EL AL | Atmosphere

October 2023

Issue 275 | October 2023

Exploring Jaffa Historical sites, museums, restaurants, cafés, and bars – hop on the new light rail and discover the many charms of Jaffa’s legendary Jerusalem Boulevard

16 P.

Flying on a 737 or 777 aircraft? Switch your mobile device to flight mode, select the EL AL network, and scan the QR code or open your browser and enter: wifi.elal.com to enjoy hundreds of movies, TV shows, music and games on your personal device. Further details on page 44

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In-flight I Issue 275 I October 2023


Editor-in-Chief Nava Marton Production Manager Liat Mofaz Milchan English Translator and Copy Editor Gallia Bronowski Art Director Amram Pikarsky / Studio Liat Rosenzwieg Design Shiri Atzmon Cover Photo and Images ASAP Creative VP of Marketing, Trade and Sales Yaniv Ofir Business Development Manager Alon Fox Senior Sales Manager Ofer Stessel

Photo: Eyal Tagar

Editor’s Letter

After years of construction works, Tel Aviv’s light rail was inaugurated last month. Though only the red line which connects Bat Yam to Petah Tikva, is currently operative – the launch is still a major event. In celebration of this milestone, we’ve gone for a little light rail trip along Jaffa’s Jerusalem Boulevard to get you the lowdown on all there is to see and do there, including visiting historical buildings and art galleries, and relaxing in one of the area’s many cafés, restaurants, and bars. Jerusalem Boulevard also has bike lanes and areas with shaded seating and it’s a lovely place to spend an afternoon. This month also marks another major occasion: Chef Assaf Granit, owner of more than 30 restaurants including Michelin-starred “Shabur” in Paris, recently named head chef of EL AL Airlines, is launching his brand-new inflight menu. Granit has conjured up a culinary vision that blends traditional recipes with contemporary Israeli cuisine. He has

succeeded in creating a fascinating fusion of flavors and a series of inventive dishes that represent the Israeli table and spirit. In a special interview, he opens up about his new role and his dreams for the future. Also this month, a review of the Magdala Hotel located by the Sea of Galilee. It was built beside an archeological site of great significance, (recently named one of the ten leading sites in the Middle-East by global tourism website TripAdvisor), where the remains of the 1 st century fisherman’s village of Magdala were discovered. This issue also includes an article about Beit Elfarasha, a social and culinary initiative in the city of Akko that aims to empower local women. And as always, you’ll find tips, guides, ideas, the latest updates and news about the month’s goings-on and events, and more. Wishing you all a pleasant read, a peaceful flight, and Happy Holidays. Nava Marton

Head of Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity Tal Kalderon Talkal@elal.co.il

Atmosphere Magazine is published monthly by RGE and LDI. Materials in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without permission. The opinions expressed in this magazine reflect those of the writers only, and not EL AL Airlines. The publisher and / or EL AL are not responsible for advertising content. For information regarding advertising opportunities Please contact Mr. Ofer Stessel at Tel: 052-8000618 Ofer_s@rge.co.il

Traveler’s Prayer May it be Thy will, Lord of Heaven and Earth, to lead us to peace and safety, to fly us in peace and safety to our desired destination, to find life, joy, and peace. Guard and watch us, we who fly the air pathways, cross the seas, and travel overland routes. Make firm the hands that guide the steering and sustain their spirit, so that they may lead us in peace and safety. For in You alone is our shelter from now unto eternity. The Lord bless thee, keep thee, the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee, the Lord turns His face unto thee, and gives thee peace. Amen.



In-flight I Issue 275 I October 2023


41 42 News 44 In-flight Entertainment 46 New Movies 48 Top 6 49 Editor’s Pick 50 In-flight Internet Access 51 Meet the Crew 52 Destination Map 55 Fleet

30 Local Initiative

Check-in 6 Travel News October highlights 8 What’s on Our Radar This Month Local events 10 Checklist Flight essentials 12 Our Guide How to travel off the beaten path

See the Sights 16 Explore Jaffa’s Jerusalem Boulevard aboard the new light rail

Beit Elfarasha: a fascinating culinary and cultural initiative in Akko 34 Hotel The Magdala Hotel: an exceptional resort experience 36 Design 5 great Israeli design stores and galleries Business 38 Fundraising for the Community Tough Mudders for the Larger Than Life Association

Magazine 22

Israel’s culinary ambassador to the skies EL AL’s new head Chef Assaf Granit, in a special interview after the launch of his new menu Lifestyle 26 Food A taste of the Arab and Druze table




New Exhibition Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Amos Gitai, image from Kippur , 2000 Design: Ayal Zakuv

On the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, the Museum looks back at this traumatic event with three special projects: A multichannel video-and sound installation by auteur filmmaker AMOS GITAI that engages with the war experience in retrospect; GEORGE SEGAL’s 1973 sculpture Sacrifice of Isaac , which became imbued with political meaning after the war; and a SELECTION FROM THE MUSEUM’S ISRAELI ART COLLECTION, featuring iconic

images that are etched in Israeli memory as reactions to the war. KIPPUR

In collaboration with

Check-in I Travel News & Updates

October Highlights

Illustration by Shutterstock

Photo: Omri Selner, SPNI

7 million tourists by 2030 Israel’s Minister of Tourism Haim Katz has presented his plan and goals for the coming years, including the aim to reach 7 million visitors to Israel by 2030. Currently, Israel’s hotel room capacity stands at 58 thousand rooms. In order to reach the goal of 7 million tourists by 2030, 12,000 more rooms are required, and 3,941 new ones will be added on in 2024. The ministry is also working in cooperation with immigration and security authorities in view of a border checks reform, which aims to ease security check protocols so that tourists will come back to Israel for more visits and stays and don’t leave feeling upset because of rough security checks.

