Sunday, February 16, 2014

I Don't Want to be Late for the Chocolate Festival

Shalom Yeladim:

Does looking at this

make you lick your lips?

If it does -- and I bet it does -- then come with me to the annual Chocolate Festival at Hatachana -- the restored Tel Aviv Train Station in Neve Tzedek. All of Israel's best chocolatiers will be there. They're going to show us how to make chocolate.

I can't wait because making chocolate is kind of like a Jewish tradition. Don't laugh.  I'm serious. The connection between Jews and chocolates goes all the way back to the Spanish Inquisition. There's even a book that's come out about Jewish merchants and chocolate called On the Chocolate Trail. But let's stay with chocolate in Israel. It all began in 1933 when the Elite candy company was created. Today we have many, many more companies making chocolate. You could say we're kind of like a chocolate heaven. We even have a chocolate farm! That makes sense. After all, chocolate is made from cocoa beans and cocoa beans grow on trees. Leave it to us to turn those trees into a farm. I guess we had to, because the all-time favorite school snack in Israel is a chocolate spread sandwich. I even found a recipe for making chocolate spread, created by the American-Israeli cookbook author Jamie Geller.

Hey, in case you haven't heard, chocolate gives you energy and bittersweet chocolate is healthy. Like all other foods -- you have to make sure you don't eat too much. Me? I eat a little bit every day. 

Mmmm....I can smell the chocolate.  Going in for a landing. This looks like some festival!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Girls Can Make it in Math and Science. A New Israeli Animated Series Proves It!

Hey Banot -- Girls. I want to introduce you to my new friends Purple and Nine.
Nine is the assertive redhead on the left...and Purple? Purple's in trouble because she's broken one of her father's precious chess pieces. The solution? She's going to make an exact double of the chess piece by using a 3D printer.

Sounds crazy to you? Not to me. Not in our 21st Century. And what's really cool is that Purple and Nine are girls who are techies! Even better, they are the latest animated stars made in Israel by two savvy female entrepreneurs.

Yup. Two American-Israeli women with hi-tech backgrounds -- Rebecca Rachmany and Miriam Lottner -- decided that it's time the world's Start-Up Nation (Israel of course) gets girls excited about math, science and technology. The way to do it? Through a new 3D animated web series they've created for girls, ages 8-12. Called Purple and Nine it just made its debut on YouTube this past Thursday. Have a look at the first five-minute episode. It's totally awesome!

Want to know more about this series? Read this article that just appeared in Ha'aretz.

And boys? I think you'll also be interested in Purple and Nine. They're cute, funny and SMART!

Bye for now.