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The Israel chapter of the Italian Academy of Cuisine (l’Accademia Italiana della Cucina) held its first meal of the year in the picturesque old port of Jaffa, on February 20, 2019, at the restaurant Sicilia.  

The event was organized by Academy Delegate Cinzia Klein and Vice Delegate Sabrina Fadlun, with the collaboration of Ms. Jenny Innocenti. The dinner was prepared by Chef Udi Meiri; and during the course of the evening, Chef Emanuela Panke entertained the guests with an interesting quiz on Sicilian food.  

The dinner menu comprised four courses, beginning with antipasti consisting of beef tartare bruschette, arancini al peperone and pizza margherita. These were followed by two pasta dishes served as primi: mushroom risotto, and linguine in a pesto sauce.


The secondi, or main courses, were two kinds of steak -- entrecôte and sirloin -- as well as fish: grilled sea bream. There were also two desserts: lemon cheesecake and tiramisu.  

The red and white wines accompanying the meal were both from the Tomassi winery in the Piedmont region of Italy: Pinot Grigio, 2017, and Rompicollo di Poggio al Tufo.  



Attending the dinner was a large delegation from the Embassy of Italy in Israel, including H.E. Ambassador Gianluigi de Benedetti and his wife Sabina; First Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission Gianmarco Macchia;, First Secretary for Press and Political Affairs Francesco De Angelis; Mr. Francesco  Meucci, head of the Office of Economic and Commercial Affairs; Mr. Marco Graziosi, the deputy head of the Consular Chancery; Defense Attaché Guido Cerioni and his wife Sarah; and Mr. Fabio Ruggirello, director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv

Additional distinguished guests in attendance were author Dr. Nessia Laniado, and food industry consultant Giordana Di Castro.


Photos by Silvia Golan


Scientists are not generally required to display prowess in modern dance, but Dr. Roni Zohar of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Science Teaching Department recently showed her moves in an award-winning science/dance video. Her video placed first, over the weekend, in the social sciences category of the “Dance your PhD” contest held by Science magazine, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The competition, now in its 11th year, picks its winners from entries in which PhD students and former students describe their PhD subjects through dance, and it is judged in four categories – biology, physics, chemistry, and social sciences – by a panel of judges that includes scientists and figures from the world of the arts. 

Zohar did not just use dance to interpret her work: Dance is an integral part of her research. She investigates ways of using movement to teach high school students basic concepts in physics. In the video, dancers pose in the bubble-like space at the top of the Institute’s particle accelerator as Zohar weaves between them, waking them up; and 10thgrade students are filmed demonstrating such concepts as angular velocity and balance by walking in a line or leaning in various poses. Titled Movements as a Door for Learning Physics Concepts – Integrating Embodied Pedagogy in Teaching, the video describes Zohar’s PhD research conducted under the guidance of Prof. Bat Sheva Eylon of the Science Teaching Department and Prof. Dor Abrahamson of the University of California at Berkeley. Zohar will soon be undertaking postdoctoral research into the phenomenon of movement in learning at the Institute under the guidance of Prof. Ehud Ahissar of the Neurobiology Department and Prof. Atan Gross of the Biological Regulation Department.

It helps us to understand that these rules were not useless discoveries, but are a part of the world around us

Dance has long been a part of Zohar’s life. She studied dance in the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance at the same time as she was attaining her undergraduate degree in physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her MSc, in Neurobiology, focused on motor control. Today, in addition to training science teachers' through the Ministry of Education, Zohar teaches classes in movement and improvisation. And this year, for the first time, she is leading a course on “movement, science, and learning” at the Feinberg Graduate School, the academic arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Zohar was assisted in creating her video by a choreographer, Rotem Lev, and a movie maker and editor, Yael Leibovitz-Zand.

“When the learning material is not just on the board, it helps us to understand that these rules were not useless discoveries, but are a part of the world around us. Experiencing them reduces the fear of learning,” explains one of the 10th-grade students at the end of the video.



Dr. Roni Zohar’s research and this project are supported by the Maurice and Ilse Katz Center for Science Teaching; the Trump Foundation; the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations; and the Sandy Wall Endowment Fund for Science Teaching.





