Challah Project/Noga Sher February 11, 2011
Me…. Baking Challa? Who would of thought?
Well, I admit, when I first saw your inviting mail for the challa project baking, I raised my eyebrow….
Me baking Challa? This is my husband’s job ( he is a professional pastry-cook) and my job is usually eating it. ( with just plain butter is the best J )
I thought is this an attempt to make me more religious…. ???? I couldn’t help remembering the rabbi’s wife just before I got married lecturing me how every mother and daughter should light shabbat candles and bake a challa.….( yeah… right…) But then I was charmed by the idea that the challot (plural for challa in Hebrew) are meant to be given to others to welcome them to the community. what a great initiative! , why didn’t I think of that?
Well great purpose I thought I am in, the evening we made the challot was a lot of fun, I got to meet new Israeli members of the community and had the chance to find out the secrets of making a challa without being around my husband and his mess while he is in the kitchen. It seems that years of practicing on braiding my daughters hair, did not give me any advantage on succeeding with braiding from 6….( so I guess I can add: it was challenging as well).
But the best part of the project (aside from eating a fresh home made challa with butter of course) was to see the faces of the people who received the challa and their warm words of thankfulness.
Great experience, I am proud to have part in it. Thank you very much.
Waiting to host at my place too.
Satisfaction/Yael Chamay February 4, 2011
Satisfaction: the contentment one feels when one has fulfilled a desire, need, or expectation
2 o’clock in the morning and I am sitting in the sofa waiting for my challah to finish baking, it is already Friday.
You might think I am crazy, especially if I need to go to work in just a few hours. You see, during my day my brain
is busy and full of noise, work noise, traffic noise, kid’s noise, husband noise, house noise. So I find that when the
entire world in sleeping I am entitled to create my own noise, well more like my own silence.
I don’t do this often (stay up so late) but when I do, it somehow gives me a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment,
silence…….. funny enough just from this little corner of comfort I hear my son snoring, my husband joining the snoring
chorus, my daughter talking in her sleep and me, laughing at how funny it all sounds. I decide to just go to each room
and give everybody a kiss as they sleep.
I walk to the boys room maneuvering not to step on the clothing that is thrown on the floor, I just stand there
watching them, so amazed at how beautiful they are, how their bodies full of energy rest for the night and how in
just a few hours they will fill the space with smiles and commotion. I kiss them on the forehead and pray to G-d so
he can forever protect them and guide them.
I continue to my daughter’s room but she is not there…… she is in my bed next to my husband, what a precious
moment, she is resting her head on her father’s shoulder, he snores and she is having a full conversation for which
I cannot understand a word. I slowly walk her to her bed, tuck her in, and kiss her also on the forehead, praying to
G-d to watch over her and give her infinite blessings.
I glance at my husband from the door as I am tempted to wake him up so he can share with me this moment,
luckily for him the timer of the oven beeps, reminding me that the challah is now ready. And if I wake him up he
will for sure think that it is time for some “midnight action”. Thank G-d for the oven beep…….
As I stand all alone in the middle of the night, the silence after all the noise, the midnight life that a household
experiences when nobody is watching, a silent prayer that only a mother can share with “Bore Olam”, the smell
of Shabbat in my house, and the smile on my face as I go to sleep just for a few hours. It all gives me a sense of
I didn’t stay up for much longer, I made sure the lights are off; the doors are locked, and that the alarm is set for
5:30am. It is my time to sleep, next to my husband joining him on the never-ending snoring choir, and believe it
or not……. yes the snoring part after so many years together……… 100% SATISFACTION.
Photography Today-Natan Dvir January 22, 2011
Photography Today-Natan Dvir: An Israeli born photographer, now living in New York:
Born in Israel in 1972 Natan Dvir received his Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) at Tel
Aviv University in 1998.
Dvir began his photography career shooting for a number of Israeli publications. Today, he lives in New-York and works as a freelance photographer represented by Polaris Images, specializing in documentary and editorial photography focusing mainly on the human aspect of political, social and humanitarian subjects.
