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World Jewish Travel Official December 29, 2021

5 Virtual Tours That Will Connect you to Israel

Virtual Tour in Israel = A Stress-Free Travel Experience Can I travel to Israel? The answer is unfortunately no for many. However, you will be able to scratch that Israel travel itch with an Israel Virtual Tour. For the last two years, there has been a lot of back and forth when it comes to the subject of international travel and Covid-19. As if the regular pattern of air travel weren’t already stressful and exhausting enough. These countless questions have turned international traveling into a cesspool of nerves. The interaction between Israel and the rest of the world is still halted even after two years. You might still be wondering: Birthright Interactive Tour The best part of the Birthright interactive tour is that the trip suggestions are optional. Unlike an actual Birthright trip which is scheduled down to the second. Tour guide Navee Cohen takes you through all of the iconic Birthright sites letting you choose your own adventure. The tour also calls on the expertise of local and specialized guides. These guides explain everything Israeli from tech innovations to historical sites and then some.   Not only do they take you to some of the most iconic Jewish heritage and historic sites but the tour also gives you food options. Every sort of food experience from the fine dining of Tel Aviv to the Arab cuisine is to be found in Nazareth. You can taste the homemade hummus through the screen. Delicious Israel Virtual Tour Speaking of delicious cuisine there is plenty to be had in a country that can be covered by car in nine hours. The famed abundance of Israeli Shuk restaurants as well as the history of food assimilation and acceptance in the larger narrative of Israel. The name of the game here is diversity. It is one of the main themes of the tour filtered through the lens of the Israeli breakfast table. Incorporating some staple Israeli breakfast dishes but also staying true to specific cultural Jewish roots.  The Delicious Israel Virtual Tour also sought after the guided advice of local food and wine experts. If there is a specific area of food interest that you would like to know more about, reach out. Let the guides know and they will do their best to give you a customized food experience. This tour is ideal for families looking to connect. Perhaps even parents looking for a fun out-of-the-box activity to do with their kids or as a couples date night. Kibbutz Sde Boker: BTS with David and Pola Ben-Gurion David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s mythic first prime minister, model Zionist, and all-around mensch was obsessed with the desert. He believed the desert to be the intellectual birthing ground for the Jewish people. On a trip to the south in 1952, Mr. and Mrs. Ben-Gurion passed by Kibbutz Sde Boker. They were so enthralled with the small community they asked their driver to pull over for a quick tour. Ben-Gurion adored the hopeful mission of the kibbutz. He requested to become a part of the community and made Sde Boker his home. Today you can take a virtual tour of the Ben-Gurion hut and surrounding gardens. This tour allows you to experience what first enchanted the Prime Minister. A humble yet rich community. The tour is 45 mins and answers any and all sorts of questions one might have about the life of one of Israel’s greatest leaders. Are you curious to see what Pola Ben-Gurion kept in her kitchen drawers? How did they organize the bathroom? What did Ben Gurion keep on his desk?  Masada: A Virtual Hollywood Story If you do not know the story of Masada, get ready for a movie to come to life. In the Second Temple Era, around 70 CE, there was a community of Jewish rebels taking refuge at the great palace-fortress of Masada. King Herod had originally constructed for himself the most elaborate summer palace on top of a mountain in the desert. The entire complex is 1.6 million square feet. It includes storage facilities, a palace complex, and elaborately frescoed Roman baths. The Romans overtook the fortress and all the rebels committed suicide but still, this 2,000-year-old ruin remains. Now you can take a virtual tour of Masada so that you do not have to miss one bit of this amazing history. It’s like the google maps of tours, taking you through a 3D model of the entire complex.  Jerusalem: City of Gold Stone   The jewel in the crown of Israel tourism is without a doubt the city of gold herself, Jerusalem. In the last few months, however, the city has been lonely. Jerusalem is so used to being toured and admired by people from around the world. Now you and Jerusalem can reunite through virtual tours offered at Jerusalem.com on all the significant monotheistic sites. Although you will not be able to touch the stones of the Kotel or walk in the plaza of the Dome of the Rock, there are benefits to taking a virtual tour. One benefit is that the tour is on your schedule. You don’t have to worry about what hours of the day non-Muslims can visit the Temple Mount. Not even getting your clothes wet and dirty when visiting the tunnels under the Kotel. Virtual Connection  These virtual tours can provide a point of connection for Olim and their family overseas who can’t partake in the experience together. Israel is once again shutting its doors to more and more nations. However, people are generating new and diverse solutions to close that gap. World Jewish Travel has curated these virtual Israel tours to help keep the connection between Israel and the world. 

