Entertainment · Judaism

Dating a Jew or two.

When you write a blog between Tel Aviv and Antwerp, it was bound to happen someday. Yes it’s time for a personal statement that¬†I know isn’t shocking anybody who knows me: I have a thing for Jewish men.

I’ve given “the Reason Why” a lot of thought lately. I don’t care much about God, Jesus or any other prophet. I never fully understood the concept of how something that is supposed to be a good higher power actually divides so many people. I never really made a difference between someone who read the Bible, the Koran, the Torah or just believed in karma. So my preference to date Jewish guys has nothing to do with their belief, that’s for sure. I feel however that most of the guys I go for are Jewish (or, if they’re not, they probably look Jewish). Needless to say that when it comes to their looks, Jewish men are very “interesting”: the intelligent gaze of a young Leonard Cohen, the funny Adam Samberg, my high school crush Jeff Goldblum and the ultimate stud James Franco. My grandma always told me “van een mooi bord kan je niet eten” (freely translated as: you can’t judge a book by it’s cover), so Jewish men must also have a lot of good inner qualities. They are known to be smart and treat their wives with respect. They are family oriented and most of them have a good sense of humor. What sounds better than that? Another reason that I think of a lot is that it might be a more personal challenge, since dating someone who’s not suppose to date you makes you feel all “13 years old and secretly kissed a boy at school” again (minus the teen giggles).

Ari-Gold-Yom-KippurAnyway, who cares about reasons. Leo Dicaprio didn’t have a reason not to get on that piece of driftwood with Kate Winslet when he was floating around in icy water, so I don’t need a reason to like someone. Let’s say: I just do. But I am not Jewish. I’m a Shiksa, as they say in Yiddish (after looking up that word on Wikipedia I most definitely am a Shiksa: “Shiksa refers to any non-Jewish (gentile) woman or girl who might be a temptation to Jewish men or boys, e.g., for dating, intermarriage, etc.“). And this is kind of a problem.

But who am I to burst my own bubble? Let the men do that for me! So, after some serial Jew dating I learned that – like all men – Jewish men possess qualities that make me want to run in all sorts of directions, preferably faster than Forrest Gump on energy drinks.

Of course, I don’t generalize. The experiences I write about are totally my own. I would also like to point out that this article is purely written for entertainment, I am not out to hurt anybody and surely not to make fun of someones religion. It could very well have been Belgian Boys, or Italian Stallions.

1. The “I like dating you, but we have no future together… Or maybe we do… No we definitely don’t” guy.

There’s always this moment in time that you think “where have all the heroes gone?”. At that point I mostly meet a handsome dark curly-haired Mediterranean guy and I’m like “There he is!”. We talk a while, we go out together, watch a movie, have dinner, etc. Basically we’re having a very good time and all seems like a little fairytale with a handsome prince who’s really making an effort to make me feel every inch a women (for readers who’d love a soundtrack to this, click here). Who cares that he’s Jewish? I do what every normal girl does and I already start fantasizing about big family shabbat dinners (who doesn’t like a table full of food) and romantically lighting candles together on Hanukkah. A fairytale indeed. At the moment one least expects it (probably while watching re-runs of Sex and the City to remind myself again how Charlotte handled her Jew-man) he drops the Bomb (bomb being the awkward word). “I’ve thought about it and although you’re great and I have such a good time with you… you’re not Jewish and my parents would never approve.”

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2. The “Let’s keep it casual” guy.

According to Jewish tradition, dating plays a very specific role. Dating is a serious matter and is not intended for entertainment purposes. Well, thanks for the heads up, but some Jewboys don’t seem to share that thought (they are probably the ones who invented the phrase “Shickses are for practice”). But then again, who cares? One can only appreciate honesty. And a busy girl like me doesn’t always have the time for serious dating. A little fling here and there never hurt anyone. So yes, let’s keep it casual! All seems to be going well for a few weeks, but then Drama kicks in. All of a sudden a statement like “you can see other people if you want, we’re casual” seems to be as untrue as Anna Anderson being the long-lost Russian princess Anastasia. Even if I didn’t see anyone else (why would I, when I have a gorgeous Jew man to satisfy me on daily basis), I’m being called names I’d rather not repeat. Maybe it’s the Jewish sense of entitlement, or just the mere thought of me actually living up to his self-proclaimed statement. Eitherway he turned into the Boy who cried Wolf. (I must admit though that drama in this story went both ways. I guess keeping it casual isn’t always that easy.)

