24 June 2017 - 1 Tammuz 5777 - א' תמוז ה' אלפים תשע"ז
Arts & Culture
Sri Lankan food expo delights Tel Aviv diners E-mail

The Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel, in partnership with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Israel and the Sri Lankan Tourism Bureau, recently hosted a 12- day celebration of Sri Lankan cuisine prepared by visiting Sri Lankan chefs Kamal Surendrajith and Iyadurai Madasami, who were on their first visit to Israel.

The festival featured special lunches and dinners at the hotel’s signature restaurant, The Olive Leaf, as well as a tourism booth and a Sri Lankan market in the Sheraton lobby.

The festival began on 7 May at a reception in the presence of guest of honour Selvaraj Periyasamy Pillai, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Israel. The festival was organised by the hotel’s executive assistant manager, Patrick Mudalige, himself a native of Sri Lanka.

The chefs designed menus based on traditional Sri Lankan products to create authentic Sri Lanka dishes. On the opening evening, a three-course meal was served to invited guests, reflecting the kind of cuisine prepared at Colombo’s luxury Kingsbury Hotel, the guest chefs’ home kitchen.

The first of the three courses of the opening-night dinner reflected influences of South India, Sri Lanka’s immediate neighbour. A sushi-like roll made with sticky rice came in two versions, one stuffed with shredded spiced chicken and the other with potato similar to the filling of a masala dosa.

This was accompanied by a tasty vegetable cutlet reminiscent of yellow dal, as well as cubed mixed vegetables that had been in pickled in a delicate solution redolent of clove.

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Frank Lavin, diplomat and author, visits Hong Kong E-mail

The United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong (UJC) welcomed Frank Lavin to Hong Kong on 11 May to give a talk and to celebrate the launch of his new book. The event was held at the Hong Kong Jewish Community Centre, King David Room.

Franklin L“Frank” Lavin was born 26 October, 1957, and is a former Republican White House aide who was the political director for Ronald Reagan between 1987 and 1989, a US diplomat, and bank executive. As Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Lavin headed the International Trade Administration for the United States Department of Commerce from 2005 until 2007. He also served as the US Ambassador to Singapore from 2001 to 2005.

His new book, entitled Home Front to Battlefront: An Ohio Teenager in World War II, is a biography of his father, Carl Lavin, who served with the 84th Infantry Division in the Battle of the Bulge. Thanks to Frank’s detailed research, we are able to follow 18-year-old Carl Lavin from his enlistment through his deployment overseas. The book allows us to see a pivotal time in world history through one soldier’s eyes.

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Abu-Gosh Festival showcases vocal music E-mail

The Abu-Gosh Festival is the leading and most important festival in the Israeli vocal music scene, and is in fact the country’s oldest vocal festival.

This year’s festival, which ran from 30 May until 6 June, featured a wide variety of artists. The festival, held in the town of Abu Gosh just outside Jerusalem in the Judean hills, has existed in its present format since 1992, and takes place twice a year, on the Jewish festivals of Sukkot (October) and Shavuot (June). It lasts between three and five days each time, and this year’s event is the 51st festival.

This year, the festival featured a wide variety of performances, from classical to jazz. The main guest this year was the University of Delaware Choir, conducted by Paul D. Head. This university choir has recorded and performed with great success in concerts around the world, including at Carnegie Hall in New York. The choir performed two programmes. The first combined classical music, African music and spirituals and included percussionist Chen Zimbalista, while the second included jazz-favourite songs and spiritual music.

Other guests at the festival included Portuguese singer Sofia Pedro; Ricardo Rapoport, a bassoon and Brazilian cavaquinho player who was joined with the HaGalil Ha-Elion Choir directed by Ron Zarhi, and the Phoenix Ensemble.

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