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World Jewish Travel Official July 12, 2021

New York’s Hidden Jewish Gems

New York, New York- a city that doesn't sleep, as Frank Sinatra calls it. The opportunities of what to do are far from few, many of which you might not have known existed! New York has many cultural Jewish gems– some obvious, some tasty, and some hidden to only the most observant and curious. Go: explore and discover the city of immigrants, food, and history. We promise you won’t be disappointed.   Lower East Side Conservancy New York’s Lower East Side was once the place to be for new arrivals to America, being both its most famous immigrant neighborhood and the birthplace of the American-Jewish community. It’s a living, breathing historical and cultural Jewish gem, and still boasts an active community today. The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy is an organization which preserves, shares, and celebrates this heritage across the 32-blocks, designated as a historic district. You’ll be hard pressed not to find what you’re looking for- there are numerous synagogues, restaurants, and museums to keep everyone happy and interested. Hebrew Free Burial Association   What do Mel Brooks’ grandparents and Jewish inmates of Rikers Island have in common? Both have been buried by the Hebrew Free Burial Association (HFBA). As its name suggests, the HFBA bury Jewish New Yorkers for free; it’s the largest free burial society outside of Israel. The organization is cross-denominational, working to ensure that recently deceased Jews of all persuasions are given a full Jewish burial, in line with Jewish law. The HFBA is a reflection of modern 20th-century history, burying mainly locals from the immigrant and current community. They’ve also buried Jewish victims of World War II, and the Spanish American War, shipping bodies back from as far away as Manila and New Guinea. Tenement Museum     While not strictly a ‘hidden’ gem, the Tenement Museum is still a fascinating insight into Jewish new Yorker lifestyles. The action takes place on the Lower East Side (you’re beginning to see a theme here, right?), or 97 Orchard Street, to be precise, which was home to a mind-boggling 7000 working class immigrants. Visitors can go on a guided tour around the building and around the neighborhood, recreating 19th-20th-century immigrant life.  There are also a range of other activities, known as ‘Tenement Talks’: free readings, discussions, performances, and screenings about  New York's history, population, and culture. Congregation Ohab Zeded   Known formally as ‘The First Hungarian Congregation Ohab Zedek’, the synagogue has, like most of its congregants, schlepped to various places across the city: established on the Lower East Side, before moving to Norfolk Street, then Harlem, it has settled (and stayed put) at its current location (118 West 95th Street). Harking back to other areas of Jewish history (and entry of our blog!) it is built in a striking Spanish-Moorish style. On an important side-note, it’s also well-known for attracting large numbers of Orthodox Jewish singles. They say Orthodox Jewish dating in New York is tricky, alas here’s the solution! Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery   It would be impossible to use ‘Jews’ and ‘New York’ in one breath without coming to the obvious common denominator– food! With the slogan, ‘One world. One taste. One knish. That’s it!’ and the claim to produce ‘The World’s Finest Knishes’, Yonah Schimmel’s knishes are something that you just have to try for yourself. He has perfected his knishes since opening in 1910. What are knishes you ask? They’re a fried roll of dough, stuffed with various fillings – such as meat, kasha, or potato. We recommend you discover them for yourself. Congregation Shearith Israel   Although we usually associate Jewish New York with typically Ashkenazi things, such as bagels and Woody Allen, it turns out that the first Jews in New York were actually Sephardim (yes, we are being serious)! Congregation Shearith Israel (also known as ‘The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue’) is the oldest in the US, dating back to 1654. Like the Sephardim, the congregation was forced to migrate around New York, before finally settling in its present-day West 70th Street location. It’s also the official birthplace of the Orthodox Union (and the infamous OU logo). For its history and some of its famous members (including three gunsa macher Judges), this synagogue begs a visit. Triangle Fire   The deadliest disaster to strike New York until the 9/11 attacks 90 years later, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory disaster is important for many reasons. The Brown Building stands as a monument to the 146 Jewish and Italian immigrants killed by a massive fire and locked doors, and is both a National Historic Landmark and a New York City Landmark. Most of the Jewish victims were buried in the Hebrew Free Burial Cemetery (another entry on our list) with tombstones referring to the fire. For a modern memorial, time your visit with ‘Chalk’, an annual project by local New York filmmaker Ruth Sergel, where local artists walk across the city, chalking the names and ages of the victims onto their former homes. Guss’ Pickles   Much like his pickles, Guss’ backstory makes for a vibrant, and enticing read. Izzy Guss arrived from Europe over 100 years ago, selling pickles ‘old country’ style from his, now legendary, pickle stand in the Lower East Side. His pickles have become a symbol of New York itself according to the official slogan, ‘Imitated but never duplicated’. They’re one of a kind, and are indeed world famous – they’re now even available in supermarkets. For the real deal and to sample delights such as the Guss Sour, Guss Sour Tomato, or even the Guss Sauerkraut, visit the original site, for a pickle ‘prepared with love like in the good old days’. Spanish Portuguese Cemeteries   Three hidden away Jewish cemeteries, one tucked behind a block of condos in the middle of Manhattan; the other two further downtown, are the legacy of North America’s oldest Jewish congregation, Shearith Israel (also featured on our list). The first, in Chinatown, is the oldest Jewish cemetery in North America and hosts the final resting places of 22 American Revolution veterans and the first American-born rabbi. The second, amongst Greenwich Village townhouses, still has twenty headstones standing. The third cemetery is just off 21st and 6th Avenue, with 250 graves (some still legible), and is perhaps the most picturesque and evocative of a bygone era. Emma Lazarus plaque, Battery Park   Battery Park is synonymous with New York’s immigrant past, but did you know that this impression is largely due to a plaque inscribed on Lady Liberty? Emma Lazarus, a famous American-Jewish poet, wrote her 1883 sonnet ‘The New Colossus’, to celebrate America as the land of freedom and destination for the ‘huddled masses yearning to be free’– amongst them, her fellow Jews. Part of the poem is inscribed and mounted onto the Statue of Liberty, dedicated in 1955 to New York City. As if that wasn’t Jewish enough, the plaque itself is set in a stone gifted from the State of Israel to the Sisterhood of the Spanish and Portuguese synagogues (another entry on our list).

