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What makes one art gallery stand out as special and different from all the others that, interesting as they may be, seem to be so run of the mill? Of course, the artists and their works, but every gallery worth that designation offers us a view of artistic talent that can make our jaws drop. So is it the location? The theme? The setting? All of the above?

Yes, yes and yes. And Chabba Gallery has it all. Nathalie Mamoun captured the essence at an art center (“gallery” is almost too mundane a word for the setting) at her delightful home in Herzlia Pituach.

An at-home art gallery? Don’t knock it till you see it and until you understand the whys and wherefores. Firstly, the large house is the perfect setting for an art gallery, with a spacious lower ground floor just begging to be utilized. And as Madame Mamoun explains in her delightful French accent: “How often hasn’t it happened that you see a work of art (painting, sculpture, a collage, a photograph or even a mobile) that you know you want, but when you get it home and see it on the dining room wall, or standing in the entrance hall, or hanging from the ceiling in the family room, or wherever, you know it just doesn’t fit your style, the surroundings, your home. It looked great in the gallery, but at home? Ugh!”The solution is to see art in real-life settings, just as you see it at Chabba Gallery: on the terrace, or next to the television, or above the lounge suite, or on the wall in the dining room. Will it match? Only you can tell, but at least you know how it might appear in your home (or office).



The gallery opened about one year ago and in general the works are available for viewing by appointment only (see details below). This past week was special, with a week-long exhibit (entitled “Four Corners”) of international artists in an exclusive exhibition. (Special exhibitions, when the gallery is open at set hours without appointments, take place from time to time. Check the website for updates). The current exhibition continues for another month. We were privileged to view the entire exhibition and to meet two of the artists.

Rasa Flay was born and raised in Lithuania and has lived in several countries (her husband is a diplomat), including Vietnam. She says that her inner self knew early on that art was her lifeblood, but at her parents’ insistence, she studied Business Administration.  Later, when she lived in Moscow, she took art courses and began to express herself artistically. She trained further in Hanoi in the skills of lacquer painting. The details in her beautifully executed depictions set us on a trail of discovery as to the materials she uses, besides the lacquer; seeing her work on the walls of the Mamoun home is an exhilarating experience. She also has a feature of five photographs of – rocks! Says Rasa: “Art takes many forms, defined by the artist and left to the observer to contemplate, explore and discover the secrets”. The voyage of discovery was thrilling.

From Lithuania and Vietnam we ‘travelled’ to Nairobi, Kenya, seeing art through eyes of Fred Abuga, a young man with a brilliant art future ahead of him. He began his creative journey already as a child, building toys from scraps. His teachers discovered his unique sense of creativity and art and often asked him to portray their teaching aids on the blackboard. Later on he was roped in to paint the backdrops for the school’s drama productions. Educated in strict Catholic schools, he was eventually commissioned to paint a portrait of the Bishop of Kenya – an honor indeed for a budding young artist and a major stepping stone to a career that blossomed after his Fine Arts studies at college. The Kenyan French Cultural Center recognized his skills by their award: “Most promising Male Student”. Fred Abuga has lived up to that promise.

Other artists exhibiting in “Four Corners” this month include the self-taught Moroccan painter Liliane Danino, who has had solo and group exhibitions around the world, including in Morocco, Canada, France, Israel and the USA. Also Josiane Dias, an art photographer formerly of Brazil, currently based in Israel. She has lived in Geneva, Tokyo and New York City and these varying cultures have clearly influenced her photography on differing levels. Expect the unexpected in her splendid works. And last but certainly not least is Itzhaq Mevorah, Israeli-born and trained and with his own studio specializing in a combination of pop art, ready-made and expressionism with innovative technological tools, in Tel Aviv’s Florentine quarter. Revel in some of Mevorah’s video art at the Chabba exhibition.

“Art speaks when words are unable to explain” is Nathalie Mamoun’s guiding principle. We asked her to explain the choice of “Chabba” as the gallery’s name: “The word connotes harmony, happiness, repose, joy, serenity – and is also my grandmother’s name”.

