A Conversation With Tal Nimrodi

by | Jan 5, 2018 | Food, Hillel Ontario, Israel, Uncategorized | 0 comments

 

Thanks to our new initiative Unbox Israel, which is made possible by Matana and CIJA, our students receive a box filled with different Israeli goods each month. In November our campuses received a box filled with delicious nut-butters from the Israeli company RUSTYS nut-butters and treats. We were lucky to be able to interview Tal Nimrodi, the founder of RUSTYS. As a one-woman show, she sources, produces, and distributes her products to stores around Israel – read on to find out more about her story!

Hillel Ontario: How did RUSTYS begin? What got you interested in this line of work?
Tal Nimrodi: I used to cycle a lot and I was always looking for something that was both healthy and delicious. That’s how I started making RUSTYS in my kitchen in Tel Aviv.

HO: What is the impact RUSTYS has on the Israeli society?
TN: We use locally sourced nuts to help promote local agriculture and promote the use of good ingredients in everyday food. We are helping people make healthier eating choices and promote fitness, sustainability and health through the different workshops and events we do around Israel.

HO: How many employees do you have? Can you tell us more about your team?
TN: I have 1 full-time employee who is currently studying to be a naturopath. She lives in Beit Yehoshua and is very passionate about eating healthy and using food as medicine. In addition to that, we have a team in the north of Israel producing our products for us.

HO: What is the mission and the vision of RUSTYS?
TN: Our mission is to put nature’s goodness in jars so that all consumers can enjoy and indulge real food. Our vision is to be a strong brand that is associated with creativity, fun, delicious and nutrition choices for every day busy people.

HO: What differentiates you from other nut-butter producers?
TN: We use raw almonds and roasted peanuts from Israel and we stone grind them, combining them with organic flavors from around the world to celebrate natures’ ingredients and their source.

HO: Where do you see RUSTYS in the future?
TN: We are hoping to span out across all of Israel and are hoping to also start selling online in the US and Canada and focusing on our Mediterranean story of local and organic products that are delicious and don’t compromise on taste.

HO: Is there anything else you want to share with us?
TN: We believe in a full-circle system where we use locally sourced ingredients that come from the earth and in turn, we want to give back to that system by providing educational programs. You can check out our website to read more of the story behind our products.

HO: Thanks so much Tal for taking your time to work with us! Please let us know when you expand to Canada, so we can make sure our students know where they can purchase your products.

 

Stronger Together!

Stronger Together!

Over this past Family Day Weekend, I spent a lot of time reflecting both about the challenges we face, but also about the incredible strength and resiliency of this community. Jewish students are often at the forefront of hate and discrimination on campus and online, but we are at our most powerful – and most effective – when we work together as one.

With that in mind, I want to provide several important advocacy updates.

First, I am excited to share that Hillel Ontario has begun convening meetings to coordinate advocacy initiatives amongst Jewish campus organizations across the country. The time has come for Hillel Ontario to lead the way in encouraging cooperation to accomplish the goals we collectively share. Joining us in these monthly discussions are Hillel Montreal, Hillel BC, Hillel Ottawa, CJPAC, Hasbara Fellowships and StandWithUs. We appreciate their willingness to engage with us in these important conversations.

Second, I want to update you on the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) matter that galvanized much community discussion last week. In addition to endorsing a motion to divest from companies doing business in Israel, the union misrepresented the recently released report of the Antisemitism Working Group and its approach to what does or does not constitute antisemitism. Hillel views these type of divestment motions as part of a wider issue of antisemitism on campus, and we have made that point clearly and consistently to university leadership and members of the Working Group for the better part of the past year.

Late Friday, Working Group members released an important statement, which both criticized the rhetoric of union leaders, and vindicated our belief that hate speech directed at Israel, Israelis or Jews based on actions (real or imagined) of the Israeli government is antisemitism. This is an important moment; one that underscores why our approach to these issues, and the allies we foster across campus are so critical. While we may not be able to stop every divestment motion from passing, we can – and we will continue to – have our voices heard by university leadership to ensure antisemitism remains on the margins. This is precisely what happened last week at the UofT.

Jewish students deserve to study, live and socialize in an environment free from harassment and discrimination. Hillel will continue to condemn antisemitism, defend Israel and our right to self-determination, and build essential relationships on campus to secure the well-being of the students we so proudly serve.

And, we will do so in concert with our allies; because we believe we are stronger together.

Sincerely,

Jay Solomon
Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer

Nature vs. Nurture, and Nate Deserves Our Anger

Nature vs. Nurture, and Nate Deserves Our Anger

Weekly D’var: Toldot 5782 by Scott Goldstein

[Warning: Ted Lasso show spoiler] I just finished watching the second season of Ted Lasso, and I cannot get the image of the finale out of my head. Haven’t seen it yet? That’s ok, I’ll recap part of this week’s Torah portion as you go catch up and then tie it in at the end for when you get back.

When not detailing the intricate politics of well-digging and water rights, this week’s Torah portion takes some time to highlight our favourite biblical twins – Jacob and Esav (a.k.a. Esau). Some may even refer to this as the first twin study on “Nature vs. Nurture” (shoutout to my psychology peeps) ever recorded. We are presented with brothers that were raised in the same environment but turned out to be polar opposites. I’ll let you read the riveting stories of birthright transactions and elaborate deceptions on your own, but the narrative we are presented with is clear: Jacob is good, and Esav is bad. Here’s the problem I had with this narrative: If Esav was raised in a good environment, but still did bad things, then is the Torah telling us that our destiny is sealed by nature?

I just finished watching Ted Lasso, and I cannot help but think about how loveable Nate (played by Nick Mohammed) is a perfect example of what I think our Torah portion is trying to tell us. Ted Lasso (played masterfully by Jason Sudeikis) created a nurturing environment where Nate could grow from invisible kit manager to assistant coach that everyone loves. Despite all that, it comes down to the decisions Nate made to allow jealousy to influence his actions, leading him to leave Richmond FC and betray his teammates by joining West Ham United.

I think the story we read in the Torah is reminding us that both nature and nurture are really important (just as science does), but our decisions, ultimately, are our own. Whether it’s Esav going down in history as the ultimate example of bad decision-making or Nate likely being the reason we see Ted cry next season, the lesson is clear… be like Jacob because we can make good decisions no matter the circumstances.

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