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March 14, 2011 8:51 pm

Israeli Consulate Celebrates Sensational Women

avatar by Maxine Dovere

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For many who came to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Woman’s Day at a distaff breakfast hosted by the Israeli Consulate in New York, the journey to the Lower East Side may have waxed nostalgic.   Memories endured of the “bubies” and“tantes“ – immigrants living in tenements now gentrified and designated “Nolita” – who considered simply having sufficient food on their tables the height of feminine achievement.

Not so the group of accomplished professionals – writers, commentators, chefs – invited to mark the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day at “Balaboosta,” a restaurant created by Israeli chef Einat Admony.  “Boomers” among the group might remember the fragrances of barrel pickles or fresh bialys wafting through the morning air, or haggling about the price of socks or curtains on Orchard Street or bridal gowns sown by Rosa the Dressmaker on Grand.  New comers to this former land of lox and bagels might need a roadmap to understand the area’s history.  A visit to the Tenement Museum would prove informative.

Celebrating a century of women’s achievement at a “critically acclaimed downtown restaurant” called Balaboosta – translated from Yiddish as “the perfect housewife” encouraged a whirlwind of memories and vivid imagery.  The menu was not what most “balaboostas“ this writer remembers would have been likely to table: pomegranate mimosas set the mood, hummus, several varieties of bourekas, leben, and a perfect shakshuka, (eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce) followed.  Rich, nutty baklava completed the feast.  When the balaboosta in charge is Einat Admony, the restaurant’s Iranian/Yemenite Israeli female owner/chef, everything is delectable.  Though this may not your Bubie’s breakfast – ess mine kinde, ess!

Food is clearly an important component of a great dining; adding the additional elements of great company – extraordinary women who are leaders in their fields – and good music makes the repast all the more tasty.  The excellent jazz played by the duo (dua?) of clarinetist Anat Cohen and guitarist Dida Pelled highlighted the event.  “The Consulate General of Israel in New York is happy that we had the opportunity to honor these great women by organizing a women’s breakfast which celebrated their contributions.  We hope to make this an annual event,” said Consul General Ido Aharoni.   “Women,” said the organizers “are now running the show.”

Guests included (from left) Lisa Koenig, cookbook author and writer, Sharon Regev (in red) Consul for Public Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York, Rachelle Pachtman, President Pachtman Communications, Rozanne Gold, renowned chef, author and international food and restaurant consultant, and Michal Cafri, a member of Israel Women's Network. Photo: Maxine Dovere

Balaboosta Chef and Owner Einat Admony treated women celebrating the 100th Anniversary of International Women's day to a variety of delicious borekas - straight from the oven. Photo: Maxine Dovere

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