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World Jewish Travel Official March 18, 2022

Spain's Top 10 Must See Jewish Quarters

Whether you’re out sun-seeking or sightseeing, Spain has more to offer than just good food and good weather. Home to the original ‘Sephardim’ (‘Spanish Jews’ in Hebrew), Spain is rich with stories and evidence of its Jewish population’s history and culture, right up to the community’s 1492 Expulsion. So wherever you find yourself roaming the country or exploring the city, there’s always something new and unexpected to discover: synagogues built like mosques and converted to churches or statues of Jewish celebrities, Spain has it all, with some breathtakingly beautiful views. Barcelona Barcelona – city of Dali, Gaudi and good food. But did you know that Barcelona’s ‘Aljama’, the Jewish community, was one of the largest of medieval Spain, comprising 10% of the city’s population? After the 1391 attack on the city and 1492 expulsion, all that’s left of Barcelona’s magnificent Jewish heritage is the layout of its streets. For some light-hearted relief, the Barcelona Jewish film festival and European Day of Jewish Culture celebrations take place in the city on the first Sunday of September. And of course, check out the Jewish Call! Girona - Catalan Jewish Museum, the Centre Bonastruc ça Porta And now to Spain’s very far East – Girona. Girona’s beauty – the hilly Capuchins to the east of the river Onyar; the modern town on the plains of the west – is breathtaking and varied. Nowadays, Girona is a popular day trip for tourists from Barcelona. Its Jewish past, dating from the late 9th century, isn’t completely obvious at first glance; for that, you have to dig a little deeper. Take a visit to the Jewish Museum of Girona, within the boundaries of the Jewish ‘Call’ (quarter) and the site of Girona’s last synagogue–details all areas of medieval Spanish-Jewish life, including the most famous Jewish Gironan of all, the celebrated Talmudist Nahmanides.   Toledo Toledo, close to Madrid, is the city of walls, silk, and swords and one of the most important Jewish cities of medieval Europe. Other than the famous ‘Escuela de Traductores’ (School of Translators), the Jewish quarter (‘Juderia’)’s two remaining synagogues (out of Toldeo’s original ten) are unmissable. The Sinagoga del Transito is a two-in-one attraction - built in 1366, nowadays it contains the Sephardic Museum of Toledo, detailing medieval Jewish life in Toledo. The Santa María la Blanca Synagogue also has an interesting story – permission to build it was granted when the King was in love with a Jewish woman. It was later converted into a church. The path of true love never did run smooth… Segovia The undulated shape and seven gates of the Segovian Jewish quarter set it apart from the rest of the city. Segovia’s Jewish history is what might best be termed ‘hidden’. There’s a hotel (the Hotel Casa Mudejar) on the site of a famed converso rabbi’s house. Large arches stand, without their gates. Where there were once three synagogues, two dedicated Talmud schools, a Jewish hospital, cemetery, butcher, and baths, there are now a collection of generic buildings with some lovely scenery and views – the community was forced to liquidate their assets at the time of the expulsion. Happily, within the quarter is the Jewish Quarter Educational Center, which is also the former home of an illustrious descendant of converted Jews. Oviedo- Asturias. Known as the ‘Capital of Paradise’, unfortunately, nothing original of Oviedo’s Jewish heritage remains in the old Jewish quarter. The city is, however, skilled at commemorating what used to be there. There are many things to ‘not’ see in Oviedo: wander over to the Campoamor Theatre and look for ghosts –below your feet is what used to be the Jewish cemetery, memorialized by a plaque on the side of the theatre. In Juan XXIII Square, a lonely plaque on a pharmacy tells readers that they are in the historic Jewish quarter. Most excitingly, perhaps, just east of the theatre is the commemorative statue of Woody Allen. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. And no, we don’t see the connection either. Cordoba The city of Cordoba plays a pivotal role in the history of Jewish scholarship in Spain. Its achievements made it one of the most known centers of Talmud in the Jewish world. During the 10th century, Cordoba’s Jewish community was as wealthy as it was learned. Of course, like many other Medieval Jewish communities, the Jews of Cordoba lived in their own quarter known as the Juderia. What remains of the Jewish people of Cordoba is a far cry from the once great community that existed during its heyday. However, the city has made a distinct effort to conserve what has managed to remain. In 1985, the Great Synagogue on Calle de los Judios was recognized as a national heritage site. Be sure to visit Maimónides Square in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, as well as the Sefarad House, a cultural centre dedicated to the interpretation and promotion of Sephardi heritage Seville The history of Jews in Seville goes all the way back to the days of King David and the First Temple. In fact, some of the more prominent Spanish Jewish families of Seville claim to be descendants of the great king. The Jewish community of Seville was one of four major communities during Spain’s period of Muslim rule. They served in every facet of society from the common street vendor and merchant all the way to the members of the high court. Seville was an exception to the rule in almost every way for Jewish life. After the Christians reclaimed Spain, they built a second larger Jewish quarter that ran all the way from the Carmona Gate to the city wall.  At one time it housed Spain’s largest Jewish community. This quarter is now known today as the Barrio de Santa Cruz and contains the Al-Andalus House of Memory at its center, as well as the Jewish Interpretation Center. Palma Located in the Southwest of Mallorca, the port city of Palma has an extensive and well-known Jewish history. The Palma Jewish Quarter tells the story of both a thriving and persecuted community. Specifically pertaining to the history of Conversos and a major massacre that occurred there in 1391. There are traces of all this and more within the narrow alleyways and high walls of the former Jewish quarter. Secret synagogues and hidden Hebrew letters are etched into the stone. Today, a population known as Chuetas, the descendants of medieval Palma Jewry, is working to conserve and revive the history of the Jews of Mallorca almost 600 years later.  They have a new synagogue and Jewish community center and several preserved historic sites, such as the Tower of Love, that tell the story of Palma's Jewish past. Avila Out of the numerous Jewish communities in Spain, the Jewish Quarter of Avila plays a special role in the history of Spanish Jewish rights. The Jews of Avila were not subjected to a great deal of discriminatory behaviors unlike their brothers in other cities.  They served the city as being distributors of fine clothing and other textiles. However, despite this good fortune, the Jewish quarter itself had not stood the test of time. There are few traces of this community but what has been remembered through documents and records has been identified and preserved. The Belforad Synagogue has been converted into a church, while the Lomos Synagogue is believed to be located at current Moses Rubí chapel, but it's hard to know for sure. However, the latest victory has been the unearthing of the local medieval Jewish cemetery just outside the 11th century walls of the city!  Madrid Like most Jewish communities in Spain, their time to thrive came under Muslim leadership in the 10th century. Few traces remain of Jewish history but thanks to the records of Madrid’s historians, the outline of two historic Jewish quarters has since been located. The first quarter was evacuated after the Black Plague and the community was relocated to a new Juderia. The La Almudena Cathedral currently stands in its place. Of the several historic Jewish quarters in Spain Madrid has seen the most regrowth of modern Jewish life. Since 2008 the city of Madrid has celebrated the Hanukkah Festival of Lights, a festive day full of homage paying to Madrid’s past and the present Jewish community. The entire ceremony is a prime example of the new-found good faith and commitment to the future of Spain’s Jewish community.      