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3. The “I don’t care you’re not Jewish” guy.

Ah yes, they do exist. Some of the Jewish men don’t really care if they date a non-Jewish girl. But by then, i was already so submerged into Jewish tradition due to all previous experiences, I was like: “What? You’re not a very good Jew!” This is when I found out that I actually love the Jewish traditions and the “we’re one happy family”-feeling. How could I be part of The Family if he didn’t really care about being Jewish or not? And here come the question marks. Well, at least I found another reason to add to the long list of why I like Jewish people so much.

1I must say, even though a lot of these stories ended in agonizing heartbreak (no not really), I have enjoyed every experience I had so far and the people I’ve met along the way. I would never wish for things to be different. Being the romantic naive fool I am, I’m sure that every experience made me grow and made me wiser about what I want, and how far I would go for someone who really deserves it. And I’m pretty sure we will all get where we want to be, with a wonderful person. In my case preferably Jewish. ūüôā

Baking · Food · Tel Aviv · Travel guide

High Telavivity – Top 5: food

In the spirit of John Cusack’s top 5 lists in the movie High Fidelity  here’s Tel Aviv in my Top 5 Рpart 1. food

Top 5¬†‚Äújust coffee‚Ä̬†
my favorite: hafuch katan dal

hafuch

  1.  Ben Ami Рcorner Nahmani/Melchett street
  2. ¬†Espresso Bar– corner Rothschild/Herzl street – easy & fast take away at the city’s oldest kiosk
  3.  BaShdera Рcorner Rothschild/Maze street
  4.  Maze9 РMazeh street 9 (also a bookstore)
  5.  We love you Рcorner Habima/Ben Zion Street

Top 4 ‚Äúfruit juice‚ÄĚ

my favorite: banana, melon & dates

juice

  1. Tamara – Dizengoff/Ben Gurion street – and extra small branch on Herzl street
  2. Pri 101 РAllenby/Ahad Ha’am street
  3. Mitzim – Shenkin 54
  4. ShakesPri – King George 11
  5. My friend Eli on Yehuda Halevy – fresh & cheap carrot and orange juice

Top 5 ‚Äúbreakfast‚ÄĚ

2ndblog

  1. Delicatessen Рmy favorite: porridge with fresh cut fruit & assorted nuts
  2. Ben Ami Рmy favorite: chocolate yeast cake
  3. Rothschild 12 Рmy favorite: ham & cheese toast
  4. Hotel Montefioremy favorite: eggs florentine
  5. Mersand – my favorite: turkish breakfast


Top 5 ‚Äúlunch”

ornaveella

  1. Orna ve Ella – my favorite: ravioli with pumpkin & sage butter (photo)
  2. Humus Nahmani – hummus & tehina like the locals
  3. Tachtit – open 24h, my favorite: schnitzel with rice & salad
  4. Pua – my favorite: cherry tomato salad
  5. Buddha Burgers -for vegan & vegetarians, the Israeli version of Lombardia

Top 5 ‚Äúdiner”

fle

  1. Cafe Europa – my favorite: lamb tortellini
  2. Port Sa√Įd – my favorite: minute steak and tehina (the best tehina in town)
  3. Brasserie – timeless and tasteful
  4. Makom shel Bassar – the best meat in town
  5. Fleamarket – my favorite: shoarma shel ossobucco

Top 5 ‚Äúdesserts”

pancake

  1. Benedict – 24 hour breakfast service, my favorite: pancakes
  2. Stefan Braun – chocolate fudge with vanilla ice cream
  3. Delicatessen – apple pie mmmmm
  4. Port Said – French toast
  5. Anita – coconut ice cream
 
History · Israel · Tel Aviv

Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha’Atzmaut Memorial Day & Independence Day

Yom Hazikaron is Israel’s Memorial Day, the Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism.¬†This sad day starts with a siren at 20h and is heard all over the country. For one minute, everyone stands still to commemorate the fallen. The official ceremony takes place at the Western Wall and the flag of Israel is lowered to half staff. The next morning, a¬†two-minute siren is sounded at 11h and marks the opening of the official memorial ceremonies and private gatherings at cemeteries. Again, only sad songs on the radio and only war related TV broadcasts until about 19h. Then happens a weird transition from sad to happy, when Independence Day begins.

