In honor of Chanukah, I just ran a hands-on olive picking and pressing workshop for the family’s of the Community Garden of Arnona, a neighborhood in southern Jerusalem.

The first step was to pick the olives off the branches that I brought in. Then we had to crush the olives.

Then we pressed the crushed olives in a fruit press.

What you see coming out there is not actually oil yet, but a mixture of olive juice and oil, known in old Hebrew as “Mohal.” We bottle it and then we wait a few days for the oil to gather on the surface.

Below we attempted to light a menorah using olive oil made using the same method during my Olive & Oil workshop for women the previous week.

Now that Chanukah is done, it’s time to say goodbye to the olive season.

I can’t wait until next year!

PS. Thanks to Rachel Wanetik for organizing this event to and Jack Jacobs for the photos and videos

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