And that is why we LOVE Israel so much

meet the Israelis!

February 2019

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What an incredible box! We knew we loved Israel. That’s why we created IsraeliBox… but meeting all these Israeli families surprised even us with how incredible, inspiring, strong, warm and just all-out AWESOME Israelis are.

We celebrated family day this month. And so we went out to meet the Israeli families. Israel is such a beautiful mosaic of people gathered here from all over the world. All united into one nation, resilient, inspiring and beautiful.

We visited their homes, we were welcomed into each one with warm hospitality and kindness, heard their stories told with sincerity and openness, and felt the true meaning of togetherness

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The most astounding message to us was, that no matter the various background, the different lifestyle, religious beliefs, or characteristics, all families share common values and cherish Israel for the same reasons and from a true place of love.

When asked what is the thing they love most about Isrealiness all families answered the same thing. No coordination. No “peeping” at the answers. Just pure, unfiltered authenticity. The answer was the mutual responsibility we all feel for one another. “Kol Israel Arevim Ze Laze” a sentence as old as time itself, an ancient tradition, and yet it is alive and kicking! Young, valid, true to all Israelis, young and old.

We are one! No matter how conflicted we might be at times, no matter our differences – at times of need, we all stand united as one, support each other – even when we don’t know the person or the family. We are there.

This box, to us –reassured once more – how much we love this place, these people, and how important is our dream to let the world know who Israelis truly are.

Here are the incredible Israeli families we met this month, and these are their stories:

Ginigar – Noy Family – Avigdor

where were you born? What are the family origins?

Sharon was born in moshav Avigdor and is the 3rd generation in the moshav. Her grandparents were of the founding fathers of Avigdor and arrived from Romania and Latvia. From her grandmother side she is a 4th generation Israeli.
Noam was born in Kibbutz Nachshonim, and moved to Kibbutz Mesilot, in Emek Hamaayanot when he was one year old. His parents made Aliyah to Israel from Argentina in 1975.

How long have you been together? Sharon & Noam are together for 17 years. They met through a mutual friend, Noam was shy at first and didn’t talk to Sharon, but she eventually charmed him and they are together ever since.

Kids: they have 3 gorgeous girls: Amit – 11, Yarden – 10 & Ofek – 7.
What do you like best to do as a family? Entertain and host family and friends. The house and the farm were always full of visitors since the founding days in 1950 and the table is welcoming to guests till this day. Sharon has a small dairy farm on the family farm where she makes hand crafted cheeses. She creates wonderfully tasting cheeses and is a small young business on her own. 

What is the favourite food in your home? MEET!! Mainly “Al Haesh!”BBQ- Noam being Argentinean by origin – Asado is in his veins! Orit & Arik – Sharon’s parents – live next door, on the farm, in the original farm house. Orit enjoys cooking for her family – and their favourite is Gefilte Fish! Her speciality.

What is most Israeli to you? The ability to make friends with almost everyone – in a very short time. The unconditional warmth and friendliness.

What do you like best about Isrealiness?  The same thing. The warmth, the togetherness, the diversity yet closeness. The standing together and being there for each other.

The most favourite place in Israel for the Ginigar –Noy family is home. Avigdor

Seidenwar Family – Even Shmuel

Where were you born? What are the family origins?
Rosa was born in Montreal, Canada – her family origin is from Romania & Morocco. Eitan was born in Philadelphia, USA and his family origin is from Israel and a few generations back American.

How long have you been together? They met at summer camp at age 15, kept in touch, met again in Israel. Got married and made Aliyah a week after the wedding. Been together for 15 years.

Kids: Neshama – 14, Mimon – 12, Halel – 10, Nadav – 7 &
Yahav – 5, Zuma the dog – 2

What do you like best to do as a family? Playing board games & travelling together.

What is the favourite food in your home? Poutin – a traditional Canadian dish – French fries topped with special non-fleishig gravy and grilled cheese. Neshama is the main cook of the house, together with Eitan.