Need we say more?



Chabba Art Gallery.
44 Keren Hayesod Street,

Herzliya Pituach

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www. chabbagallery.com

Tel: Maria      +972 (0) 54  832-1915

        Nathalie +972 (0) 54  468-4545

Viewing by appointment only


Photos  Silvia G. Golan






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Tourism in Sderot is a fairly new concept and is largely due to its growing student population. These have infused the city with a very sociable lifestyle that has generated several recreational and social activities, that tourists can enjoy as well. In no other post have I suggested so many activities that enable you to meet the people.

I was privileged to join a tour, courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism and Municipality of Sderot, that has enabled me to bring forward these offerings to your attention. Mayor Alon Davidi came especially to welcome us and tell us about the abundant projects that the city is working on with respect to tourism. They are all currently in progress so you have a lot to look forward to. Hopefully, if you come to Sderot to one of the major events you’ll meet him too. He certainly extends his welcome to you.


Trip Agenda Options


  • Café Guté – a social café
  • A Historic Tour of the City
  • ‘Rokmot’ - The local Ethiopian embroidery club
  • The Ultimate Lunch Stop
    • Pub Sderot
    • Dhaba
    • Meital Healthy Kitchen (in Hebrew ‘Meital Mitbach Bari’)
    • Pasta and That’s It (in Hebrew ‘Pasta Vezehu’).
  • The Students’ Village
  • Sderot Adama Movement and Dance Center
  • Upcoming events and attractions


Trip Anchors


A Historic Tour of the City


What better way to get to know a city than to walk through it while hearing authentic stories from its residents! Our tour started from the site of the initial transit camp in 1951, throughout the initial permanent neighborhoods, the largest swimming pool in the south, the Yeshiva with its incredible rooftop view and all the way to what is currently known as ‘Kobi’s hill’. On the way we met Gilad, one of the first inhabitants, a male nurse sent by his employers to the wild wild south to help the first settlers and of course Kobi, the city’s famous security officer who can tell a bit more about ‘Operation Cast Lead’ that ended in 2009.


Trip Reservation Phone: 08-6612739


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‘Rokmot’ - The Local Ethiopian Embroidery Club


The local club in Sderot brings together 16 Ethiopian women who specialize in the authentic embroidery techniques and patterns used in Ethiopia as well as 2 experienced basket weavers. Together they enjoy a social interaction that allows them to both preserve their ethnic traditions while providing a decent livelihood for their families and contributing back to the community.


The club is open every Sunday between 9:00-12:00 and is open to visitors.


To reserve a visit: Gili 052-3968706 or Ester 054-7608773.


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I bought something too. It says “Shalom”!


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Sderot Adama Movement and Dance Center


When I saw Nir Ben Gal enter the room I thought to myself that Sderot was indeed becoming a cultural hot spot. Nir Ben Gal and Liat Dror are two famous choreographers who have performed in leading dance groups over the years and have won several international prizes for their compositions.  In 2000 they opened their Adama movement and dance center in Mitzpe Ramon and have recently relocated it to Sderot where they teach and perform dance and film projects.


The center is currently planning their début festival in Sderot where they will be offering a full program for visitors that includes workshops, meals prepared by the local mamas and performances. It is located within 6 min walking distance from the train station and will be easy to reach.


For more information on the festival, click here.



I’m linking a short piece of a dance routine that was presented to us for your benefit. Enjoy!


And…I got my selfie with Nir Ben Gal 😊.


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Additional Options


Café Guté – A Social Café


‘Café Guté is the result of a social project led by the Gvanim organization that is focused on integrating youth at risk or youth with physical limitations into society. Café Guté is one of their achievements. Currently it employs ~ 15 such youngsters, who are empowered by their ability to work in a normal environment. The skills that they gain during their employement help them take control over their lives.