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World Jewish Travel Official December 2, 2021

The Jewish Story of Harbin

The city of Harbin is the capital of Heilung Kiang province in northern Manchuria, northeast China. The city's development began with the invasion of the Russians in Manchuria in the 19th century when the Russo-Manchurian treaty allowed Russia to build the Chinese Eastern railway. During this time Harbin became the center of the railway project and the chief engineer of the building board was a man named Alexander Yugovich who was born into a Jewish family but later converted to Christianity. When the line opened for traffic in 1903, many Russian Jewish families moved into Harbin where they were granted a better status than they had in Russia. The Karaites and Jews, both minority groups in the city, were granted plots of land on the outskirts of the city and were allowed to establish businesses. [caption id="attachment_31100" align="alignnone" width="2560"] Harbin Museum of Jewish History and Culture | Old Synagogue[/caption] Credit: xiquinhosilva from Cacau, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons In 1903 the Jewish community of Harbin had around 500 residents and this number quickly grew to 8,000 by 1908. The community decided to build a synagogue which they called the "Main Synagogue" and it took just under 2 years to build. Today, the synagogue can be found on Tongjiang street, Daoli district. The community also established the first Jewish cemetery in China in 1903, which later had more than 2,000 tombs. Within the community several businesses flourished including a hospital, several clubs, and an elderly home. The hospital provided care for the Jewish residence as well as much of the general population.  Thought the town also had a religious elementary and secondary school, many of the Jewish students attended non-Jewish schools due to lack of classes. [caption id="attachment_31142" align="alignnone" width="1800"] The new synagogue in Harbin[/caption] Following the outbreak of World War I in November 1914, Harbin's Jewish community  joined the Jewish Committee for the Help of War Victims. This organization was active until 1920, but it was able to help over 200,000 war refugees have access food, dormitories, hospitals, and professional courses. After World War I, the Jewish community had an influx of Jewish refugees and the population peaked to 10,000 or 15,000 by the early 1930's. However, the population quickly declined to about 5,000 1939. The population continued to thrive after the war and a new synagogue, a Jewish library, a new hospital, a school for women, a Jewish National bank, and another Jewish secondary school were established.  Because Harbin was well-known as being a cultural center, many famous Jewish actors came to perform in Harbin. Twenty Jewish newspapers were established between 1918 and 1930 and several youth clubs associated with the Zionist movement were created. Between 1921 and 1925, several youth groups from the HaShomer HaTzair Zionist movement emigrated to Palestine and the Harbin branch of the HaShomer HaTzair was set up in 1927. In 1929, Betar, the Zionist youth movement, was founded by a large group of former members of the HaShomer HaTzair movement. When Zionism was outlawed in the Soviet Union, Harbin because a hub of Zionism and another wave of Jewish immigration occurred with the Soviet Union's New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1925. In December 1937, Harbin held the first of three Zionist conferences for Jewish communities in the Far East. Under Russian rule, the Jews community of Harbin enjoyed the same rights as all other foreigners but there was an economic crisis in 1928, when the Chinese Eastern Railway was handed over to Chinese, and many Jews left Harbin. The Jews who left went to Shanghai, Ten-Tsin, other cities in China, or the Soviet Union. The good living conditions of the Jews in Harbin quickly changed when the Japanese took control of Manchuria and establishment of a puppet regime, which allowed Jews to be subjected to terror and extortion. When World War II began, Jews in Harbin became even more oppressed and anti-Semitic politics were put in place. Under Japanese rule, the Zionist youth movements helped to keep Jewish national life alive; with the help of Betar and Maccabi, Jewish cultural activities continued to be organized. Four synagogues had been established until 1950, but many Jews left Harbin at the outbreak of the war. They emigrated to the United States, Australia, Brazil, and other countries. Between 1945 and 1957, Harbin was under Soviet control and many Jewish leaders were arrested and sent to the Soviet interior. After the war ended, most of the Jewish in Harbin left and even 3,500 settled in Israel and established their own society of Chinese Jews. The cemetery was moved to a new location during the 1960's and the last Jew in Harbin left in 1985. [caption id="attachment_31105" align="alignnone" width="2560"] Harbin Museum of Jewish History and Culture | Harbin "Main Synagogue"[/caption] Credit: xiquinhosilva from Cacau, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons Most of the Jewish sites have been left intact or have been renovated and there are two synagogues, a rabbinical school, and the largest Jewish cemetery of the Far East with about 700 gravestones, for visitors to see. The new Synagogue has been converted into the Harbin Museum of Jewish History and Culture which is open year round to tourists and locals interested in the rich history of Jews in Harbin. The old synagogue was recently renovated into a concert hall, known as the Old Synagogue or Laohuitang Concert Hall.  

