web analytics
January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘celebrate’

Celebrate Chanukah Where Old Meets New

Monday, December 12th, 2016

It’s the festival of lights, and there’s no better place to celebrate than in the country where it all began. The Maccabees gave us a legend of strength to carry on and a miracle to celebrate, and in Israel people take that seriously. With music festivals, guided tours, award-winning wines and gourmet sufganiyot, there are no shortage of ways to celebrate in Israel.

Although the miracle of Chanukah is much deeper than the food, the famous Jewish joke is, “They tried to kill us, we survived – let’s eat”. Since holidays are a unique time for family bonding, there’s no better way to connect then over delicious food. In Israel the food bonding starts early with bakeries rolling out their sufganiyah collection well-before Chanukah to get people in the holiday spirit. Going all out, bakeries aren’t just satisfied with the standard jelly doughnut and chefs are upping the ante and recreating Chanukah classics.

Roladin Bakery, one of Israel’s largest bakeries, has been innovating baked goods for 27 years. Constantly trying new flavors, this year’s sufganiyah surprises include banana coffee toffee, mascarpone berry, halva pistachio, French style saint honor, pavlov cream cheese and praline. With 55 branches around Israel, it won’t be hard to get your hands on one (or five) of their delicious doughnuts.

roladin-sufganiyot-collection-2016-2 Courtesy Roladin Bakery

Even though there are healthier ways to prepare Chanukah treats, most people do opt to indulge in the fried treats once a year. To create a more gourmet experience, wine expert at Golan Heights Winery, suggests pairing light sparkling wine with the fried dishes. “White sparkling wine with high acidity can help balance the greasy feel of the sufganiyot and latkes.” Chanukah is a perfect time to sample festive Israeli wines.

chanukah-parties-gone-gourmet Courtesy Golan Heights Winery

Especially if you’re hosting, start the evening with a special sparkling wine, like Yarden Blanc de Blancs to get everyone in a festive mood. During dinner, Galil Alon or Hermon Indigo are wonderful, choices for red wine lovers and for dessert, Yarden Muscat will ensure that your guests leave with a smile on their faces.

To work off some of the calories that are starting to pile on with all the delicious foods, join the annual torch relay from Modiin to the Western Wall. Every year on Chanukah runners line the road between Modiin, the birthplace of the Maccabees, and the old city of Jerusalem, to deliver the lit torch to the Chief Rabbi who lights the menorah.

Recreating the experience of life during the time of the Maccabees, Hasmonian Village offers guided tours of battle sites and other historical places, including a live play re-enacting the story of Chanukah.

hasmonian-village-historical-sites Courtesy: Hasmonian Village

For more hands-on fun visit Ein Yael Museum. Ancient terraces and fountains, agricultural installations, reconstructed Roman streets with shops and craft workshops, archaeological remains and a Roman villa, all make history come alive.

For other kid friendly celebrations, check out The Festigal and Motek Shel Festival. Motek ShelFestival is geared towards kids ages 2-5 and both festivals feature renowned entertainers.

With all the fun activities, nothing is as magical as wandering around the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Geulah, Nachlaot or the Jewish quarter of the old city where you can soak in the twinkling menorah lights in every window, and of course pick up more sufganiyot on the way.

This Chanukah, grab your favorite treat and warm coat and enjoy the festivities while walking in the footsteps of the brave Maccabees.

Raizel Druxman

US Ambassador, Israeli Defense R&D Outfit, Celebrate 30 Years of Rotorcraft Cooperation

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

An official ceremony was held at Israel’s Ministry of Defense (IMOD) Thursday, on the occasion of 30 years of fruitful collaboration on rotorcraft technologies and human factors engineering. The ceremony was attended by US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, IMOD Head of DDR&D, Brig. Gen. (res) Dr. Daniel Gold, Director of US Army Aviation & Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (ARMDEC), Mr. James B. Lackey, IMOD Head of R&D Technology Base, Dr. Moshe Goldberg, officials and guests.

The rotorcrafts technologies effort is jointly headed by the ARMDEC and the IMOD Directorate of Defense Research & Development (DDR&D). Participating parties include the research and development teams at the IAF, the Technion, Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion, and Haifa Universities.

Ambassador Shapiro (R) and Dr. Danny Gold

Ambassador Shapiro (R) and Dr. Danny Gold

The United States and Israel have been collaborating on rotorcraft technologies since the 1980’s, with more than one hundred scientists and engineers from both sides developing breakthrough technologies in the areas of aeronautical mechanics, aerodynamics and human factors engineering (HFE) for helicopters.