What is most Israeli to you? Falafel!!

What do you like best about Isrealiness? The sense of one big family, the sense of brotherhood. Kol Israel Chaverim.

Argau – Yehaskais Family – Ashkelon

Where were you born? What are the family origins?
Benchelem (Banchi) was born in Asmara in Southern Ethiopia. Her parents are from Gundar and Asmara too. Jeremy was born in Uzeva, a rural area in central Ethiopia. His family was there for generations.

How long have you been together? A true Romeu and Juliet love story, a long courtship period, since 1994 – both families objected… and against all odds, love has finally won.

Kids: Banchi & Jeremy have two little angels: Liam – 5.5 years old & Aviad – 3.5 years old

What do you like best to do as a family? Play together at home & spend time together.

What is the favourite food in your home? For the children it is Petitim & Schnitzel – the ultimate Israeli kids meal!! Banchi is the cook in the house – and for her and Jeremy, the favourite choice is Chraime – a spicy fish dish.

What is most Israeli to you? Shabbat in Israel. Something special in the air. That time, on a Friday afternoon, when Shabbat is entering. Like magic. You don’t feel it anywhere else.

What do you like best about Isrealiness?
The comradery. The being there for the other at times of need, putting aside all differences.
The brotherhood.

Mualem Family – Beitar Ilit

Where were you born? What are the family origins? Limor was born in Jerusalem, her family came from Kurdistan. Avraham was born in Kiryat Malachi, his family came from Iraq & Tunisia.

How long have you been together? Limor and Avraham are together for 21 years. They each became Baalei Teshuva separately. Mutual friends wanted to make a shiduch and introduced them, they did, but at first it didn’t work out. Only a year later they met again, and a few months later, got married.
Kids: Tehila – 19 years old, Yehonatan – 17 years old, Nehorai – 16 years old, Itamar – 13 years old
& Noam – 9 years old.
What do you like best to do as a family?  To spend time together, laugh together, travel in Israel, their favourite area is northern Israel and Eilat.
What is the favourite food in your home? SABICH – a traditional recipe from Avraham’s family, he usually makes it for Friday lunch: Pita bread, hardboiled egg, deep fried eggplants, boiled potatoes, Israeli vegetables salad and parsley salad.
What is most Israeli to you? Clapping your hands when the plane has landed safely J, Mangal (BBQ) on Yom Ha’azmaut, waze, Shishi Shuk.

What do you like best about Isrealiness?
The brotherhood, the togetherness, the friendliness. Being there for one another in times of need. Not only for friends and family but for strangers as well.

Dicker Levy Family – Salit

Where were you born? What are the family origins? Terry was born in Petach Tikva, her parents came from Romania. Ravit was born in Holon, her mother made Aliyah from Afghanistan at the age of 9, and her father came from Syria.

How long have you been together? This February Terry and Ravit are celebrating 25 years together. Silver love celebrations are ON! Together they had built a loving home and this beautiful family.

Kids
: The kids are: Tomer – 17, Yahli – 15, Noam – 10 and Milki the dog is 5.

What do you like best to do as a family?  Their favourite family time together is travelling overseas. They also love playing board games together and outdoor games as well. Restaurants is also favourite pastime together.

What is the favourite food in your home? Both Tomer and Yahli are vegetarian, and so the house joined and catered the hone food for them. We like to eat vegetables in all shapes and forms, Israeli chopped salad, antipasti and more.
What is most Israeli to you? Tahini!!! There’s nothing like it!

What do you like best about Isrealiness? The brotherhood, the togetherness, the notion that in times of need everyone will be there by your side.

 

Rubin Family – Jerusalem

Where were you born? What are the family origins?
Jerusalem. Anat’s father came from Romania, made Aliyah in 1950. Anat’s Mother was born in the Jewish quarter of the old city of Jerusalem. Her parents made Aliyah from Persia and Kurdistan in 1929.

