Wednesday, April 18, 2018

70 @ 70: Reflections on Israel by TBE Congregants

70 Things We Love About Israel

Fridays in Jerusalem:  there are so many different ways the people of Jerusalem celebrate and observe Shabbat.  What unites them all is that feeling you get walking around Jerusalem on a Friday with everyone running around getting ready for Shabbat.  Love feeling that there really is an end to one week and a beginning to the next one. – Leon Shapiro 

One of the most impressive and memorable things from our last trip to Israel was the time we spent at Kibbutz Ketura and the Arava Institute of Environmental studies where they train young men and women from Israel, the US, the West Bank and Jordan on regional agricultural issues and techniques.  The students live and work together and develop friendships outside their normal circles.  Special teams also come in for training from across Africa.  Among the many notable accomplishments there is the Methuselah Date Palm, a male from a 2000-year-old seed that was successfully germinated about 10 years ago.  They now have a few young females that have germinated and within a few years will know what the local dates tasted like back then.  - Bob and Susan Friedman

The incredible abundance of flowers in the Spring. – Barbara Brafman

From Donna Wolff:

I love that so many Israeli's know how to sing in perfect harmony!
I love how it's different every I time I go!
I now have my favorite niece ( the challah)  there and will visit more often. We are Skyping next week!

One of my favorite things was always that the ONLY word for Saturday is שבת.
Susan Schneiderman 
Scott Allen adds 70 of his own!
1) the relative peace and quiet of Jerusalem on Shabbat
2) the chaos of Mahane Yehuda on Friday as people shop for Shabbat
3) the view from the Haas Promenade, especially on a Shabbat afternoon
4) hummus from P'nati in Jerusalem
5) lunch in Abu Gosh
6) the Tel Aviv beach on the weekend
7) all the great photo shots from either Mahane Yehuda or Tel Aviv market
8) sunrise in Jerusalem
9) sunrise from the top of Masada
10) springtime in the North
11) jumping into the pools at Ein Gedi during a hot summer day
12) the underwater aquarium at Eilat
13) walking through the art galleries in S'fat
14) movie watching and then dinner in Emek Refayim
15) leisurely coffee at Aroma by the Shuk, with fresh pastry from a nearby vendor
16) the smell of fresh pita right out of the oven
17) the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv at night
18) the air show on Yom Ha'atzmaut from a hotel balcony in Tel Aviv
19) seeing all those Israeli flags waving in the wind
20) the eerieness of stopping a car in the middle of a highway to stand in silence as the siren blares for Yom Ha'Zikaron
21) landing at the airport in Tel Aviv and the feeling of being home
22) eating really good falafel or shwarma any time of the day or night
23) discovering and trying out all those homemade ice cream and gelato shops
24) going to different synagogues every Shabbat
25) not knowing which way to face during the Amidah because of being in Jerusalem
26) the sound of Hebrew being spoken everywhere
27) the beauty of Israeli women
28) breakfast at a hotel or b&b
29) the history that is a part of every stone, grain of sand, or amazing view
30) the signs in Hebrew, English, Arabic, and Russian
31) the occasional misspellings on those signs
32) the technology that comes out of Israel that is used everywhere, is so useful, and often not known as an Israeli product
33) the diversity found in Israeli hospitals
34) celebrating a major holiday in Jerusalem
35) driving or walking in the Ramon Crater
36) the taste and crunch of fresh fruits and vegetables that haven't been grown to withstand long trips from distant farms or countries
37) all those small appetizer dishes that precede lunches or dinners
38) holiday preparations taking place everywhere
39) being with family and friends
40) the great museums
41) bougainvillea growing on the sides of buildings
42) Jerusalem stone
43) the respect given to soldiers who have died in various battles or combat situations
44) the numbers of stones placed on many headstones by loved ones
45) really strong coffee
46) the sheer number of small shops
47) improving my understanding of spoken Hebrew the longer I am there
48) the sound of the wind whistling through the Judean hills
49) imagining the ancient battles that took place there
50) being in the North
51) being in the South
52) being in cities
53) being in small villages
54) swimming in the Mediterranean
55) swimming in the Red Sea
56) swimming in a rooftop pool in Tel Aviv
57) driving a car and managing to get to my destination without getting into an accident
58) shaking my head in amazement at the aggressiveness of Israeli drivers
59) trying to understand Israeli politics
60) eating bourekas right from the oven of small bakeries
61) the feel of brand new Israel currency
62) walking thru parts of the Old City in Jerusalem
63) checking out European fashions that are in Israel but haven't made it to the States yet
64) feeling the joy of being in a country where Jews are the majority
65) seeing how tikkun olam is practiced by so many average citizens and how important it is to them
66) seeing all those plastic bottle recycling containers scattered about
67) feeling so relaxed
68) the memories from days gone by and of the people I shared them with
69) amazement at how many dogs and cats there are
70) the longing to return

And this personal recollection by Chris Maroc:

My grandmother, Pola Weinbach Hoffmann Stout was a well established international textile designer.  She was educated by Josef Hoffman at the Kunsgewerbe Schule and then at the Weiner Werkstatte in Vienna.  She married his son, Wolfgang Hoffmann and they came to NYC in 1925 opening an architecture and design business.  She met my grandfather, author Rex Stout, in 1932, at which time she began designing textiles.  She designed exclusively for Hollywood and international designers, such as Adrian, Irene, Edith Head, Pauline Trigere, Mainboucher, Bonnie Casin, Muriel King, Valentina, and others. 

My grandmother was good friends with Ruth Dayan, Moshe Dayan's (Minister of Foreign Affairs; Minister of Defense; Minister of Agriculture) wife.  In 1968 my grandmother and I went to Israel as she was invited by Ruth Dayan to educate students and exhibited her textiles (several attached) at the Maskit fashion house. Founded by Ruth Dayan, Maskit is an Israeli fashion house founded in 1954, the countries first fashion house. Maskit produces textiles, clothing, objects d'art and jewelry.  In the early years of the state, when government was seeking work opportunities for new immigrants to Israel, Ruth Dayan realized that many of them were skilled in decorative arts.  The concept of Maskit was to take modern European patterns and combine them with ethnic embroiderty.  Maskit enjoyed worldwide success in the 1960's, with clients that included Audrey Hepburn. Maskit employed over 2000 people in the 1960s, with 10 stores in Israel and one in New York.  Maskit garmets were sold by Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

I have fond memories of this trip.  Ruth Dayan was a lovely human being.  Though,  Moshe Dayan frightened me with his appearance and guardedness. 

This was my one trip to Israel.  I was quite young and do hope to return. Soon. 

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