Here is an Israeli children's song sung by Liora Isaac. Enjoy!
Everything you need to know to visit Kochi. Published in Hadassah magazine's fabulous travel column.
I am thrilled that my story about returning to Calcutta has been published in Hadassah magazine. The story focuses on the many moving moments I experienced during my recent trips back.
You can also read my earlier stories about my trips back with my parents in 1997 and with my sister in 2006. They are posted on my other website:
Set partly in Calcutta, where I was born, LION is the riveting true story about a five-year-old Indian boy named Saroo, whose life turns upside down in 1986 after being separated from his idolized older brother and ends up a thousand miles from his home and family. It's a great cast, with Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, but I can't agree more with Roger Ebert:
"What is truly amazing is that the lion’s share of the acting during this early stage is by a untrained newcomer, Mumbai native Sunny Pawar, who won the part after thousands of children were screen-tested. The kid is a natural, equal parts waif and rascal with an expressive face that perfectly reflects his state of mind from scene to scene while often not saying word. Nothing against Patel, who has grown immensely as a performer, but without the groundwork laid by little Sunny, “Lion’s ” onscreen roar would definitely be more than a bit muted."
Here's a look behind the scenes:
The true story behind the true story: Over 80,000 children go missing in India each year. LION is collaborating with extraordinary organizations to support children in India and around the world.
Click here to learn more.
Of the thousands of places to visit worldwide, The New York Times chose 52 top sites for 2017...and Agra--home of the Taj--is #3!
Here's the listing, written by contributor Ratha Tep, followed by photos of the Taj and Agra's Red Fort, another amazing site, from our November 2016 tour.
3. Agra, India
Beyond the Taj Mahal, new attractions beckon.
Navigating the stunning, sprawling Taj Mahal will get easier when an orientation center opens this year, but 2017 also promises new reasons to venture beyond: Nearby streets have been repaved; the Agra Pavilion, a glass-walled dining complex, will host more than a dozen vendors and restaurants; and the Mughal Museum, a collaboration with the architect David Chipperfield and Studio Archohm, has broken ground. In addition, India’s fastest train and longest expressway now cut travel time from Delhi and Lucknow.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an awesome role model in so many ways! Here she is with Justice Antonin Scalia in 1994 in Jaipur. They also visited the Taj Mahal on their tour of India. Scalia is quoted in My Own Words, RBG's new book (Simon and Schuster): he recalled that RBG's first view of the Taj—a tomb built for a beloved wife—brought tears running down her cheeks. Follow her lead and join us on one of our upcoming tours as we, too, ride elephants and are mesmerized by the Taj, plus much more.
Read my profile of Justice Ginsburg published in Hadassah magazine:
Also known as "Nora Baker", "Madeleine", and "Jeanne-Marie Rennier", she was of Indian and American origin.
Our tours to India not only incorporate Jewish music, but also classical Indian music and dance. The theatrical Kathakali dance performances in Kerala, based on Hindu mythology, are complex art forms that have inspired Western artists like choreographer Mark Morris:
My friend Sasha Spielvogel, founder of the New York-based Labyrinth Dance Theater, brings the story of an unsung World War II heroine to the stage: NOOR tells the story of Noor Inayat Khan, whose father, Hazrat Inayat Khan, was a descendant of the family of Tipu Sultan, the 18th-century Muslim ruler of the Indian kingdom of Mysore, known as The Tiger of Mysore. Hazrat Inayat Khan was also a classical Hindustani musician and teacher of Sufism; he founded the The Sufi Order and brought Universal Sufism to the West. Although Noor grew up in a family that practiced pacifism, she became the first female wireless operator for Britain's SOE to infiltrate Nazi occupied Paris and was ultimately the last communication link between British and French forces. Code named Madeleine, Noor wanted to save innocent victims from the atrocities of Nazi Fascism, passionately believing in freedom for all people. She was eventually betrayed and after being transferred to Dachau her heroic life would end. Defiant to the end, Noor's last cry was “LIBERTÉ!”
For more information:
Every Baghdadi-Indian Jew knows what an aloomakala is! It is definitely one of my favorite Shabbat and holiday foods, and even gets my vote as one of my favorite all-around foods.
Aloo means potato in Hindi, and makala means fried in Arabic, so the potatoes reflect the intersection of Indian and Baghdadi cultures. More important than that, the potatoes are out of this world. In Calcutta, you could judge how good a cook someone was by the quality of their aloomakalas. And, as they say, no one can eat just one. Mouthwatering and delicious!
In India, we used whole round potatoes but the best potatoes I have found in the US for aloos, as we fondly refer to them, are Idaho potatoes. The recipe below is an adapted version of aloomakalas, which are traditionally made in a potful of boiling oil, though not much oil is absorbed. This recipe vastly reduces the amount of oil and is less arduous and time-consuming. Enjoy!
8 Idaho potatoes, peeled, cut in half, or thirds if they are large. Cut off the ends of the potatoes to make them flat.
Boil water in a large put and and add 1 tsp of turmeric (huldi). Add potatoes and boil 10-12 minutes. They should be a little soft, otherwise baking will take a long time. Drain.
Put a thin layer of oil in a 9x12 pan. Add the potatoes and turn so they are coated in oil. Roast uncovered in a 400-degree oven. Turn the potatoes every 20 minutes until they are evenly golden brown. They should be crisp on the outside and fluffy inside.
You might not be able to wait to bite into them but be careful as they will be hot! Enjoy!
More on aloomakalas from Ian Zachariah: