The Big Felafel


Guide to supermarket shopping online in Israel

supermarket-sweep

Going to the supermarket in Israel is a bit like Supermarket Sweep – only without the fun trivia and prizes. You have to be in top shape to fend off the line cutters at the poultry section and then the line holders (“I’ll be right back, just save my spot”) at the checkout. You also have to endure waiting on line for at least 20 minutes at the checkout– and that’s only if the person in front of you opts out of buying cigarettes at the last minute. And, if you forgot an item at the last minute, you have to run, literally sprint, to get it so that the person behind you in line doesn’t explode in anger.

Last time I was in the US, I was amazed that a trip to the supermarket could be a quick in and out experience. In Israel, there’s never even a quick “in” – what with the bag checks, rummaging for the 5 shekel coin to unlock the mystery that awaits within your cart, and finally making your way in through all the outside “deals” that try to distract you from sticking to your shopping list. And, there’s certainly no quick “out” with maybe one express lane, if you’re lucky, and my experience has shown that no matter which line I pick, there is always some sort of hold up – a coupon that’s not valid, a price check on an item, a last-minute delivery decision, etc.

Let’s just say that the Israeli supermarket shopping experience is not exactly a calming experience.

The best part of going to the supermarket is the hope that there will be free samples and good deals (since there is no circular to let you know of deals ahead of time). Depending on which supermarket you go to, you may see people sampling the olives, pickles, raisins, walnuts, and anything else that is not safely guarded behind plastic. In this hilarious episode from the Israeli TV show, Ramzor, Eyal tries to eat as many free samples as he can in the supermarket… and gets caught! See what lengths he’ll go to continue enjoying free samples.  Also in this episode, Hefer tries to cancel his TV subscription but gets unbelievable offers, anything to keep him from cancelling.

After having a baby in October, I realized that if I ever want something from the supermarket, the only way I’ll be able to get it is if I order online, even if it means foregoing free samples.  At first, I was really intimidated by having to shop online in Hebrew, but after a little while, I started to get the hang of it. Most of these sites let you keep previous orders so you can just re-order many of the same things, which saves a lot of time.

Here are all the online supermarket sites in Israel, although the only one I’ve tried so far is Shufersal Yashir.

Shortly after writing this, an article came out in Yediot Achronot comparing the different online supermarkets: Shufersal, Mega, Rami Levi and MisterZol. The winner for every grouping of assorted items was Rami Levi.

shufersal

ShuferSal Yashir

I saw that Shufersal Yashir (I always thought it was SuperSol until I saw their website)  was giving 200 shekels (25 shekels for each purchase x 8 purchases) to new online shoppers, so I decided to give it a try. And I was hooked. I ordered in the morning, and could decide when I wanted to receive the delivery – the same day or the next day. Click click click and a few hours later all the heavy stuff I ordered was magically at my doorstep.

The prices are definitely a bit higher, but if you spend over 750 shekels, delivery is free.  There are deals online as well so if you shop the deals first, you may only pay a bit more than you would at the store.

The other fun thing about Shufersal Yashir is that they give you 2 random items from the store for free. Sometimes we got really great stuff like a loaf of bread or frozen peas, but sometimes they were really crappy – like grape mix for juice and pizza flavored pretzels. I guess this somewhat compensates for giving up free samples at the supermarket.

The only major drawback of shopping online is not being able to choose my own produce, but you can leave notes on the site like “un-ripe only” and they do a pretty good job of bringing you what you request. I found the user interface on the website easy to use and the search functionality really helpful.

Delivery price: 28 NIS. Free for orders over 750 NIS   29 NIS. 10 NIS for orders over 750 NIS.
Delivery area: Most cities in Israel. Enter your zip code to find out if they deliver to your area.
Payment options: local Israeli and international credit cards

 

ramilevy

Rami Levy

Rami Levy recently rolled out a new website for ordering your groceries online but with one major problem – they’re rolling out their new service painfully slowly, starting with trial runs in the Tel Aviv area only. Who knows when they’ll get to Jerusalem Sad smile. Rami Levy has the reputation of having the cheapest prices so I am definitely waiting til they come to my area.

Delivery price: 24.95 NIS
Delivery area: Tel Aviv area

logo_mega

Mega

Mega has a very photo-rich site, but is usually more expensive than the other supermarkets. I would be interested in hearing feedback from people who have used Mega online.

