EL AL | Atmosphere

April 2024

Issue 280 | April 2024

16 P.

Exploring the Negev A fascinating mix of history, hypnotic desert landscapes, walking trails, and natural springs - head south and enjoy all the wonders of the Negev, its blooming kibbutzes and spectacular views

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 46

In-flight I Issue 280 I April 2024


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

Ein Avdat I Photo: Eyal & Tal Bartov

Editor’s Letter

With spring now upon us, and the Passover holidays a few weeks away, why not take time off to explore Israel’s beautiful south with its breathtaking desert landscapes. We warmly recommend one of the Negev’s most precious jewels, Kibbutz Sde Boker, mostly known for being the home and place of burial of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, the man who dreamt of making the desert bloom and who with that vision in mind, settled there with his wife Paula in 1953. A new promenade, named in his honor, was recently inaugurated, adding itself to the many walking trails this spectacular region has to offer. A trip to this part of the country necessarily includes a visit to Ben Gurion’s legendary cabin, a walk or a bike ride along the new promenade with stops to admire its many observation points, an exploration of the region’s many natural springs and numerous family-friendly sites and attractions (full article p.16). The Passover holidays are also the perfect time to discover Israel’s wineries. We’ve got you covered with recommendations of

all the best wine tours and tastings in the region of Zichron Ya’akov, where lie some of Israel’s most impressive vineyards. Also this month: an interview with Yoseph Haddad, one of Israel’s most prominent voices who spoke to us about the biggest challenges he faces as an Arab-Israeli advocating for Israel, a look into Franco Jewish photographer Raphaël Perez’s IsraeliJazz project, recommendations for restaurants owned by army reservists, a journey into the world of recycled art, and gift ideas for what to get your loved ones this Passover; and of course, as always, all the month’s cultural highlights, events, and more. As life in Israel inevitably gets back to its normal rhythm, let us not forget that the war is still raging, and the fight for the release of the Israeli hostages in Gaza is still going on.

Shiri Atzmon Cover Photo and Images ASAP Creative

VP of Marketing, Trade and Sales Yaniv Ofir Business Development Manager Alon Fox Senior Sales Manager Sivan Himelfarb

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

For information regarding advertising opportunities Please contact Ms. Sivan Himelfarb at

I wish you all a pleasant a read, a peaceful flight, and a very happy Passover, Nava Marton

TEL: 054-5255370 Sivan_h@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.

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.



In-flight I Issue 280 I April 2024


43 44 News 46 In-flight Entertainment 48 New Movies 50 Kids - Movies & TV 51 Top 6 52 In-flight Internet Access

Check-in 6 A letter from the CEO 8 Travel News April highlights 10 What’s on Our Radar This Month Local events 14 Our Guide 5 tips for traveling on a low budget See the Sights 16 Explore The wonders of the Negev, its blooming kibbutzes and spectacular views with a tour of Sde Boker and the surrounding area 24 Discover

53 Meet the Crew 54 Destination Map 57 Fleet

Magazine 26 “Our only weapon is the truth. And with it we will prevail” A candid interview with Yoseph Haddad, one of Israel’s most prominent voices 32 The story of Israeli jazz A glimpse into photographer Raphaël Perez’s IsraeliJazz Project

Lifestyle 34 Food 5 restaurants with added value 36 Fashion Stay festive and trendy with this season’s must-haves 38 Design 5 meaningful Passover gifts

The wineries of Zichron Ya’akov



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A letter from the CEO

Dear passengers,

As I write you these words, our nation is still at war after several months. Our hostages are still held by Hamas, and our brave soldiers continue to operate across all fronts to defend our beloved homeland. In the spirit of spring and hope, EL AL wishes for the swift return of all our hostages. Our springtime holidays are around the corner, reminding us of renewal and growth. We are actively implementing EL AL’s strategic plan to grow and expand our operations, including expanding and upgrading our aircraft fleet and developing our route network to offer you a broader range of travel options. We are also increasing our flight frequency. Looking ahead to the summer season, we are excited to announce the launch of around 50 weekly flights to our North American destinations, including New York (JFK, Newark), Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, and Fort Lauderdale – a route we launched in 2023 and recently renewed and which now will be permanent. Fort Lauderdale is a popular destination, especially for those looking to enjoy cruises. Moreover, through our codeshare agreement with Delta Air Lines, we offer you an extensive network of routes across the Americas, ensuring seamless travel experiences. In addition to bolstering our North American routes, we have increased flight frequencies to Paris totaling 27 weekly flights, and 17 weekly flights to Athens, expanded our presence in Thailand with additional seats on flights to Bangkok and Phuket, and transitioned our Tokyo flights to operate year-round. Furthermore, we have introduced new Sun D’Or destinations, including flights to Rhodes and Batumi. In these extraordinary times, Israel faces unprecedented challenges and the aviation industry is no exception. With demand for flights soaring and seat availability constrained, our team is tirelessly working to bolster our flight schedules to meet the increased demand. Especially during peak periods such as the upcoming summer and High Holidays, securing your flight tickets in advance will be crucial to ensuring availability and seamless travel experiences. Passover, the holiday of freedom, brings the opportunity for unforgettable travel and rejuvenating time spent with loved ones. I wish you joyous travel in Israel or abroad. I wish you pleasant holidays and better days ahead for all of us and the State of Israel.

