Oneg Israel Is Back! | Congregation Beth Am

Oneg Israel Is Back!

Featuring Israeli Culinary Journalist Gil Hovav

The Israel Awareness Committee invites you to another armchair trip to Israel. After the Erev Shabbat service, come to the Social Hall, help yourself to a delicious Israeli-style dinner and sit back to enjoy a discussion with guest speaker Gil Hovav. Mr. Hovav will share stories about his great-grandfather, Eliezer Ben Yehuda (1858-1922), the visionary leader who inspired and led the revival of the modern Hebrew language in Israel.

RSVP required using the online form or by phone to Bria Silbert in the Beth Am office at (650) 493-4661. This event is free, but please consider a suggested donation of $20 per person to support future Israeli cultural programs at Beth Am. Please make your donation online or send your donation to Congregation Beth Am with a note “For Oneg Israel.”

(Check out information on the Beth Am Trip 2020 to Greece and Israel information session on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:30 PM.)

Gil Hovav, Israel's leading culinary journalist and television personality, comes from one of the most respected lineages in the Jewish world: he is the great-grandson of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the reviver of the Hebrew language; the grandson of  Itamar Ben-Avi, who began modern Hebrew journalism; and the son of Moshe & Drora Hovav, "founding members" of Israel's modern day public radio.

Gil himself, with his illustrious career in journalism, publishing, television and writing, has played a major role in the revival of Israeli cuisine and the change Israel has undergone in recent years, from a country of basic traditional foods into a "gourmet nation."

After four years of army service at the Israeli Intelligence and graduation from the Hebrew University (French literature and general studies), Gil began his career as a restaurant critic at the age of 24, moved on to become an editor in Israel's leading newspaper, and was involved in the creation, as producer and presenter, of some of Israel's most viewed and loved television cooking and food shows. These include the classic "Pepper, Garlic and Olive Oil," "Captain Cook" (which reviewed the world's best restaurants), "Meals That Made History" (shot in the U.S., Thailand, France, Switzerland, the UK and Israel) and "Going to the Market" – a show about the many ethnic cuisines of Israel. These series later turned into best-selling cookbooks. Recently, he published his first cookbook in English, Confessions of a Kitchen Rebbetzin.

Gil has published three best-selling novels, all related in different ways to his family's colorful history, exposing with humor and emotion a Jerusalem of his childhood that no longer exists. The fourth, titled Twenty Four Doors, was published in April 2015 and hit the top of the national bestseller list.

Nowadays, Gil is busy with his publishing and production company -- Toad Communications -- and with his weekly radio show about restaurants in Israel. His latest 20-episode television series, "Food for Thought," included 20 interviews with Nobel laureates, including John Nash, Elie Wiesel, Daniel Kahneman, Eric Kandel and many others.

For the past 29 years, Gil has lived with his partner, Dan, whom he met during their army service. Together they are raising their 14-year-old daughter, Naomi.

Congregation Beth Am
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We strive to live as a holy community whose study and practice of Judaism inspires and challenges us to "do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God" (Micah 6:8).