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Welcome pack for Israelis booking last minute

 
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 614
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:47 pm    Post subject: Welcome pack for Israelis booking last minute Reply with quote

We have received a last minute booking through ABB for a group of Israelis arriving on Friday and are wondering about what to do with items for the welcome back that we normally give.

Back in 2005 our first booking was from a family of Americans living in Israel and silly us, we forgot food having to be KOSHER and just put milk, butter, ham, eggs, orange juice into the fridge and bread, wine, tea, coffee, cereals and jam into a basket onto the table.

I remember that the family didn't say anything but left all the non perishables unopened and believe must have thrown away most (all) of the articles in the fridge.
When we mentioned when they arrived about going to get a burger and fries from the fast food outlet in our village, the husband asked if we knew what kind of oil was used in the frying process. Unless it was a certain kind of oil, they couldn't eat it.

I said after they left to my OH that we should have just given them a bowl of fruit instead.

So, in order not to make a repeat of our previous mistakes in reference to kosher food, just what could we provide in the welcome pack? Our village store here does not have any kosher food, but is there anything that we could provide that is easily obtainable in a basic supermarket that they can also eat?

I remember that it is forbidden to place certain foods (believe meat and dairy products) together in a fridge. Same applies to a dishwasher as well, you have to place utensils used in the preparation of meat in a load separate from those used in preparing/storing dairy products. But we have no idea if all Israelis (or people of the Jewish faith) observe this.

The previous group were quite religious but we of course have no idea about these people arriving this Friday, so it is better to prepare the kitchen as though they are religious.

We're sure many holiday home owners wouldn't think of/remember this (maybe even bother!), but we just want to make them feel welcome and not insult them in any way.

Anyone got any advice?
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French Cricket



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3052
Location: French Pyrénées

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A tricky one, AngloDutch - but huge kudos to you for thinking about it and for caring - I suspect that 99 per cent of holiday home owners wouldn't.

We used to get Israeli diners at our restaurant in the UK sometimes because we were meat and fish free - they usually were not actually vegetarian but had learned that the only way they could eat safely in a mainstream place was by avoiding anywhere that served meat or fish. We usually cooked for them as we would for a vegan or at least dairy free - we couldn't even use eggs as we always used organic eggs and there would often we traces of blood in them, which is forbidden.

So I guess that would be my advice to you - to put together a lovely and pretty bowl of seasonal fruit and veg, maybe some nice grains if you can get them, some dark chocolate (dairy free) ... those kinds of things. I'm sure it would be appreciated, even if they're not observant.
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2750
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really have any knowledgeable advice I am afraid. But I would guess that the safest thing to do is forget the food (except for fruit and vegetables - jam perhaps?) and welcome them with vases of flowers instead? Of course in order to look welcoming you may want to put stuff in your basket so I would stick to non-perishables which they can either open or not so at least they don't get wasted as you guessed the fridge stuff did. You could have stuff ready in your own house fridge and just ask when they get there if they would like any of it, explaining that you weren't sure? It is a shame to waste food.

But if they are Orthodox they would actually need two fridges and since, you presumably do not advertise that you do provide two, I would assume that they are not that strict or they wouldn't have booked with you.

Edited to say -Ah - posting at the same time. I see that we both have the same sort of ideas.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5886
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you know if they are Jewish? Israel has large numbers of Christian, Islamic and non-religious people in the population, as well as Jewish. It's probably a minority who are Orthodox Jewish. My key recollection of a business trip some years ago was that the Israelis knew how to party...
Difficult trying to second-guess if your Israeli guests have any particular religious requirements and whether they'd be offended if you assumed they did, or offended if you assumed they didn't.

A neutral course perhaps!
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 614
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

French Cricket wrote:


So I guess that would be my advice to you - to put together a lovely and pretty bowl of seasonal fruit and veg, maybe some nice grains if you can get them, some dark chocolate (dairy free) ... those kinds of things. I'm sure it would be appreciated, even if they're not observant.


FelicityA wrote:
I don't really have any knowledgeable advice I am afraid. But I would guess that the safest thing to do is forget the food (except for fruit and vegetables - jam perhaps?) and welcome them with vases of flowers instead? Of course in order to look welcoming you may want to put stuff in your basket so I would stick to non-perishables which they can either open or not so at least they don't get wasted as you guessed the fridge stuff did. You could have stuff ready in your own house fridge and just ask when they get there if they would like any of it, explaining that you weren't sure? It is a shame to waste food.


