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The main causes of food loss in the retail and distribution sectors: expired or short shelf life food, aesthetic defects in packaging or product, and damage in the marketing process



TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – March 13, 2018 - Leket Israel in partnership with BDO, released its Third National Report on Food Waste and Rescue in Israel. The press conference was held today at Leonardo City Tower Hotel, a member of the Fattal hotels franchise.

The report presents, for the first time in Israel, a detailed model for the estimation of food loss in the retail and distribution sectors: in retail chains, open markets, local grocery stores and small retailers.


The Food Waste and Rescue in Israel Report reveals that food loss in Israel this year amounts to 2.3 million tons with a market value of NIS 19.3 billion (US $5.6 billion). A large part of the loss is rescuable; approximately 1.1 million tons, valued at NIS 7 billion (US $2 billion). Almost half of the value of salvageable food is found in the retail and distribution sectors, with total food loss in these segments amounting to 400,000 tons this year, worth 4.2 billion shekels (US $1.2 billion).


The loss in the retail and distribution sectors is of particularly high economic value, since it includes the entire investment: growth, production, packaging and transportation. This refers specifically to food that is produced for marketing and consumption and is lost even before reaching the consumer. Due to the characteristics of the loss at this stage, the vast majority of the food is rescuable and can be prevented from becoming waste. Of the NIS 7 billion (US $2 billion) worth of food that can be saved, NIS 3.5 billion (US $1 billion) is in the retail and distribution sectors.


The report also reveals that rescuing 470,000 tons of food loss each year, constituting about 20% of the total amount of food loss in Israel, will fill the gap between food consumption and the normative expenditure of the Israeli population living in food insecurity.



According to Gidi Kroch, CEO of Leket Israel: “The report brings to light that there is enormous levels of food waste that can be saved, if only there was a greater level of public awareness and the implementation of adequate governmental regulation. 18% of the population in Israel lives in food insecurity, when Israel ranks 18th in food insecurity as compared to other OECD countries, and places ninth in expenditure on food in private consumption spending.

This year, Leket Israel rescued 15,500 tons of fruits and vegetables and 2.3 million cooked meals valued at NIS 150 million (US $43 million) and Leket continues its efforts to raise the profile on food waste in Israel. Since the publication of the Inaugural Food Waste and Rescue in Israel Report, two years ago, Leket Israel initiated and implemented new programs for food rescue with the support and through partnerships with the Ministries of Agriculture and Welfare. I am calling on the other government offices to advance this issue, to create a national program that will work to reduce food waste, increase food rescue and actively promote the enactment of the law to encourage food rescue.

It is imperative that Israel set a national goal similar to the UN’s resolution of a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030, since adopted by other nations including the US administration,” concludes Kroch.


According to Chen Herzog, Chief Economist at BDO: "Israel is lagging behind Western countries in formulating a national policy on food rescue, and as a result, the national economy loses NIS 4.5 billion (US $1.2 billion) every year. Israel, more than any other country, has an economic advantage in rescuing food, due to the combination of high expenditure on food and the growing levels of inequality across the demographic. Food rescue is one of the most effective policy measures to reduce social gaps in the economy, and it is a critical oversight that the government has not yet formulated a comprehensive national plan to rescue food.”

Herzog continues: “Retail chains and food manufacturers lost NIS 3.5 billion (US $1 billion) worth of products this year, which is taken directly out of the consumer's pocket. Surplus food in the retail and distribution sectors is inevitable, since retailers are required to ensure a wide, varied and readily available food supply at all times. However, the reality in which excess food is thrown away instead of being donated to the needy is a serious failure on economic, social and environmental levels."



To read the full report and report highlights: https://www.leket.org/en/food-waste-and-rescue-report/

Photo of Gidi Kroch, Leket Israel’s CEO – Photo Credit: Yossef Cohen

About Leket Israel:  Leket Israel – The National Food Bank is the leading food rescue non-profit organization that rescues fresh, perishable food, which would otherwise be considered waste from farms, hotels, military bases and corporate cafeterias in an effort to aid the quarter of the country’s population the lives below the poverty line. Leket works with 200 nonprofit agencies in Israel, providing food to 175,000+ Israelis in need weekly. For more information, please visit: www.leket.org.


The Israel chapter of the Italian Academy of Cuisine (l’Accademia Italiana della Cucina) held its first and only meal ever outside the greater Tel Aviv area on March 9, 2018, at Manuella Ristorante Italiano, in Zikhron Yaakov.


