With so many choices on how to spend your Friday night, Shalom al Lechem brings it back to the basics:

An intimate, delicious, homemade Friday night dinner to bring in Shabbat. What is the catch? The dinner is co-hosted by a young Israeli and international who each bring their own friends, automatically creating an intimate dining experience with a mix of people. But that’s not all; the co-hosts create a unique menu that reflects their traditions and tastes. The topper? Our talented chef comes with our portable kosher kitchen to cook the entire meal in the host’s home, all costs covered.

Shalom al Lechem creates an intimate and authentic setting where young people of different backgrounds can create and join in on important discussion, all while sitting around the Shabbat dinner table.

Please. Pull up a chair!

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On August 26th, Elad Widlanski (Israeli) and Rozi Levi (Turkish) hosted a Shalom al Lechem dinner at Elad’s home in Rehavia.
On Friday morning, the hosts and I met with Chef Udi at Elad’s apartment and thus the meal prep began. With a bottle of wine in hand and an organized to-do list, Chef Udi was ready to roll. Over the next two hours, Elad and Rozi (clad in their trendy Shalom al Lechem aprons)  got to know each other, learn some cooking skills from Chef Udi, and enlightened me about their personal stories and ties to Jerusalem

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Rozi is 25 years old and was born and raised in Turkey and studied at Brandeis University near Boston. Before officially making aliyah in 2014, Rozi volunteered as an intern in fundraising and community development with Bakehila’s Learning and Enrichment center in Talpiyot. Bakehila is a nonprofit organization in Jerusalem that works to lower the socioeconomic gap through enrichment programs and educational intervention. After she made Aliyah, Rozi continued her involvement with Bakehila as a supplementary English teacher at the Learning and Enrichment center in Gilo. Today, Rozi is the International Relations Associate at the Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) Global Resource Development. She enjoys cooking and reading interesting articles about current events. When discussing the importance of “Shalom al Lechem,” Rozi told me that she has a lot of Israeli friends, “ but there is definitely a disconnect between the Oleh community and the local Israelis. The Olim really seem to be in a bubble, and it feels like the Israelis don’t know we are here. My friends ditched their plans to come to Shalom Alechem because it sounded so great.”  Rozi says she loves the Jerusalem vibe.

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Elad is 27 years old and was born here in Jerusalem. He studied education and political science at Hebrew University, and recently received a Master’s degree in education administration, policy, and leadership. He has been very involved in several student-civic projects, notably serving as Project Coordinator for “Kan Garim” (Here We Live), an initiative that creates joint housing opportunities for students and elderly citizens. Elad also served as the vice president of “Hitorerut,” an organization that promotes activism and involvement in improving the Jerusalem we live in today. Elad love listening to music, hanging out with friends, and traveling. He  was enthused to host a Shalom al Lechem meal, and noted how it is “extremely important for olim to build a community. This is the least we can do for people who sacrifice everything and move here to Israel. It is a beautiful thing.”

A wonderful group of 13 young Israelis and olim attended the dinner. The conversation was flowing, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was relaxed and fun. A few tips that were gleaned from this lovely dinner for future Shalom al Lechem hosts:

Hosting tip #1:

Set up the table in a way in which it allows inclusivity and good conversation. Instead of putting together two tables side by side in a long/narrow fashion, try to put them next to one another to create a wider and more inclusive table.

Hosting tip #2:

At the beginning of the meal, have an icebreaker or get-to-know you session where everyone at the table speaks a bit about him or herself. Ask guests to even throw in a hidden talent, funny story, etc.

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While Chef Udi prepared a phenomenal menu which included dishes such as chicken-filled pastries and a stuffed ground-beef dish, the hit of the night was his pecan and maple syrup-encrusted salmon. Make it yourself with this easy and tasty recipe!

Pecan & Maple Syrup Encrusted Salmon Recipe:

  1. Dry the salmon thoroughly.

  2. Chop a small handful of parsley, 100 grams of pecan and bread crumbs.

  3. Add pepper, salt, olive oil, and maple syrup, until the texture is that of wet sand.

  4. Cover the top side of the fish in a layer of the mixture

  5. Cook with the pan covered with aluminum foil on high heat- about 180 degrees Celsius– Careful not to dry it out!

  6. For the last 3 minutes, cook the fish on high heat without the alumimum foil so that it will be crispy!

For more information on Shalom al Lechem/ to sign up to host a meal, please visit our website at www.shalom-al-lechem.org. Check out our facebook page “Shalom al Lechem” and our Instagram “shalomalechem.”

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© 2016 Jerusalem Village
Programs are sponsored for young adults ages 22-35.
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