Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A love letter to my JNF mission

Members of JNF's board of directors, including the author, on their recent mission to Israel. 

By Geri Shatz

A love letter to my JNF mission. Really? Yes, really.

I love to travel with you, even though you drive me crazy. You plan visits to the sites I want to see, but you act as if we'll never return and cram them in. You take me to the loveliest hotels and don't remind me of that when I complain about the shabbier ones. You begin my days so early I'm unprepared for the weather and end them taking me to communities in the dark. You're patient when I don't hear your instructions and intemperate when the bus driver doesn't.

You always give me too much to eat, but you never point out that no one forces me to eat all the chocolate. You talk too much and I tell you so. You remind me that I do the same. Luckily, you provide liquor when called for.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

In the JNF Kitchen: King oyster mushroom pasta

Meet Esti and Uri Yaakobi of mushroom company פטריות פארן (Mushrooms of Paran). They are farmers from the Paran moshav in the Arava desert who decided to grow mushrooms, of all things! 

Their mushrooms are pure Israeli and a result of their entrepreneurial spirit, desire to produce something unique, and passion for farm-to-table dining. Among their mushrooms you'll find oyster, shiitake, king oyster, and lion mains, and you can also find dishes with their products at אורסולה בית קפה בערבה (Ursala Coffee and Pub in the Arava).

Enjoy this #RecipeOfTheWeek for king oyster mushroom pasta inspired by the Yaakobis and their interesting crops. If you make any of these recipes, be sure to send a photo of your creation to or tweet it to @JNFUSA with the hashtag #JNFfoodie. We might share it! 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

In the JNF kitchen: Beautiful strawberry-jam challah

This #RecipeOfTheWeek is brought to you by Anna Richlin, a wonderful member of the JNF family. Anna is a campaign executive for the Central New Jersey region, an area you can learn more about here. She's an expert challah baker sharing a sweet version for this week's Shabbat. See below for braiding tips as well! Recipe yields six medium challahs.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

In the JNF Kitchen: Gefilte fish with citrus carrot and horseradish creams

Not your grandmother's gefilte fish! A creative specialty courtesy of Chef Meir Adoni.
Enjoy the last in our #RecipeOfTheWeek series featuring fantastic Israeli chefs on the itinerary of June's amazing JNF Culinary, Wine and Music Tour. Learn more about the cultural experience here

Chef Meir Adoni has been dubbed the leader of elite epicurism in Tel Aviv. The top-notch chef is driven by passion and innovation, owning three Tel Aviv restaurants: Catit, Mizlaia, and Blue Sky. He also directs and creates catered events, appears on television, lectures, writes books, and mentors others in the culinary world.

Chef Adoni was born in Eilat, the most southern town in Israel. He was raised with a Moroccan upbringing, and fuses his Moroccan grandmother's inspirations with modern Jewish cooking.

"As a chef, the first thing I bring to the table is tradition," he says. "I respect the original flavors and ingredients. Only then do I add my crazy interpretation, launching the dish off to new and uncharted territory." 

Friday, February 24, 2017

In the JNF Kitchen: Stuffed grape leaves and zucchinis

This recipe for stuffed grape leaves and zucchinis, a classic Galilean dish, is brought to us by Paul Nirens of Galileat, which organizes unique cooking and hospitality experiences. Four or five variations of this recipe, reflecting differences between regions and home cooks in the Galilee, will appear in Nirens' new recipe book, the Galilean Kitchen. He is currently raising funds on Indiegogo for the project, which will showcase local, authentic dishes as well as the stories behind the women who create them, those who offer home-cooking classes as part of Galileat. Learn more about the book here.

How one home cooking business empowers Galilee women

Home cooking lessons from local women, thanks to Galileat. 

By Paul Nirens

Many people get up in the morning and sigh to themselves, not particularly enthusiastically, "Another day of work ahead of me." I get up and say, "Wow, I can’t wait for another day at work." That’s because over these past four years I’ve been lucky enough to run Galileat, which organizes unique cooking workshops, hospitality, and culinary experiences in the homes of my Druze, Muslim, Christian, and Bedouin neighbors here in the Galilee. I simply love what I do.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Seeing proud IDF soldiers with disabilities give it everything they've got

Alan Wolk and wife Roni, left, along with Special in Uniform Director Tiran Attia and soldiers. 

Through services for those with special needsJNF works to ensure no member of Israeli society is left behind. During February, we join the Jewish community at large to mark Jewish Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion Month. Here,
some thoughts from the co-president of JNF Atlanta and chair of Special in Uniform's U.S. board of governors. 

By Alan Wolk 

We just returned from our third trip to Israel, and as usual, the experience was terrific. We enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv, the spirituality of Jerusalem, the breathtaking hilltop views in Haifa, and the artistic communities in the Golan. And we loved the food wherever we went. You can’t beat the chocolate babka from Israel! The rest of our trip was spent deep-diving into several Jewish National Fund programs near and dear to our hearts.