Many will say that one of the benefits of food is bringing people together in a unique and original way which has the ability of bridging gaps of culture, language and physical distance. Within the structure of "Partnership2Gether" of the Jewish Agency daily connections are made between the communities of Hof Ashkelon & Kiryat Malachi.

A very special connection has taken place this past year with the Chef's Mission – 4 Chefs from the Partnership area arrived in Tucson and participated in "WIC Israel Week".  Sahar Refael from Kiryat Malachi (the Chef of "Cramim" restaurants in Beer Sheva & Sgula), Yael Shamir from Nativ HaAsara (Yaeli's catering), Maya Klein from Moshav Gea (Maya'le catering) and Orly Varon-Shoshan from Kibbutz Carmia (top Chef of "La-Nogatin factory) brought unforgettable dishes & flavors to Tucson and were a great hit!

They met with more than 1,000 people throughout the various events held during "Israel Week". The Chefs led intimate culinary workshops in host homes, created special dishes for the "Torches Ceremony" and held a unique & festive dinner at Vero Amore restaurant. Sahar, Yael, Maya & Orly appeared in the various local media, shared a day of learning with local chefs and got to know the beauty of Tucson and the local Partnership volunteers. The special cookbook which included the Chef's selected recipes was received with great enthusiasm in the Jewish community.

Robyn Schwager who participated on Maya Klein workshop: "I am a Jewish mother and by definition…… I love to cook and I love to eat.  When I learned that Israeli chefs would be in Tucson I jumped at the opportunity to taste their foods and learn their techniques so that I could try to duplicate their efforts in my own kitchen.  I wasn’t disappointed – from the delicacies served at the 12 Torches Ceremony to the desserts at the Federation Annual meeting, I was blown away by the combination of flavors.  But the experience of a lifetime was having chef Maya Klein prepare a private feast for a group of my friends. It was such a treat to get to know Maya and watch her work magic in the kitchen.  It was an amazing night! I went to Eli’s deli the next day to purchase some of her staple ingredients (date syrup and her preferred brand of tahini).  I have been able to stay in touch with chef Maya thru Facebook and look forward to our meeting again…in Israel this time!"

It is important to know that the Chefs volunteered to join this mission and contributed their time & expertise to strengthen the bond between our partnering communities. Isaac Amar, the partnership Co-chair shared "we are very proud of Sahar, Maya, Yael & Orly and the connections they have made in Tucson. Thanks to their skills & dedication they were able to show another aspect of our Partnership, and the endless possibilities we have to strengthen the connections between people & communities". >

Chef Yael Shamir added, "I was very excited to join the Chef's Mission to Tucson this past May but did not know what to expect. I was not familiar with the other Chefs or with the Partnership. However, when preparing for the mission it was made very clear that I am dealing with a very serious, dedicated and motivated group of people. The main idea of bringing communities together is very important but takes a lot of work and investment.

In Tucson I found an amazing community, real people that consider their connection to Israel in general and the Partnership in particular as a life goal.
I joined the Mission wanting to contribute something of myself and my experience to a far away community, but ended up receiving so much back from people I realized are actually very close". 






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25 Sep 2016 / 22 Elul 5776 0