World’s best free tourist attraction Vacation house rental site Casago has listed the world’s best free tourist attractions according to TripAdvisor, and found that the Luc Vanlaere Mini Harp Museum in Bruges, Belgium, arrives first place with 94.54% 5-star ratings. Harpist Luc Vanlaere offers visitors a 40-minute harp recital every day, free of charge. The Casago list also includes America’s National Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, the Niagara Falls in Canada, the Golden Temple in India, the Fitz Roy trek in El Chalten, Argentina, the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and more.

Israel’s National Trail is 38km longer Two new hiking trail segments have been marked and added to the Israel National Trail between Tel Hai and Mount Hermon, together adding up to 38 kilometers more. The new segments cross through national heritage sites and observation points that offer panoramic perspectives onto the surrounding landscape and sites, which include Ramim Ridge, the Hula Valley, the Golan Heights and Mount Hermon. They also cross through Tel-Hai College and several sites in Kiriyat Shmona like Ein Zahav, Zahav Park, the Keren Kayemet LeIsrael Park, Giv’at HaEm, the Banyas natural springs, Neve Ativ, etc.

Ben Gurion Airport’s Fattal Terminal named among best in the world

International luxury-lifestyle magazine The Robb Report has published its shortlist of the world’ best private terminals and Israel’s Fattal Terminal, which opened in 2019, is in the top seven. As noted in the magazine, the Fattal terminal offers maximum comfort: “the VIP Fattal Terminal sprawls across 1,400 sqm at Ben-Gurion airport; it was opened by the Fattal Group and includes private luxury rooms with on-suite bathrooms, fully equipped meeting rooms, and a private cigar lounge. Unlike most private terminals in the world, the Fattal terminal offers personalized check-in and security check services that take care of all the pre-flight hassle, thus eliminating the need to travel by private jet”. Ben-Gurion airport’s exclusive Fattal Terminal, situated near Terminal 1, joins the list of highly exclusive private terminals that includes Heathrow airport’s private terminal where gourmet meals are served and the Jetex terminal in Dubai where guests are driven to their planes aboard a Rolls-Royce.

Photo: Assaf Pinchuk



With The New Chef's Menu Something Good Is Happening at EL AL

The new menu will be gradually integrated

Check-in I Local events I October 2023 I Nava Marton

What’s On Our Radar This Month

Theatre | The Akko International Fringe Theatre Festival Akko

The vibrant and multi-faceted Akko Theatre Festival is back with its 44 th edition. Myriad plays and street performances, including eight premieres and four guest plays will be presented this year. The festival program promises more than 40 (free) shows and like every year, a camping site is made available to festivalgoers. Some of the themes explored this year include PTSD and the current social and political crisis in Israel. Also in this year’s festival: a play entitled “Fixing the World”, with the participation of actors with autism spectrum disorder and/or other disabilities, shaolin performances by Chinese kung fu masters, a beer festival, food trucks, lots of

street performances, and more. October 1 st – 4 th , accofestival.co.il

Photo: Ella Barak

Visual Arts | Rashid Johnson: Broken Crowd The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Broken Crowd presents works by Afro-American artist and creator Rashid Johnson. Johnson is one of the most important voices in contemporary art. He explores the notion of identity, personal and collective, amongst the Afro-American community of the 21 st century. The exhibition presents three of his most significant works that express, through body language, the physical and psychological experience of a Black man in a racist and discriminatory society. His mosaic, “Untitled Broken Crowd”, is one of the exhibition’s most striking pieces. It shows the power of gestural abstraction, particularly in the facial expressions of the figures depicted in the mosaic. (Curator: Orly Rabi) Until December 2023, imj.org.il

Rashid Johnson, ‘Untitled Broken Crowd’, 2019, ©Rashid Johnson | Photo: ©the artist and Hauser & Wirth, by Martin Parsekian



Exhibition | The Phoenix Group Collection The Ramat Gan Museum of Israeli Art The Ramat Gan Museum of Israeli Art’s new cluster exhibition presents artworks by Israeli artists from the private collection of financial services company the Phoenix Group. More than 200 works, mostly paintings, but photos and sculptures as well, are exhibited across three floors, works by some of Israel’s greatest artists, including Joseph Zaritski, Nahum Gutman, Anna Ticho, Sionah Tagger, Uri Lifschitz, Sigalit Landau, and more. The Phoenix Group Collection is one of the most significant art collections in Israel. The exhibition explores three central aspects of Israeli identity, from the beginning of the 20 th century till today: the first floor is dedicated to works focusing on local identity, the second to works exploring the depiction of the human body in Israeli art, and the third to works that depict the notions of home and family. (Curator: Roni Cohen-Binyamini). Until June 2024, rgma.org.il

Uri Lifschitz, “Anonymity”, 1967 I Photo: Avraham Hai

Music | The Cleveland Orchestra Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem

The Cleveland Orchestra, one of the most important orchestras in the world, will be performing in Israel for the first time this month as part of its European tour to mark Israel’s 75 th year of Independence. Founded more than a century ago, the Cleveland Orchestra has been delighting audiences with its renowned elegance of sound ever since. Under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst, music director for the past 22 years, the orchestra will be giving three concerts, one in Haifa, one in Tel Aviv, and the last in Jerusalem, performing pieces by Mozart, Mahler, and Prokofiev, with the guest appearance of British baritone Simon Keenlyside. October 26 th – 28 th , ipo.co.il, clevelandorchestra.com

Photos: (Left) DIOZ by PR; (Right) Lior Hamama by PR

Pop-up art show | The Imperial Hotel - Wonderland 2 The Imperial Hotel, Tel Aviv

Following the success garnered by the previous exhibition curated by Yaara Zaks at the Imperial hotel, a new and even bigger one with new rooms and artists was launched last September, under the title “Imagining Utopia”. The artists taking part, have been asked to imagine what their utopia would look like, what the notion of a better world means to them. Visitors are invited to explore the exhibition’s 38 hotel rooms where the works of 58 different artists are showcased and exhibited. Until October 31 st , to-mix.co.il

Photo: Roger Mastroianni



Check-in I Checklist

Flight Essentials for your next trip

Book | Ethical Tribing: Connecting the Next Generation to Israel in the Digital Era The Jewish people today face a new and different kind of threat to their long-term survival: a next generation that is less connected to both Israel and Jewish identity. In their book, “Ethical Tribing: Connecting the Next Generation to Israel in the Digital Era”, co-authors Joanna Landau and Michael Golden offer a counterintuitive strategy, based on the sciences of influence and social media communication, to reclaim global appeal and appreciation for Israel. In the words of President Herzog: “this book offers a paradigm shifting, creative approach to addressing some of the most acutely pressing questions facing the Jewish people today. It deserves to be widely read and meticulously applied”. Available online via: ethical-tribing.com and amazon.com Price: hardcover, $17.95; softcover, $12.95; audiobook, $11.02

Maui Jim patented polarized sunglasses with tinted lenses that block 100% of UV rays and improve color quality and brightness, NIS 2,199, available at Opticana stores across Israel

Personal travel bag by Rollnik – the Tour series for women and the Go series for men. Made of EVA hardcase to protect against theft and humidity, internal compartments for sunglasses, phone, passport, credit cards, cash, earphones, etc. Choice of five different colors, NIS 169, available online via rollnik.co.il

Men’s sandals by Bayton, 100% cork footbed for optimum support and comfort, choice of several colors, NIS 249.90, available at G Concept stores and select shoe stores across Israel, and online via globalonline.co.il

Black wireless speaker insulated water bottle by Asobu, NIS 219, available at all Gentleman stores and online via gentleman.co.il

Backpack by Nevo Rhino Advance, ultra-resistant, user-friendly hip buckle, lightweight, 60L capacity + 5L extra in main compartment, large pockets on hip belt, NIS 425, available at Trek Market stores across Israel and online via trekmarket.co.il

Tumi carry-on, made of recycled materials, lightweight with double-spinner wheels, USB port and TSA lock, choice of several colors, price starts at NIS 2,540, available at all Tumi stores

Photos: PR, Israel Forlander


LEVANT CUISINE by Chef Nimrod Hadas Manara is a Levantine-Israeli cuisine restaurant, facing the spectacular view of tel Aviv beaches and completing the Levantine experience that characterizes the restaurant’s kitchen, an Interpretation of the local Israeli culinary culture, and broad Mediterranean influences. Manara’s seasonal menu includes carefully selected fresh local ingredients, fresh fish from the Mediterranean, organic vegetables, hand-made pastas, a variety of oven-baked breads, quality cheeses and desserts made daily in front of diners, led by Chef Nimrod Hadas and his staff. For reservations: www.manaratlv.com 03. 6702220 Hayarkon 115 St. Tel-Aviv


Check-in I Our Guide

There’ll always be those unmissable tourist attractions – but checking out a destination’s lesser-known spots is an eye-opening experience you won’t regret. Here are 6 tips to help you feel like a local no matter where you are / By Lihi Ron How to travel off the beaten path

discover the best restaurants, apart from getting recs from the locals, is to check which places have the longest queues of people waiting for a table. Look for places that are chock-full of local diners and stay away from wherever there are masses of tourists. Start by asking for recommendations at the local café, the people you’re staying with, or get lost among the side streets. You’ll inevitably discover hidden gems, small neighborhood eateries you won’t find in the big travel guides. 05 Use public transport. Whether it’s using the bus, the metro, renting a bike or a rikshaw, the best way to learn your way around a new place is by using public transport. Public transport isn’t just the cheapest way to get from A to B it’s also the best way to discover a place’s innerworkings and immerse yourself in the local language and everyday life. 06 Go on a guided tour with a local guide . Many places around the world offer the option to go on a guided tour with a local guide who will show you places around town that you won’t find in the big travel guides. A local guide will open your eyes to how the locals really live, eat, and party. They’ll tell you about the best nightlife venues, and perhaps even more importantly, about the ones to avoid. Tours are usually two to three hours long.