Kids: Alona is 9 years old and was also born in Jerusalem. She goes to Henrietta Sald Primary school in the 3rd grade.

What do you like best to do as a family? The favourite activity together is traveling both in Israel and overseas. Going to restaurants to eat sushi and doing arts and crafts together.

What is the favourite food in your home? Stuffed peppers with rice, onion and pine nuts, pasta with cream and mushrooms, and mujadara – a rice and lentils dish.

What is most Israeli to
you?
Israelis are real. For better and for worse. Honest. Also the Israeli games from a long time ago: jump rope, knucklebones and hopscotch.

What do you like best about Isrealiness?

The honesty, openness and the togetherness, that in times of need – we all stand together and support one another no matter our differences.
Both Anat & Alona share a happy home together, they are each other’s best friend and enjoy their undivided attention.

 

Balaban Family – Salit

Where were you born? What are the family origins? Both Maya and Sagi were born and raised in Israel. Sagi’s family origin is from Poland, with roots in Russia. Maya’s family made Aliyah from Egypt, her mother was 1 year old when she made Aliyah and her father 13.

How long have you been together? Maya and Sagi are celebrating 10 years of marriage this year. They met 11 years ago and pretty much from the start they knew it was it. They built their home in Moshav Salit, as it was Maya’s dream to raise a family in a peaceful surrounding.

Kids: They have 3 young boys a dog and a cat: Yoav – 9, Nadav – 7, Ido – 2.5, Toffee the dog – 2 and Dana the cat – 11.

What do you like best to do as a family? Their favourite things to do together is playing board games, they have Taki tournaments and snuggling all together in mom & dad’s big bed.

What is the favourite food in your home? Without a doubt PIZZA! The most beloved food for everyone in the family!

What is most Israeli to you? The human warmth, and the ability of each person to become your friend in an instance.

What do you like best about Isrealiness? Difficult to decide. We love the whole package: the togetherness And the honesty. Israelis will always tell you to your face exactly what they think of you and at the same time will always be there for you in times of need.

 

 Avis Family – Modiin

Where were you born? What are the family origins? Sharon was born in Tel Aviv. Her parents both made Aliyah in 1948. Dad was 20 years old, and Mom was 6 months old….. They met 22 years later J in Tel Aviv. Sharon’s father came from Lithuania and her Mother from Romania.
Alex was born in Kishinev, Moldova. When it was still USSR. He made Aliyah at 7 months old and his family were “refusniks” – his parents are both from Kishinev.

How long have you been together? Sharon and Alex are together for 30 years! (OMG) yes, since 14 years old… they travelled the world together, built a home in Modiin and created this beautiful family. 

Kids: they have 3 gorgeous kids: Itai 17.5, Yuval 13.5 and Noa 10.5.

What do you like best to do as a family? As a family they love traveling together most of all, mainly overseasJ, they also have ultra-fun family game nights together and movie nights.

What is the favourite food in your home? The favourite foods in their home is everything made by Alex. He is the chef. The best ones are: schnitzel, homemade burgers, chicken soup, sushi (sharon actually makes this) and Sharon’s cookies and cakes.

What is most Israeli to you? The most Israeli thing was difficult to choose…. Maybe one thing would be the fact that to Israelis a queue is shaped like a triangle… 🙂  but the real Isrealiness to us is the warmth and friendliness, the fact that we can strike up a conversation in minutes with anyone around us, even complete strangers.

What do you like best about Isrealiness?
The most beloved Israeli trait is to us the straightforwardness. The honesty and truthfulness, with Israelis you always know exactly what we think of you and we cherish that.

And another beloved trait is the fact that no matter what and who you are, you can trust that when needed we will stick together – we share this strong bond, everywhere in the world.

So this was the Israeli Family Month!

We are thankful for this wonderful opportunity to reconnect with our most cherished values, to see our people in their true shining light and spirit and be reminded once more why we LOVE Israel So Much!

Thank you for being here with us!

 

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