Friday, May 22, 2015

Shavuot special recipe straight from Jerusalem: Tomato basil tart


Chef Tali Friedman shares her story and a yummy tart recipe, perfect for the holiday of Shavuot. 

In the heart of Mahane Yehuda, a bustling open-air market in Jerusalem, chef Tali Friedman has an atelier (French for studio) from which she runs culinary tours.

A culinary tour with Friedman starts off in Israel’s biggest market, engaging with some of the market’s 450 vendors and tasting the delicious flavors the market has to offer. Once the ingredients have been purchased, she takes you up to her atelier, where everyone -- even the participants -- roll up their sleeves and cook. At the end, they sit down for a lovely meal.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A heartfelt thank you to JNF, from Nepalese students who lost their homes


Following JNF's recent Presidents Mission and JNF's generosity toward the rehabilitation of Nepal, the following letter was written to JNF President Jeffrey Levine on behalf of 160 Nepalese students at Arava International Center for Agricultural TrainingAt AICAT, students from around the world learn advanced agricultural practices cultivated in the Central Arava desert that they can then take back to their home countries. 

Dear Jeffrey,

Thank you so much for the your generous donation to AICAT and we are really so glad that you are helping us too in this critical situation.

We are here 165 students from Nepal learning in AICAT, and in the end of the program almost we all of the students lose our houses. For a second we thought that our dreams to change the agriculture system in our country had broken into pieces. But you have given us the strength to do it more effectively. Thanks for filling the new hope inside us.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

For these new IDF soldiers, it's about ability, not disability

Moor Masood and Tzufit Zandi. 

All new soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces start their first day at the Bakum, the absorption base where all soldiers are processed before being sent out to the various bases or units where they will eventually serve.

For Moor Masood and Tzufit Zandi, the journey to the IDF started six months ago when they came to the JNF-supported Special in Uniform program, which integrates young people with disabilities into the IDF. These women didn’t wanted to give up their dream of serving in the army, so they started a three-month life skills and occupational training program.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How disabled Israeli soldiers are aiding the Nepal earthquake rescue effort

Special in Uniform IDF soldiers prepare packets of medical supplies for a field hospital in Nepal's capital Kathmandu. 

By Leslie Katz

In a cavernous warehouse of an Israeli army base, Israel Defense Force soldiers busily assemble packets of medical supplies. Surgical tape. Tubes for intravenous drips.

Soon, the packets -- boxes and boxes of them -- will be shipped off to earthquake-ravaged Nepal, where the IDF's first humanitarian mission aircraft landed Monday night to assist in search and rescue and set up a field hospital to help treat the thousands injured since a deadly quake struck Kathmandu Saturday. 

That the IDF is providing humanitarian assistance in a natural-disaster zone beyond Israel's borders is hardly unusual – in 2013, the country dispatched aid workers to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, and in 2010, to quake-devastated Haiti, among other missions over the years. Noteworthy here are the soldiers working so hard in that warehouse lined with ceiling-high shelves of emergency supplies. They are members of the JNF-supported "Special in Uniform" program, which integrates young people with disabilities into the IDF. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Gratitude for a life-saving rescue in the Arava desert


Several years ago, the Jewish National Fund purchased a rescue vehicle for the 90-person volunteer Arava Search & Rescue Team, which fields hundreds of emergency calls per year related to emergencies in the arid desert region. To get a sense of the life-saving work the unit does around such crises as missing persons, heatstroke, and scorpion bites, read the below thank-you note to unit head Elad Seker from the Bar Lev family, which recently got into big trouble on a hike in the Arava and was rescued by the team.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

'The lives of these kids will live on': Boy's touching tribute to children of the Holocaust

A young Max Levin, with parents Bud and Judy, in front of the B'nai Mitzvah Remembrance Wall in Jerusalem’s American Independence Park in 2006.

When 12-year-old Max Levin was looking for a meaningful way to celebrate his upcoming bar mitzvah, he decided on a project in Israel that did more than simply mark his "coming of age" ceremony. His decision in 2006 created a unique link between today's teens and their peers who died in the Holocaust before ever reaching that special milestone. 

“I used to come to Israel every year with my parents, partly because of my dad’s work, but mostly because our family is very Zionistic," said Max, today 22 and a paratrooper and officer in the Israel Defense Forces. His father, Bud Levin, is Jewish National Fund vice president, Negev and Galil and oversees organizational efforts in the southern and northern regions of Israel.  


“That year, we came searching for a bar mitzvah project and considered many options. Eventually we looked at the Golden Books of Honor that JNF keeps at its offices in Jerusalem,” Levin said, recalling the volumes that over the years have documented donations to the organization and that by now contain more than 200,000 inscriptions.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Passover recipe special, part 2! My grandmother Hannah’s pickled cucumbers


Michal Ansky, a well-known Israeli media personality and foodie, believes that "everyone brings their memories and defines themselves by the foods they eat." Here, she shares with us her grandmother's pickle recipe, a Passover favorite.