Israeli hit TV show Fauda is back


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Good news! Fauda is back for Season 2! Here is everything you need to know about it!

For those of you who don’t know what Fauda is, here is a short summary (and seriously – watch it on Netflix!  I promise a weekend full of fun.)

First aired in 2015 in Israel, Fauda (meaning “Chaos” in Arabic) stars one of its creators Lior Raz as Doron, a member of mista’arevim who portrays Israel’s Arabic-speaking counterterrorism unit and its work. The men and women are specifically trained to operate undercover in enemy territory in order to assassinate or capture accused terrorists. The show’s first season (streaming on Netflix since March) had Doron coming out of retirement to hunt down Abu Ahmad, a Hamas militant he thought he had killed years ago. The second season, returning to Israeli TV this month and Netflix in 2018, explores internal Palestinian rivalries and ISIS recruitment in the region.

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A war is, by definition, messy and complex; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is beyond that—deeply layered mayhem that Fauda, a production of the tiny Israeli TV industry, has done a superb job of humanizing. “Arabs tell us it’s an Arab show, right-wingers tell us it’s a right-wing show, leftists a left-wing show,” says Lior Raz, one of Fauda’s co-creators. “We worried the reaction would be just the opposite.” Not only Fauda has helped everyone relate to at least one character on the show, it has also affected Israelis to learn more Arabic and more and more Israeli teenagers learn Arabic in high school.

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Following its success in Israel, Fauda was purchased by Netflix and is aired in 190 countries around the world. Lior Raz has been touring the US talking about the making of the show and his experience during his IDF service. Some of you may recall hearing him talk at the FIDF Gala this past November, where he also told us that Netflix ordered two more original shows! one is called “Hit and run” about a CIA and a Mossad agent working together to catch one of the world’s most wanted terrorist, the other doesn’t have a name yet but it’s in the work – and when Netflix and Fauda creators are involved – who are we to worry?

Fauda Season 2 aired in Israel on December 31 for a perfect New Year’s Eve treat and brings another heavy dose of action and nail-biting tension. This season features many of the characters from the first season, including Nurit (Rona-Lee Shim’on), Naor (Tsahi Halevi), Herzel (Doron Ben-David), Eli (Yaakov Zada Daniel), Avihai (Boaz Konforty), Gaby (Itzik Cohen), Mickey (Yuval Segal), and Gali (Neta Garty). The permanent cast will be joined by new characters; among them: Firas Nassar who will star as the new villain and a member of ISIS, the enemy at the center of this season instead of Hamas. In Fauda Season 2, the main character’s past returns to haunt him as he is forced to return to the unit to fight against his new enemy, played by Nassar.

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Do you want to learn more about the conflict? Improve your Hebrew and maybe catch a few phrases in Arabic? Watch Fauda on Netflix and join the fun!

Until next time…

Or

Winter is here…


Even in Israel and no one wants to be out in the cold.

So here is a list of winter activities you can do indoors (and ok, maybe some outdoors, it’s still Israel) and stay nice a toasty.

Canada Center – built by the Jewish community in Canada in 1995, this northern center is a vacation and sports resort that has different kinds of activities for groups, couples and individuals. There are an indoor swimming pool and an Ice skating rink, hot tubs and baby pools. You can also bowl in their bowling alley, watch a 7-D movie and jump the trampolines in their I-jump center.

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If you are willing to endure the cold and want to get some skiing done – You should definitely visit the Mount Hermon.

At 6692 ft above sea level Mount Hermon has 27 miles of ski routs around the mountain, there are 11 cable cars and elevators to be used by visitors. Mount Hermon has a ski school and ski shop to buy everything you need. Visitors can enjoy a variety of other recreational activities; snow sledding for children, alpine coaster (mountain sleds), a ride by chair lift to the top station and snow games. In addition, visitors can visit local stores to purchase winter clothes and ski equipment, and dine at the various buffets, including a kosher one.

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Not interested in winter activities but still want to do something fun? Why don’t you try one of the hundreds of Escape rooms in Israel? With different themes and different difficulty levels everyone can find an escape room to enjoy (and in most cases, you can have it adapted to English.

