My Per­fect Day

Yakov Hadas-Handelsman

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

The Is­raeli am­bas­sador to Ger­many knows where to find the best hum­mus in town.

Many peo­ple draw par­al­lels be­tween Ber­lin and Tel Aviv. Do you think this is true?

Although the dif­fer­ences be­tween the two cities are quite ob­vi­ous – the pop­u­la­tion, the weather, Ber­lin’s lack of a real beach – there are also similarities. Tel Aviv and Ber­lin are both very open, lib­eral, and tol­er­ant. All sorts of peo­ple with dif­fer­ent back­grounds find a place to cre­ate and ex­press them­selves openly in the fields of cul­ture, science, and tech.

Why are so many Is­raelis mov­ing to Ber­lin?

Be­cause it gives them a va­ri­ety of op­por­tu­ni­ties. A lot of them come to study, to cre­ate, or sim­ply to en­joy life. An­other rea­son is the role Ber­lin played in Jewish his­tory and the way in which Ger­many has con­fronted its hor­rific past.

What sur­prised you most about Ber­lin when you moved here?

The en­ergy and open­ness of Ber­lin sur­prised me, as well as the changes since I first vis­ited in 1985. I was also sur­prised by the big role the past and es­pe­cially Jewish life still play to­day and how they shape the iden­tity of the city.

What is your fa­vorite place in the city to ex­pe­ri­ence cul­ture, whether art, mu­sic, or oth­er­wise?

My fa­vorite places are Ber­lin's mu­se­ums, es­pe­cially those on Mu­seum Is­land. I love go­ing to the Olympias­ta­dion to watch soc­cer games, and last but not least, I like go­ing to con­certs, whether it be at the Phil­har­monie, the Konz­erthaus, O2 World, or the Wald­bühne.

Where do you take friends when they come to visit?

Ev­ery­where! I try to cover all the his­tor­i­cal sites, as there is a lot to see – sites re­lated to the Nazi time or the di­vi­sion of the city, for in­stance. There are also other in­ter­est­ing sites such as the Re­ich­stag as an ar­chi­tec­tural land­mark. And I try to show them a glimpse of all the cul­tural events Ber­lin has to of­fer, in­clud­ing the gourmet as­pect.

Ber­lin is one of Europe's food cap­i­tals. What are your fa­vorite gourmet in­dul­gences here?

I agree, Ber­lin is a culi­nary cap­i­tal for sure. There is some­thing for every­body, with a va­ri­ety of good food. My fa­vorite picks are Sababa in Pren­zlauer Berg for Is­raeli hum­mus (Kas­tanien­allee 50), NU for Asian food (Sch­lüter­str. 55), and NENI (in the 25hours Ho­tel). But it is a dif­fi­cult choice.

Do you have any spe­cific sug­ges­tions for his­tory lovers vis­it­ing Ber­lin?

Ber­lin is so full of his­tory – every­body can find some­thing that will suit his or her in­ter­ests.

What do you like to do in Ber­lin when you are not work­ing?

I love strolling through the streets, look­ing at shops and mar­kets, and rid­ing my bike if the weather per­mits.

Sabich at NENI

Char­lot­ten­burg Palace

The Konz­erthaus

The beach in Tel Aviv

The Re­ich­stag at night

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