• Asya Zlatina

KOSHERATI: A Peace Deal in the Kitchen

Ok, so you have heard of “Kosher", but have you heard of “Kosherati”? You might just learn a little something about it on November 5.


Jewish culture has a long-standing and ancient history in the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf countries, but often gets overlooked in the United States due to the history of immigration and subsequent familiarity. But “Kosherati”, an event presented by the Gil Travel Group, will dive right into connecting those Gulf cultures with Dr. Elli Kriel, a successful entrepreneur and pioneer of combining Emirati foods with Jewish flavors. A long-time resident of Dubai, she will be teaching how to make a delicious date Challah, and talk about her life in the Emirates as a Jew.

To the average American, “Challah” bread is something well-known, often associated with Jewish people and the Sabbath. It has made its way to many a table, through home-baking, delightful bread baskets and fancy brunch French toasts. To many Jewish Americans, “Challah” is a way of life, a Friday treat and link to ancestors, with many generations passing on their secrets, recipes and stories to younger kin.

The Gil Travel Group owner and CEO, Iris Hami, is really looking forward to the event, particularly the way it highlights those specific Jewish traditions of the Emirates region. The event will be an uplifting moment among the gloom of COVID changes. “Being in business for almost 50 years, the Gil Travel Group has had its share of ups and downs”, Hami says, citing Israel wars, 9/11 and other challenges as some of the more difficult times. But nothing like the pandemic we are experiencing today has ever touched the company. While Hami felt the mounting pressure of setbacks and uncertainty that rocked the travel and tourism industry, she and her team were determined to get creative and find a solution for moving forward. They didn’t lose time or opportunity, perfecting their processes while working on future programs. They created live virtual podcasts and tours with “different experts in Jewish culture around the world.” The group, with Iris and founder Igal Hami at the helm, looks to a safe and successful return, always checking the changing conditions for travel around the world. They are hopeful of the latest peace treaties in the Gulf and Middle East.


“I think that the world is tired of fighting…especially countries in the Middle East. Countries need to start sharing knowledge and resources, and the Emirates and Bahrain are the first.” She believes other countries will follow suit. While the long-term plan of peace is a hope and a dream we are all working to achieve, the big task ahead is overwhelming. It will truly take a collective national effort to continue heading in the direction of complete and lasting peace. But for now, let us start any way that we can - through the kitchen. “Each culture has a bit of a different version and we are excited to learn the Emirati version!”, says Hami.

To join the event, RSVP to rebeccas@giltravel.com to receive the Zoom link and Challah recipe. Prepare the ingredients, grab an apron and have fun!!

Event Thursday, November 5 at 8:30am EST.

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