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World Jewish Travel Official March 18, 2022

Israel's Top 10 Ethnic Restaurants

  Looking to tantalize your taste buds? Look no further! Israel’s Top 10 Ethnic Restaurants are sure to get your appetite going, whether you are looking for meal suggestions or just want to try something new this blog has something in it for everyone. From Persian delicacies in Tel Aviv, via eastern European feasts in Haifa to Moroccan meals in Beer Sheva, we recommend you try them all!   Ha’Sabich Shel Ovad, Givatayim At number 2 is Ha’Sabich Shel Ovad – or translated, THE Ovad’s Sabich. Whether the ‘The’ refers to owner Ovad or the sabich sandwich (pitta with aubergine, hard-boiled eggs, salads and tahnini), both are infamous and classically Israeli with a fresh, modern twist. Make the schlep to Givatayim and you won’t regret it; we’ll bet that this is the best sabich you’ll find across not only Israel but the middle east and the world. Kebab Emuna, Beer Sheva Since 1958, hidden away in Israel’s desert south, lies the legendary True Kebab. No, really – Kebab Emuna translated is ‘True Kebab’. Go for the Iraqi kebab; stay for the colorful and plentiful salads served alongside. And to tell people you’ve discovered the one, the only, the ‘True Kebab’. Azura, Jerusalem As the sun rises over Jerusalem, the smell of traditional Iraqi and Kurdish food escapes onto the street. If you’re craving homemade sofrita or kubbeh soup, both Iraqi-Kurdish delicacies, or just curious, this is your stop. Much like the other attractions in central Jerusalem, the food is unmissable and it’s best to arrive early to get a seat.   Maayan Ha'Bira, Haifa Haifa is famous for the Baha’i gardens, Elijah’s Cave and Maayan Habira. Whether you’re after a beer and a buzzing atmosphere or some of its famous chopped liver (so what if it’s better than your mom’s? We won’t tell), it’s the place to be. Make it a Tuesday night to hear some legendary live jazz. Café Glida Yonek, Haifa Or, if you’re after rival Eastern European Haifa-based cuisine, Café Glida Yonek’s Romanian kebabs (made with a closely guarded top secret recipe) are to die for, as are their various, carefully prepared steaks. Its authentic atmosphere will be a certain trip highlight. Salimi, Tel Aviv Take a break from the Tel Aviv market at Salimi, the Persian restaurant around the corner. Off the tourist track (no flashing cameras and Hawaiian shirts here, please) you’ll eat some of the most appetizing and carefully selected gourmet grilled food. Your best bet is the Sabzi, a rich, herb-based soup, or their famous gondi dish, also known as the Iranian matzoh ball. It’s just what you need to prepare for a second round of hard bargaining. Ha'Kosem, Tel Aviv Ah, falafel – similar to other items on our list, a trigger for heated debate amongst Israelis. Tel Aviv’s Eric Rosenthal – nicknamed ‘The Magician’, he’s just that good – has made traditional Israeli fare into a highly-regarded art form, starting with his infamous gourmet falafel. Not up for it? There’s also shawarma, sabich, and shakshuka to tempt you. Chacho, Netanya In a city well-known for its large French and Russian populations, it’s strange to think that at the top of our list is Netanya’s very own, erm, Libyan restaurant. Yes, you read that correctly – for over 40 years, the Vatori family have fed the European hordes their epic North African offerings, with sumptuous stews overnight on a kerosene stove, or freshly grilled meat with a side of couscous. Don’t like what’s on offer? Come back tomorrow – the menu changes frequently, keeping wannabe patrons on their toes. Yakuta, Beer Sheva Picky eaters – here’s one for you! Well, if you like North African food, that is. If you do, then Yakuta, in Beer Sheva, will personalize your dish to just the way you want it. Our pick is the delicious, authentically-Morrocan tagine, served in an earthenware pot. There’s also a huge menu, so there’s something for even the fussiest. Morris, Jerusalem Greek and Persian food is alive and well in the heart of Jerusalem at Morris, named after the owner who personally supervises the food being offered to his customers. There’s only the best on offer here – from a quick arak with friends, to classic, family-feeding Persian charcoaled grills. Whether it’s an entrecote steak, duck liver or skewered sweetbreads you’re craving, this is fusion cuisine at its finest.  

