Lindy Tamir is Co-director of the Jewish International Film Festival (JIFF)l in Australia. She is a Partner at the Classic Cinemas, Cameo Cinemas, Lido Cinemas in Melbourne. I am honored she agreed to share her thoughts with us
Let’s get to know Lindy and learn from her.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in Melbourne. Together with my husband and partner Eddie, we own the Classic Cinemas Elsternwick, Lido Cinemas Hawthorn and Cameo Cinemas Belgrave; all Melbourne based historic cinemas that we brought back to life. The cinemas are now comtempory design settings that offer great food and drinks.
Since 2011, Eddie and I have proudly run The Jewish International Film festival (JIFF) throughout Australia and new Zealand. JIFF presents premiere films from Israel and around the world.
Eddie and I have 5 children aged from 22- 27 years old. We are all passionate about movies, food, yoga and wine and family.
In what ways do you connect to Judaism?
I connect to Judaism in three primary ways:
Movies: Eddie and I watch 300 Jewish films a year to select films for the film festival. This Jewish Film Festival is our inspiration, our continuing Jewish education, and our passion.
Community: Our family is a member of a Shira Hadasha Synagogue, an inclusive Orthodox synagogue and community in Melborne.
Food: And we eat Jewish and Israeli traditional and Middle Eastern food!
How do you prepare to host people for a holiday meal or celebration?
I always make gefilte fish in time for Rosh Hashanah and Passover. My 80-year-old Auntie Helen Hamersfeld taught me how to make it and I am so proud to serve it every holiday.
My gefilte fish recipe includes three types of fish and almond meal and is wheat-free.
To decide what to cook for the holiday, I usually sit with my friends over coffee and together we talk food and recipes. For the holidays, I mostly serve vegetarian and healthy recipes that use seasonal vegetables. I try to use food from our large edible garden.
I invite many friends and family as our table seats 25 people. Eddie is a great cook and together with our kids, we all jump in the kitchen and cook together.
How does the ideal Jewish holiday celebration look and feel to you?
An ideal holiday is contemporary and traditional; It is celebrated with family and friends. The holiday includes a touch of prayer and great meals.
Leading up to, during, and after the holidays, how do you reconnect with yourself?
Before Rosh Hashanah 5777, I spend a week doing yoga and eating healthy food at the Yoga Barn in Ubud Bali.
What is one of your most memorable Jewish holiday experiences?
Passover is autumn in Australia and we host our seder outdoors. At some point during our Passover seder, our family gets under the table and lays on the large brown crunchy fall leaves.
What’s your absolute favorite Jewish holiday dish?
For Rosh Hashanah, I love Middle Eastern dishes garnished with pomegranates We are part owners of a pomegranate farm called Pomlife outside Melbourne and this year, I garnished my dishes with Freeze-dried Pomegranate Arils (The aril is simply the seed pod inside a pomegranate) from the farm.
Do you have any nontraditional Jewish holiday rituals or habits?
Coffee before prayer! Eddie and I walk to our favourite Melbourne coffee shop Wall Two 80 before synagogue.
We started our own Jewish festival: Jerusalem Artichoke Festival. Once per year we host a day-long cooking and eating feast with music. Hundreds of friends arrive early in the morning (with their artichoke recipes in hand) to harvest the Jerusalem artichokes from the large crop we plant in our edible garden. We spend the following hours together in our house together peeling and cooking artichoke dishes. It’s a full-on festival.
What was something that your mother (or another influential figure) shared with you about the holidays that has stuck with you?
My mother lived the holidays in a relaxed way (i.e. be a bit slack on the rules) where she enjoyed herself and her family.
What’s your number one tip or trick you’ve discovered that makes the holidays smoother, more positive and meaningful for you?
Take time to pause my work and just spend time connecting with my children.
Lindy, thank you for sharing. I love how your passion for movies connects to Judaism, your “coffee before prayer” routine, and how you host a holiday meal inspiration session over coffee with friends.
This post is part of our Chag Notebook series where we interview inspiring women and men about their approach to the holidays. Which part of Lindy’s interview will you remember?