MasterChef – IDF style

Young American chefs participating in Taglit program prepare culinary treats for Nahal soldiers near Gaza

Date: 23/02/2012, 3:27 PM     Author: Florit Shoihet

After the rockets and Qassams that fell in southern Israel last weekend, Nahal Brigade soldiers manning the border with the Gaza Strip were rejuvenated by a special initiative. At the start of the week, a delegation of American Jewish chefs participating in the Taglit program took over the kitchens at the Nahal Oz and Kissufim military positions and spiced up the menu with an assortment of culinary delights.

“The whole thing was a big surprise for us and it was a real treat,” said Sergeant Josh Friedman, himself an immigrant from the U.S.  “There is no doubt that it was a real upgrade from the regular military kitchen that we’re used to. We could feel that everything was cooked with great love. As a soldier who immigrated to Israel, it touched me personally.”

MasterChef – IDF style

Every year, tens of thousands young Jews from around the world visit Israel and tour Jewish heritage sites through the Taglit program. The purpose of Taglit is to strengthen both the Jewish identity of the participants and their connection to Israel as well as to facilitate encounters between Jews from abroad and their Israeli peers.

“We’ve never cooked for soldiers before, but this could be one of the most significant meals that we’ve prepared,” said one of the American chefs. “We’re hoping that the soldiers will love what we’ve made for them.”