yomhazikaronbyTomerAppelbaum

indilYom Haatzmaut  is Israel’s Independence Day. On may 14th 1948 the (then future) Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion declared the independence of the state of Israel. indil2The official ceremony is held every year at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem but festivities are everywhere. Israel is now 65. In Tel Aviv there are parties all over town, on the streets, in bars, restaurants and houses. People are singing and dancing in the streets. When you live in the heart of the city, you have to go wander around and observe. And if you have a blog, even better, you can capture it on camera and share with the world. But photos and words cannot describe what we saw and heard. The happy atmosphere is omnipresent. It’s loud, people go wild and crazy and it goes on all night long. Bad sleep but good vibe. Luckily the next day is a holiday to recover.

IMG_1344 IMG_1301      IMG_1376 IMG_1299 IMG_1366IMG_1385 IMG_1387 IMG_1402IMG_1394 IMG_1401    Photos taken with my Canon EOS M

History · Israel · Judaism

Yom HaShoah – the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day

BETWEEN ISRAEL… (by Marilyn)

On Monday, Israel observed a national memorial day: the ‘Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day’ or as we call it ‘Yom HaShoah’. It is an annual day of commemoration for the six million Jews who perished in the¬†Holocaust¬†as a result of the actions carried out by Adolf Hitler and¬†Nazi Germany (1939-1945).

Yom HaShoah starts at sundown. You start feeling the heavy silence weighing in. Radios play sad songs, tv stations only broadcasts World War II related films/documentaries, restaurants and bars are closed by law. There are official ceremonies like the central one¬†in ‘Warsaw Ghetto Square’ at¬†Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Authority in Jerusalem. During the ceremony the national flag is lowered to¬†half mast, the President and the Prime Minister both deliver speeches, Holocaust survivors and their descendants light six torches symbolizing the six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust and the¬†Chief Rabbis¬†recite prayers. There are more¬†ceremonies and services are held at schools, military bases and by other public and community organizations.¬†

At 10:00¬†am on Yom HaShoah,¬†sirens¬†are sounded throughout Israel for two minutes. During this time, people stop whatever it is they’re doing and stand still; vehicles stop, even on the highways, and the whole country comes to a standstill as people pay silent tribute to the dead.

Israeli police officers stand still as a two-minute siren is sounded before a ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem(c) Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu lays a wreath during a ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem

(c) Reuters

yomhashoa

People stand still on a street as a siren marking Holocaust Remembrance Day is sounded in Jerusalem(c) Reuters

I guess we each have our own individual way of mourning the deaths of our ancestors, family members and re-thinking the almost unbelievable stories from survivors. Most of the Jewish people around the world have grown up with the Holocaust being very present, sometimes loudly sometimes silently.¬†It’s sad that even today people get away with denying it and that there is such a thing called neo-Nazis. Adolf Hitler had a plan he called the final solution -the endl√∂sung-¬†to decimate the entire Jewish people. During Yom HaShoah in Israel you realize: we are still here. The Holocaust is part of us, of our (hi)story and each time we try to imagine what it was like, we just can’t believe it nor contain it. Those black and white images of starving people, concentration camps and gas chambers. We are shocked time and time again. How could this happen? How could the world let it happen? Many have tried to understand, to explain and to analyze. In times like today when the world is plunged in hatred and anti-semitism is never far away, we must open our eyes and see what is going on. We must remember. Never again.

… AND BELGIUM (by Josephine)

As most of the European countries, Belgium also has an infamous Holocaust past. Between August 4 1942 and July 31 1944, 28 trains left the Belgian transit prison Kazerne Dossin in Mechelen. Over 25,000 Jews and Romas were deported, most of whom arrived at the extermination camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Only 5% survived. Today, the Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre on Holocaust and Human Rights tells their story and most of all, keeps their memory alive.

