The series begins with Mike leading a conversation about the fundamental idea that cultural diversity is the beating heart of Israeli cuisine. To do so Mike speaks with Ha’aretz food journalist Ronit Vered and Via Sabra founder and Israel tour guide Avihai Tsabari (he is a regular contributor to the show). They explore when immigration waves to Israel happened, how they occurred, and how this interplays with Palestinian cuisine.
Mike speaks with students who chose to embark on a Gap Year in Israel in the midst of the pandemic. Young Judaea Year Course is the largest gap year program in Israel and has continued to run a meaningful and fun experience since the outbreak of COVID-19. Mike will explore the students’ experience in the program in these unique times, where they participate in significant volunteer efforts and eat copious amounts of couscous.
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Mike interviews chef Osama Dalal, whose family has lived in Akko for more than 300 years, to talk about pluralism and how Jews and Arabs live side-by-side. An ambassador of authenticity, Osama demonstrates how Ottoman influences flavor the food of Akko, more than elsewhere in Israel. Mike also speaks with Avihai Tsabari, who sheds further light on the history of the historic port city.
Mike interviews Ravid Kahalani, co-founder and lead singer of the genre-defying band, Yemen Blues. The duo discuss the global sensation’s groundbreaking music that pulls influence from a number of places within Israeli culture, including of course, Yemenite culture. Avihai Tsabari is also back to talk about Yemenite influence in Israel (he’s the son of a Yemenite father and Tunisian mother).