Delivery price: 28 NIS.
Delivery area: Most cities in Israel. Enter your zip code to find out if they deliver to your area.
Payment Options: Israeli credit cards and PayPal!

 

Mister Zol B’click 

Currently the Homepage isn’t showing deals, although there is a link to get to them, but already that gives me a bad feeling about the usability of the site. It looks like this is a relatively new site as the FAQ section still has “Question 1 and Answer 1”. According to an article recently in Yediot Achronot, Mister Zol didn’t have very good customer service – the writer of the article said he had to call 3 times before he got through to someone, and even then the customer service wasn’t very helpful.

 

Delivery price:  26 NIS for orders up to 250 NIS. 20 NIS for orders over 250 NIS
Delivery area:  Probably most cities in Israel, but I can’t click on the link to check delivery areas.

makolet

MyMakolet

I like looking around at the site because it makes me nostalgic for the US…they even have Shoprite brand cereals! Too funny.

What makes this site unique is that everything is in English.

The website says they will call for your credit card number and don’t process the credit card through the internet. I thought the whole point of eCommerce was to put your credit card online but maybe this is comforting to some people (not so comforting to me… where are they storing this sensitive info?).

So what happens with the second purchase? Do you have to call each time? Do they call you?

I also found the user interface on the site not very intuitive.

Delivery price: 20 NIS
Delivery area: Only Jerusalem

 

yashir

Yashir4u

Located in Bnei Brak, Yashir4u doesn’t seem to have lots of brands I’m using to seeing at the local supermarket. Maybe it’s because they only sell Mehadrin products. The prices seem to be much cheaper than Shufersal Yashir.

Delivery price: Free for orders over 500 NIS
Delivery area: Most cities in Israel. Enter your zip code to find out if they deliver to your area.

 

superbaba

SuperBaba – for the Tel Aviv area only. Looks like a brand new site. I clicked on “Deliveries” and the text says “text related to deliveries” Ha!

 

The only question remaining is – will the Shuk Mahane Yehuda follow the trend and go online?! Will the website include screaming vendors and flies buzzing  to replicate the true experience of the shuk?

Where do you like to go shopping? Where do you find the best deals?


Ha Ha HaHafuch! It’s time for a Comedy Variety Show and You’re Invited!

So it’s shameless self-promotion…so what! I’m just trying to get you to come to the Hahafuch Comedy Variety show this Thursday, July 7th at 8pm. I just want you, person living in Jerusalem, to have a good night out. I want you to laugh, drink some beer, enjoy music and maybe meet some cool people. Is that really so bad?

I hope to see you there. There will be comedy sketches, improv, music, beer and even stand-up with the very talented Benji Lovitt.

For details click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What July 4 means to Israelis: 35 years since the heroic rescue in Entebbe

In honor of the 35th anniversary of the heroic IDF rescue mission in Entebbe, Uganda, The Big Felafel received a moving guest post about Major General (Res.) Doron Almog (the “first man on the scene” in Entebbe) in which he reflects on the historic raid and highlights the importance of standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Entebbe’s Message 35 Years Later: Leave No Man Behind
By Doron Almog

Thirty-five years ago today (July 4, 1976), an Air France flight was hijacked and diverted to Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Shortly after landing, all of the non-Jewish passengers were released and the remaining Jewish passengers were held hostage. One week after the hijacking, I commanded the first task force to land in Entebbe as part of a daring mission that freed 105 hostages.

Faced with immense challenges, we pulled off a thrilling (yet bittersweet) victory. At the time, we saw the feat as an illustration of the strength and vitality of the Israeli army and the Jewish spirit.  Upon reflection (so many years later), it is clear that it also highlighted the importance of standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

It should be noted that my participation in Entebbe was voluntary. After my brother, Eran, was killed in the Yom Kippur war (he was injured in the Golan Heights and bled to death after sitting untreated for seven days), I was given the choice of leaving my combat unit as a bereaved soldier.  However, I chose to remain in the military in order to change the ethos of the IDF and make absolutely sure that no soldier would ever be left behind again.

It was this philosophy that drove me to participate in the Entebbe raid and numerous other military operations throughout my career and, ultimately, set the stage for the next phase of my adult life.

After our son was born – and we named him Eran after my late brother – he was diagnosed with severe physical and cognitive disabilities.  In an instant, my world was turned upside down. At first, I had a very hard time coming to terms with the fact that my beloved son would never speak or hold down a job, and would always be dependent on others to provide his every need.  But my “no man left behind” philosophy prevailed, and I found the strength to be the father that Eran needed me to be.

