- Written by Buzzy Gordon
The Israel chapter of the Italian Academy of Cuisine (l’Accademia Italiana della Cucina) congregated at the Hod Hasharon restaurant Nono for dinner on May 9, 2018. The evening’s symposiarchs were Delegate Cinzia Klein, Vice Delegate Sabrina Fadlun, and Francesca Torrini.
Nono is a large Italian restaurant whose centerpiece is a wood-fired oven imported from Italy. The popular family-owned restaurant has a pleasant rear garden al fresco area, where Nono hosted the Accademia.
The special menu prepared for the evening comprised four traditional courses, beginning with focaccia and no fewer than three antipasti: sea fish carpaccio with grilled artichokes, and two vegetable salads, insalata cuscinetto and insalata del contadino. Also accompanying the antipasti was Nono’s signature white pizza, with mushrooms and a hint of truffle.
There were three pasta dishes served as primi: spinach gnocchi in a Gorgonzola sauce; a vegetarian cannelloni roll; and linguine napoletane. The latter two dishes were both served in tomato sauce.
For secondi, diners had a choice of one of three main courses: a whole sea bass; slow-cooked shoulder of beef; or baked chicken. All three were accompanied by baked potato.
The dessert course featured a particular specialty of Nono: a reverse cassata, consisting of mascarpone gelato, tuile, and butterscotch biscotto. In addition, the restaurant served an assortment of four flavors of gelato and two of sorbetti, all handcrafted on the premises.
Unusually for an Accademia function, the red and white wines accompanying the meal were not imported from Italy; rather, they were from the winery of the restaurant owners’ family: Lewinsohn, with the private label Garage de Papa.
At the conclusion of the meal, the Tel Aviv chapter of the Accademia presented with the owner of the restaurant with the gift of a book on the role of cheese in traditional Italian cuisine. It also awarded Nono a score of three stars, which ties the establishment for the highest rating it has awarded any Israeli restaurant.
Among the distinguished guests attending the event were H.E. Mr. Gianluigi Benedetti, the ambassador of Italy to Israel and his wife Sabina, along with other embassy officials, including First Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission Mr. Gianmarco Macchia; First Secretary for Press and Political Affairs Mr. Francesco De Angelis; First Secretary for Political and Consular Affairs Mr. Niccolò Maniello and his wife Elmina Vincenti; and Mr. Francesco Meucci, chief of the Bureau of Economic and Commercial Affairs.
Other notable guests included H.E. Mr. Oded Ben-Hur, former ambassador to the Holy See, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and his wife Edna; Mr. Ottavio Viglione, branch manager, Edison Israel; Judge Emeritus Uri Goren and Mrs. Orna Galazane Goren, Esq.
Photos by Silvia Golan
- Written by Talma Gotteiner
I love the north of Israel so when I was offered to join a two-day trip of goodness, courtesy of Azoulay PR & More, I jumped at it. The locations in this trip are all considered major attractions in Israel and are well equipped for tourists year-round.
Trip Agenda Options
- Manara Cliff extreme sports and night activities
- Kfar Blum Kayaks, Top Rope Adventure Park and more
- De Karina Chocolatiere Workshop
- ‘Dag Al Hadan’ Restaurant Tour and Workshop
- Manara Lodge Chef Workshop
- Kfar Blum culinary services
Extreme and Cuisine
Manara Cliff Extreme Sports and Night Activities
When I visited Manara in Passover, little did I know that I would be coming back shortly afterward. But, I’m glad I did because it gave me an opportunity to try some additional activities. In Passover, my family and I rode the Manara Cliff Cable Car and Mountain Slides. You can read about them here.
The extreme sports activities are located at the middle stop of the cable car. These include rappelling down 40 meters of the cliff face, archery, and a climbing wall. I hadn’t rappelled in over 20 years and it was a bit scary to begin with, but it was like riding a bicycle. Once I leaned back into position, it all came back to me and I was able to jump my way down. The archery was fun too.
Aside from the extreme sports, we enjoyed the heritage tractor tour at the top of the cliff and a cooking workshop led by Chef Raef in which we learned how to make stuffed vine leaves while gleaning other essential cooking tips related to homemade hummus.
