Break out of the routine with these Friday outings
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Break out of the routine with these Friday outings

Take some time to relax and do something fun

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

In the kayak (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash 90)
In the kayak (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash 90)

It’s just about Friday, finally. For those preparing familial Friday night meals or facing a myriad of household chores left from the crowded week, Fridays can be short, too short, with little time to relax and enjoy the weekend mode. That said, it’s important to take advantage of Friday and think of it as a day off, not a work day, particularly for Sabbath observers who may relax on Saturday but not get a chance to get out and do something different.

Here are five suggestions for activities that can done on a Friday, some requiring more of a time commitment than others, but all offering a break from the routine of the week.

Chutney and cheese at Shvil Izim (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)
Chutney and cheese at Shvil Izim (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

1) Breakfast out on a Friday is an easy way to build in a relaxing start to the weekend, and everyone has their neighborhood cafe where they can rely on good coffee and menu options. If you’re looking for a change of pace, head to Shvil Izim, a goat farm and cafe located on Moshav Tal Shahar with a slightly different spin to the standard breakfast fare. Like many moshav communities, Tal Shachar hasn’t abandoned agriculture, but has turned its hen houses and cowsheds into artisanal cheese ventures and boutique wineries.

This family-run goat farm specializes in its own goat cheeses, including a Gouda, a well-reviewed Manchego and their own Soreq, named for the region in which they’re located, as well as soft feta, labneh or yogurt cheese, Camembert and yogurts, all produced from milk from a 100-goat herd. Enjoy a cheese plate or bowl of soup at the café next to the goat shed or have them pack a picnic for you.

Shvil Izim (kosher), Moshav Tal Shahar, 052-258-9900

In the kayak (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash 90)
In the kayak (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash 90)

2) Feel the need to work your muscles? Consider dedicating six Fridays to learning how to kayak the Mediterranean Sea, with instruction from the buff team at Terra Santa Kayak Expeditions. With locations at the Herzliya, Ashdod and Acre marinas, the basic kayak course offers a total of 12 sea hours as well as a free trial class, so that newcomers can get the feel of the kayak and see if it suits them. If Friday doesn’t work for you, there are courses held throughout the week as well.

Terra Santa, Saggi Nechushtan 054-481-6885

Andi Arnovitz, Dress of the Unfaithful Wife (Courtesy Ein Harod)
Andi Arnovitz, Dress of the Unfaithful Wife (Courtesy Ein Harod)

3) For a northern adventure, head to the Museum of Art at Ein Harod, where the current exhibit features Jewish feminist art by women who come from a traditional Jewish background. Titled “Matronita: Jewish Feminist Art” by its curators, Dvora Liss and David Sperber, the exhibition deals with the subjects that are unique to the Jewish female experience, including nidda and mikveh immersion, covering hair, the problem of the aguna and infertility, women’s prayer and study. It’s a thought-provoking and emotional exhibit and sure to spur conversation at the Friday night table.

Museum of Art, Ein Harod, 04-653-1670; open Friday, 9-1; Saturday 10-4:30; Sunday to Thursday, 9-4:30

4) It’s fun to happen upon a farmer’s stand or market while tooling along a country road, but the upcoming farmer’s market being hosted next Friday by the Saslove Winery is worth a special trip. Featuring organic bakers, cheesemakers, vegan chefs and unique books, the sale will be set outside the winery’s visitor’s center, where you can always pick up a bottle of wine as well.

Friday, March 30, 10-2, Saslove Winery, Kibbutz Eyal, 09-749-2697

Almond trees in the Judean Hills (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)
Almond trees in the Judean Hills (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)

5) If you’re seeking the winding curves and green hills more familiar to Switzerland or Tuscany, take a leisurely drive to United States Independence Park outside Jerusalem, and be sure to wander the park itself, which is situated in the Judean Hills between two nature reserves, Nahal Soreq and Nahal Dolev. There are several routes of varying difficulty that can be hiked or biked and just a short jaunt into one end brings walkers through a verdant meadow of green grass and wildflowers at this time of year. Stop and have a drink or bite to eat at Bar Bahar (Bar on the Hill, not kosher), the comfortable cafe next to the visitor’s center that offers a wonderful, calming view of the hills beyond.

Route 38, just past the Nes Harim intersection

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