I have decided to celebrate Israel’s 65th birthday by presenting to you, our readers, two great Jewish women who have succeeded in life, way beyond the expected. I may be revealing my age, but I’d rather watch Barbara Streisand sing any day rather than even look at Taylor Swift!
Do you agree? Comment Below!
1-Barabara Joan Streisand was born on April 24, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York. She is an actress, director, producer and writer. . She has won many awards including two Oscars, five Emmys, eight Golden Globes, three People’s Choice Awards, two Women in Film Crystal Awards and two ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards. Barbra has also received an American Film Institute award and a Cecil B. DeMille Award. She has also supported autism awareness, and On April 16th, 2008, Barbra Streisand endowed $5 million to Cedars-Sinai for the creation of The Barbra Streisand Women’s Cardiovascular Research and Education Program.
“I arrived in Hollywood without having my nose fixed, my teeth capped, or my name changed. That is very gratifying to me.”
2-Golda Meir was born the daughter of Moshe and Bluma Mabovitch in Kiev, Ukraine, on May 3, 1898. She moved with her family to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1906. The Mabovitch family had fled their home in part to escape pogroms (mob attacks) that had been carried out against Jews in Russia at the time. Meir later recalled that her childhood terror of anti-Semitic (anti-Jewish) violence strongly influenced her later commitment to establish Israel as a safe, secure Jewish state.
In 1956, Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion (1886–1976) called Meir “the best man” in his cabinet and named her to replace Shertok-Sharett as foreign minister, among the most important government jobs in the nation. It was now, as a result of Ben-Gurion’s desire to have all Israelis bear Hebrew names, that she reluctantly altered her name to Meir, while keeping it as close as possible to Myerson.
Golda Meir served as Israel’s foreign minister from 1956 to 1966 and became its fourth prime minister in 1969.
Even in retirement, Meir remained an important political presence in Israel. Her autobiography, My Life,helped assure her place in the public’s imagination as the kindly grandmother who had risen to greatness in her nation’s hour of need. Meir died in Jerusalem on December 8, 1978.
“Not being beautiful was the true blessing. Not being beautiful forced me to develop my inner resources. The pretty girl has a handicap to overcome.”
“To be successful, a woman has to be much better at her job than a man.”
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”
“We Jews have a secret weapon in our struggle with the Arabs; we have no place to go.”
This year, Yom Haatzmaut falls on April 26, 2012. Just to brush everyone up on Israeli history, Yom Haatzmaut is the day that Jews worldwide celebrate the creation of the state of Israel. It is preceded by Yom Hazikaron in which we memorialize the fallen soldiers of Israel.
As a side note, growing up as a student in the Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn, I am forever grateful for the love of Israel that was instilled in all of us. On Yom Haatzmaut we would craft Israeli flags, sing and dance, and yearn for the day when we could go kiss the kotel in Jerusalem. The school was founded by Joel Braverman, who was born in 1896 in the Ukraine. He went on to found one of the top modern orthodox yeshivot in America which combined a top notch Torah education and the love of Israel, with secular learning on par with the American public schools.
Several years ago, while interviewing a Syrian Jewish gentleman for The Sephardic Heritage Museum, I was surprised to learn that he was was of the first Syrian Jewish students to attend the Yeshivah of Flatbush in the 40’s. He recounted the story of how, during the Israeli War of Independence in 1948, as a first grader, he was taunted by the Ashkenazi kids that he was indeed an Arab, and an enemy of the new state of Israel. When his father heard about the students accusations, he promptly contacted Mr. Braverman who in turn educated all of the children that Syrian Jews were their brethren, and they resided in Syria for 3,000 years. He explained to them that only in the late 1800’s did they start to emigrate to countries such as the United States.
Little did Joel Braverman and other community members know, that at the very same time in 1948 that Israel was happily declared a state, the Jews back in Syria were suffering their very own “Kristalnacht” in which angry Arab mobs rampaged through the streets of Aleppo, burning down marked Jewish homes, synagogues (including the 3,000 year old ancient Great Synagogue of Aleppo), and destroying hundreds of irreplaceable Torah scrolls and manuscripts. Jewish men, women and children fled upon the rooftops, or hid with sympathetic Arab neighbors. Hundreds of Syrian young boys escaped Syria at that time to fight as soldiers in the War of Indepence and they proudly tell their stories today. (Get ready for Episode 7 produced by Joe Sitt and The Sephardic Heritage Museum!)
Please remember the struggles and tribulations of Eretz Yisrael this week. Here are some ways to incorporate Yom Haatzmaut into your week!
1-Thank you Rachel Margolies for a fun way to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut with the kids! Check out Delightfully Dowling for instant instructions on how to make these delicious blue and white color swirled cupcakes. What does your family do to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut? Please comment below!
“When was the last time you took a cookbook to bed with you? This is a book that you’ll read from cover to cover, and not necessarily in the kitchen. Well researched and expertly written, “The Foods of Israel Today” is actually a history of food traditions in Israel with a bonus of assorted recipes.”
“With 300 recipes, two pages of suggested Israeli restaurants, two web sources for ingredients, and nine suggested menus, Nathan shows the diverse cuisines of Israel’s sabras and immigrants. THIS IS ISRAELI CUISINE that is being eaten in Israel. Includes turkey schnitzel, quick kibbutz apple cake, eggplant salad, and halvah chocolate cake..”
“In addition to salad, tahina, and hummus recipes, Nathan lists 19 of the best places for hummus from Jerusalem to Akko to Haifa. Plus 12 happening places for falafel. There are 23 salads, including Hamutzim (pickled vegetables). Some of my favorite recipes are Mish Mish Apricot Jam (with cinnamon stick); Egyptian Coconut Jam….”
3- Support Israeli agriculture and shop atNegev Nectars- Gourmet kosher delicacies made by Israeli farmers. I’ve served these gourmet preserves and spreads to my guests and they are indeed delicious !
Shop online today at NegevNectars.com. Use promo code Israel64 at checkout. Sale includes all a la carte items (olive oil, olives, dates and more) as well as all packages.
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
Salt to taste
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt (or use half olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or mild chili powder (more to taste)
1. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan and add the couscous. Stir until the couscous begins to color and smell toasty, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until the couscous is tender. Drain if any liquid remains in the pan.
2. Transfer the couscous to a bowl and add the cilantro, chives, feta, pine nuts, chickpeas and red pepper.
3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the lemon juice, salt, cumin, remaining olive oil, yogurt and Aleppo pepper or chili powder. Toss with the couscous mixture. This is perfect Shavuot recipe or grab a cup of this delicious Israeli couscous for lunch on the go.
5- Make these Israel themed books a bedtime favorite. A memorable gift for a niece or nephew…