Tzav Pius launches a walk across Israel for the country's 60th

Organizers: "Anyone is invited to leave 'the bubble' and to join this experience of encountering people and places along the Israel Trail."

hike in north 88 (photo credit: )
hike in north 88
(photo credit: )
Tzav Pius, an organization devoted to bridging the gap between secular and religious Jews, has invited all sectors of the Israeli public to get to know the country by foot during a two-month walk along the Israel Trail. The journey started a week ago, on February 25, in Eilat and will end in Tel Hai during Pessah, on April 24. The project, a joint initiative of the Avi non-profit organization, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and Oranim College, is being held for the third consecutive year. This time, it is focusing on the 60th anniversary of the state, and visits significant historical and geographical spots while traversing the whole of Israel. It welcomes Israelis and tourists, secular and religious, young and old, leftists and right-wingers, to experience the country and its diverse people on the ground. "Anyone is invited to leave 'the bubble' and to join this experience of encountering people and places along the Israel Trail," the organizers say, noting that both individuals and groups are invited to join in. "We are thrilled to be part of this project that brings together the different groups and people that make up the Israeli society," Aliza Gershon, the director of Tzav Pius, told The Jerusalem Post. "The Israel Trails provides the perfect setting for that purpose, where everybody feels a sense of belonging, and where it will be easier to find what we have in common." For more information and registration, go to:> Yoav Yehuda Culinary Festival Next weekend (March 7 and 8) is Yoav Yehuda's Eighth Culinary Festival, at which the public is invited to experience "ethnic hospitality" in the backyards of the residents of the Yoav and Yehuda local councils in southern Israel. Guests may sample the cuisine, taste the wines and visit the dairy farms in the area. The annual festival offers a peek into an alternative, natural way of life and a taste of the local women's traditional cooking. The cooking focuses on seasonal herbs, grains, leaves and fruits that the rain brings to the hills and valleys of the Yoav and Yehuda regions. In addition, musical shows will be performed at monasteries in the area, and trips can be made by festival goers to flourishing nature parks, where you can get around on foot, bicycles or by car. For more information, go to:, or call: 08-8502240 Women's world on Lake Kinneret The Scots Hotel in Tiberias is gearing up for International Women's Day [to be marked on March 8], and is inviting both sexes to experience the world of "women's desires, passions and secrets." Over four weekends in March, distinguished Israeli women will be hosted at the hotel, presenting workshops on the secrets of their daily work and life. Chefs Mika Sharon, Rina Pushkarna and Hila Alpert will each cook a meal from "Mom's kitchen," joined by the hotel's chief chef, Anat Ottolenghi. On Thursday, March 20, Hila Alpert (who anchors a TV show called "Garlic, Pepper and Olive Oil"), Nissim Krispil (author of the book, Medicinal Plants in Israel and Throughout the World: The Complete Guide), and sexologist Dr. Idan Militzer will lecture to the audience "All About Food and Passion." On Thursday, March 27, Raya Kedar will review the history of food and wine in art, from Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper" to Judy Chicago's "Party Dinner" displayed in New York's Brooklyn Museum. The entrance fee to the workshops is NIS 45, while dinner with one of the chefs costs NIS 220. For the full list of events and reservations, go to:, or call: 04-6710-710. Umm el-Fahm wants tourists The northern Arab city of Umm el-Fahm, whose name is a reminder of the days in which its first inhabitants secured their income by cutting down pine trees and producing charcoal [Peham in Hebrew and fahm in Arabic], is seeking to become a popular tourist destination. With that in mind, the city's mayor, Sheik Hashem Abdel-Rahman, a former spokesman for the Islamic Movement, has joined forces with Ana-Ney Communications, a production company which on February 20 launched a new Israeli Travel Channel [Channel 30 on Yes]. At Israel's 14th International Tourism Fair, which was held early in February, Abdel-Rahman signed an agreement with the mayors of Katzrin and Ariel and with the South Korean ambassador in Israel to mutually promote the cities' tourism industry. For the first time at the fair, the city's tourist "goods' were displayed in a stand of its own. Assisted by Agenda, a non-profit group that works for social change among the Israeli public and media, Umm El-Fahm is trying to change its image; the city was at the center of the October 2000 riots at the start of the second intifada. In recent years, it has developed as a modern urban center and offers visitors restaurants providing a taste of the locals' special cuisine, guest rooms that overlook the entire area, a unique art gallery that also serves as the city's cultural center, a very different shopping experience, walking tours to Wadi Ara and Arabic lessons every weekend. The list of options for entertainment is long, and the people who work in the area say it is safe to visit the city. For more information, go to: Flora and fauna at Ma'agan Michael Kibbutz Ma'agan Michael's Bird-Watching Center, affiliated with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel offers an interesting workshop for photographing nature and animals with an emphasis on preservation. Nature photographers Eyal Bartov and Ronen Vaturi guide students on how to take pictures of vegetation, animals and birds, and how to create a fruitful working environment while snapping some elusive creatures. The workshop includes 10 meetings on Fridays of up to five hours each, with some of the meetings held in class and some outdoors. They start on March 7 and the total cost is NIS 2,750. For more details and registration, call: 03-6388750 or 073-2413843.