Destination Weddings In Israel will be boosted by Israel’s marketing budget boost

Destination Weddings In Israel will be boosted by Israel’s marketing budget boost

Destination Weddings in Israel

Reposted from Arutz Sheva

Israel Set to Spend Millions Marketing Tourism By December

Between now and the end of the year Israel’s Tourism Ministry will have spent more than NIS 40 million on marketing the nation abroad.
By Chana Ya’ar

First Publish: 9/19/2011, 1:13 AM
Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah
Israel news photo

If all goes well, between now and the end of the year Israel’s Tourism Ministry will have spent more than NIS 40 million on marketing the nation abroad.

Israel’s “autumn flush” is being seen as an investment in the country’s economy, with an eye toward creating continuity in marketing activities abroad.

The outreach to potential tourists and building an increase in tourism traffic to the Jewish State, while establishing the country as an attractive tourism destination, is part of the ministry’s 2011 work plan, according to a statement issued Sunday.

The ministry has budgeted some NIS 260 million for marketing activities alone, a smart investment when one considers the return.

From January to August of this year, 2.2 million tourists have visited Israel, just two percent fewer than last year in the same period.

Income from incoming tourism alone during the first half of the year has increased by 15 percent, to some NIS 8.2 billion, as compared to NIS 7.1 billion for the same period a year earlier. This figure does not include income from flights.

Countries being targeted in the current campaign include the United States, followed by Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Scandinavian nations, in conjunction with marketing activities in countries that have recently become interested in Israel, such as Poland and Brazil.

“The autumn tourism season is an attractive time of year to travel to Israel, and the Ministry of Tourism’s offices abroad are working toward increasing demand to visit Israel,” noted Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov.

“The stability of incoming tourism, despite economic and political events, both regionally and internationally, presents an important economic anchor contributing to the Israeli economy both in income and employment.”

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Jewish Event Planning 101 – High Style Events Tips article from In Fashion Magazine

Jewish Event Planning 101 – High Style Events Tips article from In Fashion Magazine

High Style Events article - In FashionOur High Style Events division had our High Styled Tips article published in the premier Jewish magazine for the affluent Jewish household, In Fashion Magazine ( We’ve included the entire tips in our blog but if you can pick up the magazine, that’s even better! We look forward to placing our stamp of High Style on your event!


High Style Events Article

| In Fashion Magazine |

When it comes to special events, we love to High Style them. We believe your event is one of a kind and should reflect that uniqueness every step of the way, from concept to completion. So we’re sharing some of our favorite High Styled ideas that we’ve
innovated and come across that can really turn your event into an extraordinary

Go Stylish on Your Placecards

Make a first and lasting an impression with customized placecards. We know of a wedding where the placecards were tiny customized Tiffany boxes for
each attendee – if you receive a Tiffany’s box as your placecard, you KNOW
uniqueness – for non-profit gala dinners, try a hinting yet playful money
clip placecard holder. For corporate or trade show events, we love a
customized MingleStick (check it out on our Facebook page, High Style
Events). For social events, a tiny picture frame with the attendee’s pictures is a glorious, welcoming, and personal touch.

Tailor Your Man
Women go to far lengths to tailor their dresses and outfits for a special
event. Three to five dress fittings for a wedding gown, mother of the
bride, or Bat Mitvah dress is standard procedure. But nothing is more asymmetrical than a elegantly dressed woman and blandly dressed man. Take  the time to ensure your husband, son, or fiancé dresses PERFECTLY. For
your man, remember: the suit could be the most expensive suit or tuxedo in
all of New York but if it doesn’t fit well on him, you’re wasting your
money. Buying an affordable fitted suit from Zara or Calving Klein is step one and tailoring it even more perfectly is step two. Plus, don’t solely
rely on the tailors at department stores like Lord & Taylor or Saks with promises of free tailoring with a suit purchase – take your suit to a trusted tailor that you know can make it perfect. Same with tuxedos – get your tailor to look at it and see it on you before you buy or rent. Add even more High Style – if you’re getting a custom-made dress designed, ask your tailor to use the extra fabric swatches and design a matching tie or pocket square, even for a cummerbund, for your special man. Nothings says stylish more than two well-dressed (and matching!) people.

