Subscribe to our Newsletter

click to dowload our latest edition

German convert is MasterChef

Half of Israel watched German-born Tom Franz, converted, kosher & Israeli citizen their #1-rated TV show, MasterChef.



Wacky World



The 2013 winner of Israel’s version of MasterChef is Tom Franz, a German converted Jew from Tel Aviv. The reality TV show pitted 14 amateur chefs against each other. In his first visit to Germany after winning the competition, Tom Franz puts on a cooking show at Frankfurt’s Budge Foundation, a retirement home for Jewish and non-Jewish seniors.

He is a 39-year-old lawyer who moved to Tel Aviv 10 years ago. He converted to Judaism, married a Jewish Israeli woman, and slowly began adopting Jewish culture. Part of the journey was adapting to keeping kosher, a set of dietary laws observant Jews follow in the kitchen. His wife Dana signed him up for the MasterChef cooking competition, and he was shocked to make it past auditions.

Franz Tom VIDEO.jpg

CLICK to see the
video report on this website


“Within the competition, it is hard to say that I planned something but I had something on my mind, I wanted to do a culinary journey there, it was, eh, this is what I could control. In the beginning, at the audition, I said I’m going to bring food that comes from where I come and I did a dish which was a trout with potato salad which is so German.





Tom Franz quickly stood out in the competition for his impeccable technique, perfectly chopping his vegetables and carefully arranging them on a plate. German dishes were at the forefront of his first few dishes.


“The people could, you know, love it, they could see it and not think ‘ah this is a German guy, you know, we don’t like it’, no, it was like ‘this is German, look how he works, we should learn from him this is how he works’.”

As the season wore on and Tom Franz survived elimination rounds, he moved more toward Mediterranean dishes.

“And it was wonderful because I proved them I can do the Israeli dishes, I can do Moroccan dishes, and they were so surprised they didn’t expect me that I could do that.”

In the final episode, Tom Franz’s dish was a marriage of his German roots and his new home in Israel.

“I did a culinary journey, I showed them, you know, where I come from, I showed them places of my life and then more and more did dishes that were Israeli even Moroccan and they are, you know, real food of the place where I come, where I wanted to live, where I choose to live, where I live and I shared it culinarily. It was one of my greatest moments, I think. It was so amazing, I mean, I think I could feel that moment much more than the moment of my conversion.”

The 2013 final of MasterChef was the highest rated Reality TV show in Israel. The program pulled in more than half of Israeli Jewish households. But for Tom Franz, the converted Jew from Germany, it was a much more personal victory.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wacky World

New York Times rebuked

Paper’s public editor rebukes The New York Times reporter for asking PhD candidate David McCleary, pic. ‘demeaning’ questions as he didn’t look Jewish





A reporter for the New York Times came under fire for asking a Jewish Ph.D. candidate “insulting and demeaning” questions for an article on the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement on college campuses across the US.

The questions that were asked of University of California, Berkeley candidate David McCleary, included whether he “looked Jewish” given his apparently non-Jewish sounding last name and whether he had had a barmitzvah.

NYT rebuked

RIGHT: The New York Times Editor weighs in on ‘demeaning’ questions to Jewish PhD student.

McCleary promptly wrote to the office of the New York Times’ public editor, whose job it is to respond to questions of the newspaper’s integrity.

He said he was “displeased” that his remarks were withheld from the ultimate publication of the story and that no Jewish student who supports the BDS movement on campuses was quoted.

McCleary’s complaint to the Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan, who in the end agreed that such questioning was “unprofessional and unacceptable,” underlined the brouhaha around an article published by the newspaper last Saturday about the BDS movement and its consequences on college campuses.

Responding to Sullivan’s admission, McCleary told the Algemeiner: “While the Jewish litmus test I received was offensive, it isn’t nearly as offensive as the New York Times ignoring my voice and thousands like me who are Jewish students in favour of BDS for Israel.”

Piece didn’t provide evidence 

Critics of the story have argued that the piece itself did not provide much evidence to back the complaint of its headline, which states that the BDS issue “drives a wedge” between Jews and minority groups on campus.

“To make this into a ‘Minority vs Jewish’ question, without supplying evidence, is to distort the issue,” said David Nasaw, the Arthur M Schlesinger Junior professor of history at Graduate Centre, City University of New York.

Continue Reading

Wacky World

Unique baby names @ just $31k

Expectant parents who are struggling to find a unique name for their baby are in luck. JTA reports this Swiss company will do it for you, for just $31,000!





Expectant parents, if you’re paging through baby name pages looking for a unique name to no avail (have you checked ours yet?), you’re in luck. Erfolgswelle – a Swiss firm that specialises in naming babies – will happily volunteer its 32 person staff to spend 100 hours searching for unique, copyright-free names for your child.

All for the tune of $31,000, because who needs a college fund really? Squares, that’s who, and you’ll be damned if your kid becomes anything less than the uniquely-shaped polygon he or she was born to be.

But, writes Suzanne Samin on JTA’s KVELLER, “in all seriousness, I totally get wanting a special name for your kid. I just don’t get spending an arm and leg for it by contracting out a service like this one. But, to each his or her own, and if you’re really into the idea of hiring out a monolith to name your child, they’re offering to reimburse the full charge for the first couple to report their new baby name to the media within two weeks of receiving it.”

How cute is this? Not $31,000 – that’s for sure!

Continue Reading

Wacky World

Darth Zeder & a wonky knee

Special needs self-styled “passenger from hell” on ElAl couldn’t match his needs with his budget.





Will I fly ElAl again next time? Hell yeh! Not only were they great at what they do, they and came through with ‘flying’ colours!

In a recent BLOG BY ANT KATZ, SAJR Online’s editor asks: “What is it with SA Jewry and ElAl?” Ant says that “SA Jewry fall into the pro- or anti-ElAl camp,” and then proceeds to give an account of his own experience of flying with the airline last month.

In the blog entitled: “Facts, fun and fallacies about ElAl,” Katz says that it was “the hapstance of timing” that had resulted in his flying on the Airline. “As it happened, on the week I was travelling, ElAl offered the lowest price, most suitable times for me, and, what’s more, the only non-stop route which was important as embarking and disembarking was going to be difficult for me at the time.

Passenger from hell

“You see,” says Ant Katz, “on this trip, I was the customer from hell! I was a special-needs passenger who could not match his needs with his budget. I needed wheelchair assistance to board and disembark, a seat with extra legroom and a 110 or 220v electric plug” at his seat.

“Suffice it to say, in a very Jewish and/or Israeli way, one way or another, my needs were met completely, against ElAl policies and despite all the naysayers” in the community, blogs Ant. “Here’s the thing… the one simple fact: In so many ways, ElAl was incredible.”

He proceeds to share his tale about ElAl policies being the most stringent he has ever encountered, and accuses the ‘serial complainers’ in the community of having “groomed” him to expect otherwise.

As it turned out, ElAl moved heaven and earth to accommodate him – even sending a technical team to modify a plane close to midnight at Ben Gurion airport. 


Continue Reading

Naale Elite Academy