Nighttime activities include an assortment of the daytime activities: tours, cable or mountain rides, and meals. Our nighttime activity included a cable ride and a bonfire, which was when we got to bond and discuss the new campaign.
It so happens that 2018 is a historic year. It’s the 70th anniversary of Israel and the 20th anniversary of the Manara Cliff tourism site. In Israel, there is a big campaign to visit the cliff and hashtag your photo with #manara and #youmustbehere. The photo below depicts the CEO of Manara Cliff, Doron Medina and CEO Assistant of Azoulay PR & More, Raaya Balhasan holding the slogan sign. You are more than welcome to join the celebration.
Kfar Blum Kayaks, Top Rope Adventure Park, and More
Kfar Blum offers three different kayak tours passing through the Hasbani and Yarden rivers. The first is a family route of 4 km that lasts ~1.5 hrs, the second is a challenge route of 8 km that lasts ~2.5 hrs and goes through more rapid waters and a VIP tour.
For those who want to enjoy a simulation of the experience, there is a new 3D rafting film that gives you a taste of sailing without actually entering the river. It was filmed in New Zealand especially for the Kfar Blum park and is suitable for ages 4 and up. Adi Cohen, the H.R. manager came to extend her welcome to you.
The ‘Top Rope’ park is the adventure park next to the kayak station. It includes a rope course, archery station, 12-meter climbing wall and a 90-meter zip line going straight from the top of the climbing wall into the water. If in the kayaks you mainly wet your pants, in the zip line you get wet from head to toe. However, there are cloakrooms in the park for showering and changing and all you have to do is prepare for it in advance.
Kfar Blum also offers a variety of food vendors and services. As a group, we enjoyed a meal of freshly baked pizzas and salads. However, they have several other offerings for groups. The one that caught my eye in their pamphlet was the ‘floating market’ in which the alcoholic breezes and refreshments are served while you’re on the river in the kayaks. Group events can include several combinations of activities and foods, day and night. They also have a camping ground on site with all the facilities.
De Karina Chocolatiere Workshop
Karina is the 3rd generation of a family of chocolatiers from Argentina. Luckily, she has chosen to make her home in Israel, where she has established a wonderful chocolaterie in the Golan Heights that both preserves the traditional handmade methods while developing new flavors and products reflecting the Israeli agriculture and palate.
A visit to De Karina includes a half hour guided tour in the visitors’ center starting with a film and followed by a tour of the factory and a tasting session. To enhance the visit, Karina has developed different workshops for adults and children as well as a VIP workshop that teaches each participant how to make gourmet chocolates. The advantage of the VIP workshop aside from Karina’s personal oversight is that it is conducted as a team-building activity and not just as a personal experience. Regardless of which workshop you choose, at the end you will receive a personalized box with chocolates from the workshop.
‘Dag Al Hadan’ Restaurant Tour and Workshop
‘Dag Al Hadan’ is another famous Israeli institution. It started with the restaurant that was opened in 1978 on the banks of the Dan River. Today, it is run by the son, Enam and includes also a campsite and kayak station of its own. However, our visit was limited to the culinary aspect. As expected, the restaurant specializes in cooking fresh fish and is the largest of its kind in Israel seating ~700 people. In order to maintain the supply of fish to the restaurant, the owners have created fish tanks in which the local trout as well as a few other species, are grown especially for the customers. Among others, they also grow sturgeon for extraction of caviar such as the one Enam was holding below.
The father started with a tradition of planting trees within the complex, which Enam is carrying on. Several of them are mulberry trees that are now in season and in addition, they have added a platform with tanks of the Garra Rufa fish used for spa pedicures. The overall effect, on top of the flowing water is quite serene.
Our visit to the restaurant included a guided tour and a fish cooking workshop led by Enam and his team culminating in a delicious meal.
This post is all inclusive, but this is where I will add a photo from Manara Lodge’s sumptuous breakfast.
We slept at Manara lodge. An important point that I’d like to add is that visitors at the lodge gain free entrance to all the extreme attractions from check-in to check-out so keep that in mind and check-in early! (pssst. you can check in even before the rooms are ready).
The trip took two days. I’ve placed the locations on the map for your convenience.
This is what it looks like on the map:
I hope you find this review helpful and that it will enable you to fit at least some of these attractions into your itinerary next time you visit the north of Israel.