Ditch the Keyboard. Go for a DJ.
For smaller events where orchestra’s just don’t make sense, party like
it’s 2011. Ditch the one man band and singer/keyboardist and go for the
     DJ. DJ’s have numerous musical styles available to them at the push of a
button – Sephardic, Fusion, Rock, Dance, etc – and are in the same price
range as a keyboardist anyway. The difference – DJ’s up the “cool factor”
by a thousand percent and dictate the party mode of the event much better.
No disrespect to keyboardists (keyboards went out of style back in the
1990’s along with SmashMouth and Genesis) but I haven’t heard anyone come
to an event and say “Wow, you have a keyboardist!”; they say “Wow, you got
a DJ!” And at your event, we know you want to have that “WOW Factor”.

High Style Tip of the Month – The Wedding Interior Designer

Go the extra mile and hire an
     interior designer to oversee your entire venue and recommend stylish
     elements. For people getting married in special venues (catering halls,
country club, etc), the venue is pre-designed for elegance so all you need
to add is your extra bit of style to accentuate the venue’s elegance.
However, for those getting married in Synagogues or other locations
designed for usefulness, placing just flowers throughout simply won’t High
Style your event to reflect your uniqueness. So we recommend going the
extra mile and hiring an interior designer to see what stylish elements
can be added to really make your event extremely stylish. Some floral
decorators offer this service but, as you’ll see in the next tip,
specialized means customized (and you won’t necessarily pay more at all).

Specialized means Customized
We’ve met so many vendors who tack on different tasks in order to offer
more than what they normally do. For example: Florists & Caterers.
Caterers & Event Planners. Musicians & Photography. Photography
& Carpet Cleaning. Chuppah Designers & Coffin Designers (don’t
hire these guys!). Basically, they add more services in order to increase
revenue but remember – the more un-specialized, the less you can
customize. If they don’t specialize in one task, they can’t excel in the
     one task you really want them to do. Caterers should focus on amazing
food, not  Find specialists and you can tell them EXACTLY what you
would like so they can customize the event to you and EXCEL in it. Don’t
you deserve customized service at your special event? We know you do.

With these tips, now you can start putting a stamp of High Style on your special event!

Olivia Bondarsky is the highly experienced Lead Event Planner at High Style
Events, a team of Jewish event planners specializing in the Jewish event. Like
Us on Facebook ( and be automatically entered for a chance to win a $150 Gift Card to Glatt A La Carte. Our treat! Call us at 347.433.4276 or 201.357.2622 or Visit us at for more information and “High Style” Tips!

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German town hosts first Jewish wedding in 70 years

German town hosts first Jewish wedding in 70 years

Jewish Event Planning 101 – The Other Wedding Parties – Sheva Brocha, Aufruf, and Shabbat Kallah

Jewish Event Planning 101 – The Other Wedding Parties – Sheva Brocha, Aufruf, and Shabbat Kallah

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The Other Parties: Sheva Brachot, Aufruf, and Shabbat Kallah

There’s much more to a Jewish Orthodox wedding than just the day-of. Like American weddings with rehearsal dinners and bachelor parties, the Jewish Orthodox wedding has their own brand of before- and after-parties. Let’s talk about the other parties associated with a Jewish wedding:

Sheva Brachot

Crazy Seven Days of Post-Wedding Parties – The after-parties for the Jewish wedding go for 7 crazy days. Well, including the wedding day. As indicated by the Wikipedia post, there are seven blessings associated with a wedding and as a result, the tradition became to hold a small scale party for each day of the seven blessings.By small, I mean expect maybe 30-50 people per event, which is technically considered an intimate event.

What does this mean to you? Well, if you’re a venue or vendor who just managed to book a Jewish wedding client, why not offer the couple a discounted option for servicing their Sheva Brachot? Book up your venue or upsell your services through smaller events that are guaranteed to happen the next day! And for the next seven days. Booking up space at venues during the weekdays isn’t always easy so this is an easy guaranteed way to increase bookings of major and intimate Jewish events.