Yours, Dina Ben Tal Ganancia CEO, EL AL

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Check-in I Travel News & Updates

April Highlights

Photo: Sivan Pereg

Photo: Amit Geron

Israel’s tourism recovery Israel’s tourism minister Haim Katz has appealed for tourists to visit Israel again, as he inaugurated the Israeli exhibit at last month’s ITB, one of the world’s most important tourism fairs, in Berlin. More than 10,000 exhibitors from 160 countries took part, and more than 100,000 tourism professionals and journalists from around the world, visited. The Israeli exhibit spread across 790 sqm and presented Israeli hotel owners, tourism professionals, and representatives of airline companies, who all expressed their eagerness to welcome back the millions of tourists and travelers that visit the country each year. The German edition of the “Business Traveller” magazine has rated the Leonardo hotel brand by Fattal as among the two best hotel chains for business travel in several cities both in the category of favorite hotels in Germany and favorite hotels across Europe. International hospitality giant, Hilton, has announced they’ve signed a collaboration agreement with two resorts in Greece, operated by Israeli group Brown Hotels, adding the Isla Brown Corinthia Resort & Spa, and the Isla Brown Chania Resort to Hilton’s exclusive Curio Collection. Hilton hotel guests around the world Israeli hotels receive international recognition

New taxi booking service at Ben Gurion Airport Ben Gurion Airport’s new digital taxi booking service operated by Gett was launched last month. A dedicated app and digital stations positioned inside the arrivals’ terminal have been designed to facilitate and secure taxi bookings. Users receive a ride code via the app by scanning the Gett QR code, and in turn, the taxi driver receives the same ride code as well. Users who prefer not to download the app can book via the digital station inside the airport terminal. Taxi drivers wait by the ground floor entrance to Gate 03 or beside Gate 23 on the second floor for users who booked ahead via the app.

The George Tel Aviv has opened its doors

One of the White City’s most exciting new hotels, The George, was inaugurated last month. Located not far from Rothschild Blvd., the hotel comprises 170 beautifully decorated rooms, including 40 suites designed for longer stays. The hotel also proposes a Members Club to all those living, working, or visiting the city. The hotel restaurant, the Loft, helmed by Chef Barak Aharoni, is open all day and offers a rich and diverse menu, as well as an exciting cocktails and wine menu. Brunch is served on the weekend. The hotel has a wellness floor with a spa, treatment rooms, wet and dry saunas, a pool and workout spaces.

NYX Hotel Hamburg I Photo: Leonardo Hotels Central Europe

can enjoy the award-winning Hilton Honors membership plan by which more than 173 million members

collect points at each hotel stay, receive upgrades and other exclusive advantages.



Check-in I Local events I April 2024 I Nava Marton

What’s On Our Radar This Month

Exhibition | Flowers Expo Tel Aviv

This is the most extensive flower fair to have ever been organized in Israel, with more than a million flowers on show, some flown in especially, from all over the world. Also on show are homegrown varieties (including some from the Gaza border region) and rare blooms that do not grow in Israel. Flowers of every shape, color, and size will fill Tel Aviv’s Expo convention center, and special flower installations will pepper the hall, as well as a flower maze and various dedicated spaces, including one celebrating the tropical world, and another, the fairy world aesthetic. There’ll also be family-friendly and children’s activities, as well as photo booths, seating areas and food stalls. April 23 rd -30 th , flowers2024.co.il

A protest from above I Photo by Yoram Elazary

Photography | The Photo Is:rael International Photography Festival Enav Cultural Center, Tel Aviv

The 11 th international Photo Is:rael photography festival comprises fifty outdoor exhibitions showcasing over a hundred photographers from across the world, as well as events, guided tours, roundtables with artists and photographers, and family-friendly activities. A special exhibit will be dedicated to photographers from the south of Israel and the Gaza border region that was hit by the October attacks, with photos of army reservists, displaced families, demonstrations, and representations of PTSD. An exhibition marking the publication of writer Eshkol Nevo’s new book will also be taking place. The exhibitions are open to the public and held at the Enav Cultural Center and Ofer Garden. Until April 6 th , photoisrael.org