In fact, my time with Eran allowed me to develop my philosophy even further, and I became committed to changing the way society views the disabled.  I realized that it is not enough to make sure that these wonderful children don’t get left behind.  We must ensure that they are given every opportunity to excel and reach their greatest potentials.

For the Entebbe raid, our IDF battalions travelled 2,500 miles to fight for those who could not fight for themselves.  It is time for us to harness that bravery, resolve and dedication to our fellow men, to turn our sights inward and focus on the urgent rescue missions in our own neighborhoods. These “hostages” are in very real danger every day of their lives and are often abandoned. They are the weakest members of our society and are completely dependent on the kindness of others. We don’t need to launch a complex tactical mission to set them free.  We simply need to wrap them in love and help them integrate into our social fabric.

Make no mistake: our commitment to care for the disabled members of society remains immeasurably more difficult than any military campaign I have ever led. But we must stand up and fight to provide them with the care that they deserve. Because, in the end, our generation will be judged by how well we complete this mission.

 

Major General (Res.) Doron Almog is the founder and Chairman of Aleh Negev – Nahalat Eran, a village named in memory of his son, that provides a continuum of residential care for children with severe disabilities as they grow from adolescents into young adults. Learn more about Aleh at www.aleh.org.

 


Update: Campaign Sarah Silverman Be My BFF a Great Success!

We look like BFFs in this picture.

Update on the Sarah Silverman Be My BFF Campaign: It worked! That’s right; I will no longer just be Molly, but the Molly that met Sarah Silverman. The Molly that used her social media tools and connections to become a little bit of a stalker in her pursuit to meet someone really funny while in Israel.

How did it all happen.

Well, for background on my campaign you can read my first post. Basically after facebooking, tweeting, spreading the words among friends and random strangers at bus stops or waiting in long bathroom lines, I managed to find someone that knows her sister, Susan Silverman.

Susan Silverman lives in Jerusalem. I got in touch with Susan and did my best to explain that I am not really a total weirdo and just want to meet Sarah. She, being super nice, said she thought we could arrange some sort of coffee date. As I read her email I jumped up and down (first I took the lap top off my lap, smart thinking).

I had to keep it a secret. It was hard. I am really good at keeping secrets, but I wanted to share the news with all my friends that helped me out. Still I patiently waited for the day to arrive.

By Tuesday the President’s Conference had officially started and I knew Sarah Silverman must be somewhere in Jerusalem since she was supposed to appear on the first panel. Sitting a few rows back in a large conference hall, I watched Sarah Silverman give her interview. From the high of watching her from a short distance, I decided to call her sister a few hours later to check in about our coffee date.

My skinny friend and co-blogger, Rebecca, stood beside me as I tried to sound as normal as possible when scheduling my big moment. It was decided that I would meet Sarah at a family BBQ the next evening – just me, Sarah, family, friends and my husband and baby (should’ve asked if I could bring the dog too).

As the hours ticked by I got increasingly nervous. It was almost like a blind date. I asked for advice from some of my friends and they told me to be myself and just enjoy the meeting.

So that’s what I did. Almost. I got to the BBQ and walked in, felt a rush of heat go over my whole body, and walked back out. I got super nervous. I just had to tell myself she is a normal person like anyone else. My G-d this is the woman that talked about poop on stage yesterday at the President’s Conference, she is just like me!

I met Susan first and thanked her for the opportunity. Like any Jewish mother she encouraged me to eat and have a good time and then she brought me to Sarah. It was awesome. Sarah gave me a big hug as I introduced myself to her as the semi-stalker she had heard about from her sister.

The pants I gave Sarah look just like Jasmine's but the waist goes much higher...much higher.

I gave her a present, some Jewish stuff, but the main gift was a pair of super Israeli pants from Bazaar Strauss. Wrong in all the wrong places, the turquoise MC Hammer pants are known in Israel as, “Aladdin pants,” or “poop pants.” I explained to her that there was no right way to wear them. As she stood examining them she asked how high up they are supposed to go. I told her I really didn’t know, but I guess up to the boobs if possible. I wanted her to have a quintessential part of Israel and something funny to remember us by. I told her if she ever doesn’t feel funny enough she should definitely wear these. She took them and thanked me.

