Purim Mask

Purim Mask

We are a few days from Erev Purim! I hope you have a costume planned and a place to go for the Purim Schpiel. Purim is one of those “different” holidays. There’s the kids’ level – a story of Queen Esther saving the Jews, and the adult level – where there’s a lot of killing, beginning with Vashti. I don’t suggest that you start with the dark story with kids. But it is worth the time to learn the full story and to investigate the rabbinic teachings on this story in which God is never mentioned.

Here’s a somewhat sanitized version of the story from My Jewish Learning.

Here is a more complete and darker version from Chabad.

On the light side, go here to download a printable template for a Purim crown from Chai and Home.

Of course, you’ll need to eat! So here are some Hamenashen recipes.

Trouble Times
Many of you are aware that I have a multiracial, interfaith, multiethnic family. I’ve been more frightened of my own government that ever before. What has helped me is to become part of the activism that is growing rapidly. A friend told me about an app that will send you a “Daily Action” https://dailyaction.org I have attended services at synagogues and churches. I have marched and will again. Don’t just sit there and get depressed! Look into your conscience and act on behalf of those who are vulnerable. Every major faith believes in protecting those who are unable to protect themselves.

Bomb Threats
Yes, there have been a lot of bomb threats to Jewish buildings, especially JCCs and Jewish schools. But guess what? A number of Muslim veterans have tweeted that they want to guard Jewish organizations! Many Muslim organizations have reached out to offer compassion and support to the Jewish community. Our own Palo Alto JCC was threatened and a local group of Muslim-Jewish women sent them this letter of support.

Purim Carnival (Walnut Creek)
Tri-Valley Cultural Jews Purim Celebration (Livermore)
Shushan County Fair (Saratoga)
This Shabbat Rocks! (San Mateo)
Wendy Mogel “Blessing of a Skinned Knee” (Los Gatos)
Beyond Bubbie: Taste of the Old East (Berkeley)
An Evening of Learning About Jewish Mindfulness (San Mateo)
Jewish Women’s Theater presents Exile: Kisses on Both Cheeks (San Rafael)
Passover Second Night Seder (Walnut Creek)

Purim Carnival
Join us for a fun filled afternoon with Pony Rides, Laser Tag, Giant Inflatables, Face Painting, Midway Games, and Fun Prizes. Hot dog lunch and carnival treats for purchase.

Date: Sunday, March 12
Time: 11:00am – 1:30pm
Place: Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek
Cost: $18 per child includes all games; $20 at door per child
RSVP office@bshalom.org

Tri-Valley Cultural Jews Purim Celebration
Tri-Valley Cultural Jews will be holding a secular Purim celebration! We will make hamantaschen, have crafts, games, and fun for all ages, and present our annual Purim skit. Attendees are welcome to come dressed as their favorite Purim character.

Date: Sunday, March 12
Time: 10:30am – 12:30pm
Place: The Bothwell Arts Center, 2466 8th St., Livermore
Cost: Free for TVCJ members, and costs $10 for non-members (which can be applied to a membership if someone wishes to join).
For more information email maluba2@yahoo.com

Shushan County Fair
Come One, Come All, to the Shushan County Fair!
Fun for all ages.
Featuring the Klezmer band “Hot Kugel”
Pony Up Petting Zoo
Rides and Inflatables Including a 20’ Slide
Haman Haunted House
Games, Food, Entertainment
White Elephant Sale and Auction
Exhibit Hall, Contests and Prizes
Demonstrations: Robot pancake maker, Shaving soap & candle making, Yarn spinning, 3D printer and more.

Date: Sunday, March 12
Time: 11:00am – 3:00pm
Place: Beth David, 19700 Prospect Road, Saratoga
Cost: Pre-purchase a wristband for access to all inflatables and games plus a $5 voucher for food! Online or call the office 408-257-3333. $30 before March 3rd and $36 at the door. Individual tickets for games and rides will also be available for sale at the event. Buy tickets online.

This Shabbat Rocks!
This joyous Shabbat service will awaken our bodies and souls with a prayerful shake, rattle, and roll. Come and experience this vibrant service with The Band and you’ll find yourself exclaiming, “this Shabbat rocks!”

Date: March 18
Time: 9:00am – 9:40am
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

Wendy Mogel “Blessing of a Skinned Knee”
Dr. Wendy Mogel, clinical psychologist, parenting expert, and New York Times best-selling author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B-, will be giving a parenting talk.
Dr. Mogel’s books address the question of how to raise resilient children in the face of trends toward anxious parenting and over-parenting

Date: March 23
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Place: Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos
Cost: General admission is $18, JCC members $10. JCC members get a special early bird price of $7 when you buy tickets online by 3/15.

Beyond Bubbie: Taste of the Old East
with Reboot and JIMENA
Join us for an immersive Sephardic culinary experience where participants will get a taste of traditional North African and Middle Eastern Passover recipes and stories from JIMENA speakers. Guest chefs will each prepare and demonstrate a traditional Sephardic dish from their country of origin. These chefs and other members of the community will share their stories and the family histories that go along with them. Come for the food, stay for the conversation.

