Grapevine: The perfect moufleta

Despite the barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Sderot on the last day of Passover, Mimouna celebrations went ahead as planned.

Moufleta: the traditional Mimouna pancake (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Moufleta: the traditional Mimouna pancake
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
■ PART OF the secret of Jewish survival is the determination to continue to celebrate Jewish festivals and traditions regardless of economic or security circumstances. Sderot is a perfect example of this. Despite the barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Sderot and other southern areas on the last day of Passover, the Mimouna celebrations went ahead as planned, and in the Omer family, five women vied with each other to see who could produce the largest and most perfect moufleta – the traditional Mimouna pancake. One of the rockets that landed in Sderot early in the morning fell right in the heart of a residential area, near a playground and a packed synagogue. Fortunately the only damage it caused was to the road, but it was a close call, and congregants were naturally alarmed when they heard the Color Red siren. Still, all’s well that ends well, and Sderot, like other communities with large Moroccan populations, celebrated in style.
■ MORE THAN 76,600 people would be employed in green and healthy transportation each year if major European cities reached the cycling modal share of Copenhagen – one of Europe’s leaders in cycling, rivaled only by Amsterdam. So said a press release that the World Health Organization and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe published last week to coincide with the Fourth High Level Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment. The press release gives a breakdown of major cities throughout Europe (as well as Israel and the United States) with population figures, the percentage of current cycling modal share (the percentage of travelers using cycling for transportation), the estimated number of existing jobs associated with cycling, the potential number of additional jobs, and lives saved due to cycling’s health benefits. Not only is biking good exercise, it helps reduce outdoor air pollution, which is largely caused by motorized traffic.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, who is a cycling enthusiast, will be pleased to know that his city has ranked relatively high on the list, with a current cycling modal share of 9 percent; most other countries have far less. An estimated 166 jobs were created in Tel Aviv as a result of the city’s cycling policy, and further estimations show there is potential for 313 additional jobs. The estimated number of lives saved is 13. No statistic is given for Jerusalem, where the population is twice the size of Tel Aviv’s and where the ever-increasing number of cyclists who choose to use the sidewalk rather than the road is making life difficult for pedestrians.
■ SPEAKING OF Huldai, the Tel Aviv mayor is not only health-minded and environmentally conscious, but also a man of the arts. He is chairman of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s board of directors, as well as international chairman of the Tel Aviv Cultural Foundation. Night owls and early birds who watch the old musical programs screened on Channel 1 during the midnight-to-dawn loop may have discovered during the Passover broadcasts that Huldai is also a musician. A rerun of a 1999 concert in the park by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta featured Huldai as one of the last performers playing “Greensleeves” on a recorder. The audience went wild, and Mehta steered Huldai back on stage to take a second bow.