Photo: Benda Productions


Exhibition | The Dawn of Darkness The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

This new exhibition came about in the wake of the October attacks. The works displayed are profound poetic reflections of elegy by contemporary artists, expressing poignant memories of family, friends, home, and landscape; and the absence of what was and is no longer. Each of the displayed works from the Museum’s collections was created out of the artist’s specific personal context yet also carries a universal and symbolic meaning. Presented together, they offer viewers a contemplative space to experience their own private sorrow in these dark times. The exhibition includes works by Christian Boltanski, Melik Ohanian, Anya Gallaccio, Jonathan Monk, Yehudit Sasportas, and more. Until November 2024, imj.org.il Music | The Red Sea Guitar Festival Eilat This year’s edition of the Red Sea Guitar Festival will see some of Israel’s biggest artists play open-air concerts, afternoon shows, and free of-charge midnight performances. Unexpected duos, exciting jam sessions, and many surprises will be delighting the crowds. April 4 th -6 th , redseaguitarfestival.co.il

“Lifetime”, Christian Boltanski, 2018

Kids | Bugs World Herzliya

Bugs World is the first experiential exhibition of its kind to be held in Israel. Entirely dedicated to the magical world of bugs, it is on show in the Herzliya Arena Mall across 1,500 sqm. Twenty exhibits, two to three meters-tall, replicate hundreds of varieties of bugs and insects, with interactive games helping visitors to learn more about each species. There’s also a selfie booth, a firefly darkroom, an art corner, and more. In addition, kids will be able to enjoy the “Journey to the world of bugs” theater show, in which a boy called Guy goes on adventures as he dreams of becoming an entomologist and one day shrinks to the size of a tiny bug. The show includes a 360° video projection. April 13 th until May 30 th , bugsworld.co.il

Illustration : Ilana Zeffren

Cartoons and comics exhibition | 2023, the year that was

The Israeli Museum of Cartoons, Holon

This cartoon and comics exhibition attempts to review the year 2023 with levity and jocularity without shying away from the year’s darkest moments. “2023, the year that was”, is one of the three exhibitions currently showing at the Israeli Museum of Cartoons. It showcases the works of 32 Israeli cartoonists from all political spectrums, who have tried to sum up the main events of one of the country’s most dramatic years since its creation. (Curators: Michal Korman and Yotam Fishbein). Until August 31 st , cartoon.org.il

Photo: Shai Franco

Illustration: Benda Productions



Informative Content

Sea One Private Club: Live the Dream in Israel Photo by Eran Turgeman A home of one's own in Israel has always been a dream for many Diaspora Jews; in these uncertain times making Aliyah feels more relevant than ever. Yet moving countries involves some tough challenges, and that's where Sea One Private Club steps in with the launch of a new concept in luxury residential resort living.

The beautiful complex, developed by Oranim Group, an international company with over 30 years’ experience in successful seafront projects, is situated right on Rishon LeZion’s stunning beachfront and aims to turn every day into a holiday. The Sea One Private Club Residence, geared towards both residents from abroad and Israelis over 60, provides all the amenities of a world-class resort: business lounge and conference rooms, concierge and laundry services, extensive spa facilities and state-of-the-art gym, gorgeous swimming pools, Jacuzzi, banquet halls, and synagogue. Culture beats at the heart of the Club: lectures, jazz concerts, and other cultural activities as well as bridge club, art gallery and studio, private cinema, and round-the-clock sport classes and culture events fill each day with joy; all with the sea as backdrop. Step out of your door onto a beachfront promenade of shops, restaurants and cafes, or step out of the elevator and hit the beach for a

relaxing walk or a yoga session. Entertaining has never been so easy: some 20-plus units are available for friends and family; fine-dining restaurants and grab-’n-go cafes provide a wide variety of food and beverages, and all the facilities are open to guests. Banquet halls, private rooms, or the synagogue are perfect for celebrating special events like bar mitzvahs or birthdays; and somebody else will do the cleaning up! What’s more, trained staff is on hand to help deal with all of your maintenance and cleaning as well as the famous only-in Israel bureaucracy; let an Israeli ease you into the complications. Wide range of luxurious apartments The ultra-elegant Residence is only a 15-minute drive from Tel Aviv; 20 minutes from Ben-Gurion Airport; and 45-minutes away from Jerusalem with a train station located 5 minutes away by car. Sea One Private Club set to open by end of 2024, adheres to the highest standards of construction

and safety. The luxurious apartments come in a wide range of spacious layouts all units include a safe room, fully equipped bathrooms and kitchens, private terraces and parking; penthouses and garden apartments are also available. Apartment prices start from 3.9 million shekel (approximately $1.1 million dollars) and are fully refundable after Consumer Price Index adjustment. Residents pay monthly membership fees starting from 10,000 NIS (approximately $2,500),and may choose to terminate their membership with three months’ notice. Whether you want to live in Israel full time, or just spend a few months in the country each year, Sea One Private Club is the perfect home for you. Live the dream: wake up by the beach and work or play all day in the sun. Sea One Private Club: the next level in luxury seafront living. For further information contact: seaone.co.il | Tel: +1917-7281211 or +972-549656415

