New Year’s Day 2014 is Israel may not be the milestone that it is elsewhere. But we’re lucky here, since our two new years offer plenty of opportunities to try something new.

If you’re not the resolutions type, don’t worry, we’re not holding you to anything. And if you didn’t have any ideas in mind, we’ve got a few.

This week, the top five ways of starting out your new year. Happy 2014.

1) It’s a time of year when we crave carbs, whether for breakfast or dinner. That could mean it’s time for some pancakes, according to Lori Rapp, a former caterer and chef in Jerusalem. Specifically, buckwheat pancakes, a healthier version of the breakfast standard and actually a lot closer to a crepe than the thicker circle of a pancake. She recommends trying them as a savory appetizer, filled with sauteed mushrooms and onions, Swiss chard or pumpkin.

Buckwheat Crepes

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk or almond milk (Rapp doesn’t like soy milk)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup regular flour
  • ¼ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  1. Whisk or blend everything together and let sit one hour.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of canola oil in a frying pan, and then pour spoonfuls of batter for small or large crepes.
One of "The Redheads", by Nurit Ben Sheetrit (Courtesy Nurit Ben Sheetrit)

One of ‘The Redheads’ by Nurit Ben Sheetrit (Courtesy Nurit Ben Sheetrit)

2) Looking for some culture? You’ve got a few options. The Israel Museum’s King Herod exhibit is open through January 4, and if you haven’t seen it yet, get over there. It’s worth it. January 1 marks the opening of the “Redheads” exhibit at Tel Aviv Dizengoff Center, showing photographer Nurit Ben Sheetrit’s 150 photographs of redheads. The Wednesday night, January 1, opening included the presence of the redhead models and cocktail snacks in hues of red and orange. The exhibit will be open throughout January, entrance is free.

3) How about partying outside of Israel? Word has it that Prague, like Tel Aviv, is a clubber’s dream, and now Central Europe’s discount airline, Wizz Air, is offering €59.99 one-way tickets on their new Tel Aviv-Prague route starting December 31. Flights will be available three times a week. While you can only bring along a small carry-on, what else do you need for a quick trip to Prague?

NPR's 'This American Life' host Ira Glass touts 'Israel Story' (Courtesy Indiegogo)

NPR’s ‘This American Life’ host Ira Glass touts ‘Israel Story’ (Courtesy Indiegogo)

4) We hear that 2014 is going to be a big radio year, or at least that’s the word among the “Israel Story” crew, the local version of NPR’s “This American Life.” The four founders of Israel Story shamelessly stole this fabulous podcast concept and, with the blessing of the NPR team, broadcast it locally on Army Radio last summer. Now they’re doing it again, raising money in an Indiegogo campaign, with the plan of producing an Israel Story mini-season, in English. It’s all happening in 2014.

Feeling the creativity in Madelyn Kent's writing workshop (Courtesy Creative-Writing Israel)

Feeling the creativity in Madelyn Kent’s writing workshop (Courtesy Creative-Writing Israel)

5) Got a dream of writing a book? People swear by Sense Writing, the innovative approach of award-winning playwright Madelyn Kent using the principles of Feldenkreis, a movement method, to urge writers to self-observe and get their creative juices flowing. Kent will be in Israel this winter teaching weekly classes in English in Jerusalem and in English and Hebrew in Tel Aviv, starting January 6. If you can’t make it to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, Kent also offers one-on-one workshops via Skype, and teaches her method in classes and retreats worldwide. Check out her website and Facebook page for more information and prices.