 Video Credits 

 Roy Berkovich (dancers)

Roya Meydan (‘Balance’ scene)

David Ben Ari (‘Angular Velocity scene)


Weizmann Institute of Science






Nine top MUN students from all over Israel competed in the Yale MUN conference in a Debate for Peace delegation that lasted from January 14-21. The trip included visits to UNHQ in NYC, interfaith meetings, discussions with scholars and experts, and of course the competition at Yale, one of the largest Model UN conferences in the world.


The delegation included top MUN students from schools in Akko, Even Yehuda, Haifa, Iksal, Mazkeret Batya, Netanya, Petah Tiqva, and Sakhnin. On January 15th, their first full day in the US, the group met with Eddie Ashkenazie of the Diarna project, to learn about the digital mapping of Jewish heritage sites. From there they visited the UN, the Kosovo Consulate General, and the Swiss Mission to the UN. At the Kosovo Consulate, Ines Demiri hosted an interfaith discussion including Imam Dr. Tahir Kukaj and Rabbi Joshua Stanton. While in NYC the group also visited the 9/11 Memorial, and after some sightseeing, met with Sheikh Musa Drammeh in the Bronx to learn about his efforts to promote peace and understanding between different faiths.




After traveling to New Haven, the delegation began with the focal point of the trip--the Yale Model UN conference. After an opening reception for the international delegations, the delegates were divided into one of approximately 40 committees to begin debates. The second day of the conference was Yale Day, highlighting Yale’s academics and campus. Debate for Peace met with Sari Bashi, a visiting human rights fellow at Yale law school, to discuss efforts to improve human rights and freedom of mobility for Palestinians. Next, they met with Professor Frank Griffel for pizza and a wide-ranging discussion on academic research, Judeo-Arabic, and Islam.


After three intense days of MUN, the closing ceremony of YaleMUN XLV was held on January 20th. Aviv Hanuka, from Sharet Netanya, won Outstanding Delegate in the G20 committee, and Mihal Mizrahi, from the Hadassim school, received second place in the photography category of the Yale arts competition.


Saeed Salem, from Ort Hilmi Shafie in Akko, told Diplomacy that the Yale delegation had been “one of the best experiences in my life," and that he was “sad because it ended but happy it happened." Julian Azzam, from the Convent of Nazareth School in Haifa agreed, saying “The experience at YaleMUN was definitely different than anything else I have seen.” Hanna Zohn De Garay from Hadassim added that “a lot of people in our world have the ability to talk, only a few have enough wisdom to learn how to listen. Those are the ones that can make the big necessary changes that we need to make in our world.”


Steven Aiello, the director of Debate for Peace, thanked the YaleMUN XLV organizers for helping to make this delegation happen, including providing a regional scholarship that made the trip financially feasible.


The upcoming Debate for Peace MUN delegation will be to MEDIMUN in Nicosia, Cyprus.

For more information see Debateforpeace.org

 Photo credit: Debate for Peace


The 'Red South' - 'Darom Adom' 2019 Festival Preview

 This year the anemones in the South of Israel have bloomed early making this preview tour even better than last. Again the preview tour presented some new participants that will be opening their gates to festival comers this year.

WHEN: Over five weekends 31 Jan 2019 - 2 March 2019

Additional details can be found on the OFFICIAL FESTIVAL'S HEBREW WEBSITE.  https://www.habsor.co.il

In general, the festival offers plenty of activities for the whole family ranging from nature tours with actors that greet the children in the fields, markets, agricultural fairs, Bedouin workshops, the Be'eri Mountain Biking Marathon (Feb 8th, 2019), the traditional anemones march held by KKL-JNF (Feb 9th, 2019), the anemone race (Feb 15th, 2019) and much more.

The festival also include live musical performances termed "South Red LIVE" by the best Israeli artists every Thursday and Friday night throughout festival sites. The musicians this year will include Rita; Shlomi Shaban, Asaf Amdursky and Yael Kraus in their performance "Singing the High Windows"; Hadag Nahash will host "Tuna"; Shuli Rand; Maor Edri; "Slightly different"; David and Jonathan - David Broza and Jonathan Geffen; Tipex and more. You are encouraged to arrive on Thursday and make a long weekend of it, in order to enjoy the festival more fully.