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

Check-in I Our Guide

You don’t always need to go on expensive tours or buy costly tickets to sites and attractions to enjoy yourself on vacation. There are hours of fun to be had almost everywhere in the world, without having to reach for your wallet. Here are 5 tips for fun things to do on holiday that are completely free / By Lihi Ron How to holiday (almost) without spending any money

playgrounds for kids, and even cafés and bars to while away a few hours. You can even bring your own picnic basket and spend the whole day. 04 Go to galleries and museums . There are quite a few museums in the world where entrance is free, including London’s National Gallery, and Paris’ Modern Art Museum. Though most museums are not free, almost all have time slots where entrance is free of charge so make sure to check out the relevant information on the museum website. Aside from the most famous museums, dozens of galleries and lesser-known museums are well-worth a visit, such as Barcelona’s delightful Chocolate Museum for instance. 05 Go to parties and festivals. There are numerous free music festivals, art fairs, food fairs, and traditional annual events that take place each year, such as Munich’s Oktoberfest, full moon parties in Thailand, and India’s Holi festival. Most events take place in the street or in a park. If there aren’t any major free events where you are traveling to, go to the local park and look out for any free street theatre performances, afternoon concerts, or spontaneous poetry readings.

01 Go on free walking tours. Walking tours are a great way to get to know a destination. Many tour companies around the world offer free walking tours with local tour guides who will show you all the important sites, give you a glimpse of the place’s history and culture, as well as tips for the rest of your trip. There are architectural tours, street art tours, nightlife tours, etc. It’s customary to tip the guide at the end of the tour. 02 Visit local markets. Markets are great places to soak up a place’s atmosphere and culture, what with all the exciting local street food stalls you can find there, as well

as stalls with souvenirs, artefacts, vintage items and clothes. Many street food stalls offer free samples of local delicacies, cheeses, charcuterie, or mini baked goods, so that by the end of your visit, you might well be quite full. Flea market aficionados will also enjoy rummaging through boxes with items to take for free. 03 Spend a day at the park. There are public gardens and green spots almost everywhere. Parks are great places to get away from the hustle and bustle, enjoy some peace and quiet and explore hidden corners of shade and greenery. Some parks have lakes,


we present prestigious projects exclusively

We also have other projects in: Jerusalem, Netanya, Bat Yam, Ashdod, Ra'anana and more

See the Sights I Eat, Travel, Enjoy

Back to the beginning: a desert holiday in Sde Boker

An interactive tour inside Ben Gurion’s legendary cabin, a walk or a bike ride along the new promenade, and teatime in a quaint little guesthouse - Kibbutz Sde Boker in the Negev has become one of Israel’s most exciting destinations, attracting visitors year-round, eager to slow down and take in the hypnotic desert atmosphere / By Ariela Aflalo

The Ben Gurion promenade I Photo: Ariela Aflalo


Ben Gurion's Cabin I Photos: Ariela Aflalo

When David Ben Gurion and his wife Paula settled in Sde Boker in 1953, they dreamed of building a flourishing Negev, but they couldn’t have imagined the extent of how successful it would become. Last year, a new promenade was inaugurated on the grounds of the trail Ben Gurion used to walk along each morning, and there are numerous more walking trails in the area, with many observation points to admire the spectacular views. Ben Gurion’s old cabin is open to visitors and offers many pedagogical and interactive activities for the whole family. Accommodation options and places to eat abound throughout the area,

and the weather is lovely here in the springtime, making it the perfect location for a Passover holiday. Ben Gurion’s cabin guided tours and interactive activities Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, was a visionary statesman. He was enthralled with the idea of populating the Negev and making it blossom and prosper and moved from his home in Tel Aviv to a simple cabin in Sde Boker with his wife, to lead the way. In 2015, restoration works took place in the cabin, though its simple rusticity, a quality so deeply identifiable with Ben Gurion himself, was carefully preserved. The guided

tour through the cabin takes visitors through the vast library, the living room, the separate bedrooms, and the tiny kitchen where Paula used to prepare her famous “Kutch Mutch”: soft white cheese mixed with fruit compote and raspberry cordial. The surrounding cabins have also been preserved, one of them being the very first house built in the kibbutz. The cabins offer interactive games and activities for kids, such as sand tables, digital exhibits, and costumes to dress up like Ben Gurion. Visitors are free to explore the cabin complex, join the daily 12pm guided tour, or get an audio guide at the entrance. ben-gurion.co.il