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Upcoming events & days

Event

Eilat Food Festival

The festival affords visitors the opportunity to taste dozens of dishes, including sandwiches and desserts, as well as alcoholic drinks. All the food carts are located in the same area, so visitors can easily test out restaurant after restaurant to see what local eateries have to offer. For three consecutive nights, visitors can taste dishes from well-known Eilat restaurants, chef's restaurants, and fast food places, against the enthralling beauty of the Gulf of Eilat and the Red Sea. The carts feature all types of dishes – meat, fish, sandwiches, and pizzas – including decadent desserts, boutique beers, cocktails, and special chef's dishes. Between bites, visitors may enjoy the many musical performances by some of Israel's leading artists, including afternoon shows by pop stars beloved by Israeli kids to live performances for adults at night. The performances are free of charge and the dishes offered at the food carts are generally sold at low prices. Visitors to the Eilat Food Festival can also enjoy everything else the city has to offer during their stay. During the day, the beaches are an obvious option. And if you need a fix of adrenalin, several extreme water sports are available all along the Red Sea shore. Within the city, you can shop for virtually anything without paying VAT as well as enjoy attractions suitable to the entire family. And don't forget to leave room in your tummy for the evening meal! The official date for next year's event will be announced on the event's website.

Event

Mimouna

Mimouna is a traditional North African Jewish celebration dinner, that currently takes place in London, Morocco, Israel, Canada, and other places around the world where Jews of Maghrebi heritage live. It is held the day after Passover, marking the return to eating hametz (leavened bread, etc.), which is forbidden throughout the week of Passover. In Morocco, on the afternoon of the last day of Passover, Jewish families prepare flour, honey, milk, and butter to be used to prepare post-Passover chametz celebration dinners. Historically, Jewish congregations would walk to an orchard in order to recite Birkat Ha'Ilanot, and following the conclusion of Passover, would recite passages from the Book of Proverbs and the Mishna. The celebration begins after nightfall on the last day of Passover. In many communities, non-Jewish neighbors sell chametz back to Jewish families as a beginning of the celebration. Moroccan and Algerian Jews throw open their homes to visitors, after setting out a lavish spread of traditional holiday cakes and sweetmeats. One of the holiday favorites is Mofletta. The table is also laid with various symbols of luck and fertility, with an emphasis on the number "5," such as five pieces of gold jewelry or five beans arranged on a leaf of pastry. The repetition of the number five references the five-fingered hamsa amulet common in both Jewish and Muslim North African and Middle Eastern communities from pre-modern times. Typically all those in attendance at a Mimouna celebration are sprinkled with a mint sprig or other green dipped in milk, symbolizing good fortune and new beginnings. Early in the day of the Mimouna, families go to the sea, splash water on their face, and walk barefoot in the water, to replay the scene of the miraculous crossing of the Reed Sea, which is held to have taken place on the last day of Passover. In Israel, the Mimouna has become a popular annual happening featuring outdoor parties, picnics, BBQs, and politics: A central celebration in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park draws about 100,000 people, usually including the president and prime minister. Israeli law now requires employers to agree to grant an employee unpaid leave for Mimouna if asked. One source estimated that in 2012 nearly two million people in Israel participated in Mimouna festivities. Photo credit: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Day

Purim

The fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar are celebrated as Purim. The specific day on which the holiday is celebrated depends on the location; in places where it is celebrated on the fourteenth, it is not celebrated on the fifteenth, and vice versa. The story of the joyous holiday might appear somber at first glance: It tells of the near-destruction of the Jewish people as decreed by Haman, an adviser to the Persian King Ahasuerus. However, Ahasuerus’ newly crowned queen, Esther — who replaced Vashti when she was thrown out of the kingdom — is secretly a Jew. Due to her courage and her eventual role in saving the Jews, the story of Purim is known as “Megillat Esther,” or the Scroll of Esther. From Europe to the Middle East, Jews have been subjected to some of the most ruthless minority treatment in history. There have been many moments where Jewish communities around the world have thought, “This is the end.” However, most of the time it all works out and as a result, a new holiday is born. One choice joke that American Jews often like to employ during such holidays is, “They tried to kill us, they failed, let’s eat.” On Purim, this sentence is altered to read, “They tried to kill us, they failed, let’s party.” Purim 2022: For the last two years, the pandemic canceled this opportunity. However, Purim 2022 is returning with vengeance and several major events in Israel. Grab your  costume and your alcohol of choice and take to the streets and bakeries for all the merriment. This is possibly the most needed holiday in the last few years for the Jewish people and Israel. After all the stress, isolation, and precautions, it is high time that the entire nation let its hair down. Celebrating the continuation of life is a key pillar of many Jewish holidays, including Purim. This upcoming holiday will be a celebration of survival not only for the Jews of ancient Persia but also Jews of the modern age.