01 Read up on your room for spontaneity. Though it’s thoroughly

etc., breaks the ice with the locals who appreciate the effort made to learn a few words in their language. Nowadays, many language learning apps are available free of charge; they’ll help you acquire the basic language skills you need to feel almost at home wherever you go. 03 Rent an apartment in a residential area. Whatever your destination is, renting an apartment during your stay will give you a real taste of what everyday life is there. Same goes for staying at a B&B or bunking with locals in trendy parts of town. They are the best ways to really get a feel of how locals live, eat, and experience life. 04 Eat where the locals eat . One of the best ways to

destination but leave

recommended to have as much information as possible about your destination’s accommodation, food, and nightlife options, exploring the place on your own, without a guide and away from the main tourist attractions, can be a fascinating experience. Use social media for inspiration, ask locals where they like to have lunch or go for a walk, check if there are any live music shows or special events you can go to. 02 Learn a few basic phrases in the local language. You don’t have to be fluent but knowing a few words and phrases, like hello, thank you, how much is this, where’s the bathroom please,


Informative Content

Discover Netanya Gorgeous beaches, an impressive seafront promenade, and fascinating nature reserves are reason enough to visit the coastal city of Netanya, but its myriad museums, centuries’ old sycamore tree, and bustling food market - make a day trip here an absolute must

possesses several impressive oak tree specimens, as well as numerous eucalyptus and sycamore trees. Legend has it that under the grove’s most ancient sycamore tree, lie the remains of Umm Khalid, the mother of one of the disciples of Muhammad. Markets and stores: Herzl Street Mall is the city’s main shopping hub, offering numerous fashion, jewelry, and cosmetics stores. Netanya’s food market is considered one of the biggest and most diverse in the country, and it is also a major culinary spot, with many renowned restaurants located here, aside the meat, fish, fruit, and vegetable stalls. The market also has clothes and kitchenware stalls. Historical sites and museums: the Netanya City Museum documents the history of the city and regularly presents temporary exhibitions on the subject. Guided tours of the museum and of the city are available upon request. Art, culture, and nightlife: the city’s art gallery showcases works by renowned Israeli artists, some of them Netanya residents, and international artists are involved in some of the gallery’s occasional temporary exhibitions. The city’s planetarium, Planetanya, is a fascinating science museum both children and adults will delight in exploring . gonetanya.com

No other city in Israel has this big a chunk of coastline as Netanya - thirteen and a half kilometers of golden beaches and sparkling blue waters - and an elegant seafront promenade all along it. The city's numerous nature reserves, parks, and gardens are a joy to explore, as are the many historical sites and museums. There are shopping malls, a food market, many hotels to stay at and restaurants to experience. Here's an overview of the city's main highlights. One city, endless fun Relaxing by the sea: the beaches of Netanya stretch all along the kurkar coastline ridge down to Nahal Poleg river. There are nine beaches in total, all easily accessible and replete with

cafés and restaurants, for whenever the hunger pangs hit. Netanya is also great for practicing all sorts of water sports activities. Independence square: one of Netanya’s main cultural hubs, its interactive installation offers a fascinating multi-sensorial experience for visitors of all ages. Nature reserves and parks: there are many wonderful green spots in Netanya, most notably the Winter Lake Park, the oak tree grove, “Engagement Park” (gorgeous in February when the flowers are in bloom), and Shikma Gardens. Netanya Park is not only a lovely place to go for a hike, it also has a playground and gym equipment. The park’s oak grove indeed

More benefits, more points, more flights! Introducing the new Matmid Frequent Flyer Club program

Easier to retain your points Each point earned in the new

Easier to redeem Purchasing an award ticket?

Introducing our Diamonds Our shiny new currency for calculating status eligibility. You can now keep your points exclusively for redemption towards your next flight, while the Diamonds you earn will elevate you to the next status quickly and easily Easier to earn points and Diamonds Besides earning Diamonds and points on flights and FLY CARD purchases*, for the first time you can earn Diamonds and points on purchases of extra baggage, SPACE seats and upgrades, making the road to an award ticket and tier status shorter

We’ve introduced a new, flexible award fares, and have canceled the additional cash component. Now, you can purchase an award ticket with just the points you’ve earned, and pay in cash for the tax component only Easier to upgrade Flight upgrades are just a few clicks away: from now on, all Matmid Frequent Flyer members are entitled to register for an upgrade, with one online click, from all booking classes and at varying prices. The higher your elite status, the higher your chances of getting an upgrade. And there’s more FLY CARD PREMIUM holders and Executive members enjoy priority in upgrades!

program will be valid for 18 months and will automatically be extended for an additional 18-month period whenever members earn at least one point on a flight or attain a minimum charge of NIS 5000 on their FLY CARD in a month during this period Easier to reach higher statuses members can reach a higher status quickly, and enjoy more benefits such as lounge access, preferred-seat selection at no-cost and much more. We've lowered the thresholds between statuses, so that all

All details and updates are available on the EL AL website elal.com *Diamonds can be earned for purchases with FLY CARD PREMIUM credit cards only, limited to up to 12,000 Diamonds for purchases made in the last 12 months. Earning Diamonds and points from upgrades will only be possible on the cash component of an upgrade through our Points Upgrade interface.