See the Sights I Eat, Travel, Enjoy

The Ben Gurion promenade breathtaking views and spectacular observation points Ben Gurion used to wake up early and go for a 7km walk along the dirt road. Seventy years later, and the dirt road has become a NIS 20 million new promenade, named after him, and considered one of the most beautiful in the world. The promenade spreads across 3.5km and is designed to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists. The promenade includes five observation points with shaded seating and swings. They are perfect for enjoying a relaxing break on your hike, to take in the incredible landscape and views of the Zin Valley, Nahal Zin, Zinim cliff, and the olive trees and flocks of sheep pasturing below. The promenade ends near the gravesite of Paula and David Ben Gurion. Geofun desert bike trails If you feel like cycling along the promenade, the Manor family, and owners of Geofun, will be happy to rent you a bike and any equipment you need. Bikes can be collected either at the Kedma hotel or at Midreshet Ben Gurion. Children’s bikes are also available, as well as bikes with children’s seats. Upon request, the Manors will provide you

Ein Avdat I Photos: Eyal & Tal Bartov

are three springs including Ein Avdat (impressively beautiful, but unsuitable for bathing). If you don’t have an SUV, type “Ein Akev” in your GPS navigator and it’ll lead you to the easy 500m walking trail from the campground to the natural springs. negevtour.co.il Desert Climbing an indoor bouldering complex The Desert Climbing indoor complex spreads across 250sqm. It has three big spaces with climbing walls for all ages and difficulty levels, including a 4.5m bouldering wall. At the entrance to the complex, you’ll find an old truck painted purple and turned into a coffee and beer spot with a seating area in the parking lot. Desert bike trail with Geofun I Photo: Ariela Aflalo

with a map and tips for what trail choose, according to difficulty level. geofun.co.il Zin Valley and Ein Avdat natural desert springs The winter rain has been a blessing for Nahal Zin, Ein Avdat, and Nahal Akev. The streams are full, and the valley is beautifully luscious and green. If you come here with an SUV, you can drive along the streams, through the natural springs. The trail starts at the Serpentina campground at the foot of Midreshet Ben Gurion and descends to the Zin valley. It continues along the cliffs and observation points, the incredible 7 meter-deep Akev natural spring, and Ein Avdat canyon where there

Ein Akev I Photo: Shay Issacs


Photos: Ariela Aflalo

“Desert Climbing” indoor complex

Teatime at Marion and John’s

Inti hummus I Photo: Lihi Rosenberg

The climbing complex is situated inside one of the hangars in Midreshet Sde Boker and belongs to Gilad Hayut, a professional climber who designed it to cater for all climbing aficionados aged 3 and above. desertclimbing.co.il Sde Boker winery wine shop and guided wine tastings In 1995 Zvi Ramek flew to California’s Napa Valley to deepen his knowledge of the winemaking process. He came back to Israel in 1999 and established the Negev’s first winery, where he makes Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec unfiltered and unfined wines that have gained quite a following with the years. The winery doesn’t have a visitors’ center but at the entrance to the Midreshet Ben Gurion cabin complex, there’s a café called “Paula” where Ramek sells his wine and organizes guided tastings. negevwine.co.il Where to eat Teatime at Marion and John’s: a classic British teatime spread is not what you would expect to be served at a Negev desert guesthouse. Marion and John Krivine’s guesthouse is as charming as it is rustic, with vintage furniture, white lace tablecloths and dainty porcelain tableware, and sandwiches, scones and muffins with butter, cream, and jam,


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See the Sights I Eat, Travel, Enjoy

are served on a three-tiered tray. Guests can also visit the beautiful garden and/or stay in one of the guesthouse rooms. (krivine guesthouse.com) The Sde Boker Inti hummus eatery: this is the sister locale to hummus expert Dotan Ziber’s hummus place in Yerucham. Aside from the classic hummus and falafel options, the menu includes truffle hummus, Libyan-style hummus with fried eggplant, and truly addictive onion rings and fried cauliflower. Well worth a stop if you’re in the area. intihumus Where to sleep The Kedma Hotel: this Isrotel boutique hotel is located a stone’s throw from Midreshet Ben Gurion and the new desert promenade. The décor has a desert khan aesthetic, styled with natural materials and ocher, earthen colors. The highlight has got to be the internal patio with pool and garden around which all the rooms and suites are located. There’s also an indoor heated pool, a gym, a spa, a Turkish hammam, a restaurant, and a wine cellar. isrotel.co.il The Sherman’s Hotel, Midreshet Ben Gurion: fourteen rooms designed in a rustic style, overlooking the Zin