From your perspective, Café Guté is a kosher dairy restaurant (type of kosher: ‘mehadrin’) located within the cinematheque complex that you may reach during several of the planned events. It’s an interesting stopover that can be enhanced either by a movie or by inclusion in a tour arranged by the Gvanim organization that will allow you to meet some of the youngsters in their program.


My photo depicts Tal, who works at Café Gute:


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Gvanim Contact for Social Tours: Shoshi 054-5501514 or Adi 052-8875175


Café Guté Phone: 08-6515761 or 054-9773604

Café Guté Address: 4 Hadegel St., Sderot


The Students’ Village


The students’ village is another social project led by the Ayalim Association in Sderot in which students live together and volunteer in the city in various ways. Most of the students study at the Sapir Academic College near Sderot. Others at the University of Beer Sheva and additional institutions in the south. One of the volunteer efforts is in a care center for children that uses animals and is located right across the village complex.


A visit to the village includes a tour of about 1-1.5 hrs with a short film and refreshments in which the students explain about their lifestyle, and the program. We met Rinat. The tour should be reserved in advance.


Phone: 08-6550850


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The Ultimate Lunch Stop


You’re already familiar with these restaurants since I wrote about them in my post entitled “Darom Adom Festival Preview – What it is and Where to go”. Like I wrote before, these your restaurateurs are eager to accommodate visitors so I was lucky to get second helpings and meet my friends from Pub Sderot, Dhaba,


Meital Healthy Kitchen (in Hebrew ‘Meital Mitbach Bari’)


10 HaHistadrut St.

Phone: 050-9001510


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and Pasta and That’s It (in Hebrew ‘Pasta Vezehu’).


12 HaHistadrut St.

Phone: 08-6333789


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Upcoming Events


The Annual South Cinema Festival, 3-7 June 2018

The festival is held every year at the initiative of the School of Sound and Screen Arts at Sapir Academic College and takes place mostly in various halls in Sderot from the morning till late at night. The festival hosts dance directors and artists from Israel who screen their films at a premiere on a national level. We met Benny Cohen, the Director of the Cinematheque at Sderot who will be hosting several of the events.

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The First Accessible Blues and Beer Festival in Sderot, 25-26 July 2018


The city of Sderot has issued several beloved Israeli musicians such as Kobi Oz (Tipex), Haim Oliel (Sfatayim) and other.

The Blues Festival in Sderot will combine international and local jazz concerts, blues ensembles and veteran Israeli and international bands ranging from the Mississippi to Sderot.

The festival will include musical films, lectures, sketches, master classes, dances and children's events alongside a drink fair and stands. There will be open shows, a central stage, bar performances, special restaurant menus, a film screening under the stars, a blues film show at the cinematheque, a music workshop and a children's dance workshop with musicians from Sderot and the surrounding area. Entrance to all shows will be FREE OF CHARGE.

Moreover, the festival will be the first accessible festival in Israel for visually impaired and blind people, hearing impaired and deaf people and people with physical disabilities. Accessibility will be implemented by the following features:

  • Inclusion of blind musicians in the performances.
  • Accompanying people who are blind or have visual impairments from the train station or from home to the festival area and during the festival.
  • Sign language translation for lectures for deaf people or people with hearing impairments.
  • An accessible website with a recorded program, a Braille program and more.




See above. This post is all inclusive.




A hotel within Sderot is under the planned activities. Currently, nearby accommodation is based on B&Bs. You are welcome to refer to my page ‘Best B&B’.


My timeline


I spent a day. I only put in three locations because not all the locations are marked on google maps, but since most of the tours are guided anyway it shouldn’t be a problem. Moreover, most of these locations are around the ones that I marked. Café Gute and the Ethiopian Club are near the Cinematheque. The other restaurants are near the municipality of Sderot.


This is what it looks like on the map:


I don’t think any of my previous posts can compare with respect to the level of social interaction that you can achieve while visiting. A trip to Sderot is all about the people, which needless to say is amazing.


Photos Talma Gotteiner







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







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.



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