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The Shulamit Hotel, Life in a Haifa Suburb

Yes-we have Pizza Hut!

We were sitting in our favorite cafe. Our server Chen was a native born Israeli or Sabra. She is finishing her degree in Social Sciences at the University of Haifa. I am an American immigrant to Haifa of five years. We decided to write about life in a Haifa suburb.

Kiryat Sefer is an upper middle class community in the Horev area of Haifa. It was my first home in Haifa, Israel. I immigrated to Israel five years ago from Colorado. What an adventure! Travel is wonderful in Israel. I can visit the Galilee, Nazareth, and Jerusalem, in the same day from my home in Haifa.

Horev is an alternate appellate for Sinai, where Moses received the Torah and the Ten Commandments. It is located on the bus route to the University of Haifa and two Druze Villages about thirty miles South of this quaint and sedate residential center. This wonderful community is a perfect blend of beautiful apartments, a large array of mid-priced restaurants, and upper-end shopping at a local mall.

In Israel, medical and dental care is universal. Their facilities are dotted throughout every community. It is even possible to receive care at virtually any time. Due to the nation’s socialized health care system, health care costs are 20% of most western nations. The quality of care competes with virtually any nation in the world. Horev offers health and dental care within walking distance from most homes!

My editor and I lived at the Shulamit Hotel, an institution of Haifa originally built in 1953 by the Feldman family. The Hotel originally had twelve rooms and was named after the owner’s daughter Shulamit. At the hotel’s prime, the desk clerk Debby mentioned that the capacity of the Hotel was 300 residents. Famous dignitaries such as Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin visited this pristine establishment. The Hotel was a Hotel/Motel that had both monthly and short term residents when it closed two years ago.

Israel, can be a pleasant surprise to an American immigrant! The Hotel was within walking distance of a Pizza hut, Domino’s and McDonald’s. Many other restaurants of various culinary tastes and price ranges were also close to our home.

There is an English Bookstore named Lia's Books, which is owned and managed by two Vatekot (veterans) from the UK. The Bookstore serves as both as a source of reading material and impromptu welcome wagon for Anglo immigrants. The city Zoo is a fifteen minute walk or short bus ride. The world famous B’hai Center is also a short bus trip from this community.

The combined residential and transitional nature of our hotel community gave us an endless series of social adventures. Life in The Shulamit was interesting. The residents came from from a multitude of backgrounds,, I met a retired Florida resident who just finished a six week volunteer nursing program in Beer Sheva. There was a group of Nigerian sailors who were guests of the Hotel. I met a representative of the E.U. at our local Pizza Hut. Hotel residents include a graduate student in Biblical Archaeology, a retired Brazilian businessman, an American born school-teacher, and a certified massage therapist. At any given time, you could sit in the Hotel Lobby and listen to conversations spoken in multiple languages.

Local residents are quick to “adopt” newcomers, as most of our neighbours immigrated to Israel after its founding in 1948. My life was everybodys business. Gossip is the "national sport" of Israel. I learned very quickly that "silence is golden" in Israel. Muslim, Christian and others live in this community. This is a a reflection of life in Israel. Israel is a nation of immigrants from almost every nation on earth. We all live together in a fairly democratic, but jaded society. Please, come and see it for yourselves!

Posted by eshugerman 11:58 Archived in Israel Tagged hut society israel pizza haifa islam christianity judaism suburb immigrant Comments (0)

Nuts for Bagels in Haifa!

We Have Pizza Hut!

I am Earl Shugerman. I am writing this story from my home in Haifa Israel. I am a proud American immigrant to Israel of five years.

Food is the universal peace-maker. Bagel is a household name and my favorite food. Most Americans find that bagel and cream cheese is almost as common as mom and apple pie. Israelis love American cooking. Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Burger King and Domino's are an integral part of Israeli society. Israelis also enjoy humus and falafel and shwarma or roasted lamb.The Israeli diet is rich in vegetables, fruit, salads, and dairy products. The staples of the Israeli diet are hummus, falafel, and Israeli salad. Hummus and falafel are chickpea products. Hummus is a paste like form of chickpea usually eaten with pita bread. Falafel is chickpea formed into small balls, fried, and eaten in pita bread as a sandwich. Both hummus and falafel are eaten with or without vegetables and with several possible sauces. Israeli salad is a combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and parsley, served with Israeli salad dressing, a combination of salt, lemon and olive oil.Israelis enjoy a barbecue at least once a month. Lamb kebab, chicken breasts, beef flanks, and shwarma are the favorite meat choices. Yes- Israelis like a cold beer, a glass of wine and even Jack Daniels.

My favorite food is still a warm bagel with cream cheese and salmon. I can still enjoy my beloved cusisine in my new home, Haifa.

Bagels have become a worldwide phenomenon. Bagels are considered a Jewish food, but its origin date back to 1638. It seems that the bagel started out as a tribute to the Polish king by a baker from Vienna in 1683 to thank the king for saving Austria from a Turkish invasion.The king liked horses and this pastry resembled the ring in German that serves the rider of a horse as a place for his feet. In the 18th century Jewish merchants in Western Europe began marketing the product that is now considered a Jewish Delicacy.In the late 19th century European Jewish immigrants brought the Bagels to New York- which is now considered the Bagel capital of the world. The first vendors of this renowned product marketed their products from push carts in the East side of the "Big Apple"

I am writing this story from The Broadway Bagel in Haifa, Israel. I consider this a great tribute to those hardworking merchants of Mott St. New York in the days of George Gershwin and The Marx Brothers.Today, Bagels today come in dozens of varieties and are adorned with different nuts, spices, and grains.

My favorite is still the original plain Bagel with smoked salmon and creamed cheese. Do not misunderstand. I love all bagels and their delicacies and their flavorful additions. You can officially call me- nuts for Bagels.

Posted by eshugerman 23:35 Tagged king hut israel pizza haifa nuts broadway burger falafel bagels macdonald's Comments (0)

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