The operation of helicopters is especially challenging due to the technical complexity and operational demands of low-level night flights. Accordingly, advanced HFE solutions are required to enable efficient and safe operation. The research efforts in this domain resulted in improved pilot displays and obstacle avoidance solutions. Additional efforts addressed the challenge of two aircraft jointly lifting heavy loads, beyond the capacity of a single helicopter. Some of the research products have been implemented in US rotorcraft, come of which are also operated by the IAF. Other will be integrated in future platforms or upgrades.

Ambassador Shapiro said in a statement: “This rotorcraft cooperation has long been considered among the best US-Israel research agreements. It is unique in that it brings together the technical leaders from our two countries to conduct joint research on problems of common interest to our countries.  At the same time the personal connections have enriched understanding of each other’s cultures and history and strengthened the ties between the two countries.”

Dr. Danny Gold said in a statement: “The defense ties and close collaboration of the US and Israel are deep and long-lasting. The Rotorcraft Project Agreement (RPA) collaboration is very special, as it embodies the deep research cooperation between the Parties. In my view, the RPA collaboration sets the gold standard for US-Israeli Defense R&D.”

JNi.Media

Yisrael Kristal to Celebrate Bar Mitzvah at 113

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

The world’s oldest Jewish man is about to celebrate his bar mitzvah, albeit a century late.

Yisrael Kristal has just turned 113 years old on the secular calendar on Thursday; but in two weeks he will also have his birthday on the Hebrew calendar. On THAT date, he will finally celebrate his bar mitzvah as well.

The supercentenarian was born to religious Jewish parents on September 15, 1903, in Maleniec, Końskie County near Żarnów, Poland, then part of the Russian Empire on September 15, 1903. His father was a Torah scholar who ensured he had a religious education, and as a result, he has remained religiously observant all his life. He attended a cheder at age three, where he studied Judaism and Hebrew. He learned Chumash (Five Books of Moses) at four and the Mishnah at six. In a 2012 interview, he recalled his father waking him at five in the morning to begin his religious instruction.

Documents from Polish archives showing him to have been a resident of Lodz in 1918 at age 15 proved his age to the Guinness World Records organization.

But tragedy struck early: His mother died when he was 10 years old, shortly after his father had been captured for the draft by the Imperial Russian Army, dying within months. By the time he turn 13, Mr. Kristal was living in a world gone mad, under the care of an uncle dealing with World War I.

He moved to Lodz after the war to work in the family confectionary business, according to his daughter, Shulamit Kuperstoch. But the Nazis invaded the city during World War II, turning the Jewish quarter into a ghetto. Mr. Kristal’s two children died in the Lodz Ghetto, and he and his wife Chaja Feige were sent to the Auschwitz death camp, where she died too.

But Mr. Kristal survived, weighing only 37 kilos (81 lb) when the camp was liberated. After regaining his strength, he made aliyah to Israel with his second wife Batsheva — also a Holocaust survivor — and their infant son, moving to Haifa, where he opened a candy store.

In two more weeks, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and cousins and friends will all bless him as he celebrates Jewish manhood in the Jewish ritual that circumstances denied him a century ago. Mazel tov!

Hana Levi Julian

Celebrate International Chocolate Day Jerusalem Style

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

July 7 is International Chocolate Day, so Claude BenSimon, head pastry chef of the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, has unveiled two new chocolate dishes: Louie’s Mousse and Waldorf 28. Both have been added to the menu of the the hotel’sKing’s Court Restaurant. Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem opened in 2014, has been named Top Hotel In the Middle East and 7th in the world by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, and has received international praise for its innovative cuisine.

A second generation pastry chef, Bensimon was trained in the bakeshops and pastry kitchens of Paris, including the Michelin-rated Taillevent, and worked under pastry designer Jacques Genin. In 2001 BenSimon immigrated to Israel and in 2013 joined the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem staff as head Pastry Chef.

“Louie’s Mousse” by Chef Claude Ben-Simon
Yields up to 5 medium cups

Part 1—Milk Chocolate Chantilly Cream

Ingredients
1 ¼ cup (10 fl oz) Heavy Cream
1 ¼ cup (1/2 lb) Milk Chocolate

Preparation:
Bring the cream to a boil and then add, in 3 parts, the boiling cream into the chocolate while stirring during every addition
Allow the cream to cool down for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator
After it has cooled, place the cream in a pastry bag with a St. Honore nozzle

Part 2—Vanilla Crumble

Ingredients:
5 ½ oz (11 Tbsp) cold butter cut into cubes
2 ¾ oz (6 ½ Tbsp) sugar
1 ¼ Tbsp salt
1 ¼ cups flour
2 ½ cups crumbled almonds
3 oz light brown sugar

Preparation:
Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
Add the butter and mix gently until you get the dough becomes pea size crumble
Move the mixture into a baking pan with parchment paper and bake at 320 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and crispy
Take the pan out and put on the side to cool.