The Jewish Orthodox Bachelor Party – Yes, this sounds like a strange term to be associated with a wedding, but the Aufruf goes back for generations. Also referred to as Shabbat Hatan, the groom is called up to read or make a blessing by the Torah in the weekend before his big day. Candies are thrown, festive kiddushim (Jewish cocktail parties on Shabbat, substituting schnapps for the cocktail) are held, and the groom’s friends are hanging for one last time together!

What does this mean to you? Well, you’re kind of roadblocked in a lot of services for this event. Aufruf’s take place on Shabbat so no photography or electronics are generally used. but independent caterers can really benefit from the Aufruf. Serving a small crowd of Aufruf attendee’s is a great way to showcase your food and get word of mouth generating for your small catering business. Decor and save the dates are also great services to provide for the Aufruf. Remember, the Aufruf takes place the weekend before the big day so if you’ve been booked to handle the catering, or invitations, or decor for the wedding in advance, do a follow up reminder about your services for the Aufruf.

Shabbat Kallah

Essentially, this is the same as an Aufruf, just this is for the bride. Why the seperation of the two parties? Excellent question. Let’s get romantic – aside from the idea of friends and family spending time with their bride and groom individually, the seperation is a traditional tool for promoting a sense of heightened love and desire between the bride and groom, who will eventually be “re-united” on their wedding day for the first time. And this doesn’t just take place at the Shabbat Kallah or Aufruf – some traditions say that the couple should seperate for a week in order to make the couple miss each other and anticipate their wedding day even more. Beautiful.

What does this mean to you? See Aufruf above!

I hope this gives you insight into the traditions and parties of the Jewish Orthodox Wedding. That’s the 411 on the Other Wedding Parties!

Henry Isaacs

Jewish Event Planning Tip – Hiring A Professional Event Planner

Jewish Event Planning Tip – Hiring A Professional Event Planner

Jewish Event Planning

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Hiring a Professional Event Planer: The Benefits

(Reposted from

Despite automation and technology, our days seem shorter than ever. Between work, school, family obligations, and social activity, the hours fly by. Are we going to find time to coordinate our wedding? Our son or daughters bar or bat mitzvah?

Well – help is here in the form of event planners. Professionals who do what they do best to make your celebration the most wonderful, memorable and as stress-free as possible.

What are the benefits to hiring a party planner professional?

Time, time, time… just think of the hours you WILL NOT have to invest in coordinating your affair. Not only will you save precious time by letting experts do your leg work, but good party planners are already knowledgeable about the best services out there. All you have to to is show up for appointments, approve designs, locations, menus, etc.
• Experienced and competent professionals have a portfolio of vendors that they have worked with in the past, and know to be competent and reliable.
• Party coordinators often get better rates, as they are in a stronger position to negotiate price.
• When you find the coordinator that is to your liking, you will find that he or she serves not only in contracting, overseeing, and coordinating your affair, but comes up with creative ideas to enhance yours.

Practical Advice – Questions You Want Answered – Check Lis
When hiring an Event Planner – you will be asked many questions about your preferences, budget, expectations, etc. But please remember, you are hiring and thus, you have the privilege and the obligation to determine whether the Event Planner is the right match for you. Be sure to consider the following:

• Are you and your planner on the same “wave length?” If you feel pushed, or coerced – this union is not for you.
• Make sure your coordinator understands your budget and sticks with it.
• Verify the Event Planners experience, contacts in the industry, negotiating power, ability understand contracts (so you are protected from hidden charges, or in case of default).
• Determine the extent of involvement of the Event Planner: In addition to basic coordination of location, catering, photography, music, which other services are included. i.e. – invitations, wedding attire, hands-on coordination at the event, thank you notes, honeymoon plans, etc. To avoid misunderstanding, your contract should DETAIL the services are included
• Discuss compensation in detail, and verify if there any hidden or extra charges, such as travel expenses, telephone, etc.
• Have everything documented in WRITING.

Henry Isaacs

We’d Love To Plan The Bris (Circumcision) For Natalie Portman’s Baby Boy!