The Academy visited Manuella in the framework of an outing to the wine country city. The day began with a guided tour of the Beit Aaronsohn NILI Museum, whose exhibits are dedicated to the exploits of the Aaronsohn family and the NILI espionage ring that it founded; the NILI underground operated in pre-state Israel during World War I in support of the British against the Ottoman Empire, and on behalf of the local Jewish population. Following the visit to the museum, Academy members proceeded to the restaurant, off the city’s downtown pedestrian mall.


Manuella is a family-owned restaurant whose love for Italy stems from the refuge that Bosnian Jewish refugees found from the Holocaust in that country; the Italian nobleman who hid the family was subsequently recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.



Chef Raz Nadav studied in Italy and opened Manuella with his mother in 2010. In 2014, he took third place in a nationwide pizza contest sponsored by the Italian Embassy in Israel. A handsome bronze plaque also identifies the restaurant as the proud recipient of the Ospitalita Italiana award, bestowed by the embassy in recognition of the authenticity of Manuella’s cuisine.


“There are only seven restaurants in the country with this designation,” says Chef Nadav, “and we are the only restaurant outside of Tel Aviv to be honored in this way.”


The Academy luncheon at Manuella commenced with the arrival of the Ambassador of Italy in Israel, His Excellency Gianluigi Benedetti and his wife Sabina. The event was chaired by Academy Delegate Cinzia Klein, and the symposiarchs were Vice Delegate Sabrina Fadlun and ANSA bureau chief Dr. Massimo Lomonaco.


The menu comprised five courses, beginning with an aperitivo consisting of slices of focaccia topped with a ceviche of white fish, and continuing with no fewer than four antipasti: the house focaccia with three condiments (tomato concasse, a zucchini spread, and garlic confit); a panzanella salad of croutons and cherry tomatoes; fried cubes of polenta with sautéed portobello mushrooms in a balsamic reduction; and a green salad of lettuce, asparagus and walnuts in a champagne vinaigrette,



The two pasta dishes served as primi were gnocchi with flakes of fish in a tomato sauce, and sweet potato ravioli in a butter sauce, with shaved Sardinian pecorino.

There were both fish and meat main courses, with diners able to enjoy both and not have to choose between them: meagre fish with steamed spinach and artichoke cream, and beef filet cooked sous vide, with a salad of arugula in a balsamic vinaigrette.

The dessert course encompassed an attractive assortment of small pastries: hazelnut eclairs, Florentine cookies, strawberry vanilla tarts and pistachio tarts

The red and white wines accompanying the meal were imported from Italy: Frascati from Lazio and Valpolicella from Veneto.

At the conclusion of the meal, there was applause for the chef, who was presented with the gift of a book on the role of cheese in traditional Italian cuisine.

Among the distinguished guests attending the luncheon were Dr. Massimo Sarti, director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv; Architect Arie Sonnino; Sabina Mayer, Esq.; Professor Stefano Boccaletti, science attaché at the embassy of Italy; and Dr. Roberto della Rocca, president of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Israel.


Photos by Silvia Golan





Purim, one of Judaism's more colorful and popular holidays, is celebrated this year between sunset on Wednesday, 28 February, and sunset on Thursday, 1 March, in most of Israel – excluding Jerusalem where Purim will be celebrated from sunset on Thursday, 1 March, until sunset on Friday, 2 March (see below). Purim is not a public holiday in Israel, but many offices, shops, and public institutions (including the GPO) will operate on a reduced basis. Schools will be closed, but public transportation will operate as usual, and newspapers will be published.

Background to Purim

Purim commemorates the events described in the Book of Esther. In Esther 3:8, the anti-Semitic Haman, Grand Vizier of the Persian Empire, tells Persian King Ahasuerus that, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among all the peoples... in your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every people, neither do they keep the king's laws. Therefore, it does the king no profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they be destroyed...” Thus, Haman coined one of the most infamous anti-Semitic canards: That the Jews are a clannish and alien people who do not obey the laws of the land. At Haman's contrivance, a decree is then issued for all Jews in the Persian Empire to be massacred. But, as the Book of Esther subsequently relates, Haman’s plot was foiled and, “The Jews had light and gladness, and joy and honor...a feast and a good day.” (8:16-17)

Throughout the centuries, Purim – which celebrates the miraculous salvation of the Jews and the thwarting of Haman’s genocidal plot – has traditionally symbolized the victory of the Jewish people over antisemitic tyranny. As such, Purim is a happy, carnival-like holiday.

