Kosher Travel

 

Day In Jerusalem – Summer Activities

 

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This summer Israel has been in the news and I am sure it has been on your minds. While we pray for the safety of our soldiers, many of whom are our cousins, brothers, sisters, fathers, and friends, the incredible resilience of the Israeli people has kept the day to day life as close to normal as possible in Jerusalem. Summer camps have continued as usual with some changes to their itineraries due to security concerns.

The summer in Jerusalem is filled with festivals, special exhibits and even a beach. Instead of our traditional itinerary we would like to offer you lots of great suggestions for summer activities in Jerusalem.


 

Keeping Kosher in the Caribbean

 

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How to Survive Your Vacation When Keeping Kosher

You’re packing to go on vacation, and you’re headed for the Caribbean. In your mind’s eye you see yourself relaxing under the soul-warming sun, taking in all that beautiful blue sky with the crystal clear water, and dining – hey!  Where do we factor kosher food into the perfect Caribbean experience?


 

5 Things To Do In NY With Your Family

 

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In today’s world, most of us find ourselves working all the time.  Cell phones or tablets in hand it is really hard to shut off.  I am thankful for Shabbat every week, but I still feel that I don’t give quite enough of my time and attention to my kids.  During the school year, everyone is running around, Sundays get filled up with extra curricular activities and my husband and I fight over time to work rather than time to take the kids out and have some fun.  Last Summer we decided we would devote our Sundays to our family.  We planned an outing each week where we all could be together, let go of our work and our digital devices explore our city and be together.  We called it Super Summer Sundays.

Whether you decide to follow in our stead or just want some ideas for those living or visiting NY, I thought I would share a few of our favorite things to do in NY with a family.


 

A Night In Tuscany With Steak and Wine

 

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There are many foods we associate with Tuscany. White bean stew. Ragu. Fresh pasta. The list goes on, from the super traditional recipes that grandma perfected, to more contemporary dishes found in Italian restaurants worldwide. However, the food would not be what it is today without two Italian staples–meat and wine. Tuscany is known for its beautiful white cows–the Chianina, and its wine–from simple red house blends to a robust Chianti. Every household has a bit of meat and wine on hand at all times.

For years, the kosher-observant traveler has been unable to sample these quintessential foods, let alone find the raw ingredients to prepare them on their own. Thankfully, the recent kosher revolution has brought about a welcome, and delicious change. Kosher Culinary Adventures is a unique Kosher travel company (and I’m lucky enough to work with them!) that provides people with a passion for food and travel the opportunity to eat like a local. We do that by finding the best kosher meat, wine and cheese, kashering a villa, and cooking like a Tuscan grandmother.


 

Shabbat In India

 

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When you travel to India, you know you’re gonna be in for an adventure — which is exactly why you go.

“Expect the unexpected”, you’re told. Nothing highlights this idea more than the three Shabbosim I spent in India.


 

Day In Jerusalem – Entertaining Teens

 

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Whether it’s Winter Break Vacation, Pesach or Summer Vacation here are some ideas for entertaining teens in Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is a city that the whole family can enjoy together but very often the teenagers in the family are looking for something more extreme, a challenging or unique activity that’s worth getting out of bed for.

What was once a hard task; is now a fun endeavor. There are so many exciting activities in Jerusalem that even your teens will be asking to come back for more.


 

Gluten Free Travel Inspired Coconut Chicken

 

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Hey, everyone!

I’m really glad to be joining you here on the Joy of Kosher and I just wanted to introduce myself formally — as I sit at home in my PJs — before we embark on our culinary journey together, otherwise… you know…it could be awkward.


 

A Taste of Puerto Rico

 

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The warm Caribbean sun that seems to kiss the sand of Puerto Rico shined brightly on us when we landed a few weeks ago for a long-weekend far from the falling temperatures and falling leaves of New York in November.  To be completely honest, Puerto Rico was never on my must-see list.  I tend to go for more exotic travel, (see my article about Thailand and Costa Rica) but the combination of a cheap direct flight and free babysitting (thanks in-laws) was too much to resist.

