Before 2017 I hadn't been to Israel since 1992. Which seems incredible that I had allowed so much time to lapse between my last visit and the present. I grew up in a very religious Orthodox Jewish home and Israel was always a part of the conversation. And as a descendant from Holocaust survivors its very existence meant that I would never be stripped of my right to practice my Jewish Faith and that I always had a place that would welcome me with open arms. And the truth is when I set foot on the ground as I made my way around Tel Aviv that first night- I could feel it. I could feel the weight of all my ancestors and all that history and tradition steeped into the dirt. It was almost like an out of body experience.
But more so than that I was buoyed by all the sights and sounds of different cultures and traditions and races which seemed to populate Tel Aviv. That's right- Tel Aviv was literally teeming with people of every race and religion- Jews, Muslims, Asians, Europeans, Christians, Buddhists and so much culture born out of the myriad of converging nationalities. There is a bustling fashion district, a serious music industry, the skyscrapers are going up fast and furiously and the food is TO DIE FOR. Oh and let's not forget the hotel industry which boats luxury accommodations that would wow any well seasoned traveler.
And before I forget- the flight there and back – when I told elal.com that I was a vegan- they LOADED me up with salads, hummus and all the almond goodies they could find and when I finally landed in Israel I got to spend my first moments staring at THIS goodness. Here is the view from my hotel room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Tel Aviv
And this was their lovely welcome plate of so much yummy goodness ( did I mention their fresh fruit will literally BLOW YOUR MIND?!) So if you want to explore all the art and food and just general loveliness that is Israel my first stops for you would be Tel Aviv, Yaffo and Tzfat. Here are just a few of the highlights:
First sign up for a walking Graffiti tour with Niro Trip Tel Aviv is literally at the intersection of creativity and self expression. Here are just some of the mind blowing works of art I snapped
Of course you can't go to Tel Aviv without partaking of their FOOD!!
We also had a chance to get up close and personal with the team at WeWork Hazerem where we learned all about the tech innovations that are coming out of Israel!
And of course let's not forget about the MUSIC! we had a chance to enjoy a private concert with David D’Or and a chance to hang out in his TOTALLY artsy studio!
And although I could spend days upon days in Tel Aviv- then it is time to head to Tzfat and explore it through the lens of mysticism, art and Jewish History.
We traveled on foot through the lower Galilee and the Jezreal Valley and it was the most spiritual experience OF MY LIFE. Between all the art and the shops and the food I was literally in heaven. Every nook and cranny had some beauty.
If you want to shop for art THIS IS THE PLACE!
Stay tuned for my next post which will tackle JERUSALEM and until then enjoy this video below!