Breakfast at the Sherman's Hotel I Photo: Aya Ben-Ezri

Kedma Hotel I Photo: PR

The Sherman's Hotel I Photo: Aya Ben-Ezri

Valley and desert cliffs. The hotel is close to the hiking trails and natural springs and serves a great breakfast on the balcony that looks out onto the beautiful desert views (also available to non-hotel guests). The

hotel information point offers help and information about the nearby walking trails and advice on what activities to do in the area, as well as the option to join a guided tour. shermanshotel.co.il ˆ



There are many ways to support Israel and its people, but none is more transformative than a gift to Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency services system. Your gift to MDA isn’t just changing lives — it’s literally saving them — providing critical care and hospital transport for

everyone from victims of heart attacks to rocket attacks. Join the effort at afmda.org/give or call 866.632.2763.

Informative Content

A ray of light in the global hotel arena: "Aluma" is Isrotel's new international hotel brand Aluma brings together perfect locations, attention to detail, and ultimate hospitality. Skylark, the first hotel by Aluma, opened in March, while the second will open in June and the third in September. The hotels are all located in the heart of Athens, Greece and are ready to welcome guests from all over the globe into a world of warmth, luxury and light

Photos: BHE

For foodies and nightlife seekers. Anise Hotel

Anise – boho-chic hospitality Named after one of the favorite spices of Greece, Anise hotel is located along the spice road in Psyri, one of Athens’ trendiest and most up-and-coming neighborhoods. The area is brimful with little boutiques and taverns, spice shops and cafés, century-old family run delis, and little alleyway bars. Full of colors, flavors, and scents, it is perfect for foodies and nightlife seekers. The hotel is spread across two buildings connected by an impressive atrium. The first one, opening in June, comprises 63 designed rooms, and the second has 42, due to open at a later stage. Later this year, in September, another Aluma hotel is scheduled to open in Athens, named Adia, a 5-star hotel with a rooftop pool and spa. It will be followed by another Aluma location in Thessaloniki, as well as additional hotels in various European cities. “When staying at an Aluma hotel, our guests, and particularly those who have been Isrotel customers for years, will recognize Isrotel’s hospitality, its sense of being a ‘home away from home’, and our signature attention to detail and dedicated level of service”, adds Raviv. www.alumahotels.com

With a view of the Acropolis. Skylark Hotel

Aluma (the Hebrew word for “ray of light”), Isrotel’s new international hotel brand, was inspired by the values of Israeli warmth and hospitality, excellent service, transparency, and outstanding experiences. Offering a new take on Isrotel’s core value of “Hospitality as a way of life”, Aluma’s essence is: “Hospitality as a way of light.” People, places, and everything in between The story behind Aluma is a story of hospitality and creativity, inspiration and innovation, people and places. The new chain extends Isrotel’s reach oversees, starting in Greece and Italy, with additional European countries to open in the future. “Aluma is an international chain of hotels that will benefit from Isrotel’s longstanding experience and uncompromising standards of excellence, offering global travelers a wide range of city hotels and leisure resorts to choose from, and providing unique hospitality experiences”, says

Isrotel’s CEO, Lior Raviv. To date, Isrotel has 23 hotels in Israel, making it the country’s biggest hotel chain, with Aluma hotels in Greece now added to the list. Greece was chosen as Aluma’s launch country due to its close proximity to Israel, along with its great climate, food, and shopping options. The first Aluma hotel opened in March and by next September, two more will have opened as well. All are in the heart of Athens, each with its distinct character and atmosphere. Skylark – an intimate refuge in the heart of the city Skylark hotel, named after a bird flying above the city, opened its doors in March on Omonoia square, one of the city’s oldest squares, and a bustling nightlife spot with bars and cafés, shops and clubs. Skylark is a hospitality haven, with 199 rooms, elegantly designed and furnished, perfect for a pampering holiday or a business trip. The hotel also boasts a restaurant, a bar, a conference room, and a rooftop pool overlooking the Acropolis.

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

Easier to retain your points Each point earned in the new

Easier to redeem Purchasing an award ticket?

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 Day trip

In the heart of Israel, nestled among the green meadows of Mount Carmel, lies Zichron Ya’akov. This charming town, one of Israel’s first modern settlements established during the First Aliyah, invites visitors on a journey through time, culture, and the art of winemaking / By Ari Melnik A Toast to Israel’s Wine Heritage in Zichron Ya’akov

Photos: Ari Melnik, courtesy of the wineries

Somek vineyard

Winemaking: An Ancient Tradition, Reborn Israel’s connection to winemaking extends back to biblical times, when it was known as a wine exporter all over the Mediterranean, showcasing the region’s long-standing winemaking skills. Today, Zichron Ya’akov stands at the forefront of reviving this ancient tradition, blending time honored methods with innovative techniques to create wines of unmatched quality.