We’d Love To Plan The Bris (Circumcision) For Natalie Portman’s Baby Boy!

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Jewish Marketing 101 – Modest Wedding Dresses Becoming In Style

Jewish Marketing 101 – Modest Wedding Dresses Becoming In Style

Modest Wedding Dress

Wedding fashion: Dare not to bare

By now, there’s little doubt that Kate Middleton‘s wedding gown was nothing short of a bridal fashion-quake — a long-sleeved, full-skirted rush of satin and lace that’s likely to sweep away the ubiquitous strapless silhouette in the same way that Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s unfettered slip dress made everyone forget those ’80s mega-poufs and faux tiaras.

But look more closely and you’ll see that the rise of the regal began well before Catherine ever set foot in Westminster Abbey in her fine-boned gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Coincidence? Prescience? Whatever you call it, a classic-but-modern sensibility is everywhere this spring, from Hollywood‘s red carpets (where stars likeMandy Moore and Scarlett Johansson looked wonderfully fresh at this year’s Academy Awards covering up their shoulders) to New York’s party scene (where sleeves-down-to-there abounded at last month’sCostume Institute gala honoring McQueen’s career) to the recent New York bridal runway shows (which offered a more-than-passing nod toGrace Kelly‘s 1956 Helen Rose gown, still the ultimate in wedding chic).

The first hint that designers were tiring of the strapless silhouette came nearly two years ago, when businesswoman and social princess Ivanka Trump chose a Vera Wang confection with illusion top and elbow-length sleeves that owed both its delicacy and its modesty to Kelly. In December, Nicole Richie‘s wedding dress was another homage to Grace, this one a stunning Marchesa with the sort of long sleeves that haven’t reigned since Priscilla married Elvis. This spring, Trump’s custom-made gown inspired the first White by Vera Wang collection, the designer’s new lower-priced line for David’s Bridal.

But it’s not just Hollywood — or British — royalty looking to cover up. Vassa Halatas, of WeddingDresser Couture by Vassa in Woodmere, noticed the bridal tide shifting last year. “They’re tired of the No. 1 most worn silhouette and are asking for higher, more creative necklines and sleeves — for the fashion statement, if nothing more,” says Halatas.

Where to begin your search? Yes, you can buy a surefire copy of Kate‘s proper princess. Even before William and Catherine said their I do’s, copyists, from ABS’ Allen B. Schwartz to Kleinfeld designers Michelle and Henry Roth, were working overtime to duplicate the dress. But, let’s be honest. Kate‘s look belongs to Kate. Why not let her have it, and make your very own princess statement. One of the most glamorous gowns of the season is Carolina Herrera‘s duchesse silk satin piece, with elbow-length sleeves and side panels. The dress evokes ’50s fashion priestessBabe Paley, who lived the theory that you can never be too rich or too thin. Oscar de la Renta‘s more embellished creations recall both princess brides and hippie brides, underscoring that there’s a covered-shouldered look for everyone.For those still eager to show off the fruits of their workouts, White by Vera Wang‘s detachable illusion top offers the option of a modest ceremony dress and a strapless silhouette for the party. (Come to think of it, isn’t that what Kate did?)

And, no, the new modesty doesn’t mean you have to forgo sexiness. “When you cover up one part of the body, you can reveal another,” says Modern Trousseau designer Callie Tien. Her solution: a dress with high neckline, long lace sleeves and super-short hemline. No doubt, your very own prince will approve.


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Jewish Event Planning 101 – Online matchmaker for couples and caterers

Jewish Event Planning 101 – Online matchmaker for couples and caterers

Jewish Matchmaking Online

Reposted from Newsday

Caterer Rhona Silver evokes more than a little of Joan Rivers — blond, brassy and more-than-a-bit biting. And like the legendary comedian, Silver, 59, is something of a trailblazer, as the quintessential party-giver (her last gig was running the behemoth Huntingtown Townhouse) and entrepreneur (her newest venture,, aims to marry the oldest of rituals with the newest technology).