DOSSIN

A giant wall filled with about 20.000 faces of men and women, young and old alike, staring back at me.¬†It’s an uneasy sight: people who had a life still to live, or had lived their life already. Some of them happy, some of them weary. These could be the faces of our grandparents, our children, our friends and neighbors. These are the faces of the people who were deported from the detention camp Dossin in Mechelen, Belgium. Colored pictures for those who returned, grey for those who did not. The Dossin Kazerne is first of all a place of remembrance, “a material witness to a Belgian war story” as professor and curator Herman Van Goethem describes it. On initiative of a number of Jewish survivors, among them the late Sir Nathan Ramet, the transit camp Kazerne Dossin was turned into the Jewish Museum for Deportation and Resistance, to remind us of its infamous period. Since 2012, the Kazerne Dossin houses the Documentation Centre and a memorial to those who lost their lives. The permanent historical exhibition is now housed in a brand new building, designed by architect Bob Van Reeth, opposite the Kazerne Dossin. The new building is rich in symbolism: the windows for instance, are covered with more than 25.000 bricks, representing the number of deportees.

DSC_8444 DSC_8447 62523_449826325089408_167161947_n DSC_8470 DSC_8450

 

The permanent exhibition is divided in four parts. My guide, Patsi Ambach-Dewilde, unfolded the history and the ill fate of the Belgian Jews floor by floor. The first three floors cover photographs, documents and testimonies to illustrate the life of Jews (and gypsies) in Belgium before the war, the increasing discrimination and exclusion and the organized destruction of Jews and gypsies in the camps during the war. These 3 floors give a perspective on what the Holocaust meant to Belgians and Belgian Jews alike. The stories make you feel angry and sad, confused and even vulnerable: how can this have happened? But the Museum does not stop here. It also brings up the topic of rehabilitation, coming to terms with the past and Human Rights in general.¬† I learned that after the liberation, there was no place for Jewish suffering. Survivors simply did not talk about their grief, let alone discuss the things they witnessed and what had happened to them in the camps. They simply had to learn how to live with it. But the most interesting debate this Museum tries to stimulate is this of the Holocaust and Human Rights. By explicitly incorporating human rights not only in the name of the Museum, but also as a general topic, it broadens the context of the Shoah. Not only Anti-Semitism, but intolerance in general are always with us. Attempting to place the Shoah beyond itself by addressing values such as tolerance, respect and responsibility is also one of the keystones of the new Museum, which will leave its visitors with only one idea about the Holocaust: “Never again.”DSC_8465

 

Watch a video about the Museum on Holocaust and Human Rights, Kazerne Dossin by Fans of Flanders with Patsi Ambach-Dewilde here.

A very big thank you to Patsi for her beautiful tour (seriously guys, if you want a guide for this Museum: ask for her https://www.kazernedossin.eu/EN)

Dedicated to Nathan Ramet, Regina & Adolf Predinger-Wechsler, and the millions of people who lost their life due to racism, hatred, discrimination and genocide everywhere and anywhere. May they never be forgotten.

L.Cohen song The Partisan about The Resistance

Antwerp

Young & Promising

Last week more than 70 young creatives from Belgium and the Netherlands perched in Antwerp to display their work. “De Invasie” (tr. The Invasion) wants to create opportunities for young designers. This platform organises events and offers spaces for exposition and work and plays an important link between designers and companies. Visit the website, because it offers a complete online shop of all the creatives that participated!

Here are some of my favorites:

Veil and reveal – graduation collection by Vanbrit:

DE INVASIE VAN ANTWERPEN1

Titi & The German Kid: (fell in love with the tigersweater!!)DE INVASIE VAN ANTWERPENmodo-furniture by Xavier Coenen:Xavier Coenen momodul0-1

Jewelry by Karen Kennis:DE INVASIE VAN ANTWERPEN2

Retro pictures in Photomatique:photomatique

Best collection ever !! Daphny Raes:DE INVASIE VAN ANTWERPEN3

Leather carpets by Lio de Bruin:leatherneedlewor

Cute prints and postcards by BonBon Bazar:  il_570xN.443334892_pjn0

Amazing work! Jef Claes Photography: DE INVASIE VAN ANTWERPEN6

I WANT THAT RING! Lore Van Keer:DE INVASIE VAN ANTWERPEN5

Practical & stylish camera bag. Deruwe: Cameratas met uitneembare beschermingselementen en lensrol (2)

Skate-furniture by Bruthaus:Bruthaus

Geo-jewelry by Danielle Vroemen:DE INVASIE VAN ANTWERPEN4

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