After grabbing a plate of food and making my way into the circle of chairs on the balcony, I proceeded to hang out with Sarah and her friends. I introduced her to my baby boy, who of course was wearing his ‘party pooper onesie’. But like any good party pooper, as soon as she held him he started crying. Thanks kid. But she took it well, and later in the evening when he cried with her again, she posed with him for some sad face pictures. Nice.

Crying like a baby or tears of joy? Sarah plays along.

We talked about all the things you would talk about when you introduce a Diaspora Jew to Israel: cats (they are the squirrels of Jerusalem), cottage cheese prices (through the roof and boycotts throughout the country) and how the old city is really old. All the important stuff.

It was a great night. I saw her as a real person. She and her sister are very close and they sat there reminiscing about funny childhood stories. She loved hanging out with her nieces and nephews, was open and friendly with anyone that walked through the door, and seemed so comfortable. I loved hearing her talk about comedy, since I am also a comedian (if only to myself) in my comedy troupe Hahafuch (had to plug it). It was fun to hear her and a few other comedians talk about that world. I have never been in a conversation like that. And when I say ‘in’ I mean I was on the sidelines listening to them talk about stand up and just taking it all in.

Thumbs up, that'll win her over!

And that’s what I did with this campaign. I took in the whole experience, from the first idea of ‘what if I could meet Sarah Silverman while she is in Israel’ to writing a post, and in the end actually meeting this incredible comedian. I would like to thank all the people that helped me in my campaign and in my success. As Sarah Silverman says, ““Guess what, Martin Luther King? I had a (beep) dream, too.” Thank you to Sarah Silverman for making this Jewish girl’s dream in a far away land come true.

 


‘Be My BFF’ Campaign: Sarah Silverman Be My Friend

This is what our friendship would look like

A few years ago famous comedian Sarah Silverman took part in a campaign geared towards getting young Jews to make sure their grandparents in Florida voted for then presidential candidate Barak Obama, in ‘The Great Schlep’.

Fast forward a few years later to present day, famous comedian Sarah Silverman is about to partake in another schlep, The Really Great Schlep, as she makes her way to the Jewish Homeland. That’s right, Silverman, obviously a big Jew, will be in Israel on tour and at this year’s President’s conference in about a week.

I am sure she will have an awesome trip, hang out with her family, and see some Jewish stuff while she is here. But more importantly, she needs to come and hang out with me, because we are destined to be BFFs. Is there a way to say that, write that, without sounding creepy or stalkerish?

So, just like Sarah Silverman once campaigned to make a difference, it appears it is now my turn to do the same. Perhaps my campaign is much smaller, really just for me and my friends and my comedy troupe, but I believe it will have a profound  effect on the nation, on Jews as a whole, and perhaps even milk prices.

Sarah Silverman this is my ‘Be My BFF’ campaign and I will do everything that I can until you and I are wearing friendship bracelets, posing in front of the Western Wall with our shoulders covered (thanks to the old lady-shmata-police at the Kotel who hand out dirty scarves to make sure G-d doesn’t get a peep show in the holiest place in the world) and leftover hummus and pita in our teeth.

There are a lot of reasons that you should be my friend and meet me on your trip to Israel. I will now list just a few. Also, I will make sure to tweet it up, Facebook and get my friends involved in my campaign. I will not sleep or eat until you are my friend. Mainly I won’t be sleeping because my eight-month-old son is teething and wakes up every two hours throughout the night. And when I say I won’t eat, what I mean is, I won’t eat too much, except for Shabbat when calories don’t count.

A List of Just a Few Reasons Why We Should be BFF:

We are both Jewish ( I only use this as a reason, because people think when they are setting people up, as long as they have one thing in common, like age, race or religion, that they must be perfect for each other…just trying to cover my bases. And this is kind of like the perfect shidduch).

I have a tiny comedy troupe, in a tiny city, in a tiny country. We are Hahafuch (it means upside down) the premiere English speaking comedy troupe in all of Israel. The only English speaking comedy troupe in all of Israel. We do improv and comedy sketches, making fun of Israel. We would love to have you for practice. Then you can check off “do improv with a bunch of new immigrants in Jerusalem” from your bucket list.

My husband is an archaeologist and can show you a private tour of his dig where they find really old stuff. He can also show you and your family awesome, really old secret places all over Jerusalem that you don’t know about.