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Until next time…

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Changes in the Dead Sea


Ahhh the Dead Sea.  We all know it, love it or hate it.  It’s one of the world’s wonders, and probably a stop for every person who is visiting Israel.  But, what do we really know about it?  Only that it is salty and the lowest point on Earth?  Here are some facts about the Dead Sea and some changes that have happened to it over the years.

The Dead Sea is not a Sea at all.  It is actually a Salt Lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel to the west. The Dead Sea is the fourth most salty water body on Earth (the first one being Don Juan Pond in Victoria Land in Antarctica) with a salt concentration of 34.2%, which is ten times saltier than the Mediterranean Sea.

 

The water level in the Dead Sea have been decreasing starting in the middle of the 20th century, mostly due to the wide use of the water from the water sources that are draining into the Dead Sea, the main one being the Jordan River, and the draining of water from the lake to the steaming pools in the south part of it.

 

Receding shore lines

The Dead Sea has 2 parts.  The northern one, which has an average depth of 656 feet, is the part of the Dead Sea where you probably visited and floated around in. The second part is the southern  part, which has an average depth of 32 feet, therefore it has dried quickly and now it is being used for the production of potash (a variety of mined and manufactured salts that contain potassium in water-soluble form). Draining water to the southern pools is the main reason that the northern part is drying.

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Southern pools

The decreasing levels of the Dead Sea have created a decrease in the size of the lake by 35%. The change in water levels and size have created irreversible changes to the northern part of the lake. It has created sinkholes all around the Dead Sea, receding shores, damage to infrastructure and the natural reserve around it.

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Now that you know a little more about the Dead Sea, you know that you have to go see it! When you are there enjoy floating in this world wonder, enjoy the Dead Sea mud on your skin and most importantly – clean up after yourself so that other people can enjoy it as well.

Until next time

Or

Purple tomatoes?! NO WAY!!!


Everyone who knows me knows that my favorite color is purple and that I can’t have a meal without a freshly cut salad, that is why I am happy to inform that Israeli researches have created a purple tomato! Yes, it is for real – soon enough our salads will have red-violet tomatoes along side the red tomatoes and green crunchy cucumbers.

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Why do we need purple tomatoes you ask? Well we don’t but there is a very good reason we should have them. Scientists discovered the pigments made by beets can help boost other veggies resistance to disease and mold, and increase their nutritional value. Weizmann Inst. Of science has opened the way to numerous potential uses of betalains – the highly nutritious red-violet and yellow pigments made by beets.

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Click here for the full article from nocamels.com

Until next time…

Or

 

An Israeli University that is branching out!


A few weeks ago, I told you about the Israeli University that opened a campus in New York. Today, that same university opened a new campus in another country on the other side of the planet! In China!

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The Technion, Israel’s version of MIT opened a campus in Guangdong Province in order to promote healthy collaborations between Israel, Hong Kong and China. The work on the campus started when philanthropist Lee Kah Shing approached the Technion to build a full branch of the Technion in Hong Kong.

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Two years after their first meeting, the Hong Kong branch of the Technion opened its gates to 200 students who have already started in September. The million square foot campus has 13 buildings, 29 classrooms, 14 teaching labs and 55 research labs and is ready to have 3,000 students study on campus in the first decade.

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The majors offered to students are Chemical Engineering, Bio-Technology,  Food Engineering and Material Engineering. Soon, advanced degrees in science and engineering will also be offered.

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A degree from this campus will be acknowledged by the Israel Higher Education committee so if you ever want to study in Israel and Asia – this is your chance! 😊

Until next time…

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Happy Hanukkah!


Hello everyone!

I hope you enjoyed the first night of Hanukkah and ate lots of delicious sufganiyot!

Today I’m not going to write a lot – I just wanted you to enjoy a little Hanukkah spirit.

In case you didn’t know what Hanukkah is about, or just want to laugh a little here is Mayim Bialik explaining Hannukah.

And for the Hamilton fans here are the Maccabeats and their take on Hamilton and Hanukkah

Until next time…

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The ultimate guide for sufganyot


Ask any grown up or kid in Israel what they eat during Hanukkah and they’ll tell you without hesitation – “ Sufganyot!”

Sufganyot are  deep fried doughnuts that come in one shape and many sizes, filled with anything you can imagine. Everyone has his or her favorite and of course there are the people who only eat them when they are homemade.

Today I am bringing you the ultimate guide for Israeli sufganyot and where to get them (for you winter Israel trip of course)!

Mimi – a wonderful bakery in Hod Hasharon (short drive from Tel Aviv). They kept the classic strawberry filling and alongside it – chocolate ganache, caramel toffee and they even have a gluten free sufganya for those of you who prefer it.

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The Showroom Bakehouse – this is the doughnut central of Tel Aviv, and while they make them all year round – they still managed to create some new flavors for Hanukkah such as the cotton candy sufganya – with a filling of strawberry mascarpone cream vanilla glaze and cotton candy on top, the Ice cream sufganya and even a tribute to the USA S’mores sufganya.

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Tati – they have created a sufganya for everyone perfectly filled and assures that even if you share one sufganya (brave!) both sides will get the same amount of filling (those fights have been known to break friendships apart). Some of their special fillings include cheese filling, chocolate and marshmallow and dulce de leche.

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Metuka – ever had savarin? If you haven’t – you should. If you have – step up to the next phase and have it in sufganya form – I promise you will not regret it. Metuka is an Israeli branch and their sufganyot is better then even the finest boutiques! Do yourself a favor and when you travel Tel Aviv around Hanukkah time – stop by and enjoy some of the best sufganyot in town.

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These are only four of the many places around Israel that you can find unique and delicious sufganyot.

Now, I know you want to eat a sufganya so I took the liberty to add this “Jewlish” recipe for a sufganya in a bag – don’t forget to go crazy with the fillings!

https://www.facebook.com/sojewlish/videos/894790204011809/

Until next time

Or

How did Tel Aviv became the vegan capital of the world?


Vegan and traveling to Tel Aviv?

Worry not! Tel Aviv was just declared the vegan capital of the world! If you are among those who think the vegan food is composed of leaves and dirt – I suggest you try one of 400 delicious and creative  vegan restaurants in Tel Aviv as you will probably have some of the best meals you have ever had.

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Not only are  there are a lot of vegan kitchens in Tel Aviv,  many of the restaurants have a separate vegan menu along with their regular menu so that everyone will have a variety of choices for breakfast lunch or dinner.

Here is the article from the Independent.

Until next time…

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Iron dome protects the NY power grid!


Now that I have your attention, let me tell you how Israel helped New York protect its power plants from outages that are both harmful for the people of the state and to the power plant itself.

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After two outages in 2012 and 2014, New York Power Authority contacted mPrest, the Israeli company that  developed the Iron Dome. Although the outages were not dramatic,  they were expensive to fix.

I will keep this short and let you read the article about it from Ha’aretz (don’t worry, it’s in English).

Photos show concrete damage in transformer bay at the NYPA Niagara Robert Moses Plant. Photos requested by Ed Barbiero. March 11, 2011 Photographer: Anne Dykstra

You can read the article here https://www.timesofisrael.com/new-yorks-power-plants-now-protected-using-israels-iron-dome-technology/.

Until next time…

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Walking through the Torah.


Planning a trip to Israel this winter? Have you already been and want to have a new or different experience?

Israel Nature and Parks Authority have created a few special hikes that you should consider.  The new series of hikes take tourists in the footsteps of the stories from the Torah. There are ten different tours, each of which has three different dates this winter (based on availability). The tours are free with  admission to the historical site.

Here are three examples of the different hikes available:

Tel Dan Reservation

In the reservation you can follow the story of the tribe of “Dan” migration from the south to the north, you will see the remnants of the Israeli Gate with the inscription of “House of David”. You can also see a previous gate from the Canaanite era, to which Abraham arrive chasing the five kings of the north.

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Wildlife reserve Carmel

The reserve opened in 1973, with the initiative of the CEO of the Israel Nature and park authority during that time, to help endangered animal procreate without danger and then being sent back to their natural habitat. The norther reserve specializes in northern animal, while the southern reserve specializes in southern animal.

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Tel Megido

We all know the verse “Her husband is known in the gates. When he sitteth among the elders of the land” that is song during Friday night when singing “Women of Valor”. This phrase comes to show just how important the city gates were in ancient times. Visiting this historical site takes us to the city gate of Megido and hear about the importance of the city gate and wall.

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So, if you are traveling to Israel this December take a torah stories in Israel hile! Just go to the Israel Nature and Park Authority and sign up!

http://www.parks.org.il/sites/english/Pages/default.aspx

Until next time…

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