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Zichron Ya'akov Israel: Romance and Restaurants

Seeking Romance in Israel

I am still seeking true love in Israel. It is a challenge but also fun and interesting. My latest adventure involved a woman from Zichron Ya'kov. "Zichron" is a small town about thirty minutes by bus from my home in Haifa. There are roughly thirty thousand residents, of whom many native English speaking olim or immigrants. It is a quaint community known for its great restaurants, rustic scenery, and historic sites. There are also wineries in the region which were established in the 1880s by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild. Zichron was the first Moshav or cooperative community founded in Israel.

I tried my luck with one of Israel's dating services. My first referral from the dating service was last month. Her name was Anat, a woman in her fifties from Zichron.

I contacted my new friend Anat by phone who suggested that our first meeting be for coffee at Mol Zichron which is an outlet mall about six miles from the town itself. Anat was from New York originally but has lived in Israel for thirty years. She turned out to be a pleasant looking sort in with bright red hair. We discussed her career as a social worker and her six grandchildren, I told her a bit about myself and suggested that we tour her community. The city has a famous Midrachov or founders street that houses many highly respected restaurants, small gift shops, wineries, and museums. It was late September therefore the weather was fairly cool. The Mediterranean skies were clear and blue. It was a great day for a Tiyul or tour and my quest for romance.

Anat hesitated for several minutes started to stutter and added that we have a problem. I could feel my sense of rejection arising again. Had I failed once more in my search for true love?

"I am in a relationship" stated Anat. "That is why that I suggested that we meet at the Mul." Anat explained to me that she was in a six year relationship with a wonderful man from Tel Aviv. "I wanted to meet you at the Mul as I am very well known in the community," added Anat. She explained to me that she cared for David but that the relationship was stale and seemed to offer little future. She was also terrified at her age to try someone else. Economic security was her main concern. David helps her with her bills and really is a friend. Life is difficult anywhere for those over fifty especially women in Israel. Sadly, age and gender discrimination are facts of life in the Jewish homeland. Women are expected to serve in the military in Israel but often receive less pay than men for the same job in the workplace. Women also face the other traditional forms of harassment at work that are common in many societies.

Anat and I talked for several hours about her six wonderful grandchildren, all residents of Zichron, her experiences as citizen of Israel, and about my favorite topic, food. She gave me a list of restaurants to try for dinner in the town and a referral to a wonderful single British immigrant named Jane. I have met with Jane three times since then and I have two new friends.

I went on to eat a great dinner and to tour the town. Two of the moshav's original buildings have been turned into history museums: Beit Aharonson - dedicated to the history of the pre-state NILI underground resistance organization - and the Museum of the First Aliya (wave of immigration to Israel). All these and more make the "Midrachov" an interesting and charming place to visit.

From its early days, Zikhron Ya’akov was a center of Israel's wine industry. The moshav's founding farmers cultivated vineyards and the large winery built here in 1889 became the area’s most important industry. The winery (now owned by Carmel Mizrahi wineries), has a visitors center with free guided tours. The restaurants are my favorite part of the community, which I plan to visit often.

Posted by eshugerman 12:07 Tagged travel dining israel haifa wineries romance zichron ya'akov

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