I will take you to Bazaar Strauss in Talpiot, which is like a smaller, crappier version of Target. I will buy you anything you want, as long as it’s under NIS 10. It might not sound like much, but you could get a lot of stuff there for that price: underwear (never used, I might add), salad tongs, or half of a Purim costume (I say half because the other half is gone but they are still selling it).

I go to this Yoga-Pilates fusion class that you would love. Not because of the workout, but because the teacher wears these amazing pants, that are so wrong in all the wrong places. It is truly a body and mind challenge to get through the class. But as BFFs I know we could do it together.

I will take you to the Jerusalem Mahane Yehuda Shuk and you can meet a real busta (stall) owner in the Iraqi part, and I can guarantee he will give you some candy and tell you cool stories about his life.  I will then buy you NIS 5 ice coffee from marzipan and get you some of their famous rugelach if you insist. We will look at really pretty vegetables and take another picture, that I would probably make my Facebook profile for life.

You’re invited for Shabbat. I will make sure to have a table of awesome people, even if it means I have to become more than Facebook friends with them and possibly have to pay them. For a BFF, I would do that.

There’s more reasons of course, but I have to leave something for Twitter and Facebook. I will post reasons daily and I hope you will check them out and I will win you over. Like I said I will do anything. I can’t promise peace in the Middle East, but I can promise it like a politician does- which is about the same and worth a Nobel Prize if nothing else.

I know if we had the chance to hang out that it would be just another day in your world but for me it would kind of make my life. I moved to Israel after college and while I love it here, sometimes it’s hard to get through the day. Not because of terrorists. No I’m talking about something more evil than that- bureaucracy. So, I am just saying that you would make a big difference in someone’s life. And that difference will have a huge effect throughout the Anglo-Immigrant community in Israel. That’s a big deal. A really big deal. So on your Really Big Schlep, please just consider taking an hour or two to meet your Middle East BFF.

He wants to be BFFs too!

Also, I have a dog. He’s a Jerusalem mix and knows how to high five and roll over. We rescued him. He does not make white dog poop from the 70’s, but I can have my Israeli husband sing that song to you. He has it memorized.

To hang out you can email here. Or tweet me @FelafelBalls

Can’t wait!

 


Jerusalem Day Special: HaTikva’s scandalous past and its relevance today

In honor of Jerusalem Day, The Big Felafel received an excellent guest post about HaTikva, Israel’s national anthem.

The Impossible Dream
By Ariella Gottesman

Many years ago, I heard a speaker – a self-proclaimed Zionist – taking HaTikvah to task. In her opinion, it didn’t speak to the Zionist dream, the true feeling of the Jewish heart aching to return home, or the mission of Zionism. She suggested that The Impossible Dream from the hit Broadway musical “The Man of La Mancha” take its place as the Israeli national anthem. The very words, she thought, encapsulated everything Zionism and Israel stands for:

To dream the impossible dream,

To fight the unbeatable foe,

To bear with unbearable sorrow,

To run where the brave dare not go…

I was quite taken with this idea as a child, with the notion that this stirring song about reaching “the unreachable star” could serve as a more fitting national anthem for our homeland. I took out the CD from the library and listened to the song countless times, smiling as I internalized the lyrics. It struck a chord within me, far deeper than HaTikvah ever had.

So, why shouldn’t this song represent the Zionist dream? What does HaTikvah really have over The Impossible Dream?

Recently, I hit the books (and the Internet) to figure it all out.  What I discovered was fascinating.

Similar to The Star Spangled Banner, which is actually a four paragraph poem with only the first verse known, HaTikvah has seven other stanzas, which nobody knows.

HaTikvah was originally a nine stanza poem written by Naphtali Herz Imber, a relatively unsuccessful poet, loafer, and womanizer who lived in the late nineteenth century. The original title was actually TikvateinuOur Hope – and it was the anthem of several settlements in the 1880s. Imber later died of alcohol induced liver disease, a glorious way for the writer of Israel’s national anthem to pass.

Samuel Cohen later put these rhymes to a Romanian folk song, Carul cu Boi. Though he slowed down the rhythm and refined the sound, when one listens to Carul cu Boi, it is clear that the two songs are related. The tune that makes Jews worldwide rise and put their hands to their hearts means, in Romanian, “Cart and Oxen,” and the original is a dancing tune.

The more I uncovered in my research, the more the case was made for The Impossible Dream to take center stage.

Yet, HaTikvah, with its interesting, and perhaps scandalous, past, still has a unique quality that The Impossible Dream cannot and never will have. This quality fills the heart of the Jew. It makes us smile, it makes us cry, it defines us, and it makes HaTikvah our national anthem.