#WORLDJEWISHTRAVEL

"If you pay attention to the little places... you find treasure, you find tradition, and you find truth."

These are the words of Israeli restaurant critic, TV personality, and cookbook author, Gil Hovav on the @thejerusalem_post travel podcast.

Do you also chase ethnic food when you travel?

If so, check out our eBook "100 Ethnic Restaurants in Israel" through the link in our bio!

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#foodcritics #israelifood #israelfoodie #worldjewishtravel #jerusalempost
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Purim is approaching, which means it is time to go over some of the MUST have Purim foods! 🍪🍷

Our "Purim Foods and Recipes" blog includes the perfect list of hamantaschen recipes from chocolate, creme, and rocky road.

Read the Purim food blog through the link in our bio!

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#hamantashen #jewishfood #purim #worldjewishtravel #jewishblog
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You MUST visit the Yemenite cuisine flooded neighborhood of Kerem HaTeimanim.

One of our favorite stops in the Tel Aviv neighborhood 👉 Melech Ha'Marak (King of Soup)!

The kitchen follows the legacy of its founder, Shimon, by serving warm and comforting soups throughout the day. 🥣

Visit the link in our bio to discover more of Tel Aviv!

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#telaviv #telavivfood #kerenhateimanim #jewishtelaviv #worldjewishtravel
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Coming Soon....
Our new and improved "Top 100 Ethnic Restaurants in Israel" eBook highlights the most authentic, flavorful eateries in the country. 🇮🇱

Israel's population is made of immigrants from around the world and therefore its streets and markets flood with unique cuisine with recipes that have been carried for generations.

Stay tuned for the release of our new and improved eBook by following our account!

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#ethnicfood #israelifood #isrealfoodie #worldjewishtravel
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What do you look for in a luxury hotel?

@the_norman_hotel in Tel Aviv runs by focusing on 5 pillars:
🏛️ architecture
🪑 interior design
🖼️ artwork
🥘 culinary offering
🛎️ service

Learn more about the details of this luxurious spot on the new episode of the @thejerusalem_post travel podcast.

🔗 Link in bio!

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#telaviv #jewishpodcast #telavivhotels #thenorman #worldjewishtravel
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Do you chase ethnic food when you travel?

Famous restaurant critic, Gil Hovav, explains that "If you pay attention to the little places... you find treasure, you find tradition, and you find truth."

Gil shared these words on the recent episode of the @thejerusalem_post travel podcast which you can find in our bio!

Check out our FREE eBook ethnic restaurants in Israel guide also through the link in our bio!

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#foodcritics #israelifood #israelfoodie #worldjewishtravel #jerusalempost
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How much do you know about the ongoing story of the Jewish people?

The Tel Aviv based Museum of the Jewish People provides interactive exhibitions, educational programming, and acts as a center for Jewish discourse.

How can you learn more?
🔗 The link in our bio
🎙️ @thejerusalem_post travel podcast

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#Jewishhistorymusuem #jewishtravel #visittelaviv #jewishtelaviv #worldjewishtravel
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Tonight, is Yom HaShoah (Israeli National Holocaust Memorial Day).

Remembering the victims of the Holocaust is a big part of our mission to provide a connection Jewish history and heritage.

Visit the Virtual Holocaust Memorial through the link in our bio to help us commemorate this day. 🕯️

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#YomHashoah #holocaustrememberanceday #worldjewishtravel #holocaustmemorial #holocausteducation
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Discover the Jewish history, cuisine, and sites of Barcelona! 🇪🇸
How? We have two great options!

🎙️: The @thejerusalem_post travel podcast ⬇️
In Mark and David's latest travels, they taste out-of-this-world cocktails and the best kosher food in Europe.

📖: The WJT site ⬇️
Lean the story of Barcelona, one of Europe's most beautiful cities, that is rich with Jewish history, culture, and heritage.

🔗 The link to both FREE resources can be found in our bio!

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#jewishbarcelona #jewishpodcast #travelpodcast #worldjewishtravel #jerusalempost
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World Jewish Travel wishes you a Purim Sameach (Happy Purim) ! 🍷🎭🎉

Visit the link in our bio to learn more about the holiday!

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#purim #worldjewishtravel #jewishholiday #hamantaschen
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Purim is approaching, which means it is time to go over some of the MUST have Purim foods! 🍪🍷

Our "Purim Foods and Recipes" blog includes the perfect list of hamantaschen recipes from chocolate, creme, and rocky road.

Read the Purim food blog through the link in our bio!

-
#hamantashen #jewishfood #purim #worldjewishtravel #jewishblog
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