Date: Thursday, March 23
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: JCC East Bay Berkeley Branch, 1414 Walnut St, Berkeley
Cost: $12 (presale, student, senior, member); $15 (at the door)
Tickets here.

An Evening of Learning About Jewish Mindfulness
with Rabbi Jeff Roth
Rabbi Roth offers a contemporary approach to Jewish meditation. He focuses on the practice of mindfulness/heartfulness, combined with the teachings of Torah, to offer a path to liberate us from alienation, awaken us to the truth of the present moment, and open us to a sense of the Divine Presence.

Date: Thursday, March 23
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
Sponsored by Or HaLev, the Center for Jewish Spirituality at Peninsula Temple Beth El.
This program is free, but please help us plan: RSVP to cserbin@ptbe.org by March 21.

Jewish Women’s Theater presents Exile: Kisses on Both Cheeks
Come for an evening of salon-style theatrical entertainment with professional actors performing contemporary stories in intimate settings. Exile: Kisses on Both Cheeks explores the Sephardic legacy of family, community and country, looking for home more than 500 years after the expulsion from Spain. It is a Jewish immigrant story that is rarely told on stage. Until now.

Date: Sunday, April 2
Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm
Place: Osher Marin JCC, 200 North San Pedro Rd., San Rafael
Cost: $18 Members; $25 Public and same-day tickets. Purchase tickets here.

Passover Second Night Seder
Join us second night for a family friendly service led by Rabbi Daniel Stein and Hazzan Wallach. Please call Alyssa at 925-934-9446 x102 to get all the details and to tell her what entrée you want.

Date: Tuesday, April 11
Time: 6:30pm Service
Place: Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek
Cost: $54 per adult 13 and up; $36 per child ages 9-12; $15 per child ages 5-8; Free for children 4 and under
RSVP office@bshalom.org by Tuesday March 28th

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challah loaf

Shabbat (the Sabbath) is the central observance or holy day of Judaism. Just about everything gives way before Shabbat – including Yom Kippur. Because it is the day that God gave us for rest and enjoyment, it should be a day of joy. It’s a great time to put something absolutely delicious on the table for Shabbat. How about warm bread, roasted chicken, a savory kugel, and a mouthwatering dessert. We won’t stop at the food. We’ll share lots of secrets for making Shabbat something worth staying home for, even if you have teenagers.

Date: May 1
Time: noon to 4pm
Place: Beth Am Congregation(in the kitchen), 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills
Cost: $35
Sign up here.

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Oneg Shabbat

Oneg Shabbat

Rabbi Milder of Beth Emek in Pleasanton sent out an email to his congregation last Friday reminding them of the importance of food – as a gesture of hospitality, as a social mixer, as a gesture of caring.

Here’s what he had to say:

Shabbat services don’t feel complete without Oneg Shabbat. It’s like dinner without dessert.

For many of us, Oneg Shabbat is where we sense belonging to our Jewish community. It is a Brigadoon kind of community, magically appearing each week, sometimes with new guests.

Oneg means joy, like a cookbook, “Joy of Shabbat.” The service is the meaty stuff, the deep thinking; the Oneg is the icing on the cake.

We need Oneg, the simple pleasure of being together with others in celebration of Shabbat. The schmooze, catching up on the past week, on where our kids went, on which relatives are visiting.

Of course, what makes it feel right to schmooze is that someone, very thoughtfully, put out a nosh, a snack. Maybe some nice cheese and crackers, whatever fruit is in season, perhaps a pie. They set out plates and napkins, made a pot of decaf, brought some lemonade. Maybe they made it pretty in some personal way.

We’ve gotten used to thinking that Oneg Shabbat just happens. Instead, it should be something that we do for one another, something that we each take pride in creating for our community.

Rabbi Milder continues and urges his congregants to take a hand in producing the oneg at their shul. Cooking, baking, or just buying food, is something each of us is able to do. Getting involved in a synagogue for the first time can feel hard. But we can all manage food. Join the Hospitality or Oneg committee at your shul. You’ll meet friendly people who like good food. You’ll share a favorite recipe or get a new one from a new acquaintance. I like to bring edible flowers from my garden to decorate the trays (pansies, calendula, roses). Food (and flowers) can start up a conversation with someone new. Give it a try. If you are already an old hand at your synagogue, make it your goal to chat with someone who looks new this coming Shabbat.

Then please email me and tell me how it went.

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2 challah loaves sweet cropped

Now I ask you, is there anything better than hot homemade bread? I’ll answer, No!

Come make challah, the most delicious bread ever! We’ll mix, knead and braid our own challah dough. Learn how to braid with 3 or 5 strands as well as making round loaves. You’ll take home your own loaf of warm bread.

Date: Sunday, July 12
Time: 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Place: A Private home in Oakland, near Lake Merritt. Registrants will receive the address.
Cost: $25/person

Every Friday I make challah. It is a ritual in my home and everyone loves it. I’ve experimented with both dairy and parve* recipes and found the BEST RECIPE in the world. Got one you think is fantastic too? Bring it! We’ll share.