Part 3—Exotic Coulis

Ingredients:
3 ½ oz (7 Tbsp) banana puree
2 ¾ oz mango puree
1 ½ oz apricot puree
2 ¼ oz passion fruit puree
1 stick of vanilla bean, scraped
¼ cup white sugar

Preparation
In a medium sized pan, add the fruit puree. Scrape the vanilla pod into the pan, and mix with the sugar over a low flame.
While the pan is on a medium flame, bring the mixture to a boil for about 7 minutes until the mixture becomes thick to nappy consistency.
Remove from the flame and set aside in the refrigerator before using.

Assembly:
In a medium-sized cup, first place a spoonful of exotic coulis. Over this place 2 spoonfuls of vanilla crumble. Pipe out the cream to the rim of the cup. Decorate with crushed nuts and serve.

JNi.Media

ZOA Florida At IAC’s Celebrate Israel Festival

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

FL-061716-ZOA

 

ZOA Florida participated in the IAC Celebrate Israel Festival on Sunday, May 22. Participants engaged in Zionist trivia games and learned about the remarkable state of Israel and the global movement that made its resurgence possible.

Shelley Benveniste

Inclement Weather No Match For Celebrate Israel Parade

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Overcast skies and sporadic showers failed to dampen the enthusiasm of tens of thousands of marchers and spectators at this year’s Celebrate Israel parade in Manhattan.

The parade, which kicked off Sunday at 11 a.m. and made its way up Fifth Avenue from 57th Street to 74th Street, drew a heavy contingent of political leaders, celebrities, and Israeli dignitaries.

Among the elected officials present were New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who that very morning ordered state agencies to divest themselves of companies and organizations aligned with the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; Mayor Bill de Blasio, who declared that New Yorkers “believe in Israel and we have a deep love for the people of Israel”; Senator Charles Schumer; State Assemblyman David Weprin; State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli; City Comptroller Scott Stringer; New York City Public Advocate Letitia James; and representatives Charles Rangel and Kathleen Rice.

Israeli officials at the parade included UN ambassador Danny Danon; consul general Ido Aharoni; Beersheba mayor Ruvik Danilovich; and members of Knesset David Bitan (Likid), Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union), Yakov Margi (Shas), and Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid).

Among the celebrities showing their support of Israel were honorary grand marshal Kathie Lee Gifford (the television personality told reporters she visits Israel every year) and renowned therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who turned 88 on Saturday. Westheimer, who served as a sniper for the Haganah during Israel’s war of independence, has become a fixture at the Celebrate Israel Parade.

As always, though, the heart and soul of the parade were the marching bands, singing groups, and hundreds of day schools and organizations representing virtually all segments of the Jewish community.

Even the wet weather was seen by many as a net positive. “Let the world see that rain or shine, we come here to rally for Israel,” said a teenager marching with Brooklyn’s Yeshiva Derech HaTorah.

“Our support for Israel Doesn’t Stop for the Rain” read a sign along the parade route.

Yocheved, a 15 year old waving Israeli flags with her parents and two younger sisters, said this was her fourth Celebrate Israel Parade and it was the weather that made it special.

Naomi Klass Mauer

Israel’s Independence Day: We Have a Lot to Celebrate

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Candidly Speaking from Jerusalem}

Two weeks ago, we commemorated the genocidal murder of 6 million Jews – the most barbaric episode in our 2,000 years of exile which was sporadically interspersed with discrimination, persecution, expulsion and pogroms.

Last week, the nation mourned those who sacrificed their lives in the course of the creation and ongoing defense of our Jewish state.

Against this somber background, the next day, we celebrated the 68th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel.

This period evokes mixed feelings.

Our prayers for peace with our neighbors and our desperate hope that our children and grandchildren shall not be obliged to fight wars, remain but a dream with no respite on the horizon.

Moreover, those who believed that after Auschwitz, anti-Semites would represent an extinct species, were deluded and are dismayed at the upsurge of mankind’s most enduring hatred. Prior to the creation of the state of Israel, anti-Semites accused Jews of being the source of all the evils confronting mankind. Today hatred of the Jew as an individual has been transcended by global hatred of the Jewish state, which is widely perceived as the prime source of global instability, the greatest threat to peace and one of the most oppressive countries in the world. This warped view is promoted at a time when the Dark Ages of barbarism have returned to the region, with millions being killed, displaced and denied human rights.