- Written by Jonathan Danilowitz
What makes one art gallery stand out as special and different from all the others that, interesting as they may be, seem to be so run of the mill? Of course, the artists and their works, but every gallery worth that designation offers us a view of artistic talent that can make our jaws drop. So is it the location? The theme? The setting? All of the above?
Yes, yes and yes. And Chabba Gallery has it all. Nathalie Mamoun captured the essence at an art center (“gallery” is almost too mundane a word for the setting) at her delightful home in Herzlia Pituach.
An at-home art gallery? Don’t knock it till you see it and until you understand the whys and wherefores. Firstly, the large house is the perfect setting for an art gallery, with a spacious lower ground floor just begging to be utilized. And as Madame Mamoun explains in her delightful French accent: “How often hasn’t it happened that you see a work of art (painting, sculpture, a collage, a photograph or even a mobile) that you know you want, but when you get it home and see it on the dining room wall, or standing in the entrance hall, or hanging from the ceiling in the family room, or wherever, you know it just doesn’t fit your style, the surroundings, your home. It looked great in the gallery, but at home? Ugh!”The solution is to see art in real-life settings, just as you see it at Chabba Gallery: on the terrace, or next to the television, or above the lounge suite, or on the wall in the dining room. Will it match? Only you can tell, but at least you know how it might appear in your home (or office).
The gallery opened about one year ago and in general the works are available for viewing by appointment only (see details below). This past week was special, with a week-long exhibit (entitled “Four Corners”) of international artists in an exclusive exhibition. (Special exhibitions, when the gallery is open at set hours without appointments, take place from time to time. Check the website for updates). The current exhibition continues for another month. We were privileged to view the entire exhibition and to meet two of the artists.
Rasa Flay was born and raised in Lithuania and has lived in several countries (her husband is a diplomat), including Vietnam. She says that her inner self knew early on that art was her lifeblood, but at her parents’ insistence, she studied Business Administration. Later, when she lived in Moscow, she took art courses and began to express herself artistically. She trained further in Hanoi in the skills of lacquer painting. The details in her beautifully executed depictions set us on a trail of discovery as to the materials she uses, besides the lacquer; seeing her work on the walls of the Mamoun home is an exhilarating experience. She also has a feature of five photographs of – rocks! Says Rasa: “Art takes many forms, defined by the artist and left to the observer to contemplate, explore and discover the secrets”. The voyage of discovery was thrilling.
From Lithuania and Vietnam we ‘travelled’ to Nairobi, Kenya, seeing art through eyes of Fred Abuga, a young man with a brilliant art future ahead of him. He began his creative journey already as a child, building toys from scraps. His teachers discovered his unique sense of creativity and art and often asked him to portray their teaching aids on the blackboard. Later on he was roped in to paint the backdrops for the school’s drama productions. Educated in strict Catholic schools, he was eventually commissioned to paint a portrait of the Bishop of Kenya – an honor indeed for a budding young artist and a major stepping stone to a career that blossomed after his Fine Arts studies at college. The Kenyan French Cultural Center recognized his skills by their award: “Most promising Male Student”. Fred Abuga has lived up to that promise.
Other artists exhibiting in “Four Corners” this month include the self-taught Moroccan painter Liliane Danino, who has had solo and group exhibitions around the world, including in Morocco, Canada, France, Israel and the USA. Also Josiane Dias, an art photographer formerly of Brazil, currently based in Israel. She has lived in Geneva, Tokyo and New York City and these varying cultures have clearly influenced her photography on differing levels. Expect the unexpected in her splendid works. And last but certainly not least is Itzhaq Mevorah, Israeli-born and trained and with his own studio specializing in a combination of pop art, ready-made and expressionism with innovative technological tools, in Tel Aviv’s Florentine quarter. Revel in some of Mevorah’s video art at the Chabba exhibition.
“Art speaks when words are unable to explain” is Nathalie Mamoun’s guiding principle. We asked her to explain the choice of “Chabba” as the gallery’s name: “The word connotes harmony, happiness, repose, joy, serenity – and is also my grandmother’s name”.
Need we say more?
Chabba Art Gallery.