With more than four decades as a caterer, her web-biz should hardly come as a surprise. Silver likes to say she learned the business “back of the house forward” — her parents were Bronx caterers who were too poor to afford a baby-sitter for their daughter. Her breakthrough, though, came in the late ’80s when, as a divorced single mother, she shrugged off her teaching background and law degree and went back to her roots. “I lived in the Five Towns and saw the demographic changing. It was becoming very Orthodox. These Orthodox ladies had the most gorgeous clothes and jewelry, but there were no options for their parties except for a piece of chicken thrown on a plate with the right rabbinical supervision.”

Silver spent a year finding the right rabbi, chefs and garde- manger and then jumped. Soon, as she likes to joke, she was bringing La Côte Basque to Glatt Kosher catering, not just at Five Towns temples, but hotels from The Plaza to the Pierre to Palm Beach.

In 1997, she snapped up the sprawling Huntingtown Townhouse. With six kitchens, 12 ballrooms and 20 acres of land, it was the largest catering facility in the United States — and, with the rival Leonard’s of Great Neck, for the next decade the very definition of The Long Island Wedding. Wretched excess? Bang-for-the-buck? However you defined it, Silver’s hall was a mecca (and when she closed up in 2007, she sold the land to Lowe’s for a cool $35 million).

Is there such a thing as a third catering act? Silver is betting on it. Seeing an opening to become the Priceline of the parties, she and her children last year launched The philosophy is simple: Couples post their wedding info — date, area, party size, budget — and an army of 3,000 big and small venues, which pay to be on Caterbid, are notified of the event. Those who can meet those needs respond, and, with any luck, Silver makes a match.

Recently, Silver chatted about her new venture and some secrets of pulling together a fabulous party:


Our entire world is becoming computerized — we’re a society that doesn’t have time, we’re always looking to have everything at our fingertips. Well, shopping for a wedding is the same. You might know areas and caterers, but imagine being able to sit on the couch with your fiancee at 1 a.m., post your event, date, time, the approximate number of people, and by time you wake up, caterers have bid for your business. It’s like Priceline is to airlines: Whoever thought you would go online and, with a touch of button, airlines would come to you?


Are you aiming to streamline choices, or open couples to venues they haven’t thought about?

Both. There are venues that you like that might be very high-priced, and you might not be able to afford them. But when you post on Caterbid, it might turn out the caterer had a cancellation or it’s his third party of the weekend. As a caterer, I know if it’s a third party or you’ve had a cancellation, you’re already paying overhead, the chefs, the insurance. So they have opportunity to fill that empty date, and the bride might not know to shop there because it might be out of her realm of reality.


How have weddings changed in recent years? Are we seeing fewer over-the-top affairs?

Clearly, with the change in the economy, there’s less of a sense of people going for the over-the-top party. Still, there are mothers who dream from the day their daughter is born to make her a royal wedding, and they’re still around and they’re going to have every last personalized matchbook. Different parts of the country dictate that kind of party. If you’re in Palm Beach, you have that fabulous kind of wedding. However, there are also girls who won’t spend that kind of money.


What’s the most important thing couples should come armed with when they sit down with a caterer? Budget? Guest count? Menu needs?

It’s a combination. Don’t overspend what you don’t have. Couples don’t have experience. For example, they might not realize the cost is price per person plus service charges. A wedding isn’t something you do all the time — it’s not like buying a dress — so you need to know your budget and what is and is not included. You’re venturing to start a life together, and this is your celebration, so you want your special day to be beautiful, but you don’t want it to break the bank.


Is there so much wedding insanity because there are there too many choices out there?

This is America, where we always have lots of choices. The bridal industry is $150 billion a year, just for the parties. Everyone is trying to jump on the bandwagon, so there are always new and creative ideas. I’ve been in the party business for over 40 years, and you can see the natural progression, even with something as simple as table linens. There used to be basic tablecloths. Now there are websites just for linens — organdy, shiny, Mylar, damask. I have parties with three cloths on the table. And chair covers! There weren’t any years ago, but it creates a fabulous look.

In your Huntington Townhouse days, what was the wildest thing anyone ever asked for?