The Fast of Esther

The day before Purim (Wednesday, 28 February this year) is a fast day known as the Fast of Esther, commemorating (inter alia) the fact that Queen Esther – the heroine of the Book of Esther – and the entire Persian Jewish community fasted (4:16) in advance of Queen Esther’s appeal for King Ahasuerus not to implement Haman’s genocidal plot. The fast will extend from before sunrise in the morning until sunset. Special prayers and scriptural readings are inserted into the synagogue service.

When the day before Purim falls on Shabbat, as it did last year, the Fast of Esther is brought forward to the preceding Thursday.


After sunset on Wednesday evening, 28 February, festive prayers will take place in synagogues, where the Book of Esther will also be read aloud. It is customary for people, especially children, to come to synagogue dressed in costume. During the reading of the Book of Esther, whenever Haman’s name is mentioned, congregants traditionally make as much noise as possible in order to drown out his name – a reflection of God’s promise (Exodus 17:14) to, “blot out,” the Amalekite nation, of which Haman was a descendant; special Purim noisemakers may be used for this purpose. The Book of Esther will be read again during morning prayers on Thursday, 1 March. A special Purim prayer is inserted into the daily prayers and the blessing after meals.

On Purim, Jews are enjoined by the Book of Esther (9:22) to send gifts of food to each other, make special contributions to the poor, and have a festive holiday meal in the afternoon. To this end, the day is also marked by collections for various charities, and by people visiting neighbors and friends to deliver baskets of food, prominent among which are small, three-cornered, fruit-filled pastries known as Oznei Haman in Hebrew (Haman’s ears) orHamantaschen in Yiddish (Haman’s pockets).

At the festive meal, some maintain the custom of becoming so inebriated that they cannot distinguish between, “Blessed is Mordechai,” (Esther’s uncle and the hero of the Book of Esther) and, “Cursed is Haman.”

Shushan Purim

In Jerusalem, Purim is ordinarily celebrated one day later than it is in the rest of the world; accordingly, all Purim-related observances are postponed by one day. This practice originates from the fact that an extra day was prescribed for the Jews of Shushan (the modern Susa, one of the Persian Empire's four capitals) to defend themselves against their enemies. This second day is known as Shushan Purim. As mentioned in the Book of Esther itself (9:16-19), Jews living in walled cities (later defined by rabbinical authorities to mean walled cities at the time that Joshua entered the Land of Israel) celebrate Purim one day later than Jews living in unwalled cities. There are several other such cities in Israel where Shushan Purim is celebrated. In some cities whose status is in doubt, the Book of Esther will actually be read on both days.

In many places in Israel, Purim is marked by special parades; the most famous of these takes place in Tel Aviv. Many kindergartens, schools, synagogues, and towns will also host special Purim parties and carnivals.

Purim in Film

Following are clips from six films (courtesy of the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive) that depict the various ways in which Purim has been celebrated:

Adloyada 1960 – Color scenes of the colorful procession in Tel Aviv 55 years ago.

Faces of Freedom (1960) – New immigrants are absorbed into Israeli society at the beginning of the 1960s. The film begins with a Purim carnival.

Springtime in Palestine (1928) - Comprehensive survey of the developing country in the 1920s. Includes a Bukharian Purim feast and scenes of the 1928 carnival in which Baruch Agadati appears with Tzipporah Tzabari, the first Purim queen of Tel Aviv (from 11:33 min).

Eretz Yisrael: Building Up the Jewish National Home (1934) – The film begins with scenes of the Adloyada in Tel Aviv. It continues with agricultural scenes in Kibbutz Ein Harod, Deganya A and the women’s agricultural school in Nahalal.

Edge of the West (1961) – A color film surveying Jewish life in Morocco in the early 1960s, including Purim celebrations (from 28:35 min.)

Hassidic Music (1994) – From the series “A People and Its Music” which depicts various Jewish music traditions. Includes scenes of Lubavitch Hassidim celebrating Purim (from 23:22 min.)

Purim Events in Jerusalem


Purim Events in Tel Aviv

The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, along with its many cultural institutions and partners, invites the general public to celebrate the Purim holiday throughout the city. A variety of performances, street carnivals and workshops will be held, catering to every possible age and interest.

Tel Aviv-Yafo is known for its vibrant and celebratory Purim atmosphere, and looks forward to creating it again this year for the many thousands of residents and visitors that come to the city to celebrate the holiday.

A curated selection of events is listed below, but a directory including many more can be found on the Municipality website (in Hebrew).

