“Houses from Within” Returns to Jerusalem With More Trains

October 30, 2012

The annual “Houses from Within” weekend is one of my favorite Jerusalem adventures. The event opens tens of normally private homes and institutions to the public. Dwellings owned by artists like successful sculptor Giora Segal, who renovated a small house in Motza (not technically in Jerusalem) built on top of a Second Temple period cave, […]

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Fuze Tea Blitzes Israel

September 19, 2012

You would have to have been living in a cave, under a rock or in general paying no attention whatsoever to TV, radio, the Internet or billboards all over Israel during the past few weeks to have missed the hottest new beverage to hit supermarket shelves. Or more to the point, the hottest old beverage. Fuze Tea […]

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Israeli Wine Tasting Festival Grows Up

August 2, 2012

The first year we visited the annual Israeli Wine Tasting Festival held at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem in 2006, there were a modest number of wineries all lined up on the single gently sloping outdoor passageway from the museum entrance until the main buildings. Six years later, the festival has grown – and grown […]

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You Got Chocolate in My Wine! No, You Got Wine in My Chocolate!

January 19, 2012

I’m a big fan of wine tastings. And an even bigger fan of chocolate. So when I had the opportunity to visit the new Tishbi tasting center, which combines both wine and gourmet imported French chocolate, my interest was piqued. Moreover, my palette was proud of yet another Israeli innovation, not so much hi-tech this […]

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Yes, That Bacon is Kosher

October 12, 2011

Growing up, I didn’t have a very strong Jewish background. I never had a bar mitzvah, Yom Kippur was just another school day and Shavuot, well, what’s that? But Shabbat, now that was special – that was the day we had bacon for breakfast! Now, I don’t want to insult anyone who’s never tried it, […]

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The Pause that Refreshes?

March 23, 2011

Purim in Jerusalem…and all the restaurants are booked solid. That didn’t stop our party of 11 from joining the merrymaking mosaic of Israeli society out to celebrate the defeat of the evil Haman some 2,000 years ago. My wife Jody had the foresight to reserve a table at the uber-popular Caffit café far in advance. […]

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Fake Crab, Great Deal

December 7, 2010

A new Jerusalem-based group-buying site, appropriately called GroopBuy, is taking the Anglo community by storm. The site, which launched Nov. 1, is the brainchild of a 27-year-old new immigrant, David Shadpour, who says he created the business to help his fellow olim negotiate better deals. He might also have had his eye on Groupon, the […]

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The Jody Blum Culinary Institute

September 28, 2010

Growing up, my mother refused to let my brother and me into the kitchen. While this created a carefree cooking-neutral childhood, it hasn’t served me so well as an adult. Whenever my wife Jody goes away – whether for an evening activity or an overseas trip – I slip into panic mode. Tackling menus terrifies […]

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Overeating in the Land of the Buffet

September 22, 2010

What is it about Jews and buffets? We see one and we go hog-wild, pardon the expression. And buffets are big business in Israel. Our most recent encounter with the ubiquitous Israeli buffet was during a Shabbaton earlier this year with our synagogue at the Alon Tavor Field School. Some explanations first. Field schools are […]

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Why I’m No Longer Buying Croutons

August 26, 2010

One of my favorite condiments for Friday night chicken soup is croutons. So it is with a heavy heart that I’ve had to ban my beloved fried, garlic-infused mini-bread squares from my culinary repertoire. The reason: I don’t agree with the ideological goals of the organization that grants them their kosher certification. My problems with […]

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