#GirlBoss: The Jewish New Media Summit II
They say friendship come from unexpected places. I never thought that deciding last minute to attending the Jewish New Media Summit would build new ones and solidify previous ones (see my first post on the SUMMIT click here)
Being a married working mom and business owners in my Jewish community makes it a little tough to connect in new friendships with those who run a different life. It’s hard to find a common ground when I struggle to juggle kids, carpools, parent teacher conferences, school plays (yes, I missed one of my daughters shows on this trip), while managing a work staff, supporting clients and dealing with the corporate side of my LLC, along with all the working mom guilt that comes along with being me.
When the Gala for the trip began and I was first introduced to other females there, I quickly noticed one thing: we are all fierce boss ladies, moms and/or community members, leaving our family and businesses behind for a few days, solo. We didn’t have to try to find a common ground, it found us. Talking with wonder women like Mica Soffer, the founder of COLLIVE.com, about our shared struggles of schools assuming we working moms are just “too busy” for our kids (in fact, we both argued that the busier you are the better able you are at making priorities be an actual focus), last minute schedule of non-crucial events in school where if we don’t rearrange every meeting at whim we are unfairly put in a jam with our kids, and ways we do carve out crucial family time and learned how quality time over quantity matters. Plus, the realization of how self-care for ourselves makes us much more productive in both our work and personal lives. It felt great being with women who understood.
Of course, my time could not have been better spent without my friends, Chanie, Melinda, Naomi and Danielle (checkout their unbelievable Instagram accounts @busyinbrooklyn @kitchentested @naominachman @peasloveandcarrots)
Talk about commonality, these guys are the only ones I can hold off on consuming a meal after 10 hr flights and it’s acceptable because we are Instagramming food pics and stories, first (priorities…)
I’m so lucky to be part of such a supportive community and I have them to thank for making this trip so meaningful. As many of you saw from our stories, the bond isn’t something we can make up. It’s real, just like all of our platforms. It was refreshing to be with a group where we can just be.
But enough about people, let’s talk food.
Here’s where our foodie adventures took us:
Melinda literally had a list of restaurants to hit, paired with Danielle’s knowledge of the territory, Chanie’s radar of true good food and Naomi’s impeccable time management, we were able to dine at a bunch of places. We got enough food in our stomachs to last all 8 days of the upcoming Chanukah in closer to 1 day.
It was refreshing to be with fellow Type-A’s because I finally got to sit back and roll with it since it was all so planned out by them and there was no one to trust more when it came to this area. Plus, I was basically floating through the entire trip partly from the jet leg and another part because I felt like I was dreaming as I walked the magical streets of Jerusalem:
Got Crave. After we landed Sunday, we were famished by the evening in the Shuk. The food had a Mexican flare in a meat restaurant. The nachos, my major weakness, were exceptional. I always love a fish taco and there’s was good. I even tried a bowl with Ramen noodles (my first... but I wasn’t telling these major foodies that :)). I couldn’t have asked for a more filling meal after a travel day (although my weak stomach from the change in time zones did take a punch!)
Kadosh. This place will forever be stamped at the forefront of my memory. I have a thing for “brunch food” and anything French inspired. Melinda kept talking about Kadosh and because of that, I was saving a piece of may stomach (okay, maybe a little of my soul too) to sell to this place. It did not disappoint. Starting on a healthy foot, we ordered an Israeli breakfast. But the bread was in the pudding, or in this case, the pastries. They literally had an award winning sufganyot (we took a photo with the Jerusalem Post photographer who came to profile them) and tried every item possible. The owner was so warm and welcoming when she came to greet us. The whole vibe was exactly where I wish I could stay every day. If only I had my computer with to write, because I was mad inspired. But as you can see, at least I had my iPhone camera.
Derech Hagefen. Yet another memorable moment. I felt like I was taken to another world of a garden within a farm that felt way further out than the outskirts of Jerusalem. The fresh and inspiring vibe transferred directly to their food. We had exciting salads, uniquely flavored saffron risotto, gnocchi with asparagus and chestnuts, and many other whole food combos.
I love when salads in Israel add sweet potato chip strips, so we got one of those as well! I think I’m going to live in a place like this somewhere in my future because I did not want to leave this dream-like outdoor wonderland with amazing food - what more do you need?
Ishtabach. The coolest part of this restaurant was that they do one thing, and they do it well. The restaurant was packed. It was refreshing not to see a kosher joint serving pizza, sushi, wilted salads, over mayo-tuna, fries and whatever else, which would be sacrilege in the Israel food world. We need our resaturants to be more like this place, which served something called, Shemburrak. It reminded me of a blend between a calzone, but opened in the middle, and a sembussak. As a Syrian myself, I felt non-ligit because I’ve never heard of it. It was nice to get a feel of my heritage with something I didn’t know I was missing. At this point, since my stomach needed a rest from all the novelty foods and flavors, I opted for the chicken combo. The spice blend was exceptional - spot on to my cultural tastes and well worth the carbs.
Hatch Beer. I love appreciating not only good food, healthy or not, but actually quality alcohol. The chemistry of these processes calls to the inner food scientist in me. We had a beer tasting of their own brewed mixes. My favorite was the ginger beer, which had the perfect tang of spice. They even had one with probiotics (the fermentation process is similar to drinks like kombucha).
Their small-plates was also unique and defined the term “bar-food”. I may or may not have snagged some bites of Chanie’s funnel onion rings, which was definitely a memorable dish that I’ve never had before.
Shalom Falafel. Of course, we couldn't leave without a classic falafel, and Danielle knew the best place to get a deliciously simple one on Betzalel Street. The no frills ambiance and combo was just what my stomach and I needed. Fresh, soft, with a taste of crunch from the falafel balls, this dish hit the spot.
Of course, once we realized we had time to kill before heading to the airport, we went to another eating establishment. Danielle took us to Waffle House. At this point, I had to step out to watch my daughter’s play I mentioned above on Facetime (:( ), but the waffle and ice cream combos looked delicious!
Cafe Rimon. Since our flight was late in the evening, I grabbed a quick dinner bite with Naomi at a regular stop on my Israel trips, Cafe Rimon, where I finally got reintroduced to the salads I’ve been missing. It was a perfect note to end on and remind my body that while we had so much fun, and happy to indulge in food experiences that will forever stick with me in my mind (and hopefully not my waistline), it’s time to get back to my normal.
Can’t wait for another travel trip with this crew!