On May 12, 1948, before David Ben-Gurion read the Israeli Declaration of Independence, the audience spontaneously sang HaTikvah in unison. After the Declaration was signed, the crowd once again rose and sang:

To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

No one in that room, or anywhere in that newly born country, would have envisioned owning all of Jerusalem. Not under the White Paper, nor under the UNSCOP Partition Plan, nor by any other conceivable course of events. At best, they thought, it would wind up under UN jurisdiction. At worst, it would fall into the hands of the Arabs, who would in all likelihood deny Jews access. Indeed, by the end of the 1948 war, when the smoke had cleared, Jerusalem was still not under Israeli control.

Yet, Jews still dreamed of Jerusalem. Their eyes still looked towards Zion. The city where David camped was still in their hearts. And, in 1967, against all odds, we claimed our birthright.

The Impossible Dream is a wonderful song. I smile and cry every time I listen to it. But it does not focus on Jerusalem.  As such, it cannot possibly represent the Zionist dream because it is impossible to fulfill the Zionist dream without our Golden Jerusalem.

Ariella Gottesman is an undergraduate student at Stern College for Women and the president of the Yeshiva University Israel Club.

 


And the winner is…Israel: Behind the Scenes of Footnote

This week Israel made it in the news a lot. Mostly you read about politics, lame speeches and overused terms, but if you dug a little deeper you might have found out about Joseph Cedar, an Israeli film director who won best screenplay at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Whenever an Israeli wins something anywhere in the world, an Israeli citizen feels entitled to enjoy the moment and share the good news, almost as though they are the ones accepting the honor. I think this is where you can definitely say, “we’re all family here.” When Natalie Portman took home the Oscar for best actress at the Academy Awards this year, she might as well have been playing for Team Israel, because she was celebrated as though she brought home the gold. I don’t even know what makes her Israeli (obviously her mom or dad), but I shed a tear (not really) when she gave her acceptance speech— it was like Hebrew to my ears.

So when Joseph Cedar, an Israeli, clinched the Cannes award for best screenplay, I just wanted to give someone, anyone a high five and pop the champagne bottle (more like cheap fantasia, but you get the picture) open and celebrate.

Cedar is a gifted young director, who is no stranger to winning awards. His first movie, “Time of Favor” won six Ofir Academy Awards, including Best Picture. In 2007 his critically acclaimed film, “Beaufort” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The movie is based on his own experiences during his army service where he served in Lebanon.

His latest win at Cannes is for his new movie “Footnote”, which premiered there. The movie is a dramedy that examines the relationship between father and son, both of whom are competing researchers of Talmud at an Israeli university. The film is set to premiere on June 2.

I had the chance to sit down with Joseph Cedar’s father, Prof. Howard Cedar and talk about his son’s continued success. But what makes the conversation even more interesting, is that Prof. Howard Cedar is also gifted and no stranger to awards— however, this is not a son following in his father’s footsteps story, but quite the opposite, Prof. Cedar is a world renowned scientist. Known in the medical world as the ‘Father of methylation’, Cedar has won many awards for his work including his recent honor, the Canada Gairdner International award for his contribution to medical science. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if his contribution ultimately leads to a Nobel Prize.

Prof. Cedar has been teaching and continuing his investigative research at The Hebrew University’s Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada since the 1970’s when he moved to Israel. That’s where I interviewed him, in between his busy day of researching and being a top scientist.

By the way, for all the praise I am giving him, it is just as important that you know he is a really nice guy. He sits relaxed on his couch and enjoys speaking to me about his son’s good news. He also makes sure to tell me he is proud of all his kids. Awesome! You can check out the video interview to see what he says about the movie, Cannes and what’s next for Joseph.

And just before you do that, let me leave you with this, so you really get a picture of how great of a father he is— not just in the science world but as a family man too. I told him that I don’t know how he must feel having his son achieve such a great honor. I said my son is sitting up now (he is almost 8-months-old), and for me as a mother it feels incredible. I burst with joy and glee and I couldn’t be more proud. He told me it’s the same feeling.


116 useful updates about living in Israel you may have missed

Here are some useful updates about living in Israel that I’ve tweeted or put on Facebook in the last 2 months. And now that I’m posting the links here, I’m not limited by the Twitter 140 character limit and can sit in the peanut (Bamba?) gallery and offer additional commentary! For more Israel-related real-time updates, you can follow The Big Felafel on TwitterFacebook, or by blog updates via email.