44 Keren Hayesod Street,
Tel: Maria +972 (0) 54 832-1915
Nathalie +972 (0) 54 468-4545
Viewing by appointment only
Photos Silvia G. Golan
- Written by GPO
Passover marks the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt, from slavery to freedom. Jews are commanded to tell the story of Passover as if it had happened to them personally and not as a mere historical event, to emphasize the importance of our freedom.
Passover will take place in Israel this year between sunset on Friday 30 March, and sunset on Friday 6 April. The first and last days of Passover – Saturday 31 March and Friday 6 April – are legal holidays in Israel. Passover marks the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt, from slavery to freedom. Jews are commanded to tell the story as if it had happened to them personally and not as a mere historical event, in order to emphasize the importance of our hard-won and precious freedom.
The MFA will be closed throughout Passover, (from Friday 30 March through Saturday 7 April, inclusive). While we will continue to keep you informed of any major events, regular service will resume on Sunday, April 8.
Preparations for Passover
The period preceding Passover is marked by extensive preparations and several special ceremonies. The most important of these concerns the removal of hametz, i.e. any food product that contains leavened wheat, oat, barley, rye, or spelt products. In keeping with the Biblical command in Exodus 12:19 and 13:7, Jews will, before Passover, thoroughly clean their homes to remove any crumbs or bits of food, etc. that may be hametz. This cleaning culminates in a ritual candlelight search for hametz in one's home, accompanied by a special blessing and the renunciation of formal ownership over any remaining hametz. The hametz collected during the search is then burned on the morning before Passover. It is also customary to sell one's hametz to a non-Jew – usually by authorizing a rabbi to act as an agent for the sale – as a supplementary measure. While certain types of dishes and utensils can be made kosher for Passover, many Jews will have separate sets of dishes and utensils solely for use during Passover.
In the absence of leaven, Jews will eat specially prepared unleavened bread, or matzah, on Passover. Many Jews will also eat products made with matzah "flour" – unleavened bread that has been finely ground. Matzah dates back to the Exodus, where the Jews, not having had time to wait for dough to rise before leaving Egypt, journeyed into the desert with unleavened bread.
First-born males over 13 are required to fast on the day before Passover – in commemoration of the fact that first-born Jewish males were spared when first-born Egyptian males were killed during the tenth plague – but may be released of this obligation by participating in a special festive meal, such as accompanies the conclusion of study of a tractate of the Talmud or a circumcision, on the morning before Passover.
The Sabbath before Passover – 24 March this year – is known as “the Great Sabbath,” and is marked by a special reading from Malachi 3:4-24. In the afternoon, it is traditional for rabbis to give special sermons, usually on the laws associated with Passover.
The Seder and the First Day of Passover
On the evening of Friday 30 March, after festive evening prayers, families will eat a special ceremonial meal known as the seder, which commemorates the Exodus from Egypt. The guide for the seder is detailed in a book known as the Haggadah, literally "narration," which relates the story of the Exodus from Egypt. A plate placed on the seder table contains several special foods: a roasted egg, symbolizing the special sacrifices which were brought in the Temple; a roasted shank bone, recalling the special Passover lamb offered and eaten in Temple times; a mixture of chopped apples, nuts, wine and cinnamon known as haroset, symbolizing the mortar that the Hebrew slaves in Egypt used to make bricks; sprigs of parsley and lettuce, symbolizing spring; a bitter herb symbolizing the bitterness of slavery; and salt water, recalling the tears shed by the Hebrew slaves in Egypt. Three sheets of matzah – marking the division of the Jewish people into priests, Levites and the general population – are also placed on the table.
During the course of the seder, the Ten Plagues are recalled. When each of the Plagues is mentioned, each participant dips a finger into his/her cup of wine and removes a drop; even though the Jews were oppressed in Egypt, we are reminded that we must not rejoice over the Egyptians' suffering. Our cups of wine cannot thus be full.
One of the more popular seder customs for children concerns the afikoman, a special piece of matzah that is the last food eaten during the seder. The head of the household customarily hides the afikoman somewhere in the house, and the children then search for it. Once found, the afikoman is "ransomed," since the seder cannot continue until the afikoman is eaten. This helps to keep the children focused on the seder and to pique their curiosity regarding the entire Passover epic.
