Here at Birthright Israel Foundation, we love connecting young Jewish adults with all aspects of Jewish culture – especially ones that involve silly costumes, noisy groggers, and delicious food like hamantaschen. Hamantaschen are triangle-shaped cookies filled with preserved fruits, nuts, or chocolate usually eaten on Purim. The history of the cookie is just as exciting as the flavors it’s filled with. 

So, if you’ve got a moment, continue reading this post to learn more about hamantaschen and Purim. If not, scroll down to get our top-secret, mouth-watering, Nutella hamantaschen recipe! You can also download the recipe card here.

What is Purim? 

As recorded in the Book of Esther, Purim is the Jewish holiday that commemorates when Queen Esther saved the Jews from being massacred. This all took place in the ancient Persian Empire in the city of Shushan when the villain Haman convinced King Ahasuerus to kill the Jews. Haman wanted the Jews dead because Mordecai, a Jew, refused to bow down to him. King Ahasuerus discovers that his wife, Queen Esther is in fact Jewish and decides to reverse Haman’s plot.  

Why do Jews eat Hamantaschen on Purim? 

On Purim, Jews all over the world celebrate our triumph over the evil Haman. The Hamantaschen, with its triangle shape, is said to represent Haman’s hat. In Israel, you may hear Israeli’s refer to the cookie as Oznei Hamanthe ears of Haman 

How is Purim celebrated in Israel? 

Did you know in Israel, Purim is one of the most widely celebrated holidays? From the North to the South, Jerusalem to Tel Aviv the streets are filled with costumes and most of all, the smell of freshly baked hamantaschenPeople who are observant and secular all join in the festivities 

Nutella Hamantaschen Recipe


  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange (or lemon) zest
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1-5 tsp water, if needed


  • Nutella Hazelnut Spread


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease cookie sheets.
  2. Beat eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla and zest. Add remaining ingredients: mix well.
  3. Divide into 4 parts.
  4. Assemble and bake accordingly to the directions below.

If you’re in the mood for more Israel-inspired dishes check out our blog on Israeli BBQ