Purim Street Party

Friday, March 2 from 11:00-17:00

Kikar Hamedina, Tel Aviv-Yafo

The Purim Street Party is held annually by the Tel Aviv Yafo Municipality at Kikar Hamedina, in the North of the city. The 2017 event attracted over 100,000 people who came dressed in costumes to enjoy quality electronic music in a happening and positive atmosphere, and a similar turnout is expected this year. Leading DJs in the Tel Aviv music scene will play on a 360 degree stage erected in the center of the square, including performances by Muki and Subliminal.

An urban street show will also be held in the square, featuring a variety of merchandise for purchase. There will be an emphasis on ecologically friendly or recycled products, street culture and urban design.

The event is open to the general public at no charge, and will not be held in the case of rain.

Yafo Purim Carnival

Thursday, March 1 from 15:00-19:00

Davidoff Park, Ed Koch 10, Tel Aviv-Yafo

This Purim carnival held at Davidoff Park will feature a variety of family friendly attractions, including a mini amusement park with inflatable structures, fair stands and games, balloon-making, and circus and juggling workshops.

The event will also feature a bilingual stage show by the Almaina Theatre and performances by singer Adi Beatty and children’s performer Roy Boy.

The event is open to the general public at no charge.


Purim at "Hatachana" Tel Aviv's Old Railway Station

Thursday, March 1 and Saturday, March 3, various times

HaTachana - David Remez 4, Tel Aviv-Yafo

A variety of family friendly entertainment will be held at HaTachana (also known as The First Station,) Tel Aviv’s old railway station. Festivities begin at 10:30 am and include games, art activities and workshops for all ages. Entertainment will include an interactive magic show by Shai the Magician, a performance by the Neve Tzedek Community Center hip-hop band and “Miri Teshiri”, an inspiring musical adventure with a moral message.

The event is open to the general public at no charge.

Purim at the Opera House

Thursday, March 1 - Saturday, March 3, various times

28 Leonardo da Vinci, Tel Aviv-Yafo

The Tel Aviv Opera House will stage several children's shows during the Purim weekend as part of the Yaron festival. “Alice in Wonderland” will be featured, along with “What about the deer?”, a musical fantasy based on some of the most beloved Israeli songs of all time.

The shows are appropriate for ages 4 and up, and tickets can be purchased for 65 NIS at the Opera website: http://www.israel-opera.co.il/

70s Disco Party in Givon Square

Saturday, March 3 at 12:00

Givon Square, Tel Aviv-Yafo

A Purim party for parents and children who share a love of dancing. Families are invited to Givon square to let loose and jam to some throwback tunes together.

The event is open to the general public at no charge.

Purim Adventures at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

February 28 from 10:00-13:00

24 King Shaul Street, Tel Aviv-Yafo

This Purim, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is hosting a schedule of art workshops for kids. A variety of different mediums will be explored, including self-portrait, landscape painting and mask making. The activities are suggested for ages 7-12.

In addition, entrance to the new “Soft Worlds” exhibition will be free for children up to the age of 18. The exhibition is an tactile exploration of soft material in sculpture, and visitors are invited to touch, squeeze and interact with the pieces on display.

Tickets are available at the museum or by phone: 03-6077020

Purim Salsa Party

February 26 from 20:00-23:00

69 Shlomo Ibn Gabirol, Tel Aviv-Yafo

This free event held at the Tel Aviv Municipality Building is a wonderful opportunity for dancers of every level to meet and celebrate Purim in a unique way. The first hour of the event will feature group salsa lessons led by volunteer organization Media Noche Tel Aviv/Menta. A salsa dance party will start at 21:00, giving participants an opportunity to show off their new skills.

The event is open to the general public at no charge.


Photo Ministry of Tourism






Fashion Week Tel Aviv is returning on March 10th for the 6th time since its initiation in 2011. Israel’s biggest fashion event will be held from March 10 - 13 on the historical Hatahana Compound by the seashore of Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv Fashion Week is supported by the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo, the Export Institute and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which are instrumental in helping host international media, buyers and other influential personalities in the global fashion field.

Fashion Week will open with a gala event in partnership with the world's leading jewelry brand PANDORA, attended by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and other dignitaries. The event will expose the SHINE collection as part of the largest international brand launch. The SHINE collection presents sterling silver 18K gold plated items in intricate designs and combines traditional techniques with high-end modern jewelry and available price range. 25 Israeli women of all ages, including artists, actresses, singers, models and others, will walk the runway wearing PANDORA’s new collection. 25 leading Israeli fashion designers of different backgrounds and styles will personally design gold and silver dresses inspired by the PANDORA SHINE collection, specifically for the show.

