integration of the student in the educational framework in the community.
  7. Empowering the student in coping with the irregularities and variance due to the trauma he/she experienced through individual therapy and treatment of groups in the age group, such as drama groups, adolescent discourse and more.
  8. Building an array of experiential activities during vacations, integrating teaching in the core subjects.
  9. Organizing a group of activities during the year for joint activities for children and parents.
  10. Each year, a major project was chosen to accompany the students and staff throughout the year. For example, this year a photography project was chosen, which culminated in an exhibition at the Raanana Music Arts Center.

The educational center is facing an expansion process in order to absorb additional students in light of the increasing number of hospitalized children in the department.

To do this we need:

1) Increase the educational center area: about 300 meters gross

  1. 6 Individual study rooms
  2. Emotional care rooms
  3. An executive room
  4. A secretary room
  5. A teachers room with kitchenette
  6. Storage
  7. Services suitable for children with special needs.
  8. A meeting room for events and rehabilitative sports activities.

Estimated cost: 1,500,000 NIS

2) Equipment:

  1. Study Tables - 12 (in different sizes)
  2. Chairs - 30 (in different sizes)
  3. Computer- 9
  4. Closets- 7
  5. Cabinets with drawers - a total of 25 drawers
  6. Smartboard
  7. Projector

Estimated cost: 100,000 NIS

We hope that you heed to our request. Any contribution is welcome.





The 24th Olive Festival in the Galilee

 I am happy to share with you some impressions from a preview trip to some of the Galilean Druze villages that will participate in the 24th Olive Festival that will be taking place over two weekends this November.

Festival Dates:

1-3 Nov 2018 between 10:00-16:00

8-11 Nov 2018 between 10:00-16:00

Trip Agenda Options

Druze Village Beit Jann

  • Dabour Cosmetics Visitors Center
  • The Ancient House
  • Ajiel Cave

Druze Village Hurfeish

  • Olive Oil Visitor Center Abu Afif
  • Embroidery Lace Hurfeish
  • Lunch at Ibtisam Faras

Trip Anchors


The Ancient House in Beit Jann

This authentic ancient house is presented by its 10th generation owner, Nidal Halabi. After a tour of the arched house and the inner water cistern, Nidal tells about the Druze culture and customs in the large guest room or Diwan where cakes and coffee are offered. Nidal also offers guided tours of the village including his ancient house that take up to 3 hours.

Contact: Nidal 050-756-0249


Late Lunch at Ibtisam Faras in Hurfeish

Enjoy a personal experience of Druze hospitality. Ibtisam invites you to partake of her family recipes of the delicious Druze cuisine in her lovely courtyard. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Reservations at: 077-2308292


Additional Options

Dr. Dabour Cosmetics Visitors Center in Beit Jann

Dr. Ziad Dabour, the founder, was born and raised in the village of Beit Jann, situated at the heart of the Meron Nature Reserve where he grew up hearing about the traditional methods for using local plants. Years later he studied pharmacology and medicinal herbs until receiving a doctorate degree in medical science from the Technion. After serving as the chief pharmacist in the IDF for several years, he currently lectures on clinical pharmacology and organic chemistry on top of furthering the development of the dermo-cosmetic industry in the Galilee.

The products developed at his laboratories focus on medical skin products, facial care, anti-aging, hair-care, and toiletry. All are based on natural herbal ingredients that are extracted and formulated using advanced biotech formulation methods. At the visitors center, you will be able to hear more about his products and purchase them.

Address: Dabour P.O. 1042 Beit Jann


Phone 04-9803711

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: https://drdabour.com/


Ajiel Cave

Ajiel cave also known as the Crusader or Byzantine cave is a three hundred square meter cave that served as a source of water and hiding place for the villagers. It was also used for prayer in a secret church of the first Christians in the Galilee.

You can reserve a guided tour at 04-9802457 or 050-9802457.



Olive Oil Visitors Center Abu Afif

The Olive Oil Visitor Center Abu Afif invites you to meet with a Druze family and learn about the production of traditional olive oil that has been passed on through the Afif family from father to son.

The tour includes a lecture regarding the olive harvest season and oil production, an explanation about the different types of seed oils and essential oils and their quality and even a bit about soap production. You will be able to try out the press and experience oil tasting and even register for one of the additional workshops offered such as preparation of natural olive oil soap, preparation of a tray of the oriental sweet called Kanafeh and a workshop for preparing authentic Druze dishes. At the visitors center's you can also enjoy a light Druze meal based on baked goods from the Taboon with Labane cheese, olives, and honey and purchase a wide variety of Galilean products from the region.

Contact: 050-654-7638



Embroidery Lace Hurfeish    

The embroidery lace house at Hurfeish is an employment initiative for women living in the heart of the Druze community. Once a week, the women of the village gather in a large stone house, learn knitting and embroidery, and create decorative and fashion items in a traditional style.

A visit to the site includes an explanation of the project, the status of Druze women in the past and present, and a short tour of the village nucleus. In the tradition of Druze hospitality, guests will be greeted with coffee and cake. The visit should be scheduled in advance. For those interested, there is a possibility for registering for a knitting or embroidery workshop.

Address: Road 89, Hurfeish

Contact: 077-9964487



The main meal at Ibtisam in Hurfeish was described above.

In the morning we enjoyed a light meal made by a local catering called Sajtag. You are welcome to contact the owner Tagrid and arrange for your own private meal.

Contact: 04-9803496


My Timeline

This trip filled up a day.

More information on the festival events can be found at the following website:

Olive Festival Hebrew Website: http://olivefestival.org.il/

Festival Dates:

1-3 Nov 2018 between 10:00-16:00

8-11 Nov 2018 between 10:00-16:00

I hope you enjoy!


Photos Silvia Golan