Some of his most interesting work is a series called “Eighteen” in which he photographed Arab men and women turning 18. In an interview he explained what’s behind this project:
“While Israel is defined as the Jewish state, over a fifth of its population is
Arab (Muslim, Christian, Druze and Bedouin)…..Although I grew up in Israel and spent most of my artistic career
photographing its citizens, I felt I did not really know or understand this society….…In this highly political environment I became interested in the human stories of these people living as a minority in a country defined by its majority religion. Wishing to examine forward-looking aspects of this Arab-Jewish coexistence, I decided to focus on Arab men and women at a crucial point in their lives – turning18 years old….….As a Jewish Israeli man, I expected most of my subjects to regard me with suspicion and distrust. I chose to photograph them in their close surroundings wishing to present the pictures with a sense of place and attempting to reveal the social context within which they live.” (For the full interview http://www.greatermiddleeastphoto.com/2010/07/natan-dvir.html)
Also very interesting is the series he calls “Belief” which includes aesthetically stunning but also piercing and sometimes disturbing images of different religion practices and political situations driven by strong believes.
And if all this politics is too much for you… don’t miss the project titled “The Tel-Avivians” and the series of portraits of prominent israely figures.
To see the images: www.natandvir.com
Written by: Nitsan Tal
Achinoam Nini coming to NYC December 28, 2010
Hi everybody ,
We are starting the new year in NYC on January 10, 2011, with a concert at the City Winery, 155 Varick street between Spring and Vandam, at 8 pm.
A very classy place.
we are doing an acoustic set featuring a very talented young pianist by the name of Hila Kooilk.
Always exciting to play in the city of my childhood. So strange, as I sit in my home by the sea in Israel, with three children and 20 years of career behind me and dreams of peace in the middle east before me, that once upon a time I was a little girl that called NY home and wandered her streets with a mixture of confidence, wonder and longing in my dark eyes… (that much hasn’t changed! …)
Whoever is in the big apple, we would be so happy to see you…!
Until then, happy new year and may only good things come your way.
Challahs for Shabbat December 1, 2010
As we assume you all know Salt & Pilpel is a social voluntary initiative that tries to connect and bring together Israelis and Jewish Americans.
Since many new Israeli and Jewish families have recently moved to our area we thought about a nice welcome activity. We would like to offer you all (new and old families) a new activity which goal is to create new relationships and to bring us closer together – making and delivering of Challahs for Shabbat .
Imagine our own hand made Challah industry that we all can enjoy and take part in and that will allow us to welcome new Israeli and Jewish families to our community.
Once a month, close to Rosh Chodesh (beginning of a Hebrew month), on a Thursday evening, we will gather 2-3 ladies in one of the houses to prepare Challahs together. We will than distribute the Challahs to other Jewish and Israeli families. We’ll roll our sleeves, knead the dough, braid it, laugh, get to know new people and make a few families happy. Then the freshly baked and packed Challahs will be distributed to other families.
The activity will allow you to learn how to prepare a fresh and tasty Challah as well as host (a few weeks later) the same activity, pass on the knowledge to others and prepare new Challahs with them.
We will distribute the wrapped Challahs together with a welcoming note to the new families (different families each month).
This Challah baking and welcoming activity will require a number of volunteers each month – one to drive and distribute the Challahs, one to host Challah baking meet-up, and a few to prepare the Challahs and wrap them.
We will be happy to hear from you about new Jewish and Israeli families.
So what is it about?
- A different and unique opportunity for a social gathering.
- A good recipe for Challah.
- Creative idea and fun family activity.
- Opportunity to host a similar meeting in your home.
- Doing a Mitzvah and sending Challahs to new families – a warm and friendly welcome!
We hope that this activity would enable you to participate as well as contribute and take an active role in our community while enhancing connections and relationships with other members of the Jewish Israeli American community.
We look forward to hear your comments and see your registration (please circle the relevant items and email us back):
1. I Would like to attend and prepare Challahs.
2. I will be happy to host a Challah baking meet-up at my home
3. I will be happy to volunteer to distribute the Challah
Name:______________________ e-mail or phone no.________________
We hope you all enjoy this venture along with a fresh Challah for Shabbat .
Please feel free to forward this message to your friends and family !