Posted on February 10, 2008 | Comments Off
Tel Aviv celebrated the opening of its 100th sushi restaurant, and thus became the third largest sushi market in the world (in per capita terms) behind New York and Tokyo. Thus, Ben Gurion’s dream of a cultural melting pot has been replaced with a sushi platter of trendy, cultural diversity. Not to worry, an Israeli influence can still be felt, as approximately 20% of said restaurants are kosher.
Tel Aviv isn’t alone: new sushi restaurants can be seen sprouting up everywhere around Israel, from the Golan Heights to Eilat. With Japanese cuisine constituting the fastest growing sector, more and more people are moving the gefilte fish aside for some savory hosomaki.
Feeling adventurous? Here’s a little sushi DIY:
Posted on February 7, 2008 | Comments Off
Israel’s top tennis pair made history this weekend, winning the Australian Open doubles title and becoming the first Israeli pair ever to win a Grand Slam event. The Australian Open is one of four major tennis tournaments that take place during the year, and Israeli duo Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich came out “on top” down under, thanks to inspired play which included not losing one set! In addition to a check of 400 thousand dollars, their efforts awarded them national admiration, including a phone call from Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert.
A bit of background on Andy and Yoni
“We really have to thank the great Israeli crowd,” Erlich said of the Israeli fans that made the long trip to Australia to cheer them on. The win was a long time coming for the duo, which several times has gotten close to a coveted Grand Slam title, always coming up just short. Starting off the tennis season in such great form, as well as the relief of finally “getting the monkey off their back,” the Israeli pair is in a good situation to repeat their historic win during this year.
Posted on January 31, 2008 | Comments Off
Leonard Nimoy, the legendary actor who played Spock on Star Trek, gives a great speech on the Jewish elements in Star Trek, and how he based the Vulcan hand greeting on the Kohanim he saw in his synagogue in his youth.
Posted on January 29, 2008 | Comments Off
Israel has seen a record year of tourism since the year 2000, with some 2.3 million visitors arriving on our shores. “Next year in Jerusalem” has happily turned into “This year in Jerusalem,” with the rise in tourism contributing $3.2 billion of tourism-related revenues to the Israeli economy. Read more»
Posted on January 28, 2008 | 1 Comment
Robert Parker, arguably one of the world’s most influential wine critics, thinks Israeli wine is pretty good. Parker recently completed his first tasting of Israeli wine, and gave 14 of the 90 wines a grade above 90 (out of 100). The grading system designed by Parker, categorizes a wine with an above 90 score as being “world class.” Read more»
Posted on January 28, 2008 | Comments Off
Chelsea Football Club has just extended the contract of their coach, Avram Grant, who is also the former Israeli National Team coach. When Grant was named coach of the Chelsea Football Club in September, the cynics didn’t give him a chance. Now, after 16 straight games without a loss, the cynics can’t be heard over the roar of the Chelsea fans. Chelsea, among the top tier clubs in England’s Premier League, has now rewarded Grant’s success with a handsome 4-year contract of 2.5 million pound sterling per annum. Read more»
Posted on November 6, 2007 | Comments Off
Every year, thousands of students come to Israel to spend a year studying in various overseas programs. For most of these students, this is the first time they will be separated from their families for such an extended period of time. A new site has been launched aimed to help students in their new environment by providing useful information to both students and their parents related to their year in Israel. Called Here 4 The Year, (www.here4theyear. com) the website provides touring tips, a calendar of key events, nutritional information, and valuable tips on navigating the “system.” The website also provides information for the parents, including a column by a clinical psychologist. Read more»
Posted on November 4, 2007 | Comments Off
The Guardian, one of England’s largest papers, has published a review of Thomson airline’s new budget flights to Israel. Apparently, Israel’s tourist board is wisely contributing to this new offering by covering a percentage of Thomson’s marketing budget.
The writer asks a representative from Israel’s tourist board if Tel Aviv is safe, and he is told that “you can walk down the street at night without fear.” The writer says that he didn’t mean crime, he meant bombs. I guess that if you can walk down the street at night that doesn’t indicate safety for some reason. But anyways, Uzi Gafni and a Thomsonfly rep answer him as follows:
Travellers face such dangers elsewhere in the world, Mr Gafni points out, and adds that there have been no attacks in Tel Aviv for a year.
Guy Stephenson, from Thomsonfly, argues that Egypt, Turkey and Morocco have suffered more from terrorism recently, although he concedes the perception remains that Israel is particularly badly afflicted.
And then, in typical British fashion, man-on-the-scene makes sure we all remember that “None of these arguments, of course, will convince people who abjure travel to Israel because of the country’s stance on Palestine.” Does he write these types of caveats when he’s reviewing travel to, say,
[Hat tip to Michael Horesh for pointing out this article and the typical British caveat]
Posted on October 22, 2007 | Comments Off
After years of perfecting their dark, black, sarcastic humor, Israelis have switched gears and started in a new direction – hilarious TV shows. And now, thanks to the Reshet Video Machine, you can watch plenty of these funny Israeli TV shows online. It sounds like an almighty and powerful machine, and it is. Take a look. The videos load super fast, it creates a playlist for you based on what you select, and gives you a URL so you can send your favorite clips to your friends. The video technology of course, is from Israeli company, HIRO Media. My two favorites shows are HaYisraelim and Ktzarim, which both feature short skits. They are in Hebrew, but Ktzarim has Hebrew subtitles so you can read along. And, if you miss the jokes the first time, just reload them. No shame. Enjoy!
Posted on October 18, 2007 | Comments Off
Jacob Richman, the ever-active guy behind the very useful CJI (Computer Jobs in Israel) mailing list and his directory of all things Israeli, has developed a new facebook app that lets you add your Hebrew name to your profile fittingly called My Hebrew Name. All you have to do is add the app, enter your Hebrew name in English letters, and it adds a box to your profile with how your name is spelled in Hebrew. Here’s mine: