Sunday, April 18, 2010

Israel Independence Day is My Kind of Yummy Holiday

Shalom Yeladim:
Look at the picture of the meats grilling. That’s how we do barbecues in Israel. Another two days is Yom Ha’atzmaut and I’m going to have a flylicious time. Yum, yum. I’m already licking my lips just thinking about all the mahngles – barbecues – that are going to dot the public parks and beaches. Families, friends, you name it, take their travelling grills, fan the coals until they’re hot, then place all types of meats on the grill. Mm, Mm do I love the smell. I can smell a barbecue miles away and there are miles and miles of them on Israel Independence Day. You can imagine how many miles I log in on that day, jumping from one grill to the other. I’ll admit that not everyone is happy to see me. They greet me with open swatting arms, but I’m too fast for them to catch.
So what kinds of meat do we grill? Just like the United States, Israel is a melting pot. That means we have people living here who originated from all over the world, and we melt or blend together into one big pot, or country. Which brings me back to the grilling. We LOVE grilling Kabab – a type of roasted meat that comes from Turkey. We also adore Shishlik – a Central Asian way of roasting cubes of lamb on a stick with pieces of onion, pepper and tomatoes threaded in between the cubes. We lick our lips over American Beef Hotdogs – although most Israeli hotdogs are made from chicken. Do you believe!!! Speaking of chicken – we grill that too, and of course, steaks.
No Israeli barbecue is complete without pita breads, hummus, tehina and different types of salads.
Just talking about all of this food is making me drool. I’ve got to fly and get myself ready. I know that most people wouldn’t hurt a fly, but on Yom Ha’Atzmaut there’s a lot of flying off the handle when I come buzzing around.
Beh Tai’Avon. Hearty Appetite…Zvuvi

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The First Kibbutz Just Celebrated Its 100th Birthday!

Shalom Yeladim:
Kibbutz Degania Alef – the first kibbutz ever – just celebrated its 100th birthday. Wow – that’s a lot of years! For us, the kibbutzim are like the Wild West for you. Your pioneers went out West in covered wagons and fought the Indians to settle your land. Our pioneers fought deadly raids by Arabs and deadly mosquitoes spreading malaria. They had no farming experience at all, but that didn’t stop them. They came to Israel to work the land and turn it into a Garden of Eden. You see the black and white picture above of people from way back when standing next to a building. They were some of the pioneers who founded Kibbutz Degania Alef near Lake Kinneret. Back then a kibbutz was a communal farm which made its living from agriculture. They grew all sorts of fruits and vegetables, raised chickens, turkeys and cows. No one was paid for the work. The income went to the kibbutz so that everyone could continue living there. These farms grew into beautiful communities, where everything was shared – even eating together and taking care of the children. Look at the other black & white photos I’ve posted above. There’s one of an original kibbutz dining hall. And, take a look at the second picture. A bunch of children are getting ready for bed. You won’t believe it, but many kibbutzim (not Degania Alef) had the children living together, visiting their parents during the day.

All of that has changed, as you can see from the colored photo with the Hebrew sign. That’s the way Kibbutz Degania Alef looks today. The kibbutzim no longer rely on agriculture for making money. Most have advanced industries dealing in just about everything – from fancy eyeglass lenses to wet wipes. Several even operate beautiful hotels located on kibbutzim, with lots of fun-filled activities for kids. Every adult earns his or her own salary. Children live with their parents, and families eat together, each in its own home. Still, the original kibbutz concept plays a very special role in Israel’s history. There is even a Kibbutz folk singing troupe called “The Gevatron”. I’d like you to listen to some of their songs. They are SOOO popular that two years ago on Yom Ha’Atzmaut – Israel Independence Day – they performed with an Israeli Rap singer. See for yourself and get ready for this year’s Israel Independence Day Celebration in your school.
Tehenu. Enjoy…Zvuvi