Thanks, FC and Felicity. I suppose that you can’t go wrong with fruit but maybe as Felicity says go for the non-foods such as flowers. Maybe it would be better to contact them before arrival to ask if there is anything from the welcome pack that they would like, or if we can offer them anything else instead.
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 614
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

greenbarn wrote:
Do you know if they are Jewish? Israel has large numbers of Christian, Islamic and non-religious people in the population, as well as Jewish. It's probably a minority who are Orthodox Jewish. My key recollection of a business trip some years ago was that the Israelis knew how to party...
Difficult trying to second-guess if your Israeli guests have any particular religious requirements and whether they'd be offended if you assumed they did, or offended if you assumed they didn't.

A neutral course perhaps!


With info gained from their ABB account, they are originally from NC, USA but live in Israel. Looking at their names, most definitely Jewish. We will most certainly leave out the meat and dairy products, as that would be a definite 'no'. But not even sure about the bottle of wine now.....will definitely send them an email to ask what they would/would not like.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5886
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AngloDutch wrote:

With info gained from their ABB account, they are originally from NC, USA but live in Israel. Looking at their names, most definitely Jewish. We will most certainly leave out the meat and dairy products, as that would be a definite 'no'. But not even sure about the bottle of wine now.....will definitely send them an email to ask what they would/would not like.


I'd go along with your detective work there! It points to their being committed Jews, so I imagine they'd appreciate your asking them.
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PW in Polemi



Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 1731
Location: A village in Paphos, Cyprus

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the contents of your welcome pack are detailed on your listing, surely if there was something in there that would offend them, they would have mentioned it?

However, I think it's a good idea to contact them and ask if they're happy with the contents of the WP or perhaps they'd prefer more fruit/veg/grains instead of meat/dairy. We had a couple from Israel (used to live in USA) and they used the milk & butter, and appreciated our directions to a good local taverna that serves a lovely selection of vegetarian dishes.

As has been said, if they were strict Orthodox, I would not expect them to book without querying the fridge/utensils meat/dairy cross-contamination problem.
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Boomhulay



Joined: 09 Mar 2016
Posts: 30
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've had a few guests from Israel and quite a few Jewish guests from the US. We always stock the fridge with bread, butter, milk, eggs, orange juice and bacon, plus we supply a packet of assorted cereals. When we suspect guests might be Jewish (or, Muslim), we just swap the bacon for a packet of good cheddar. So far nobody has complained and even when they've not used certain items, they're always happy to have something that they can snack on.
If they were really orthodox, they'd probably email with requests about what is, or isn't supplied, or just stay elsewhere.
I always put fresh flowers in the hallway and right now with all the dreary rain and cloudy days, it's a good way to make people feel more at home as they walk through the door.
I never leave wine, or beer, unless the guests have mentioned it's a special occasion and asked about local pubs, then I might leave a bottle of wine and/or a small cake. Some religious people don't like booze and some can't get enough of it!
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 614
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

Well, they replied on Friday saying they eat everything and they left quite early this morning, so were with us just a very short time (they were four guys who had flown in for the local TT races taking place over this weekend).

The only thing they didn't touch were three cans of Belgium beer that we had put in the fridge. The bottle of white wine was nowhere to be seen when we went to clear out the empties this morning, but I did notice when they came back quite late last night that the guy driving seemed to have had one too many!
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Frenchlady



Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 112
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When in Rome ...... we have had guests from Israel and our Brit guests who were in situ at the time said he thought we should not put out the cold meats for breakfast. Our reply was that they are for other guests too and they do not have to eat them .... you have guessed it, they got stuck in and ate everything. They actually said that when in Europe they do not worry ...... !!!!!
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13112
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do recall a previous poster who had Orthodox guests, they required their own set of pans as they couldn't cook food in ones that others may have cooked non-kosher items in.
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Annew



Joined: 04 Nov 2009
Posts: 908
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HelenB wrote:
I do recall a previous poster who had Orthodox guests, they required their own set of pans as they couldn't cook food in ones that others may have cooked non-kosher items in.


I think that was me HelenB.

The guests in question brought all their own pans and utensils. I learnt a huge amount from their visit about Orthodox Jews, particularly about using electricity on Shabbat (they weren't even allowed to open the fridge!) Up until then I had naively presumed that Orthodox customs and rules just applied to food.

I do have a good friend who is Jewish who regularly enjoys a bacon sandwich or a full english breakfast!
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 614
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember when I visited Israel now more than a quarter of a century ago that I had not reckoned on how everything just shuts down between Friday and Saturday evening.
At the time I thought that it would be best to head to an American hotel in West Jerusalem to try and get something to eat. In the Sheraton I was told by a girl at the reception that they were not able to cook or use a microwave, so all they could offer were sandwiches and profiteroles with cold chocolate sauce.
She told me that it would show in the English-language newspapers where tourists could go to get something to eat during Shabbat. I remember smiling and saying to her that I hadn't been able to find anywhere open to buy a newspaper Laughing
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