See the Sights I Eat, Travel, Enjoy

Impressive architectural structures, historical sites, museums, specialty stores, restaurants, cafés, and bars – hop on the new red line and discover the many joys of Jaffa’s legendary Jerusalem Boulevard / By Ariela Aflalo Hop on Hop Off: discovering Jaffa’s Jerusalem Boulevard aboard the new light rail Photo: Eyal Tagar


Tel Aviv and Jaffa’s light rail red line was inaugurated last August, bringing the two sister cities closer together and opening new opportunities to discover parts of town that weren’t as easy to reach until now. In the early 20 th century, Jerusalem boulevard was a major cultural hub. Its legendary Alhambra art déco movie theatre and café, still around today, were once central nightlife venues, graced by famous politicians, ambassadors, army generals, actors, and it-girls. With the launch of the new light rail, the old haunts of times past have been cleaned up and refurbished, inviting visitors to discover historical buildings, art galleries, and museums. All along the boulevard there are great restaurants, cafés, street food eateries and bars, and soon, new boutique hotels will open here as well, ensuring this exhilarating part of town becomes a major nightlife and tourism hub once again. The red line starts at Elifelet station, right by HaMesila Park, and continues down through Jerusalem boulevard that connects Tel Aviv to Bat Yam. There are six stations along it in total. Currently, the most interesting segment is the one between Eilat street and Yehuda HaYamit street, bursting as it is with galleries, restaurants and cafés. It’s also a stone’s throw from Jaffa’s Clock Tower, port, Old City, and flea market, as well as the beautiful Noga neighborhood, the American Colony, and it’s not too far away from the beach. In addition to all of this, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality organizes events and food tours along the boulevard every Friday. Here’s an overview of all the fun there is to be had here - from Shalma station to Blumfield to Erlich. Shalma Station Gesher Theatre square - the square in front of Gesher Theatre has become one of the most exciting nightlife spots in the city, with its beautiful ancient fountain and the adjacent wine bar “Cantina San Remo”. The square leads onto the Noga neighborhood where concept stores, art studios, cafés and restaurants abound. (Jerusalem blvd. 9)

The Fun Art Gallery I Photo: Alex Donin

Walking and cycling lanes I Photo: Ariela Aflalo

The Jaffa pond I Photo: Ariela Aflalo

Noga neighborhood I Photo: Ariela Aflalo



See the Sights I Eat, Travel, Enjoy

The Jaffa Well I Photo: Barak Brinker

The Alhambra Deli I Photo: Ariela Aflalo

Kozel Bar I Photo: Ariela Aflalo

Casino San Remo I Photo: Assaf Karela

Itzik HaGadol I Photo: Dror Varshavsky

Noga neighborhood I Photo: Tomer Maya

Where to eat

events with local artists regularly take place here and there’s a lovely adjoining café and holistic center. (Shalma st. 6) jaffawell.com The Fun Art Gallery - this gallery specializes in contemporary digital Israeli art. Art fairs are regularly organized, as well as intuitive painting, candle design, and puppetry workshops. (Shalma st. 2) FunArtYaffo Blumfield Station Alhambra – the Israeli Scientology Center - one of Jaffa’s most impressive architectural structures, the Alhambra was built in 1936. Initially a concert venue, then a movie theatre. Producer Giora Gudik purchased it in the 60’s and rebranded it as the “Broadway of Israel”, staging many musicals, among which “My Fair Lady”, “Hair”, “Fiddler on the roof”, etc. Later,

The post office building - one of the boulevard’s most impressive buildings of exceptional architectural relevance, the old post office was built in 1931 in the times of the British Mandate. Inside, the ceilings are very high and everything is covered in marble. There’s a The area is bursting with restaurants and cafés. A few recommendations include: the Italian eatery “Gemma” in the Noga neighborhood, French bistro “Par Derrière”, hummus eatery “Al Kalkha”, top-rated restaurant “OCD”, led by Chef Raz Rahav, and Italian restaurant “Casino San Remo” that holds pop-up flower stands, tattoo and vintage clothes fairs every Friday. Jerusalem boulevard is full of street food spots, mostly shawarma

philately museum on the second floor, where visitors can discover a multitude of old stamps, coins, and bank notes. (Jerusalem blvd. 12) The Jaffa Pond - a visitors’ center full of information on the city’s history presented in a fun and interesting way. Art exhibitions and smoked fish, pickles, etc. for 40 years so make sure you stop by there as well, and don’t forget to try the new “Hershaleh” sandwich shop (Jerusalem blvd. 62) – the sandwiches are top-notch and the cocktails menu a delight. and burekas (special mention to the “Itzik HaGadol” shawarma shop, and “Burekas Jacques”). The Alhambra café and deli is a great spot to grab a bite as well. The “Avner and Rami” deli has been selling cheeses,



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See the Sights I Eat, Travel, Enjoy

it stood empty for years until it was bought by the the Church of Scientology . Nowadays, visitors are invited to explore the beautiful art déco structure, as well as its 60’s memorabilia exhibition. (Jerusalem Blvd. 39) alhambrajaffa.org.il Mosaic House - Yossi Lugasi was a self-taught painter, sculptor, and mosaicist. He fell in love with the art of making mosaics and created more than 1,000

Mosaics House I Photo: Eyal

mosaic designs over the course of three decades, including mosaics depicting Israeli statesmen, international politicians, movie stars, singers, and artists. He covered every millimeter of his house with mosaics and after he passed away, his wife Yaffa decided to turn their home into a mosaics museum. (Yehuda HaYamit st. 26) psifas-house.com The Nostalgia museum - Israeli memorabilia collector Gil Fanto has turned his home into a museum. Fanto takes visitors on a journey back in time, inviting them to explore the hundreds of objects and furniture items he amassed over the years, and listen to his stories and anecdotes about life in Jaffa over the decades. (Shivtei Israel 25) gilfanto.co.il

