Israel

Maccabiah Opening Ceremony in Jerusalem

And this is why I haven’t posted anything in two weeks. On Thursday July 18th we organized the opening ceremony of the 19th Maccabiah games. Major production, big success. You may say the Maccabiah games are like the Jewish olympics. Here are a few of my photos:

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From the official Maccabiah website

“MACCABIAH OPENING CEREMONY: PARADING IN A CELEBRATION OF NATIONS AND COLORS”

 The 19th Maccabiah begins tonight (Thursday), as some 9,000 athletes representing more 78 countries get ready to compete in 42 sports.

The 19th Maccabiah Games kicked off Thursday night with a gala opening ceremony at Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium that was attended by thousands of spectators. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres were set to take part in the event to honor the 9,000 athletes representing 78 countries, the largest number of competitors ever at the Maccabiah games.

The ceremony begun with a colorful parade of the athletes and the atmosphere in the stadium was enchanting. It was a celeration of music, colors and Jewish spirit from all over the world. Next to come, lighting of the Maccabiah torch, as well as performances by popular musicians from Rami Kleinstein and Harel Skaat to newer talents such as the Grammy-winning, Israeli-born violinist Miri Ben Ari; the Canadian-born singer Kathleen Reiter, winner of “The Voice Israel” and “The X Factor” (United States) finalist Carly Rose Sonenclar.

More info: http://www.maccabiah.com/

 

 

Food · History · Judaism · Tel Aviv

Hanukkah, a festival of lights

Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Every night, we light the candles of the Hanukiah to commemorate and celebrate the miracle of Light: the Jews only had enough oil to create light for one night, but the miracle made it last for 8 days…

 photo 2-1Jewish family spirit, Tel Aviv December 2012 – photo by Sharon Erde www.twitter.com/sharonerde

Being a secular Jew doesn’t mean I don’t honor values and follow rituals of the Jewish holidays. Families always gather around a big food table.  Family & food. Celebrating the miracle of oil also means eating fried food. While some of us yearn for Sufganyot (they’re like doughnuts and come in various shapes, colors and with many different fillings); some rather eat Latkes (Yiddish word) or Levivot (Hebrew word) which are a kind of potato pancake.  Here’s my favorite recipe for you to try at home – thank you Ameloush and thank you Doda Anny from Belgium…

Ingredients:photo 1

  • 5 potatoes (big red ones preferably)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • salt, pepper and white pepper
  • canola oil to fry in

Preparation:

1. Heat +/- 1 to 2 cm of canola oil until boiling and ready to fry
2. Meanwhile, start peeling and grating the potatoes (feel your muscles?)
3. With your hands, squeeze out all the water from the potatoes (very important!)
4. Add the shredded onion, eggs, flour, salt&pepper and mix with a spoon or  photo 2with your hands
5. Make flat round shapes with your hand/spoon and fry till golden brown 6.Before serving, make sure you use a lot of paper roll to remove as much oil as possible.
7. Bete’avon, you can eat your latkes with sugar, mustard or whatever other weird family ritual you have.

Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song, part. 1; there’s also part 2 & 3 if you want more…

Lyrics:

“Put on your Yamakkah, here comes Hanukkah… so much fun-Hakka to celebrate Hanukkah. Hanukkah is the festival of lights… instead of one day of presents, we get eight crazy nights. When you feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree, here’s a list of people who are Jewish, just like you and me.

David Lee Roth lights the Menorah, So do James Caan, Kirk Douglas, and the late Dinah Shore-ah. Guess who eats together at the Carnegie deli, Bowzer from Sha-na-na, and Arthur Fonzerrelli. Paul Newman’s half Jewish; Goldie Hawn’ss half too, Put them together–what a fine lookin’ Jew. You don’t need deck the halls or jingle bell rock, cause you can spin the dreidl with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock-both Jewish!

Put on your Yamakkah, it’s time for Hanukkah… The owner of the Seattle Super Sonic-ahs celebrates Hanukkah. O.j. Simpson- not a Jew… But guess who is…hall of famer Rod Carew-he converted! We got Ann Landers and her sister dear Abby, Harrison fords a quarter Jewish-not too shabby! Some people think that Ebenezer Scrooge is, Well, he’s not, but guess who is: all three Stooges.

So many Jews are in show business… Tom cruise isn’t,but I heard his agent is. Tell your friend veronica, it’s time you celebrate Hanukkah…I hope I get a harmonica, on this lovely, lovely Hanukkah. So drink your gin-and-tonic-ah, and smoke your mara-juanic-ah… If you really, really wanna-kah, have a happy, happy, happy, happy
Hanukkah! Happy Hanukkah!”

Happy Hanukkah…may the light shine… in and around you….

Antwerp · Restaurants

Leave nothing on the grass… but footprints

FINALLY! After a long period of waiting the sun has arrived and temperatures have risen with it. It’s the perfect occasion to go outside with friends, watch the sun set, look at the stars, fall in love…. yes, i’m a true fan of summer. In Antwerp there are lots of places where you can enjoy the sunny weather (it’s too hot to sleep anyway), but there is only one place where you can do all of the above mentioned activities together at once. Yes, even falling in love.

Every year, the city of Antwerp organizes a sort of “festival” which takes place all summer long. It is called “de Zomer van Antwerpen” (Summer in Antwerp). Next to theater shows in open air, a circus, live music in streets that are otherwise quiet, and so many other festivities, they also organize “de Zomerbar”. The first time I discovered this huge hide-away just out of the city center, was 2 years ago.

Walking on the long torch-lit path, feels like walking into a fairytale (please don’t insult it by comparing it to walking towards “the island council” of Temptation Island, thank you very much): there’s a forest with tables and chairs made out of tree trunks. There’s a beach with matching beach chairs and umbrellas. There are lights and hammocks hanging quietly in between the trees. Big plus for book-fanatics like myself: during the day you have access to an open air (!!) library. You can rent a book and just lay yourself down on the grass, or in a hammock, covered by the shade of a tree.

There’s a restaurant with delicious food, a wine bar, a bar with excellent mojito’s… It’s a little piece of heaven (in summertime) on earth. Oh and when you bring back your empty glasses yourself, you get some money back. Smart way to keep the grass clean!

Pictures by Sigrid Spinnox (c) & Stad Antwerpen

Zomerbar,Ledeganckkaai
2000 Antwerpen

from 07-07-2012 untill 19-08-2012
during the week: 16u-24u / in weekends: 14u-24u

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