Show Me Israel Blog

Our Show Me Israel Mission took place February 26 through March 6, 2017.
Check our the blog below for updates and pictures from their adventures in Israel!

Check out our Challah baking segment on Fox 2 News!



Tuesday, March 7, 2017 | Post-Trip Extension Day 2

Monday, March 6, 2017 | Post-Trip Extension Day 1

The Post-Trip Extension begins with a visit to Masada and the Dead Sea!


Friday, March 3, 2017 | Day 6

After a week, the Show Me Israel Mission has come to an end. At our closing dinner, we heard from the producers of the podcast, “Israel Story,” made plans to get together again as a group in St. Louis, discussed how to share OUR Israel stories, then said goodbye to many people who departed for the airport.


Thursday, March 2, 2017 | Day 5

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 | Day 4

During our time in Yokneam, we heard from Daga about her experience emigrating to Israel and she taught us ALL Ethiopian dance moves. Kudos to our first volunteers! Take a look at all of us dancing!  Video 1 | Video 2


Tuesday, February 28, 2017 | Day 3

After two days of eating and cooking in Tel Aviv, I am stuffed!

This morning we went on an ethnic tasting tour through the Levinsky Market. First we stopped at a deli for a variety of dips and salads. My favorite was an eggplant dish that tasted like chopped liver. Since I’m vegan (or, as I like to joke, veg-ish with pescatarian tendencies), that’s a flavor I haven’t experienced since I was a carnivorous 12-year-old. Then we sampled barekas. Most of the group tried three different types of cheese barekas. I stuck with potato and they were delicious. We washed it all down with gazoz, a popular drink made from fruit-flavored syrup and carbonated water (think fancy Italian soda).

Why stop (eating) there? On we went to Maganda restaurant in the Yemenite quarter. While they specialize in grilled meats like beef kabob and chicken shishlik, I filled up on salads. I know the falafel we had at Carmel Market yesterday are supposed to be the best in Israel, but my vote goes to Maganda.

Our next stop was the Sarona Market for some free time and shopping. I found dried watermelon and it’s much better than it sounds.

Finally, we went to the Rabin Center for a tour of the Israeli Museum and dinner. One hour was not enough time for the museum, which tells the two parallel stories of the modern history of Israel and the life of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Dinner was terrific. Vegan moussaka was among the entrees and that’s about all I had room for. Who am I kidding, I enjoyed the parve desserts (fruit crumble and passion fruit ice cream) as well.

Israeli cuisine is tailor-made for vegans and vegetarians and I’m loving every minute of this culinary adventure. And we’re only halfway through! Tomorrow, we’re headed to Yokneam-Megiddo (our sister city) before making our way down to Jerusalem. Somehow I will have an appetite, if not for the food then for this incredible country.  – Drew Newman, participant

Monday, February 27, 2017 | Day 2

It’s incredible to be back in Israel again! Hard to believe I lived and worked here 40 years ago (see photo) and haven’t been back since 1986. Pictured: Sara Broder (now Kagan), Rabbi Michael Kagan (my brother), Betti Kagan (me), and Cynthia and Harvey Frohlichstein (my parents).

Here we are in Tel Aviv on my birthday sharing our first day of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ Show Me Israel Mission where Marty and I are on the Arts & Culture Track. Some good friends, some new friends to share this experience with.

From Tel Aviv Museum to Meatos for lunch then Bauhaus tour and visit to photographer Adi Nes’ Sommer Gallery. Happy hour at Gina then birthday dinner at Kitchen Market with Marty, Darien, Mike and DeAnn plus my beloved Israeli friend Zahava whom I met on that firsthand trip.

In many ways my life has come full circle, older and sometimes wiser, back with good friends in Israel, back living in St. Louis near family which I left in grade school, back to the welcoming Jewish community that is St. Louis. Lila tov! – Betti Kagan, participant


Sunday, February 26 | Day 1

“In an uneventful flight, we arrived early at Ben Gurion. Some people felt like they were home again. Met three great tour guides, Michal, Shlomo and Mike, and we were on our way to Jaffa to meet the rest of the group. So fun seeing Mike, Stephen and Karen after their week of work here! Looking at the Mediterranean made me feel very happy and ready to learn more about Israel. After a few walking tours, we gathered at a beautiful restaurant looking over all of Tel Aviv and were introduced to the culinary scene of Israel with Inbal Baum. We are ready to learn more!” – Lisa Greening, participant



Friday, February 24 | Anxiously Awaiting Your Arrival

I arrived in Israel yesterday to finalize some of the mission details. Everything is in place for the Show Me Israel mission to begin on Monday. Today was spent in Tel Aviv at the Carmel Shuk (market) and the Levinsky market – two places the Flavors of Israel track will be going to. I also went to Beit Hatfutsot, the Diaspora Museum, on the Tel Aviv University campus. The museum is one of the optional walking tours on Monday afternoon. There are two exhibits; Forever Young – Bob Dylan at 75 and Operation Moses – 30 Years After. Operation Moses was the  covert evacuation of Ethiopian Jews.