The recipes Israel’s late first lady Nechama Rivlin left behind were written over decades on simple index cards. The collection of thousands of recipes reflects the impact of historical and economic processes on the everyday life of Israelis, from the austerity period in the 1950s to the economic boom and growth of the global consumer culture. It allows us a close look at the dishes that ultimately joined the contemporary Israeli culinary canon. We can see the impact of local Palestinian cuisine and inspiration drawn from the kitchens of different Jewish communities that would become integral to Israeli home cooking.
Looking through the recipes, several themes emerge: The Jerusalem kitchen, citrus, and the use of herbs were all close to Nechama’s heart and became integral parts of her kitchen.