On the morning of Saturday 31 March, festive prayers (including a prayer for abundant dew during the spring and summer) and special readings, including the Song of Songs, will figure prominently in synagogue services.
Saturday, 31 March is a full public holiday, i.e. there is no public transportation or newspapers, and shops will be closed.
The Intermediate Days of Passover
While the intermediate days of Passover (this year from sunset on Saturday 31 March until sunset on Thursday 5 April) are not full public holidays, special prayers and readings are recited in the synagogue. Schools will remain closed, as will many businesses. Post offices and banks will be open, but will have reduced hours. Newspapers will be published.
Jewish tradition maintains that the parting of the Red Sea and the destruction of the Egyptian army occurred on the seventh day of Passover, but even though Passover celebrates the Exodus from Egypt, Jews nevertheless do not rejoice over the death of the Egyptians in the sea and only an abridged version of Hallel (Psalms 113-118) – a holiday prayer – is recited after the first day of Passover.
From the evening of Saturday 31 March, Jews will keep a nightly count of the 49 days (seven weeks), until the evening of Friday 18 May, one day before the holiday of Shavuot. This count commemorates the Temple offering of the omer, or sheaf of new grain, in keeping with the Biblical injunction of Leviticus23:15-16.
The Seventh Day of Passover
The celebration of the seventh day of Passover as a full holiday is specified in Exodus 12:16 and Leviticus 23:8. This year, the seventh day begins at sunset on Thursday 5 April and lasts until sunset on Friday 6 April. On Friday morning, there will be festive services and readings in synagogues; special memorial prayers for the departed will also be said.
Friday 6 April is a full public holiday, i.e. there is no public transportation or newspapers, and shops will be closed.
Maimouna – an informal, yet widely celebrated holiday which originated among the Jews of North Africa, particularly those from Morocco – is celebrated the day after Passover or the second day after Passover if the last day of Passover falls on a Friday as it does this year. Accordingly, Maimouna will be celebrated this year beginning at sunset on Saturday 7 April and lasting until sunset on Monday, 8 April. According to custom, families prepare elaborate tables with various sweets and baked goods, and host friends and family members. Whole neighborhoods often close as celebrations spill out into the streets and parks.
Passover in Film
Following are clips from six films (courtesy of the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive) that depict the various ways in which Passover has been celebrated:
Ideal Travel Talks 1934 – Travelogue shot in Eretz Yisrael in 1934. The film includes rare scenes of Samaritans celebrating Passover on Mt. Gerizim and their high priests sacrificing the paschal lamb in the presence of the British High Commissioner of Palestine, Arthur Wauchope (from 30:55 min). (Note: The Samaritan community will celebrate Passover this year beginning on Sunday evening 29 April.)
Road to Liberty 1946 – Film about the Jewish Brigade which fought in World War II as a unit of the British Army. Includes scenes of Jewish solders celebrating the seder in Europe (from 8:03 min.)
To Save One Life 1952 – Docudrama about two sisters who immigrated to Israel from Yemen through Youth Aliyah. Includes scenes of Pesach cleaning, preparations and seder in a youth village. (from 39:55 min.)
Seder De Pesach 1980s – A Jerusalem family from North African conduct a model Sephardic seder. The film is interspersed with stories and animations depicting the Exodus from Egypt. (French)
Operation Exodus Honors American Troops At A Special Seder In Israel 1991 – American soldiers stationed in Israel participate in a special seder with new immigrants from the CIS and Ethiopia, shortly after the Gulf War.
Our Way: Sarajevo 1993 – The JDC and Jewish leaders in Sarajevo, Bosnia hold a special seder during the civil war in the presence of Moslem and Christian clerics. (from 3:28 min.)
Photo Stella Szpira
- Written by Leket Org
AMOUNT OF FOOD LOSS IN ISRAEL THIS YEAR: 2.3 MILLION TONS 33% OF ALL FOOD PRODUCED IN THE COUNTRY AT A VALUE OF 19.3 BILLION SHEKELS (US $5.6 BILLION)
4.2 MILLION SHEKELS (US $1.2 billion) – FOOD LOSS IN THE RETAIL AND DISTRIBUTION SECTORS
The main causes of food loss in the retail and distribution sectors: expired or short shelf life food, aesthetic defects in packaging or product, and damage in the marketing process
ACCORDING TO LEKET ISRAEL & BDO’S THIRD NATIONAL FOOD WASTE AND RESCUE IN ISRAEL REPORT
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – March 13, 2018 - Leket Israel in partnership with BDO, released its Third National Report on Food Waste and Rescue in Israel. The press conference was held today at Leonardo City Tower Hotel, a member of the Fattal hotels franchise.