  1. Watching Am Segula – Mah Kashur’s new comedy series. Verrry similar to their previous series, Yisraelim. Well, it is the same guys, so it makes sense.
  2. Join the Koby Mandell Foundation FB page and double your chances of winning 2 free tix to @comedyforkoby.
  3. Site-specific art installations by Bezalel students transform downtown Jerusalem’s bars Oh bars. I think those days are pretty much over for me or is it cool to bring a 7 month old with?
  4. Festivals and More Festivals in Jerusalem (via @janglo) I think Israel has set a world record for most amount of festivals per capita or per season or however it is that we measure festival records.
  5. Contest for Design of New Banknotes in Israel. Weird set of qualifications: graphic design AND certified bookkeeper. Good luck with that, State O’Israel.
  6. Israeli family names their baby “Like” There was also an Egyptian family who named their baby Facebook. And they say we can’t get along with our neighbors. We have weird names in common. Isn’t that enough?
  7. Fox pulls Israeli sitcom Traffic Light after 13 episodes Ramzor, the Hebrew version, was such an Israeli-type show, I was wondering how that would work out. I guess it didn’t.
  8. ISRAEL21c invited to global cancer fellowship Impressive.
  9. Intern in Israel program gets boost from U.S. firms I went to this Masa event and met some awesome recruiters from Urban Outfitters, Citibank and other big names. Great job Masa for really putting in lots of effort to run successful internship programs in Israel
  10. Love the @benjilovitt 63 Reasons why I love Israel As usual, Benji outdoes himself with his Israel love.
  11. Ayalim, a nonprofit in the Negev and Galil building sustainable student housing village. Inspiring for Yom Ha’atzmaut
  12. New Yom Ha’atzmaut video by Aish. How many people do you recognize? I counted 2.
  13. Huge Naked Art installation to be in the Dead Sea or Mea Shearim. Hope no one gets angry…
  14. Way off track / Fast train to Jerusalem will have to wait Originally, the Tel Aviv – Jerusalem fast train was planned to be finished by 2017. But since that seems too close.. they’ve now postponed it until two thousand and never. Oh well. It’s the thought that counts, right?
  15. Anglodeals Amazing! All the daily group deal sites in English!
  16. J’lem haredim find gentile hametz buyer has taken it! Hilarious! Bet you never thought someone would actually come and get your chametz.
  17. ‎@hebrewU and eTeacher Group Offer Aramaic Language via Online Program (via @religion_state) I totally think there should be Aramaic Ulpan. Sign me up.
  18. New Noise Laws in Israel (via @ahoova) No more loud car alarms. Huh? Isn’t that the point of car alarms.
  19. New Jerusalem Culture site launched (on Drupal.. in case you’re as nerdy as I am and wanted to check) Good source for upcoming cultural events like the Light Festival and Opera Festival and even the Festival Festival. Bet you never heard of that one.
  20. Funny shorts about Pini, an Israeli living in London Really short episodes which is great for someone with a short attention span like me. I just watched all of them straight through. The series is in English and Hebrew and could be a good ulpan tool – just read the subtitles the whole time.
  21. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to visit Rabbi Lau in Israel What a crazy story. Turns out that Kareem’s father was in the army during WWII and liberated Rabbi Lau. Why do I keep thinking about the movie Airplane?
  22. Gevalt! Israel launches a cellphone in Yiddish Reminds me of my college days and my semester of Yiddish. Now I see where that knowledge could be useful again!
  23. Oldie but a goodie Matzah Ball Rap A great Passover video that doesn’t get old. And it stars my old kitchen… and friends!
  24. Answers.com being sold for $127 million Wow. Kol Hakavod. Answers.com is such a great part of the local Jerusalem community, sponsoring events, hiring Israelis, etc.
  25. Hilarious report on the English spoken by service providers in Israel (thanks @felafelballs) Reads like a comedy script for a sketch by… hahafuch (Jerusalem’s comedy troupe)
  26. Artists coming to perform in Israel 2011 featuring Megadeath, Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias via @igoogledisrael.com
  27. Vanessa Mae is coming to perform in Israel via @igoogledisrael.com
  28. In Latest Discovery, Have They Found the Nails Used to Crucify Jesus?
  29. ‎50 things to do in Jerusalem this spring – GoJerusalem.com
  30. ‘Amazing Israel Race’ Kicks Off in Boston. It’s not happening in Israel, but such a great idea, I wish they would do something like that in Israel.
  31. In Israel, a check of supermarkets shows consumers should stick to stores they find most convenient, and leave paltry price differences behind.(via Haaretz)
  32. Al Gore invests $10m. in Israeli solar energy projects Israeli solar on a roll! First Google then Al Gore!
  33. Google invests $168m in Brightsource solar project – Globes
  34. Bieber visits the Western Wall
  35. iPhone app by @rustybrick gets rid of chametz (via @janglo)
  36. Four Israeli divas serenade traffic from atop Jerusalem bridge via Haaretz
  37. Justin Bieber performs tonight in Tel Aviv. Won’t get to meet Bibi.I was so hoping that Bibi would meet with Bieber. But what would they talk about?
  38. Donald Trump sues Israeli co selling “Trump Vodka” – Globes I’m so surprised this is the only Israeli counterfeit being caught. What about stores in Israel that are called Best Buy and Versace that have no connection to the real brands?
  39. Israeli App Testing Company Turns From Google And Microsoft To Startups (via @NoCamels)
  40. New Glasses from $6.95! – Janglo (link no longer available)
  41. Payless ShoeSource arrives in Israel Petach Tikva and Beer Sheva. avg price for shoes: 100 NIS (via @janglo)
  42. ‎5 day program in Jerusalem this summer to help residents improve their neighborhoods and green the city
  43. Tel Aviv University @telavivuniv Computer Project Funded By Google featured on @mashable!
  44. Regional C’ttee approves Jerusalem’s Cinema City – Globes
  45. Really? Tel Aviv ranked Israel’s greenest city – Globes
  46. Ophir Tours offers $95,000 space trips – Globes
  47. Such a nice video about Shir Hadash! Feat. Rabbi Pear
  48. The Bezalel Art Fair now happening every Friday from 9am – 3pm
  49. Mirs and Xfone win wireless tender (Source:Globes). New cellphone numbers will be 058 and 053 (Source: israel Hayom)
  50. Cellular competition starts today for 2 new providers in Israel Reminds me to watch this video again
  51. VIDEO: “Ya’alili” by 8th Day: The official music video (via @janglo)
  52. Google Exodus – very cute Passover video from Aish.
  53. Jon Stewart’s Hilarious Eruv Video
     