Zichron Ya’akov’s foundation is a story of vision and determination. Established in the late 19 th century by early pioneers, it emerged as a symbol of the new spirit sweeping through the land, aiming to revive a desolate and seemingly far-fetched dream into a thriving community. This vision was significantly bolstered by the support of French Baron Edmond de Rothschild, who saw potential where others saw barrenness, transforming Zichron Ya’akov into a testament to human

resilience and foresight. The Baron’s investment in Zichron Ya’akov was a leap of faith in a landscape that many deemed unworthy. His support went beyond financial aid, providing agricultural expertise and moral support, crucial for the town’s survival and prosperity. This backing laid the groundwork for what would resurrect an ancient industry into Israel’s first modern one: winemaking, a craft deeply embedded in the nation’s history.


pioneers who settled in Zichron Ya’akov in 1882, Tishbi Winery’s name was suggested by none other than Israel’s national poet, Bialik. This winery has become synonymous with innovation, offering unique experiences such as wine and chocolate pairings that delight the senses. The 30 to 60-minute wine and chocolate pairing experience takes place around the beautiful bar area inside the winery. Alternatively, visitors can also enjoy a meal at the pescetarian kosher restaurant, with an option to taste wines during the meal. Tishbi’s dedication to quality and its rich history make it a pivotal part of Zichron Ya’akov’s winemaking tradition. Pre-booking is advised. As one of Israel’s largest wineries, Carmel Winery produces a wide array of wines, showcasing the diversity of Israel’s vineyards. Carmel Winery’s commitment to quality across its extensive range makes it a key player in Israel’s wine industry. It is easy to walk here from Zichron Ya’akov’s historical center. Visitors are welcomed into a historical wine-tasting room from the 19 th century, offering a unique glimpse into the winery’s storied past. Wine tastings here average 20-30 minutes without food. As with other wineries, they always appreciate a heads-up before arrival. Carmel Winery: Steeped in History

Somek Winery: A Testament to Passion and Expertise

Somek Winery, established in 2002 by Barak and Hila, exemplifies the blend of tradition and innovation that characterizes Zichron Ya’akov’s wine scene. Barak, a Zichron Ya’akov native, is a fifth-generation grape farmer, with roots tracing back to the town’s founding families. Together with Hila, whose enology studies took her to Australia, they craft some of Israel’s most distinguished wines. Visitors can enjoy a conversation with either Barak or Hila about their winemaking process, which happens in the backyard of their house. This is followed by a wine tasting in a special room in their home, accompanied by bread, olive oil, and quality local cheese. This 1-1.5 hour experience requires pre-booking. Margalit Winery: Excellence on the Edge of Zichron Ya’akov Margalit Winery, nestled on the outskirts of Zichron Ya’akov, marries innovation with tradition. Founded in 1989 by Yair Margalit, a visionary in the Israeli wine industry, this winery is known for its boutique wines that capture the essence of the region’s terroir. A visit here offers insights into the meticulous process behind each bottle. Margalit Winery stands as a beacon for those passionate about winemaking, making it a must-visit destination. The visitor’s center is open only for coordinated visits. Debby, who manages the visitor’s center, opens for each guest, and conducts fascinating wine discussions. Lucky ones may get a surprise bonus visit from Yair! Tishbi Winery: A Legacy of Wine and Chocolate Established in 1925 by a family of

Somek Winery

Margalit Winery

Somek vineyard

Tishbi Winery I Photo: Ariela Aflalo

Ari Melnik is a tour guide and wine expert. Tel. +972-58-4497497 exclusiveisraeltours.com @arithetourguide



Magazine I Interview

One of Israel’s most prominent voices, Yoseph Haddad has been traveling the world speaking about life in the Holy Land in all its complexity, since long before the October attacks. We sat down with him to discuss how he deals with the challenges of advocating for Israel and about his dream of Jewish-Arab partnership in a strong and unified Israel / By Maya Cohen “Our only weapon is the truth. And with it we will prevail”

everything changed for you on October 7 th . “October 7 th was the biggest disaster to have ever befallen the State of Israel. And yet, we quickly realized that the world had a very different idea of what had happened and of what we experienced here. Why? Because anti-Israel activism has been propagated around the world for years now. Since the 7 th , Israeli hasbara has been at the center of my life, and many people have helped me disseminate my work around the world. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Am Israel for its incredible commitment to the hasbara effort”. He who believes is never afraid Haddad grew up in Nazareth, and today divides his time between his hometown and Tel Aviv, where he shares an apartment with his

