Carol Novis


Living Like a Lord

By Carol Novis

Living Like a Lord
As the waters of the Sea of Galilee lapped at the foot of the back garden, I rocked gently in a hammock and pondered the possibilities. Should I stroll down to the beach, where the children played in the sand? Feed the carp in the fishpond, or curl up with a book in the Bedouin-style tent on the lawn? Head to the kitchen for a snack of cheeses from a local boutique dairy, along with a freshly ground cappuccino? Or merely roll over in my hammock, mesmerized by the peace and privacy of Villa Melchett, a luxurious estate with a history.Read More


Fear of Frying — A Healthy Holiday

By Carol Novis

Fear of Frying — A Healthy Holiday
There’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news: A single latke contains about 65 to 100 calories. (And who eats just one?) The sour cream? Another 60 calories per glob. Other Hanukkah foods, such as fritters in syrup eaten by Sephardi Jews and deep fried chicken, popular with Jews in Italy, are not much of a dietary improvement. As for soufganiot, the jelly doughnuts that are popular Hanukkah fare in Israel, count on about 400 calories a pop, and don’t even think about the cholesterol and fat content. In short, a healthy and happy Hanukkah is probably a contradiction in terms.Read More


The Teyglach Challenge

By Carol Novis

The Teyglach Challenge
Along with the custom of eating apples, honey and round challah for Rosh Hashanah, many Jewish cultures have developed their own traditional holiday foods. Some Jews of Sephardic origin, for example, serve a baked fish head to symbolize “the head and not the tail,” while in Egypt, black-eyed peas and pomegranates are featured as symbols of abundance. In America, a case might be made for brisket as the star of the holiday table.Read More


Fruit of the Beautiful Tree

By Carol Novis

Fruit of the Beautiful Tree
“This is a good year for etrogs,” said Levi Zagelbaum, a wholesaler who is president of the Esrog Headquarters Inc. in New York. Despite the fact that the fruit was picked especially early in the season in Israel, in observance of shmitta (the biblical commandment to let soil lie fallow every seventh year), Zagelbaum has high hopes that the green etrogs will ripen in time for Sukkot and help him recoup his investment. Most of Zagelbaum’s stock of several thousand is imported from the Holy Land. Each piece of fruit, together with a lulav made from palm frond, myrtle and willow, will be sold for an average of $50, with the most expensive going for $120.Read More


Doughy Ruminations — The Meaning of Bread

By Carol Novis

‘Bread is life,” said Noam Ben-Yossef, curator of the exhibition Bread: Daily and Divine, which is currently on display at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. “It symbolizes a multitude of things, from fertility, to plenty, to civilization itself.”Read More






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