Trip Agenda Options

  • The flour mill "Kemah Haaretz" in Moshav Kochav Michael
  • The anemone field at the Varmulan Parking Lot in Sa'ad Junction
  • A creative workshop at Tutsi's Courtyard in Moshav Maslul
  • Farm 77 in Moshav Tkuma
  • Green Pub in Kibbutz Nir Am
  • Kibbutz Yad Mordechai


The flour mill "Kemah Haaretz", Moshav Kochav Michael

The flour mill 'Kemah Haaretz" is a boutique kosher mill in the South serving both bakeries all over Israel.

During the festival, the flour mill will be opened on Fridays for baking demonstrations, tasting and the sale of baked goods. You will be able to see the flour mill, the grinders and receive an explanation of their milling process. Breads can be ordered in advance.

The Anemone Field at the Varmulan Parking Lot in Sa'ad Junction

The beautiful anemone flower photos were taken in this field. This location includes a deck footpath built by KKL-JNF leading from the parking lot to the observation post. The deck is easily accessible for people with disabilities and leads them all the way into the field.



A Creative Workshop at Tutsi's Courtyard in Moshav Maslul

A very sweet couple live in Moshav Maslul. Tutsi (she'll tell you how she got her nickname) and her partner Daniel Moreno a carpenter and chef have opened a very special workshop and gallery full of their handmade furniture and other vintage items. The two of them work with recycled wood, renovating old furniture and custom-made furniture.

During the festival you are invited to one of their workshops to create crafts that you take home. There is one entitled "Talking signs" in which you learn to create a wooden sign. Another workshop called "Everything hangs on it" allows you to create hangars or racks. A third workshop entitled "A story in a box" is for building your own windowbox of spices. Also, during the festival there will be workshops for the renovation and painting of "Shabby Chic" furniture.

You can also buy refreshments on site in case you're hungry.



Farm 77 in Moshav Tkuma

Farm 77 will be celebrating the strawberry season during the festival and offers self-picking of hanging strawberries, a tractor tour, an educational tour of the hothouses with agricultural explanations.

Green Pub in Kibbutz Nir Am

Green Pub is a restaurant-bar where some of the live music shows will take place. As its name suggests it offers dishes for the whole family and a rich bar. Due to its location you can even schedule it as a stopover for a late meal on the way back home to close the day.

Kibbutz Yad Mordechai

During the festival, you are invited to the bee and honey house where you will see a demonstration from a beekeeper, enjoy honey tasting, create a candle craft from beeswax and can even register for a honey cake workshop. Also available are the tractor tour and a guided activity at the 1948 battlefield where the children are able climb real tanks and touch the authentic weapons.

After the activities, visitors will be able to drive to the anemone field in the Karmia reserve near the kibbutz.

For the contact details of all these locations, please refer to the full article on:



Photos by Silvia Golan

 More pics at Facebook Israel Diplo






Marathon Samsung is the largest international sports event in Israel and will be held this year for the eleventh time in the heart of Tel Aviv-Jaffa.

The slogan for the event this year is "BE YOUR BEST" and invites all runners both amateur and professional, to do the best they can and join the over 100,000 people who are expected to take part in the event.

WHEN: 22.2.2019

The Samsung Marathon, which is being held at the initiative of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality and the production of the Kapaim company, will take place on Friday, 22.2.2019, with about 40,000 runners who will be taking part in one of six gorgeous urban routes: the Marathon (42.195 km), the Half Marathon (21 km), a 10 km route, a 5 km route, a handicap bike route and the mini marathon route for children to be held on 20.2.2019 (500 meters and 1 km).



Israel is keeping fit! According to a survey conducted for the Samsung Marathon in Tel Aviv, about  81.2% of men and 77% of women in Israel are involved in physical activity.

The survey was conducted by the Geocartography Research Institute within the framework of a national sample survey of 500 respondents aged 18 and over.