“I’ve always advocated for Israel”, says Yoseph Haddad, right at the start of the interview we’re conducting a day after his return from a hasbara marathon in the US and a few days before he leaves for London for another week of the same. “After I was injured in the Second Lebanon War and went on a long post-army trip like all Israelis do, as an Arab-Israeli, I often found myself explaining what Israel stands for, as I met people on my travels. But only in 2018 did I decide to devote myself entirely to advocacy activism. I founded an Arab-Israeli association that focused on internal societal affairs with the aim to bridge the gap between Arabs and Jews”, he explains. “We began doing Israeli advocacy for the outside world when we realized that as Arab Israelis, Christian, Druze, and Muslim, our voices carried more weight”. I imagine that like everybody else,

partner Emily, an American-Israeli journalist born to a Christian mother and a Jewish father. “I define myself as a Nazarene”, he says with a smile. “Emily is an American-Israeli, a journalist, and an excellent hasbara and human rights activist. Among other battles, she is involved in the fight for the rights of Iranian women”. Do you two even have time to yourselves, with all this activism and advocacy? “The hasbara work I do is pro bono. I’m a journalist for I24 News and I’m also a lecturer. I’ll admit that time has been short since October 7 th . Sometimes I force myself to take an hour’s break or two, watch a tv show, sit down for a chat with Emily, visit family. I always say it’s important to go on living our lives, but we must never forget what happened on October 7 th – that’s why I’m always doing whatever


Photo: Meir Elipur



Magazine I Interview

Photos: PR

Our quick questionnaire What makes you angry? “Ayman Odeh, Ahmad Tibi, Ofer Cassif, and the anti-Israel liars”. What makes you sad? “People who have forgotten about October 7 th ”.

“My dream is to see full Arab and Jewish partnership within Israeli society. It should be a partnership based on mutual respect, love, tolerance. And the common destiny that we share"

I can to raise awareness about the hostages sill captive in Gaza”. I suppose that as an Arab-Israeli, you meet quite a few challenges in your work as an advocate for Israel. “I do. The challenges come from the extremists that exist in every society. The extremists in the Arab society are a minority that tries to silence me by threatening me. They don’t want to hear the truth and they hate that I refuse to be afraid. I truly know and believe that most Arab-Israelis want to be a part of Israeli society, but they won’t speak up for fear of retaliation. I know how violent those extremists are, because they have already targeted me in the past, attacking members of my association, friends, and members of my family. And of course, there are the extremists from abroad, the anti-Israel crowd for whom an

Arab-Israeli advocating for Israel cannot be a real Arab. There’s also an extremist minority inside Jewish right-wing Israeli society for whom I am nothing more than an Arab no matter what I do for the country. And then there’s the extremist left-wing minority in Israel that sees me as a collaborator and a traitor to his people. All of them have one common denominator – fear from the truth. And all use the same strategy of threats and intimidation to try to get me to shut up. But what I have to say to them all, is that they will not have their way”. Where do you get the strength to deal with all of this? “I take it all as my personal quest for truth. I see the lies and the damage done – and I won’t stand for it. Our only weapon is the truth. And with it we will prevail”. What is your dream?

What makes you laugh? “I can’t think of anything funny just now, but I guess I’m always happy when I meet IDF soldiers”. What do people not know about you ? “That I’m a cleaning freak”. What relaxes you? “Classical music and news of another Hamas leader being killed by the IDF”.

“My dream is to see full Arab and Jewish partnership within Israeli society. It should be a partnership based on mutual respect, love, tolerance. And the common destiny that we share, as was demonstrated on October 7 th, when Hamas slaughtered Arabs and Jews alike. My dream is to see a strengthened and united Israeli society, because it’s when we are united that we are unconquerable”. ˆ



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Givat Ye’arim

YOMA Architects is a team-oriented studio for architecture, urban planning and design, headed by architect Netanel Mayer. Toward a New Architecture with YOMA Architects

IN our office on the top floor of a beautiful historic stone building set for preservation in the bustling heart of Jerusalem, we ask questions all the time. How would the use of this material make me feel? How does the building meet the street? How can I make that meeting (which inevitably occurs) between the built environment and the passerby more interesting, pleasant, beautiful and exciting? We are people of DETAILS, connections and joinery. Bridging the gap between the personal scale and the city scale. Ensuring the viability of the project economically as well as architecturally. Solving problems, proposing solutions, understanding materials, always aware of both the aesthetics and the effects the proposed building, house, material

might have on you and me, the passers-by, the users of the space.

We believe the ARCHITECT has a responsibility regarding the character of the surroundings in which we live. We strive to create buildings and spaces that form wonderful public spaces. We combine knowledge from different fields that allow us to create innovative spaces and bring our inspiration into form and matter. We are always searching to expand our knowledge, we ask questions connecting different fields adding professional expertise to the challenges of architecture, planning and design. IT matters not whether the building is a private home or a medium sized building or a skyscraper. The absolute attention the project receives from


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