Moreover, even Western countries – especially Europe, whose soil was soaked with Jewish blood during the Holocaust – once again stand by and either abstain or even formally support efforts to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state. It is somewhat like a déjà vu of the world’s indifference to the Nazi extermination of the Jewish people.

But, on Independence Day, while fully conscious of the evil surrounding us, we must resist the whining of the prophets of doom in our ranks.

We should celebrate that we are the most blessed Jewish generation in 2,000 years.

Jewish youngsters today graduating from schools and universities have no appreciation of the fear and insecurity that dominated the lives of Jews before the creation of the state empowered us.

As we follow the chilling anti-Semitic tsunami in Europe, including recent expressions in the British Labour Party, and observe European Jews once again being transformed into pariahs, we are angered rather than fearful. That is because a Jewish state guarantees that today Jews threatened with murder or oppression have a haven.

We should celebrate the fact that Israel has created the most powerful military force in the region. Our tiny state is one of the top 10 world military powers, with the ability to deter and defend itself against the combined forces of all our adversaries. Could Holocaust survivors, Jews oppressed in Arab countries, or Soviet Jews facing anti-Semitism 70 years ago, have even remotely dreamed that their descendants would enjoy the status we have achieved in an empowered Israel? That alone provides boundless grounds for rejoicing.

Furthermore, we have cause to celebrate the ingathering of our exiles, ranging from broken survivors of concentration camps to Ethiopian Jews – and the extraordinary success in which these Jews from all corners of the world and different levels of society have been molded into a vibrant nation.

Our political system is frequently condemned as dysfunctional and only a small percentage of our more talented citizens are tempted to enter into professional politics. Yet, the fact remains that despite being the only country in the world whose existence is constantly challenged, and facing ongoing terrorism and wars, we have succeeded in retaining one of the most democratic systems in the world.

Indeed, our freedom of expression and robust press has frequently been condemned for being over indulgent in providing platforms for elements promoting our enemies. We rightfully grant full equality to Arab Israelis, notwithstanding that their radical parliamentary representatives support our enemies and demonize their own state.

Our legal system, despite its weaknesses and the controversy over the excessive interventionist power of the High Court, ensures that all Israelis are treated with equality. Indeed the fact that a president, prime minister and senior cabinet ministers were indicted, convicted and imprisoned, highlights the proper functioning of our legal system. This, too, is an aspect of life in which we should take pride and celebrate.

We are blessed to have one of the most robust economies in the world and we must rejoice in the fact that we have more new high-tech initiatives and startups per capita than any other nation. Not to mention that over the past decade, our own desalination processes have overcome an endemic drought condition and, despite prevarications, we will in future become a gas exporting nation.

Beyond this, we can take pride in our vibrant cultural and religious life. This is a Jewish state that pulsates in accordance with the Jewish calendar, catering for religiously observant as well as secular streams. There is also positive evidence that more of the ultra-Orthodox are serving in the army and entering the workforce and there is gradual and steady progress of their integration into mainstream society. By and large, aside from the excessive influence of the ultra-Orthodox establishment and the Chief Rabbinate, there is a broad spiritual awakening and greater understanding between the various sectors of Israeli society.

The Israeli Jewish identity is still evolving, but at a time when assimilation and intermarriage are having a devastating impact on the number of Diaspora Jews, Israel guarantees the continuity of the Jewish people. This, too, is something to celebrate.

Finally, we should rejoice that, aside from parochial politics, the nation is today more united than it has been since the great divide over the Oslo Accords. Whether one supports or opposes Benjamin Netanyahu as leader, it is clear that the reason for the failure in peace negotiations is due to the Palestinian determination to bring about an end to Jewish sovereignty. We should be celebrating that today, aside from the extreme Left and Right, there is a consensus on these issues with the major Zionist political parties in accord that our objective is to separate ourselves from the Palestinians, but that for security reasons, we cannot move forward until a genuine peace partner emerges from their ranks.

So as we celebrate 68 years of statehood, we should dismiss the doomsayers and rejoice at our extraordinary achievements. If we review the progress we have made since 1967 – despite misgivings about retaining the status quo – we have every reason to celebrate this Independence Day. That in recent years Israelis have consistently polled as one of the happiest nations in the world, speaks for itself.

We pray that, with the help of the Almighty, we will continue to flourish and grow even stronger and ultimately realize our dreams for peace with our neighbors.

Isi Leibler

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/israels-independence-day-we-have-a-lot-to-celebrate/2016/05/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: