Jerusalem, Israel

HDRtist HDR - http://www.ohanaware.com/hdrtist/

Located in the hills of Jerusalem, in the shadow of history, is a thoroughly modern boutique hotel. After a day touring some of the world’s most revered religious sites, the weary traveller can escape to an oasis of pampering in this burgeoning vineyard region. First time visitors to Jerusalem may want to add an extra day to the itinerary to enjoy the Cramin Hotel’s spa and fitness treatments or tour one of the neighbouring boutique wineries.

Dabble Savvy: To preserve the tranquil, relaxing atmosphere, only guests over 10 years of age are welcome.

Dome of the Rock and Western Wall - goisrael

ABOVE: Jerusalem—the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity and a sacred city for Muslims—attracts thousands of visitors each year. The devout come to worship, the curious to learn and the adventuresome to explore.

Child putting a note inside the Wailing Wall - Noam Chen

ABOVE: A young man touches the ancient stones in the sacred wailing wall.

View this blog post in Portuguese on homeyou.com.

Mitzpe Ramon, Israel

Beresheet-Hotel-Mitzpe-Ramon

Beresheet Hotel

As I contemplate a description of the Mitzpe Ramon Crater and adjacent Beresheet Hotel, dear reader, I fear you’ll roll your eyes. After all, isn’t it just a tad clichéd to describe a destination or a hotel as breathtaking? Or, out of this world? If I say the setting is an unparalleled phenomenon (I stole this from the website) would you believe me? How about this? We drove for hours through the Israeli desert and found ourselves at the mouth of a mirage!

Neither words nor pictures do it justice. I can only say I know (and can’t wait) to return one day soon.

Qumran Cave​ - Alberto Peral

Shop Israel

Words by Shai DeLuca-Tamasi

Featured Recycled_paper_journals

I am a dying breed. I admit it. My generation of Israelis is global-minded, well travelled and sadly, in the last decade or so, often looking outside our borders for design trends.

Not me.

Though an ex-pat, I am also a proudly patriotic citizen of Israel and I am astounded by the homegrown art and design scene that’s flourishing today. Local artisans are pulling inspiration from 5,700+ years of history, leaving international companies desperate to break into the booming scene.

TEXTILES
Israel’s textile industry used to be a vast one with fabrics produced by hand. As the world turned to mass production, manufacturers looked East for less expensive alternatives and, until recently, the industry was nearly abolished.

Thankfully a new generation of fashion and design artisans is embracing craftsmanship and the textile industry is recovering.

Mika Barr is a textile designer who stumbled on a process for manipulating and reshaping fabrics into striking new geometric shapes. Mika’s textiles now cover lampshades, furniture and hand bags.

Shai’s Buy: I couldn’t resist purchasing a new floor lamp (adapted to North American voltage) from Mika’s line of textile enhanced goods.

www.mikabarr.com

FAP throw B&W

FURNITURE
As a designer, I’m forever looking for functional items that have a new and interesting twist. In my experience, bar/counter stools can be somewhat utilitarian. But not at the hand of Ushki Design Studio.

Shai’s Buy: I love these birch veneered, coloured paper, steel framed works of art…or, seating. I’ll be placing my order tomorrow morning!

www.ushkidesign.com

Israel - 16_3

SODA STREAM
Importing goods to Israel was traditionally very expensive, so it was rare to spot North American staples like Coca-Cola and Pepsi on store shelves. Not to be left out, Israel invented the Soda Stream. Years ago it allowed the locals to fit simple soda gas canisters into standard bottles and infuse the beverage with bubbles. Today, of course, you’ll find every type of soda imagined on local shelves and Soda Stream has rebranded itself to a worldwide audience.

Shai’s Buy: My fave is the new design line in blue. It’s fully automated—one press of a button and voilà, custom carbonation.

www.sodastream.ca

Israel - Source Black side drop bottle

THE HAMSA
Some refer to this traditional relic as the hand of Fatima. In Arabic, Hamsa means five. Everyone agrees the elegant icon is a symbol of good luck and, in some cultures, a protector from the evil eye.

Shai’s Buy: Travellers to Israel will be spoiled for choice as most shops carry at least a few versions of this favourite memento. I picked up two at Irit Goldberg Ceramics.

www.iritgoldberg.co.il

Israel - Hamsa Irit Goldberg copy

 

From Issue 15 – May 2014 

Modern History

Designed by Pitsou Kedem, Raz Melamed & Irene Goldberg

Photographed by Amit Geron

Photography by Amit Geron

 

Set above the harbor, facing the majestic Mediterranean Sea in Old Jaffa, is an ancient structure given new life by the thoughtful architects hired to restore its integrity.

Photography by Amit Geron

A series of glass paneled doors greets the entry and closes to offer privacy (when combined with blackout shades) in the master bedroom. Photography by Amit Geron

 

Though it’s difficult to determine the structure’s exact age, it is clear that it is hundreds of years old. Over time, changes and additions had damaged the original integrity of the dwelling. The central ideal, therefore, was to restore the original characteristics—the stone walls, the segmented ceilings and the arches—to peel back and expose the original state.

Home Tour - Pitsou9

Photography by Amit Geron

 

The building’s shell is composed of a combination of pottery and beach sand. The bisque and terracotta colours create natural warmth in the coved dining room.

Photography by Amit Geron

Photography by Amit Geron

 

The architects created distinct viewpoints in each of the rooms, often providing a glimpse into adjacent spaces. The organic shaped coffee tables and rustic woven rug support a mandate to use natural, raw materials.

Photography by Amit Geron

Photography by Amit Geron

 

The Mediterranean Sea is reflected in a mirror that brings light into the spare living space. The cable strung staircase rises gracefully to the master bedroom above.

“Surprisingly modern, minimalistic construction styles (especially ancient ones) allow us to create new spaces that blend periods together—even intensify them because of the contrast and tension between the ages”.

Photography by Amit Geron

Photography by Amit Geron

 

The galley kitchen efficiently carves utilitarian space into the home and provides those in residence with an expansive view of the Mediterranean Sea.

Photography by Amit Geron

Sleeping quarters are stacked above the living room, where they enjoy full ocean views. Photography by Amit Geron

 

The historical is expressed by preserving the textures and materials of the building’s outer shell and by respecting the engineering accordingly. The modern is expressed by opening spaces and altering the internal flow, and by incorporating natural materials such as stainless steel, iron and wood. Pistou’s project succeeds in both honoring and preserving the historical and romantic values of the structure while creating a contemporary project suited to today’s lifestyle.

From Issue 15 – May 2014 

Eilat & Red Sea, Israel

ריף הדולפינים, אילת

If you think Israel is all history and no play, think again. Locals are quick to point to Eilat as an oasis, a romping vacation destination.

Wedged between Akaba, Jordan to the east and the Egyptian Sinai desert to the west, Eilat was historically a trade route. Jewelry lovers will also delight in this little fact—it’s the only place on earth where the Eilat or King Solomon stone is mined.

Eilat Red Sea - Dafna Tal​

Tel Aviv, Israel

Jaffa is one of the oldest ports in the world, with ruins dating back to the Bronze Age. Today, it’s a thriving destination for visitors and locals alike.

Tel Aviv at 100

ABOVE: The Tel Aviv boardwalk is a hub of activity during warm weather months.

Market on Tel Aviv - Nahalat Binyamin

ABOVE: Arts and crafts at Nahalat Binyamin market.

Portrait of a young woman - Dana Friedlander

Jaffa Floating Orange Tree - goisrael

ABOVE: This modern work of art, the Suspended Tree, is a popular attraction in a neighbourhood filled with wonder.

Modern History

  • Sunlight fills the entry, throwing light onto stone walls likely more than 400 years old.
  • A series of glass paneled doors greets the entry and closes to offer privacy (when combined with blackout shades) in the master bedroom.
  • The building’s shell is composed of a combination of pottery and beach sand. The bisque and terracotta colours create natural warmth in the coved dining room.
  • The architects created distinct viewpoints in each of the rooms, often providing a glimpse into adjacent spaces. The organic shaped coffee tables and rustic woven rug support a mandate to use natural, raw materials.
  • The Mediterranean Sea is reflected in a mirror that brings light into the spare living space. The cable strung staircase rises gracefully to the master bedroom above.
  • The galley kitchen efficiently carves utilitarian space into the home and provides those in residence with an expansive view of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Sleeping quarters are stacked above the living room, where they enjoy full ocean views.

Set above the harbor, facing the majestic Mediterranean Sea in Old Jaffa, is an ancient structure given new life by the thoughtful architects hired to restore its integrity.

Though it’s difficult to determine the structure’s exact age, it is clear that it is hundreds of years old. Over time, changes and additions had damaged the original integrity of the dwelling. The central ideal, therefore, was to restore the original characteristics—the stone walls, the segmented ceilings and the arches—to peel back and expose the original state.

The language of minimalism embedded in a historic residence in Old Jaffa.

“Surprisingly modern, minimalistic construction styles (especially ancient ones) allow us to create new spaces that blend periods together—even intensify them because of the contrast and tension between the ages.” ~ Pitsou

The historical is expressed by preserving the textures and materials of the building’s outer shell and by respecting the engineering accordingly.

The modern is expressed by opening spaces and altering the internal flow, and by incorporating natural materials such as stainless steel, iron and wood.

Pistou’s project succeeds in both honoring and preserving the historical and romantic values of the structure while creating a contemporary project suited to today’s lifestyle.

Designed by Pitsou Kedem, Raz Melamed & Irene Goldberg

Photography by Amit Geron

Qumran & Dead Sea, Israel

Qumran and the Dead Sea​ - Alberto Peral

Not far from the Dead Sea is the West Bank archaeological site of Qumran.

Here, the arid earth and sky tell a story thousands of years old—of occupation, settlement and, more recently, as the vicinity of the discovery site of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Visitors typically explore the rugged landscape by jeep though the adventurous may choose a more plodding type of transportation and set out on camelback.

Bedouin Camels in the Southern Israel Desert

BELOW: The Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth—a characteristic which lends the water its famous buoyancy.

Dead Sea Salt - Itamar Grinberg

Israel – A History Lesson

Words by Shai DeLuca-Tamasi

Church of the Holy Sepulchre - Noam Chen

Church of the Holy Sepulchre – Photography by Noam Chen

Jerusalem used to be the centre of the world. An ancient New York City, Paris or Milan if you will. At one time religion trumped everything and Jerusalem was a mecca. People travelled to Israel for religious pilgrimage, but also for business, trade and the arts. Though at the time called Judea, Israel was part of the Roman Empire. As the years progressed it was captured by various empires. Each conquering civilization contributed its own style, design and fashion sense to the collective fabric of Israel.

Jump forward to 1948, post World War II; immigration to Israel was at an all time high, flowing in from all over Europe, North Africa and the Americas. With each swell of immigration, new design and style arrived in Israel.

2682_Rabin square_Tel Aviv

Rabin square, Tel Aviv – Photography by Dana Friedlander

Today, Israel has evolved and developed in ways that are often described as remarkable. Israel has its own unique design sense—a compilation of our rich history.

In October 2013 I travelled to Israel with my friend (and Cityline co-celeb) Kimberley Seldon. I was able to share the richness of Israel with Kimberley and the Cityline viewers. It’s a trip I won’t soon forget.

jerusalem101

Kimberley Seldon and Shai DeLuca-Tamasi film for www.cityline.ca

Though having spent my formative years in Israel, as well as serving for three years in the IDF, the experience of seeing the country through a camera lens was a life changing experience for me. It was a blessing being able to bring back footage for our Cityline viewers and Dabble readers.

I was fortunate to see how the design scene has surpassed even my high expectations. Needless to say, I couldn’t even bring back everything I purchased. Thank goodness for international shipping! I hope that all of our readers have the opportunity to visit Israel, but in the interim, I wanted to share some of my favourite Israeli products and design with you. Though I could fill the next year of issues with the amazing items, I’ve chosen my five favourite!

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Shop Israel with Shai in the May 2014 issue

Israel Gallery

Hanging Gardens of Haifa

Photography by Itamar Grinberg

Photography by Itamar Grinberg


With a vantage that rests above the Mediterranean Sea, the terraced gardens of the Baha’i faith are a popular attraction, drawing thousands of visitors each year.

Formed into 9 concentric circles, there are 18 lush terraces and a few water features to explore in the tranquil setting.

Visitors can tour the gardens for free via the Bahai community. You’ll learn about the history of the religion and gain insight into the extensive work that happens in the gardens.

Shakin’ Shakshuka

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When I booked my fare to Israel the very last thing I envisioned was cooking a meal or funnier still, finding myself in front of a hot stove!  But Tel Aviv is full of surprises. Dr. Shakshuka is a culinary treasure in a country where there are so many fabulous meals to be sampled. This was my first taste of the classic egg-based dish and certainly, my first time cooking it – although I had some help from the doctor himself.

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If you’re planning a trip to Israel then this has to be a stop. Travel plans or not, the recipe is simple and satisfying:

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Shakshuka Recipe
Courtesy Shai Deluca

INGREDIENTS
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 medium brown or white onion, peeled and diced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
• 4 cups ripe diced tomatoes, or 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 tsp chili powder (mild)
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 tsp paprika
• Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more to taste– spicy!)
• Pinch of sugar (optional, to taste)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 5-6 eggs
• 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat a deep, large skillet or sauté pan on medium. Slowly warm olive oil in the pan. Add chopped onion, sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and continue to sauté till mixture is fragrant.

2. Add the bell pepper, sauté for 5-7 minutes over medium until softened.

3. Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended. Add spices and sugar, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste, more sugar for a sweeter sauce, or more cayenne pepper for a spicier shakshuka (be careful with the cayenne… it is extremely spicy!).

4. Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. I usually place 4-5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 in the center. The eggs will cook “over easy” style on top of the tomato sauce.

5. Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced. Keep an eye on the skillet to make sure that the sauce doesn’t reduce too much, which can lead to burning.

6. Garnish with the chopped parsley, if desired. Shakshuka can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For breakfast, serve with warm crusty bread or pita that can be dipped into the sauce (if you’re gluten-intolerant or celebrating Passover, skip the bread). For dinner, serve with a green side salad for a light, easy meal.