The report presents, for the first time in Israel, a detailed model for the estimation of food loss in the retail and distribution sectors: in retail chains, open markets, local grocery stores and small retailers.
The Food Waste and Rescue in Israel Report reveals that food loss in Israel this year amounts to 2.3 million tons with a market value of NIS 19.3 billion (US $5.6 billion). A large part of the loss is rescuable; approximately 1.1 million tons, valued at NIS 7 billion (US $2 billion). Almost half of the value of salvageable food is found in the retail and distribution sectors, with total food loss in these segments amounting to 400,000 tons this year, worth 4.2 billion shekels (US $1.2 billion).
The loss in the retail and distribution sectors is of particularly high economic value, since it includes the entire investment: growth, production, packaging and transportation. This refers specifically to food that is produced for marketing and consumption and is lost even before reaching the consumer. Due to the characteristics of the loss at this stage, the vast majority of the food is rescuable and can be prevented from becoming waste. Of the NIS 7 billion (US $2 billion) worth of food that can be saved, NIS 3.5 billion (US $1 billion) is in the retail and distribution sectors.
The report also reveals that rescuing 470,000 tons of food loss each year, constituting about 20% of the total amount of food loss in Israel, will fill the gap between food consumption and the normative expenditure of the Israeli population living in food insecurity.
According to Gidi Kroch, CEO of Leket Israel: “The report brings to light that there is enormous levels of food waste that can be saved, if only there was a greater level of public awareness and the implementation of adequate governmental regulation. 18% of the population in Israel lives in food insecurity, when Israel ranks 18th in food insecurity as compared to other OECD countries, and places ninth in expenditure on food in private consumption spending.
This year, Leket Israel rescued 15,500 tons of fruits and vegetables and 2.3 million cooked meals valued at NIS 150 million (US $43 million) and Leket continues its efforts to raise the profile on food waste in Israel. Since the publication of the Inaugural Food Waste and Rescue in Israel Report, two years ago, Leket Israel initiated and implemented new programs for food rescue with the support and through partnerships with the Ministries of Agriculture and Welfare. I am calling on the other government offices to advance this issue, to create a national program that will work to reduce food waste, increase food rescue and actively promote the enactment of the law to encourage food rescue.
It is imperative that Israel set a national goal similar to the UN’s resolution of a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030, since adopted by other nations including the US administration,” concludes Kroch.
According to Chen Herzog, Chief Economist at BDO: "Israel is lagging behind Western countries in formulating a national policy on food rescue, and as a result, the national economy loses NIS 4.5 billion (US $1.2 billion) every year. Israel, more than any other country, has an economic advantage in rescuing food, due to the combination of high expenditure on food and the growing levels of inequality across the demographic. Food rescue is one of the most effective policy measures to reduce social gaps in the economy, and it is a critical oversight that the government has not yet formulated a comprehensive national plan to rescue food.”
Herzog continues: “Retail chains and food manufacturers lost NIS 3.5 billion (US $1 billion) worth of products this year, which is taken directly out of the consumer's pocket. Surplus food in the retail and distribution sectors is inevitable, since retailers are required to ensure a wide, varied and readily available food supply at all times. However, the reality in which excess food is thrown away instead of being donated to the needy is a serious failure on economic, social and environmental levels."
To read the full report and report highlights: https://www.leket.org/en/food-waste-and-rescue-report/
Photo of Gidi Kroch, Leket Israel’s CEO – Photo Credit: Yossef Cohen
About Leket Israel: Leket Israel – The National Food Bank is the leading food rescue non-profit organization that rescues fresh, perishable food, which would otherwise be considered waste from farms, hotels, military bases and corporate cafeterias in an effort to aid the quarter of the country’s population the lives below the poverty line. Leket works with 200 nonprofit agencies in Israel, providing food to 175,000+ Israelis in need weekly. For more information, please visit: www.leket.org.