The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post: Business and Innovation

Jacobs' farm: A German family making French cheese in Israel

 Illustrative image of cheeses. (photo credit: FREE IMAGES LIVE)
Illustrative image of cheeses.
(photo credit: FREE IMAGES LIVE)

A family with agriculture in their blood sees the blessings of their line of work in the run-up to Shavuot.

With the price of cheese rising recently, buying yellow or cottage cheese in Israel has become a complex financial task. So, it’s time to remember that there’s another option.

It all started when Isaac and Ruth Jacobs moved from Germany to Kfar HaRoeh in 1936. They started with a small farm with cows and goats, which they raised and milked manually into tin buckets covered with gauze cloths from which they extracted whey.

Isaac’s path was continued by his five children, all of whom are religiously observant and all served in elite units in the IDF before returning to the farm.

And, this year, in the run-up to Shavuot, Isaac’s family sees the blessing in their hard work.

The family tradition of cheese production was renewed in 1997, and a dairy was established next to the barn. Grandma's recipe notebook formed the base, and later they acquired knowledge from traditional dairies in Europe.

Montgomery's cheddar cheese (credit: JON SULLIVAN/PUBLIC DOMAIN/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Montgomery's cheddar cheese (credit: JON SULLIVAN/PUBLIC DOMAIN/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

What does the dairy produce?

Goat, sheep and cow's milk are all processed in the dairy where today, they produce 25 types of cheese. The quality matches French, Swiss or Dutch cheese, but the price, despite the high cost of living, is still affordable.

The five brothers stated that despite the opening of the market for imports, they produce the cheese here, although eventually, there may be no choice but to start importing. They don't want to increase the price of their cheeses but they may not have a choice since the family farm is not subsidized. For them, agriculture is a value.

However, they are considering opening factory stores in additional locations.

Before Shavuot, a culinary fair will be held in Kfar Haroeh, in collaboration with the Agdat Lechem bakery. The fair will offer basic necessities for the holiday table including boutique cheeses, challah, sourdough breads, pastries, quiches, cakes, ice creams, wines, olive oil and spreads.