I had a bride and groom literally come into the ballroom on a horse and buggy. There was a party in Manhattan where they had a 40-piece orchestra, and 20 of the pieces were on a platform built into the smorgasbord, so when you came to the buffet you were serenaded. I’ve even had brides ask for trumpeters as they were getting out of the car, as if they were a prince and princess.


What are the most important elements of a great reception — the things you should put your resources into?

It’s the people that make the party. You want the food to be beautifully presented and delicious, you want fabulous service, but the truth is it’s the music that makes the party. You want people to have fun, so it’s important to choose the right band or DJ. If money is no object, there are things that set the mood, like a harpist for an elegant look. Don’t use the same color in the cocktail room as in the ballroom and ceremony area. I tell brides they don’t need the same centerpiece on every table. You can have one with hydrangeas and orchids, another with roses and peonies. And you don’t need the same color scheme. It’s the element of surprise that people like. Be creative. You don’t need a sit-down dinner; do a buffet or hors d’oeuvres. And have fabulous touches. When I did a party in Palm Beach, the invitation was in a Tiffany box. No one said no — they felt that if the invitation was so fabulous, what would the party be like? From the beginning, get your thoughts together. Go through different websites and print out [ideas for] flowers, cloths, food items, and set out what you’re looking for, what will bring a special touch to your day.


How do you get couples to just take a breath and relax?

Ha! You can’t. But hopefully with our help and party planning, we’re trying to do that. My favorite expression is, “I’m your human Valium.”


Henry Isaacs | Jewish Marketing & Communications Consultants

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Jewish Event Tip – The One Thing NOT To Skimp On

Jewish Event Tip – The One Thing NOT To Skimp On

Jewish Event Planning & Kosher CateringThe Jewish event can be an extremely lavish one or a cost effective basic one. Depending on the event, the location, the geographical region, or the target audience, the Jewish event ranges from a Bar/Bat Mitzvah featuring the Black Eyed Peas to a small Synagogue dinner for congregants. Most of us will probably deal with events basically in between those types – mainly average sized weddings and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, organizational fundraisers, and even School Journal dinners.

But there’s one commonality in every type of Jewish event that determines the success and “must return” factor for the people attending (by success, I’m referring to whether or not people spread the word positively or negatively). And its the one thing never to skimp on. It’s the food. From the hor dourves to the dessert. Above all, the food is the main thing that will be discussed, critiqued, praised, and remembered at any Jewish event.

And in some cases, the food goes beyond just taste and abundance. Food becomes a social requirement. For certain social events, the Jewish market will go to many lengths to ensure Jewish foods, such as Israeli, Bukharian, Persian, Moroccan, etc, are able to be provided by their Kosher caterers. Once a Jewish ethnic group finds a caterer that provides their brand of food and great quality, they stick with it for ALL their special events. For organizational functions, having glatt kosher food, as opposed to simply kosher, attract a different crowd of people and thus a different type of donor.

Let’s face it – the Jewish demographic loves to have great Kosher food. We think the food fascination comes from a tradition rich in long holiday seasons, lifecycle celebrations that closely mingle joy and food, and even the Jewish family’s revolvement around the kosher kitchen. So certainly for the Jewish market’s special events they attend, after inquiring about the type of event, their second question is “So what’d they have?” The food is the main focus for the Jewish event. The venue could be glorious, the flowers magnificent, the orchestra toe-tappingly good; if the food isn’t up to the standards they’re anticipating, you’re event may not get the high marks you’re aiming for.

Now, for the occasional wedding, social event and one-shot event, that desirable word of mouth and buzz factor may not really matter, but for the organizational, non-profit, or corporate event that happens year after year, word of mouth/buzz is a driving force behind increased fundraising, attendance, sales and return customers. As frequent travelers can attest, free breakfasts at hotels is a great draw to get new reservations, but the quality of the food at these hotels has to be top notch for repeat business. Same for the Jewish event. The food doesn’t need to be innovative nor particularly creative – the food simply needs to be great and available in relative abundance. With this in mind, the one place you may be able to cut corners could be dessert, but ONLY because the rest of the meal was fantastic.

Overall, when planning an event, the food will make the difference between a good event and a great memorable event!

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