"This year, for the first time in Israel and around the world, Fashion Week will feature models of all ages, sizes, colors and religions. I believe I'm involved in great changes happening today in the fashion world and beyond. Fashion Week Tel Aviv will introduce a different beauty standard, which will be visible throughout most of the shows", said Motty Reif, founder and producer of Tel Aviv Fashion Week Tel Aviv about his disruptive vision for the fashion industry.

The line-up of designers and brands showcasing their collections at Fashion Week Tel Aviv 2018 includes: Alon Livne , Lara Rosnovsky together with Magnolia jewelryHolyland Civilians (Dor Chen and Anat Meshulam), Shenkar fashion design departmentDror Contento, “Turning Tables” - a unique project to help women get out of the cycle of prostitution in collaboration with Yvel jewelry brand, G.R.A.S. jewelry, TwentyfoursevenDorin Frankfurt and others.


For the third time fashion week will feature the winners of the National Lottery competition for emerging designers, including:  Shahar AvnetAriel BassanAdi Benjo, Eran Shani, Dana Cohen and Moriel Dezaldeti.

Other special shows will display the collections by Idan LarosGideon Oberson and Karen Oberson KORima Romano in cooperation with the international shoe brand Reebok, a fashion show by jewelry designer Maya Geller, and other graduates from the National Lottery competition, which went on to establish their own brand: Gal Shenfeld - Mews, Nadav Rosenberg - Northern Star and Hili and Ari - Hili Ari.

Talented brands such as SAMPLE by designer sisters Einav Zini and Nofar Mahluf, Chana Marelus abd Maoz Dahan NOUVEAU RICHE DOG will be back, furthermore, Evyatar Myor, a new designer, will showcase his new collection. Fashion week will end with a festive show by Vivi Bellaish.


Sunday, March 11th

14:30 – 20:00

Showroom of selected designers, some of which are doing their first ever pop-up. Showroom will carry streetwear, accessories and shoes.

Monday, March 12th

10:00 – 20:00



Fashion Show by upcoming designers for Tel Aviv Digital card holders


Book Launch Event with author, Adam Katz Sinding at Story

Tuesday, March 13th

10:00 – 20:00



Fashion Tech Event at Ultima Studio

Photo Silvia G. Golan





The Vietnamese calendar, like the Hebrew calendar, is lunar; and like the Jewish calendar, which celebrates spring with the holiday of Passover, the Vietnamese calendar marks the beginning of spring with the holiday of Tet. And just as the Hebrew month of Nisan is the first month of the Jewish year, Tet represents the Vietnamese New Year (Jews celebrate their actual new year in the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar).

To celebrate Tet this year, the Year of the Dog, Vong -- one of Israel’s leading Vietnamese restaurants -- offered diners a special nine-course Vietnamese New Year’s banquet on Sunday, 18.2. The banquet, designed as a sharing menu for two people, comprised four starters, four main courses, one dessert, and a bottle of sparkling sake to top off the special occasion.

The special meal was conceived and executed by Van, Vong’s native Vietnamese culinary consultant, and featured traditional dishes that not only are not on the restaurant’s regular menu, but also were not modified to conform to Western/Israeli adaptations of Southeast Asian cuisine. As such, it was a unique gastronomic experience, of the kind that Vong sponsors on select occasions.


The feast commenced with four starter courses served to the center of the table on a large tray decorated with a banana leaf:

Bun Thit Ga Nuong. Chicken skewers marinated in fish sauce and lemongrass, served on a bed of thin rice noodles with cucumber sprouts and leafy green herbs.

Cha Ca Thi La.  White fish fritters in tamarind sauce with shallots, dill, garlic and chili.

Cha Lua. Steamed sausage, served with assorted pickled vegetables.

Thit Bam. Zucchini stuffed with chicken, mushrooms, and glass noodles, in a rich chicken broth.



A bottle of refreshing sparkling sake accompanied these dishes and the four more that followed:

Va Ga Xao. Seared chicken in fish and oyster sauce, with crunchy bean noodles.

Tom Rim Thit Trung. A shrimp and chicken stew with quails’ eggs.

Banh Tet. Sticky rice, mash beans, cashew nut and coconut cream steamed in banana leaf.

Ca Com. Fried fresh anchovy coated in chili caramel.

The dinner concluded with a choice of three desserts taken from Vong’s daily menu: mango mousse, tapioca with fruit and peanuts, and caramelized bananas.

Website: http://www.vong.co.il/

Photos Silvia Golan