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.

 

Something New

Something New

The fall post-holiday period is always a good time for launching new things. To the extent we’re not completely exhausted, our five-day work weeks are back (instead of five days of work crammed into three-day weeks), and we’re able to get into something of a rhythm and build momentum in moving toward specific goals.

Adding to the sense of newness and adventure, the third post-holidays Torah portion of Lekh Lekha, which was read this past Shabbat, begins with Abraham receiving divine instructions to leave his home and begin a journey to a new land.  Commentators highlight the uncertainty inherent in the command’s wording: instead of being directed to a specific place, Abraham, at least initially, is told to go “to the land that I will show you,” a vague and undisclosed destination. While he is promised blessings galore for his obedience, setting out requires an element of faith and quite a bit of trust as he leaves his home land and father’s house for somewhere new.

While it’s certainly several orders of magnitude smaller than the journey Abraham undertook, Hillel Ontario is trying something new this week: we’re introducing a new section to our regular newsletters and will be including a d’var Torah to showcase our students’ and staff’s skills and present our readers with a bit of Jewish learning. We hope you’ll find these commentaries inspiring and meaningful and that they’ll provide a glimpse of the Hillel Ontario community that spans our nine campuses.

A Message from Hillel Ontario’s Student Presidents

A Message from Hillel Ontario’s Student Presidents

Dear students, parents, supporters, and other members of the Ontario Jewish community,

We are writing to you as the Hillel presidents representing nine universities across Ontario. 

We are often asked what it’s like to be a Jewish student on campus. And, in previous years, we would have taken a more upbeat approach to answering that question. The truth is that things have changed over the past 5 months.

Prior to this spring’s war in Israel, we had never experienced the level of vitriol and backlash that we did recently. We were caught off guard. Many Jewish students lost friendships and severed connections that had been created over many years. Our mental health was stretched to the limit; we have felt burnt out, isolated and anxious.  Even now, with autumn upon us, we are still feeling the exhausting effects of a summer spent advocating for the well-being of our fellow Jewish students. 

Walking back onto campus this week, it was difficult to see some students obviously (and understandably) anxious – both because of the pandemic, and because of the antisemitism Jewish students have experienced over the past several months. At the same time, we also feel more empowered than ever to proclaim pride in our Jewish identity, bolstered by the tremendous support we have felt from across the community.  

Whether you are a first year student, a parent, a sibling, an alum, or simply a member of the community concerned about what seems like an endless barrage of attacks aimed at Jewish students on campus, we want to assure you that as Hillel presidents, we are deeply committed to our roles and responsibilities. We hear your concerns. And, we are proud to serve the current and future Jewish students we support.  

We are working to build relationships with student governments, clubs, interfaith groups, faculty, and administrators on each of our campuses. We continue to empower our peers to learn, to educate, and to advocate for the issues close to our hearts. And, we continue to provide a safe and welcoming community for Jewish students, both on and off campus. 

We also seek to increase resources and staff available to our students so that no one feels unsupported or ill-prepared. We want Jewish students to feel like they can be their entire selves without having to hide a Magen David or avoid conversations about Judaism, Zionism or Israel. 

As we move into a new Jewish year and a new school year, we wish we could say with more certainty exactly what is to come in the next few months. However, it would be naive to do so. Instead, we would like to take this opportunity to commit to you that we will continue to have challenging, but necessary, dialogue with allies across campus. We will continue to support our peers when they feel uncomfortable. And, we will continue to ask for help when we need it. 

Time and time again, our collective history has proven that in a proud, empowered, and united community there is strength, and that from one another we can draw resilience. 

L’shana Haba on quieter, more inclusive campuses. 

Ariel Oren, Guelph Hillel
Evan Kanter, Hillel Student Leader Representative, Hillel UofT
Nathaniel Katz, Queen’s Hillel
Shira Miller, Hillel Laurier
Danielle Lebowitz, Hillel Waterloo
Hannah Silverman, McMaster Hillel
Jordan Goldenberg, Hillel Ryerson
Isabel Borisov, Western Hillel
Nicole Bodenstein, York Hillel

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