The survey data showed that close to 80% of Israelis are involved in physical activity and that 60% allocate up to 5 hours per week. The proportion of those participating in physical activity among those with a low level of education is about 10% lower than those with an academic education.

33% of respondents run for sports. The largest segment of runners is between the ages 18-34 - close to 42% compared to only 13% over the age of 55.

53% of the runners said that they run alone, 26% prefer to run with a friend or relative and only 3% run with a fitness trainer.

With respect to their site of preference: about 70% of the runners prefer to run outdoors in a park or on the beach and about 12% prefer to run on a track at home or in the gym.

About 51% of the residents of Gush Dan noted that the city in which they live encourages physical activity, compared with a national average of nearly 44% of the participants who stated that the city in which they live encourages physical activity.

Last, but not least, the percentage of women is on the rise. In 2011, the percentage of men registering for the marathon was 73%, and women constituted only 27% of the total number of applicants. In 2019,  59% of the applicants are men, and 41% are women.



Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa stated that the Tel-Aviv-Jaffa Marathon, has become a global event, attracting tourists from all over the world, and a great celebration, not only for athletes, but for all the city's residents and visitors. It encourages physical activity as part of a healthy urban lifestyle. He also wished success and enjoyment to all the participants and invited all the residents of the city to take part in the event.

SAMSUNG Israel announced that the "Samsung Marathon of Tel Aviv 2019" will be dedicated this year to donating food to needy families. The contribution will be made by converting the calories burned by the runners during the marathon to food products, and will therefore be called the "calorie marathon" race. The number of calories burned by every participant will be counted and collected, and in the end, the total calories burned by all runners will be exchanged by Samsung for food products. For example, if 500,000 calories are burned, these will be converted into thousands of food products that together contain 500,000 calories. The food products will be packaged in special boxes and donated to needy families just before Passover. More participants = more calories = more packages. The contribution will be made LIVE, so that the runners will see the contribution taking place before their eyes from the moment the Marathon kit is received to the finish line.

Ronen Salem, VP Marketing, Samsung Israel stated that for the past 6 years, Samsung has found the Tel Aviv Marathon, the largest sports event in the country to be a wonderful opportunity for harnessing tens of thousands of people for a worthy cause. This year, it was decided utilize the event to make sure that as many families as possible are able to celebrate Passover in a dignified manner, with sufficient food on the table.

Nike unveiled the Samsung Marathon T-shirts in Tel-Aviv during the press conference. This is the first year in which Nike is the official sports partner of the largest running event in Israel. For the first time there will be two official marathon shirts. The marathon runners who will be going the full distance of 42.2 km will receive a black T-shirt displaying the running distance and will be distinguishable from the rest of the runners who will be participating in one of the other shorter tracks and will receive T-shirts in a shade called "sunset glow".

Shachar Hirsh, CEO of Nike Israel stated that Nike's role as the world's largest sports company is to inspire athletes of all levels and to encourage other runners to dream about the next big accomplishment. Thus, Nike provides runners with the world's most advanced products. The Samsung Marathon Tel-Aviv shirt is based on the most advanced technologies and materials. It is the official Nike T-shirt in world-wide racing, a shirt developed to give athletes the optimal conditions to achieve great achievements.

This year, the Samsung Marathon will continue to embrace dozens of associations and to support social involvement and contribution to the community, with a social track that will enable the participating runners to take advantage of the race to raise funds for various associations.



According to data from the Kapaim company, over 25,000 participants have already secured their place. It is expected that most of the participants will complete registration before January 24th, when the discounted registration ends.

As a member of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), the Samsung Marathon Tel-Aviv attracts elite runners from around the world who come especially to Israel in order to compete in the race. This year, about 2,500 runners from around the world, including elite runners, will try to break the two-hour, 10-minute and 30-second marathon records. The current record was set by runner Williams Kiprono Yagon from Kenya in 2015. A record breaker that sets a score of 2:07:59 or less will win a prize of $40,000.


For more information on the starting point, kit distribution and some of the event highlights, refer to the complete article on:



 Photos by Silvia Golan

 Photo of the Tel Aviv Marathon 2018  Amit Shisel   Ronen Topelberg Studio Kapaim