Avishag Shaar-Yashuv

Coexistence Served Up in a Cone

When Adam Ziv from Kibbutz Sasa and Alaa Sweitat of Tarshiha decided to open an ice-cream parlor, they wanted to use quality ice cream to satisfy their sweet tooth. But they also dreamed of accomplishing something more: using “buza” (“ice cream” in Arabic) to sweeten both Jewish and Arab lives. Or, as they like to say, their ice-cream parlor serves up “coexistence in a cone.”

Adam and Alaa made coexistence the organizing principle of their venture: They opened their first ice-cream parlor in the center of Kfar Tarshiha, they sourced their ingredients from the surrounding Galilee communities, and they hired both Jewish and Arab staff. They even created a special flavor that symbolizes their understanding of what it means to live together in Israel: cashew with salty toffee, or “Cashewopea”, the flavor you taste when “the whole is larger than the sum of its parts.”

From the very beginning, they knew they were onto something special — and not just with their inventive flavors. Adam and Alaa opened more branches around the country, each with a budget for communal activities: adopting a youth group, ice-cream parties in nursing homes, and other initiatives of the branch managers’ choice.

In 2017, Buza won the prestigious AIM2Flourish award, granted to a select group of businesses that help fulfill the United Nation’s vision for a better world. Can there be anything sweeter than that?