The Nostalgia museum I Photo: Ariela Aflalo

Alhambra – the Israeli Scientology Center

Erlich Station Al-Nuzha Mosque - one of

a library and an Islamic court. Renovations have recently been undertaken and arches, marble pillars, and mosaics, have been added to the original structure. (Jerusalem blvd. 82) Dajani malabi – since the 1950’s, this family-owned malabi stand has been serving ice-cold gazoz and sweet, syrup-laden malabi.

the most beautiful mosques in Israel, the Al-Nuzha Mosque was built in 1937 in the heart of Nuzha neighborhood, one of the wealthiest in those days. The mosque was abandoned in 1948, but worshippers returned to it in the 60’s, when it also became


Magazine I Interview

Israel’s culinary

ambassador to the skies

With more than 30 restaurants to his name around the world, first among which Parisian Michelin starred eatery “Shabur”, Chef Assaf Granit sees his recent nomination as head chef of EL AL Airlines as yet another major professional accomplishment. The new menu he created is a thrilling mix of Israeli comfort

food and contemporary inventiveness – a culinary journey like no other / By Sharon Ben-David

Photo: Tami Bar Shai


“Lately most of my traveling has been for EL AL. Last month alone I was in Casablanca, Marrakesh, London, Paris, Milan, and Toulouse. When I wake up in the morning it takes me a second to remember where I am. I’m probably the country’s most frequent flyer”, jokes Chef Assaf Granit, as we sit down with him for a chat about the new inflight EL AL menu. His new role as the airlines’ head chef, which he will be for the next three years, is another layer of responsibilities he crams into his tight schedule, responsibilities that have included visiting EL AL’s New York kitchens and flying to the Hamburg inflight culinary fair to select tools and technologies to implement his menu. In the coming months, he’ll be visiting more EL AL kitchens in different parts of the world, and all of this while managing 30 restaurants across the globe. How hands on are you as head chef? “When I told EL AL I wanted to be involved in every detail, just as I am at my restaurants, they thought I was joking, but I have a say on every aspect – the way the dishes are packaged, produce provenance, etc. A few eyebrows were raised when I took on this role, because of the gap they may perceive between a Michelin-starred chef and airplane food, but I believe that the versatility the role requires can only make me a better chef and businessman. I can make wonderful inflight sandwiches and warm meals, as well as be a Michelin-starred chef with restaurants everywhere in the world”. In what way does your menu reflect your personal vision? “I’ve practically always only flown EL AL. Why? Because it’s the only airline that makes me feel connected with home, with my “Israeliness”, no matter where I am in the world –

Photo: Guy Kushi & Yariv Fein

lentils and burghul, horesht subzi chard and beef stew, and chraime fish and chickpea couscous. “We wanted to give expression to the full patchwork of cuisines that form the Israeli table”, explains Granit, who highlights the importance of good service as part of the overall culinary experience. “Hostesses and stewards have received instructions and a brochure with all the details about each and every dish”, he adds. Have you come across challenges you hadn’t yet met in the restaurant industry? “I learned a lot about how food is processed, about food security and Kashrut. I was surprised at the level of care and meticulousness in the Our quick questionnaire Who always makes you laugh? “My son Leo”. What do people not know about you? “That I snore at night”. What do you do in your spare time? “Practice Thai boxing”. What would you be doing had you not become a chef? “I’d be a movie director”. What’s your favorite dish? “Quality steak with Maldon salt”. What’s your favorite destination? “Paris”.

which is exactly what I strive to do in my restaurants abroad. To me, it was clear that the inflight menu needed to be instilled with Israeli spirit. Our produce providers are Israeli, and their names are included on the packaging. The crouton-shaped biscuits of our fattoush salad for instance, were made in cooperation with the Abadi Bakery, a brand every Israeli knows and loves”. Schnitzel sandwiches and chraime fish couscous EL AL flies more than four million people each year, which makes it a gigantic restaurant. It operates 11 kitchens around the world, the most recent having opened in Tokyo. The numbers speak for themselves: 3.5 million sandwiches served each year, 2 million meals served in Economy class, and almost a million in Business. To cater for this enormous mass of people, Granit has designed a menu that fully reflects the diversity of Israeli cuisine. Schnitzel sandwiches made with quality pretzel bread will be served in Economy, as well as pumpkin hamusta meatballs with noodles and rice. In Business and Premium, artisan bread baskets will be served alongside massachan chicken with



Magazine I Interview

sanitation process - critical when dealing with such quantities of produce”. Is there a dish you are particularly attached to? “The chocolate mousse with olive oil, sea salt, and za’atar crumble. It’s one of my most successful dishes. When we began serving it at “Shabur” in Paris, it was the talk of the town, making magazine covers around the world. I am particularly attached to it as it deeply connects me to my restaurants”. What does being head chef of EL AL mean to you personally? “First and foremost, I feel like a sort of culinary ambassador to the skies of the Israeli table. It’s our job to create the link between the world and Israeli cuisine in all its diversity. My position also allows me to use Israeli produce and foods I grew up with. Being named EL AL’s head chef is a huge honor and a privilege, a major accomplishment I’m so proud to have achieved in my career”. A finger in every pie Alongside his role as EL AL head chef, Granit and his Machneyuda team are busy expanding their culinary empire. With more than 30 restaurants and over a thousand employees, including Michelin starred Parisian eatery “Shabur”, the sky is quite literally the limit. “Balagan”, also in Paris, has just reopened after extensive refurbishment works, and a wine bar called “Shana” has just been opened next door to “Shabur”. In the Grand Mazarin hotel in the Marais neighborhood, an Eastern European restaurant called “Boubalé” has just opened as well – “the aim is to take the German, Russian, Polish, and Hungarian cuisines and make them sexy”, explains Granit. You’ve practically conquered every summit. What keeps you motivated?