The beaches of Isla Verde are located about 8 minutes from San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport and since you don’t have to go through customs you can take off at 9 and dip your toes in the warm sand by lunchtime.  Although the Jewish population is only around 2,000, it is the largest community in the Caribbean islands and boasts a Reform and Conservative synagogue and a Chabad that is within easy walking distance to many beachfront hotels, including the El San Juan Hotel and Ritz Carlton, both of which I was able to experience during my stay.


 

Traveling And Keeping Kosher

 

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Name a country and one of the first things that comes to mind is the local cuisine. Italy is synonymous with pasta and basil, France has its baguettes and cheese, and what would Spain be without its famous tapas? However, for the Kosher Traveler, the thought of local cuisine in a foreign country doesn’t always elicit such a positive response. Often times, after a long day spent marveling at the beauties of a small village in Andalusia or a large city like Paris, the Kosher Jet-setter often finds himself longing for a simple meal in a local tavern, only to be confronted by walls of pork. And of course, when you do find a kosher restaurant, it’s often an over-priced imitation of Israeli food that you might as well have made at home.


 

Day in Jerusalem – Hanukkagiving

 

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A new phrase has been “coined” this year “Thanksgivukkah” as a way of describing the rare occurrence of Hanukka and Thanksgiving falling out on the same weekend. Considering that Hanukka begins first and lasts longer, I have decided to refer to it as Hanukkagiving.  So you might think this would have been a great time to post about Volunteer Opportunities and ways to “give” but we took care of that last month in our post called Volunteer Tourism.  The Thanksgiving activities in Jerusalem are scarce and the days of Norman’s Thanksgiving Feast on Emek Refaim are long gone so to celebrate Thanksgiving, I recommend a nice family turkey dinner at home.

Let’s focus on some unique ways to celebrate Hanukkah in Jerusalem.


 

Shawarma: Israeli Fast Food

 

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The most popular fast foods of Israel are by far falafel and shawarma. Both are served in either pita or lafa and with a variety of salads and dips, resulting in the perfect bite of food. Traditionally, a pita is filled with falafel and/or shawarma, a shmear of hummus, some Israeli salad, and topped off with pickles, olives, charif, and fried eggplant. The tastes and textures are phenomenal and can become quite addicting.

In last year’s Hanukkah issue the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine we created the ultimate Israeli fast food experience.  With recipes for all the Israeli fast food favorites, including salatim, pita, falafel and of course Shawarma.  To see the full story and get all the recipe order your subscription and past issue here, Subscribe. Today we are sharing here the recipe for Shawarma.


 

A Haute Market In Jerusalem: The Shuk

 

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Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda Market is a literal feast for the senses. Visitors to this outdoor market, or shuk in local parlance, are greeted with the vibrant colors of fresh produce, the guttural sounds of vendors yelling competing prices to passersby, the wafting smells of whatever is in season, and the tastes of rich halva, warm borekas, comforting stews and sweet tropical fruits. If you are a food lover, then a trip to Israel is hardly complete without a stop here.


 

Day In Jerusalem – Volunteer Tourism

 

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Did you know there is an easy and fun way to do some good while you travel?

Jerusalem is not only home to some of Judaism’s most historic sites but it is also an epicenter for goodness and chesed.


 

A to Z of Thai Cuisine

 

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What is it about Thai cuisine that makes it so very irresistible?  Anyone who has travelled in Thailand will be captured by the smells alone.

It’s the mixture of hot, salty, sweet and sour flavours that makes the food so very distinct and it’s a taste that we can replicate and make kosher when we get home from a magical Thai adventure.


 

Day in Jerusalem: Scavenge for FUN and FOOD

 

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Next time you visit Jerusalem, consider a new way to see the city. Interactive games and hunts bring the city and its past alive. The Jerusalem scavenger hunt is one of my favorite activities to recommend for tourists & locals because it keeps the kids and the adults entertained, challenged and working as a group to “feel” the history of the streets of Jerusalem.