As we look towards booking a well-deserved getaway, UJIA Manchester’s community Shlicha Sara Baruch implores readers to book a flight to Israel and explore the delights of her childhood home north of Tel Aviv, the beautiful city of Netanya.
After a long year of lockdown, social isolation, and the inability to travel, summer has arrived. In Israel, the COVID situation is very different from England, and the feeling is that there is no pandemic at all. This summer, I invite you to pack your bags and board a flight to Israel. True I am biased, but there really is no place like home. In this column, I want to recommend to you some of my favourite places in the city I grew up in, Netanya, the capital of the Sharon, also known as the City of Diamonds.
Uzi’s Hummus on Sha’ar HaEmek Street 2 is one of the city’s most popular eateries. The café has existed in Netanya for 31 years, and there are quite a few people who are willing to swear that it is the best hummus in the country. Uzi blends his hummus by hand, just like the old days – he won’t touch a mixer. Uzi himself is an extraordinary personality and his plates of hummus are not like the bland dishes we are used to seeing here in the UK, but are extremely creative and bursting with colour.
The second place is Goons Pizza and Beer, an innovative pizza bar that offers a perfect combination of hot crispy pizzas made from Italian flour, cold beer and a vibrant, youthful atmosphere. The flagship branch is located at 8 Ha’atzmaut Square in the heart of Netanya, a short distance from the sea. It should be noted it is kosher and not open on Shabbat. Growing up in the beach city of Netanya, I spent many years of my life looking at the sea, so the last two places are of course reserved for seaside spots. On the cliff promenade, characterised by romantic seating areas overlooking the water and natural wild cliffs, you can find a modern and lively playground. South of the promenade lies the site of colourful paragliders, which offer the chance for airborne activities accompanied by a guide over the Kurkar Ridge.
And the southern promenade, named after director Claude Lantzman, is unique for its environmental sculptures, made from recycled materials by the artist Ruslan Sergeyev. The sculptures are used for decoration and as benches, pergolas and play facilities. If you are thinking about visiting Netanya and need some more recommendations, you are always welcome to contact me. Wishing you a happy and warm summer ahead!
To get in touch with Sara, email firstname.lastname@example.org