It’s a party and you are invited


Hafla Night brings the tastes, sounds and stories of Israel to Rhode Island at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 20. There will be an opportunity to enjoy Israel though the tastes and smells of the food, and to hear, see and join in Israeli singing and dancing.

“Hafla” is the Arabic word (now used in Hebrew, as well) for a party, a gathering focused on food, music, dance, and socializing. This interactive evening will feature Israeli music, dance, and culinary tastings presented by a delegation of Israeli cooks and musicians from the Afula-Gilboa region. Those who arrive early will be able to cook alongside the Israeli guests as they prepare traditional Israeli foods and desserts – and later share and enjoy the dishes with those who arrive at 7 p.m.

The guest cooks, all from the Gilboa region of the Lower Galilee, will be: Monica Brustein from Kibbutz Yizre’el, who came to Israel from Brazil two decades ago; Meir Dahan of Gan-Ner, a native of Jaffa; Ora Haviv-Magal, who was born in Ram On, where she lives.

They will be accompanied by: Yuval Brill, of  Kibbutz Ein Harod Ichud, a musician and singer; Orly Sela, a native of the Gilboa region, who teaches dance.

As we go to press, the  menu includes burnt eggplant with tehina, beetroot kuba, fried pita bread with meat, green rice and sesame cookies. Between courses, the Israelis will share stories, sing songs and teach Israeli dances.

There is space for  a few people who want to expand their cooking repertoires by helping out in the kitchen during the afternoon. Local hosts are needed who can provide overnight hospitality for the presenters. Those who are interested in either of these options should contact Nir Cafri, community shaliach (Israeli emissary) at or 401-864-3786.

The program is sponsored by the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, which has partnered with nearby Jewish communities in the Southern New England Consortium (SNEC), part of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership Together program.

The cost of the evening is $10 a person, $25 limit per family.

Space is limited; pre-registration is required. Reserve your spot by calling the Dwares JCC at 401-421-4111, or by signing up online at

Israel, Alliance, schaliach