Do you manage to find time for yourself? “Yes. I practice Thai boxing every day, and I love it. I’ve been in a relationship for the past three months – it might seem like a short period of time to some but to me it’s no small feat (he smiles). And of course, I’m a father, which comes above all else. I have a very strong connection with my son who travels with me a lot. When I was named EL AL’s head chef, he was adamant about there being pasta Bolognese on the menu”. And is there? “Of course! Didn’t want to get in trouble, did I?” he answers jokingly. ˆ

“I’ve still got a lot to do. It’s not about how many restaurants or Michelin stars I have. Championing the people I work with is one of my main driving forces. It’s always been important to me to use my kitchens as a tool to help people from underprivileged backgrounds and give them a second chance - allow them to acquire skills and become fantastic chefs, no matter how tough and messy their lives may have been until then. I also want to continue opening hotel restaurants. But I’ll eventually end up doing other things as well – I’m interested in acting for instance, but not in playing a chef”.

Photos: Anatoly Michaello, for illustration purposes only


Picture a more caring world…

EL AL and Bank Hapoalim are ongoing supporters of ALUT, ALEH and ADI. We invite you to join us and take part in our " Small Change . Big Dreams. " campaign for the benefit of children with disabilities.

Your small change (the unused loose bills and coins from your trip overseas) can grant a multitude of wishes for tens of thousands of children with disabilities. With your help, we can give them hope, empowerment and care. Your donation envelope will be collected during the flight by our EL AL crew. The children of ALUT, ALEH and ADI wish you a pleasant flight and hope that all of your dreams come true.

חלומות גדולים.

הרשת הלאומית לטיפול וקידום ילדים ואנשים עם מוגבלויות The national network for the treatment and advancement of children and people with disabilities ALEH CREATING HOPE

Lifestyle I Food & Drink

5 restaurants that blend tradition with culinary inventiveness and a passion for food – from knaffeh on a skewer to the shawarma sandwich, discover the joys of the infinitely rich Arab and Druze food scene / By Sharon Ben-David A taste of the Arab and Druze table

Photo: Anatoly Michaello

Captain Hook I Jaffa Jaffa’s flea market is home to this charming little eatery. Fish and seafood are the stars of the show here, as owner Bilal Abu Ria and Chef Omar Ilwan joined forces to create a menu that reflects the hybrid nature of Jaffa, deeply steeped in history but also one of the country’s most vibrant modern day nightlife hubs. Wonderful dishes are served in a relaxed flea-market-imbued atmosphere, dishes such as okra tempura with tahini, watermelon salad with burrata cheese, shrimps fried in falafel batter, whitefish tartare, kebab siniya, fish with cherries, and more. There are dishes for gluten avoidants, as well as a top cocktails’ menu. Dishes are also available for takeout. captainhook.co.il

Photo: Gilad Har Sheleg

Noor I Galilee Basma Hinu, former participant in an Israeli reality TV cooking show, decided to open her own café in the Galilee after her success on the show. She named it “Noor”, after her son currently serving in the IDF. The café was a success from the get-go and the menu has widely expanded since it first opened, and it now includes classics of the Druze kitchen as well as wedding day dishes. Diners are invited to take part in typical Druze wedding rituals such as hand painting. Dishes served include warm yoghurt soup, kubbeh, stuffed vegetables, meet skewers, slow cooked lamb, hazelnut and pine nut studded rice, etc. noorrestaurantkonditorei


Diana I Nazareth Nazareth’s iconic Diana restaurant has been considered a culinary jewel for more than 50 years. Travelers from everywhere in the world and of all religions make their way here to taste the wonders that come out of Chef Wassim Safadi and his team’s kitchen. Diana is all about celebrating Nazarene cuisine and hospitality. Tabun-baked fresh pitas are served piping hot, as well as traditional stuffed aubergines and courgettes, tahini and labneh, hummus with meat, green salads, juicy kebabs, grilled meat, shoulder of lamb cooked with seasonal vegetables, and more. dianaa.rest.co.il

Photos: Sharon Ben David

Jaffa “open house” food tours The inauguration of the Tel Aviv light rail has placed a spotlight on Jaffa, now closer to the rest of the city than it ever was. In celebration, the municipality of Tel Aviv and Jaffa has organized a series of culinary tours with the participation of some of the city’s inhabitants who have generously agreed to open their homes for the occasion. The first to open her home in this way is Meyser Seri, a cook specialized in the Arab cuisine of Jaffa. Guests will be invited to taste the delicacies Seri will prepare for them, including homemade hummus, and listen to her story of female empowerment in a patriarchal society, a story of a devout Muslim woman who paved her way to success, publishing cookbooks, leading food workshops in her home, and culinary tours along Jaffa’s central Jerusalem Boulevard. visit-tlv.co.il

Diana I Photo: Boaz Lavi



Lifestyle I Food & Drink

Photos: Gilad Har Sheleg

Jamil’s sandwich eatery I Akko Hamudi Barghut, owner of the beloved Almasra restaurant in Akko, opened a sandwich place named after his father Jamil, who taught him the art of making and eating shawarma. The new eatery’s flagship dish is of course the shawarma sandwich – a juicy veal shawarma in challah or laffa bread, but the menu also includes schnitzel in challah bread, kebab with spicy peppers and grilled tomatoes, onions with sumac, fried aubergines, tomato and cucumber salad, and more. Located right by the seaside promenade, it’s a great spot to sit down, have a delicious sandwich, and enjoy the beautiful view. Fishermen’s harbor, Akko

Photos: courtesy of the restaurant

Sahara Palace I Kfar Nein

Chef Nashat Abbas is one of the most famous chefs in the world of Arab cuisine. Located in Kfar Nein, between Afula and Kfar Tavor, his restaurant “Sahara Palace” is where Arab-Galilean cuisine meets modern cooking techniques and culinary inventiveness. The place itself is situated in a 200-year-old building steeped in history, adding to the restaurant’s charm. The menu is seasonal and

based on wonderful local fresh vegetables, sheep, and beef, raised in the nearby agricultural kibbutzim. Once you’ve tasted the classics, make sure you try the household specialties such as zagalit labneh (labneh balls with walnuts), freekeh risotto, and knaffeh on a skewer, a desert invented by Abbas himself that you won’t find anywhere else. Kfar Nein, 04-6935101






Lifestyle I Local Initiative

Beit Elfarasha (Butterfly House in Arabic) was founded by women for women. Both boutique hotel and social hub, the fascinating cooking workshops organized here bring people together and create bridges between cultures and communities / By Ariel Kars The butterfly effect

Photos by Cathy Raff

For the love of Akko, food, and community At the origin of the Beit Elfarasha initiative is Cathy Raff, an American who fell in love with the city of Akko and has been part of the city’s social and cultural life since 2009. The first thing you see when you arrive at Beit Elfarasha are beautiful black and white photographs of locals, outside the building along the alleyway. The photos were taken by Raff herself, a former photographer. As you step inside, you are immediately struck by the attention to detail and the modern aesthetics of the interior design that blend in beautifully with the ancient Ottoman edifice. The ground floor is where workshops and events take place, including Tibetan bowl meditation

Nowhere is Israel’s “Mediterranean spirit” more palpable than in the Old City of Akko. It is a whirlwind of history, coastline views, ancient ruins, and modern architecture. Centuries of Ottoman, Arab, Bahá ʼ í, Christian, and Jewish presence interconnect here, creating a unique atmosphere. In 2001, the Old City of Akko was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and people from all over the world come year-round to explore it and enjoy its wonderful food scene. Beit Elfarasha (“butterfly house” in Arabic) is a unique initiative. A small boutique hotel as well as a social and cultural center, it is situated right by the Old City walls in a beautiful Ottoman building recently restored.


Tasteful souvenirs Cathy Raff, founder of Beit Elfarasha, is involved in many social initiatives, such as the Akko “Goal of Equality” kids’ football team, a social sports initiative that gets kids from different communities to play sports together. In the Beit Elfarasha gift shop, you’ll find coffee mugs with the words “salam” and “shalom” on them (“peace” in Hebrew and Arabic), designed by the actress-singer-musician Mira Awad, olive oil produced by a Galilean association founded by Arab and Jewish women, handmade pottery, aprons with the Beit Elfarasha logo on them, and locally sourced herbs and spices.

sessions, cooking workshops, etc. There are two suites on the first floor which also has a vast balcony that looks out onto the Old City and the open sea. It’s the perfect place to relax and take in the sights and sounds of the city below. “Beit Elfarasha was founded by women for women”, says Raff who has been living in Israel for almost four decades. “Our main activity is organizing food workshops that are led by local women with the aim to create a platform for people to meet, exchange stories and experiences while learning to cook traditional regional recipes. Our overall goal is to initiate dialogue between communities and support local women”, she adds. Experiencing Galilean flavors Beit Elfarasha offers a range of private cooking workshops for groups of 10 to 20 people. A modern kitchen has been especially installed

for the purpose of these workshops and people from everywhere in the world come to take part in the fascinating exploration of local cuisine they allow. One of the workshops is dedicated to Arab wedding food. The flavors of Akko are influenced by Turkish and A-shami flavors (A-sham is the Arabic name for the area known as the Levant which comprises Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan). During the workshops participants get to prepare kibbeh nayeh, a dish typically served on the morning of a wedding. Kibbeh nayeh can be made with or without meat (Beit Elfarasha takes into account all food sensitivities), and it can either be served in its meat version, on a plate, with almonds sprinkled on top, or on a

bed of lettuce with chopped walnuts and sweet-and-sour pomegranate concentrate. Participants are also taught to make stuffed vine leaves, stuffed peppers and cabbage leaves, and kadaif. Kadaif is a delicious desert made of vermicelli noodles, pistachios, syrup, and rose water. It is usually served to break the Ramadan fast. The recipes taught at Beit Elfarasha are as authentic as you can get and aren’t usually what you’ll see on restaurant menus. Beit Elfarasha workshops offer a unique opportunity to experience real homemade Akko style cuisine, meet locals, hear personal stories, and strike friendships with people from different backgrounds and cultures. ˆ beitelfarasha.com



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