    So funny! The Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac goes to Long Island to investigate the Eruv controversy and finds a solution by creating the Eruv hat! Love! Continue reading this entry »


Guide to Passover Activities in Israel 2011

 

To get you in the mood, here’s an awesome Passover video that asks, What if Moses had facebook?

Bezalel Street Arts and Crafts Fair

Opens April 1, 2011

Artists show off their crafts, jewelry, photography and more at this funky street festival.

9am to 3pm
Shatz St., downtown Jerusalem
Free Entrance
More info

AHAVA festival 2011

April 19-23, 2011

at the Dead Sea featuring Yehuda Poliker, Ehud Banai, Eviatar Banai, Mosh Ben Ari, Hadag Nachash, and more
More info

Continue reading this entry »


The Jerusalem Marathon and You! (Next Year in Jerusalem Indeed!)

Picture yourself somewhere in this crowd!

If you weren’t one of the 10,000 people that ran in the Jerusalem Marathon, Half-marathon, 10k or 4.2k race this past Friday, I am here to tell you that you better be next year. If you want a challenge, if you want to be healthy and if you want to eat pasta like it’s nobody’s business then sign up for the 2012 race now.

I am writing this to you, sore legs and all, to say that everyone has the potential to run in a race like this, and if you don’t do it then you are missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime. And to run the Jerusalem track, that’s the cherry on the top. Running through the streets of Jerusalem, hills and all, is an incredible feeling. Running with others who are sharing in your excitement and pain as you climb yet another incline, is so amazing I wish I could do it again this Friday!

Let’s get this straight. I don’t consider myself a runner. I am a woman who became a mommy and didn’t have the time or money to go to a gym with a newborn to take care of. So I made it my goal to get back in shape with a few DVDs (those postnatal workouts with cheesy trainers telling you you’ll be as fit as ever) and a light jog every now and then. No matter where you run in Jerusalem you are bound to face a hill, so I figured a good twenty minute run was plenty and would keep me healthy. Continue reading this entry »