Kosher Zimmers In Israel
Kosher travelers going to far-off lands sometimes need to bring their kitchens with them.
Photo: Amirey Hagalil®
At the very least, some cans of tuna, instant noodle cups, and a can opener are necessary tricks of the trade for traveling while keeping kosher. Keeping kosher in Israel is simple, since the vast majority of hotels are kosher. You’ll be surprised to learn that even Zimmers offer tantalizing gourmet kosher meals, albeit the choice is a bit narrower. Luckily, we’ve gathered information on a few select ones right here.
Boutique Spa Zimmer in the Galilee
Kosher in Israel means experiencing the best. At a boutique zimmer in the Galilee, kosher diners can have a luxury, gourmet vacation at the heart of a lovely winding, forested highway that runs from Karmiel to Safed. Here, in the Upper Galilean Hills, you’ll find 17 guest cottages, tucked away in a Turkish-style khan-shaped building. A relaxing oasis, this zimmer has the kind of fresh mountain air that comes with being 2,300 feet (700 m) above sea level. The views from the windows and balconies include the shimmering blue of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), the Golan Heights, the green Galilean hills, and Mount Arbel.
Photo: Amirey Hagalil®
Most Zimmers offer breakfast, but this one offers both breakfast and dinner, with the latter served in Gili’s Chef Restaurant, a gourmet kosher eatery. Run by Chef Gil Altman, the restaurant boasts rich meat meals featuring local produce that have the scent and flavor of the Galilee, accompanied by fine wines. The restaurant is open Sunday through Friday, from 6 in the evening. Breakfast is available each morning from 8 a.m. They don’t deal with payment or cook on Shabbat and offer Shabbat plata’s in rooms for those who want to use them. The restaurant is under Supervision of Rabbinate of Marom Gaililee Regional Council (Moatza Eirorit Marom Hagalil).
Glorious Walking Trails
Rooms come equipped with air-conditioning, a furnished balcony facing the view, mini-bar, coffee/tea station, flat-screen cable TV, and free Wi-Fi. Some rooms have Jacuzzis. A stay at the Zimmer includes complimentary use of the spa, with its huge Jacuzzi, dry sauna, and various luxury treatments. There’s also an outdoor pool, open during the summer months. The area abounds with glorious walking trails. The front desk is a font of information regarding local attractions. The hotel welcomes children over the age of 12 only.
Ein Kerem, Jerusalem
At the heart of Jerusalem lies a kosher gem established in 1986 within close proximity to all the important Jerusalem sites, including Mount Herzl, the Herzl Museum, Yad Vashem, the Israel Museum, the Israeli Knesset (parliament), the Jerusalem government complex and the quaint neighborhood of Ein Karem (also written Ein Kerem) with its own brand of unique and holy attractions. Rooms here include such amenities as cable TV, Wi-Fi, coffee corner, and well-appointed bathrooms. The hotel has an intimate green garden where guests can relax after an intensive day of touring. The extensive kosher l’mehadrin meat and vegetarian menu means that travelers can dine on-site without having to leave their home-away-from-home.
Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), Golan Heights
On the eastern coast of Lake Kinneret (The Sea of Galilee) is a homey pundak zimmer on Moshav Ramot. Each wooden cabin comes complete with air-conditioning, kitchenette, cable TV, CD and DVD station, and spacious Jacuzzi overlooking a eucalyptus grove.
In the village are kosher and kosher l’mehadrin eateries such as Hava Bakfar and Betty & Nachi Mevashlim. A cafe is located on the premises of the pundak.
There is a beach on the Kinneret that has separate swimming times for men and women. However, the settlement pool that has free entrance if one stays in the Pundak does not have separate hours for men and women. The owners are on hand to advise guests as to local attractions such as jeep tours, horseback riding, hiking trails, the Hof Golan Water Park, and water sports at the lake such as kayaking. Tour the on-site packing plants where local fruits like mango, grapefruit, and bananas are packed for shipping throughout the country and abroad. Milk is produced in abundance by local sheep and cows. Pick lychee and guava fruits straight from the trees in season.
For the Religious Public – Bet Shean Valley
Nestled at the foot of Mount Gilboa in the beautiful Bet Shean Valley near the town of Bet Shean with its famous archeological ruins is a zimmer just made for the religious public. There is a synagogue, a mikve (ritual bath), and a swimming pool that has separate bathing times for men and women, but also has times for mixed bathing.
Meals are sumptuous kosher or kosher mehadrin. Weekdays it is bed and breakfast, but weekends and holidays are full board. On Shabbat cakes and fruit are provided in the rooms. There are 20 comfortable air-conditioned fully furnished country apartments, eight of which have two rooms. All apartments have a kitchenette with a refrigerator and corner for tea and coffee, shower and toilet, telephone, radio and television. Gardens with garden furniture are outside the apartments.
On site is a very large petting zoo with goats, chickens, ducks and ostriches, a children’s playground, game courts and fish ponds where you can see all kinds of migrating water birds in season. The Bet Shean Valley is very hot in summer and thus there are beautiful tropical date palm plantations.
The kibbutz is close to Gan HaShlosha a beautiful national park of natural springs and pools that stay warm all year round, and was the inspiration for an Israeli movie called “The Garden of Eden.”
Kangaroos in the Bet Shean Valley
Other parks in the area are the Gan Garoo Australia Park at Kibbutz Nir David that has Australian animals like seven types of kangaroos, cockatoo, flying foxes, the laughing kookabura, cassowary, wallaby and emu. Over 38 types of Australian eucalyptus trees grow in this park.
Did You Know?
When the beach is open on the Kinneret, colored flags located near lifeguard stations indicate current swimming conditions: White is for safe swimming, red is for danger, and a black flag is displayed where swimming is forbidden.