Email dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org to sign up for the class.

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Tu B’Av, the 15th of Av, is a minor holiday with few customs. In modern times it has become a sort of Jewish Valentine’s Day in Israel. You can read a traditional view of the holiday here.

To add some romance to the day my friend, Faith Kramer, came up with two recipes that are made with roses. Why not give them a try? They will be equally delicious any time of year.

If you would like to try more of Faith Kramer’s recipes you will find them on her site,
http://www.clickblogappetit.com/. Her site features many Jewish recipes so check it for other holiday foods.

These recipes originally appeared in the J-Weekly, which features a food column every week.

Chocolate Rose Berry Cake

Chocolate Rose Berry Cake

Chocolate Rose Berry Cake
Serves 8-12
1/2 cup butter plus extra for pan
10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
6 eggs, divided
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup ground almond flour
1 cup raspberry jam
1/2 to 1 tsp. rose water
3 Tbs. confectioner’s sugar
Whipped cream topping, optional (see below)
Raspberries for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Line bottom with parchment and grease.

Cut 1⁄2 cup butter and chocolate into pieces and melt, stirring occasionally until smooth. Separate four of the eggs and whip whites until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat yolks and remaining eggs with sugar, vanilla, cocoa and almond flour until smooth. Working in batches, fold in chocolate. Gently fold in egg whites in batches. Pour into pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes until top is firm and springs back to the touch. (Cake will be wet inside). Let cool in pan, remove sides, invert on plate and remove bottom of pan and paper.
Stir jam with 1⁄2 tsp. of rose water. Taste. Add more as needed. Once cake is completely cool, use a serrated knife to horizontally cut in half. Spread top of bottom layer with jam, place second layer on top, cut side down. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Spread with whipped cream topping and decorate with raspberries.
Whipped Cream Topping: Whip half-pint heavy cream with 2 Tbs. sugar and 1⁄2 tsp. (or to taste) rose water until soft peaks form.

North African Chicken Sauté

North African Chicken Sauté

My husband has already put dried apricots on his shopping list and is eager to try out Faith’s second recipe.

North African Chicken Sauté
Serves 2-3

2 cups chicken stock, warm
1/2 cup dried apricots
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbs. oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
2⁄3 cup 1/4 sliced carrots
2 cups (6 oz.) artichoke hearts (defrosted if frozen)
1 Tbs. crumbled rose petals
1/2 cup chopped mint
Soak apricots in warm stock. Sprinkle chicken with half of salt and pepper. Heat oil in large pan over medium high heat. Brown chicken. Cook until somewhat firm but not cooked through. Set aside.
Sauté onions and garlic until golden. Add remaining salt and pepper and other spices. Sauté briefly. Add carrots. Sauté until carrots begin to soften. Add artichoke hearts. Sauté 2 minutes. Add stock and apricots, bring to and keep at a simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are cooked and sauce thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in rose petals. Return chicken and juices to pan. Lower heat. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Stir in mint.

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From my friend, Francisco, an addictive Passover dessert.

Chocolate Caramel Matzah

Chocolate Caramel Matzah

(In this batch Francisco substituted 2 1/2 cups of chopped up almond M&Ms for the chocolate & almonds the recipe calls for.)

Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers)

4 to 6 sheets matzo or approximately 40 Saltine crackers or crackers of your choice
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into a few large pieces
1 cup packed light brown sugar
A big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate)
1 cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or a nut of your choice (optional)
Extra sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit.
Line the bottom of the baking sheet with matzo or crackers, covering all parts. [If using matzo, you’ll need to break pieces to fit any extra spaces, which will be annoying because despite being perforated, it does not actually break in straight lines. I have some luck pressing a serrated knife straight down along a section between perforations, if that (hopefully) makes sense.]
In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.
Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening.
Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. If you’re using them, sprinkle the chocolate with toasted chopped nuts and/or sea salt. (The sea salt is great on matzo. On Saltines, it’s really not necessary.)
Once completely cool — I sometimes speed this process up in the fridge, impatient as should be expected in the face of caramel crack(ers) — break it into pieces and store it in a container. It should keep for a week but I’ve never seen it last that long.

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Here’s a recipe sent to me by a lovely member of our community. She says her family loved it. It is a recipe she found on Epicurious and modified slightly to reduce the sugar. Here’s her version.

Apple Matzah Kugel

4 large apples, Granny Smith or any tart apple, cored and cut into medium dice
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
6 plain matzohs
8 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried apricots, medium, chopped
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut into small pieces, for casserole topping

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Toss the apples with half the brown sugar and orange juice, set aside in a medium bowl.

3. Break the matzoh into 2- to 3-inch pieces and soak in 1 cup of warm water until soft but not mushy. Set aside.

4. While the matzoh soaks, beat the eggs with a wire whisk in a large bowl until blended. Add the salt, remaining sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, raisins, and apricots.

5. Squeeze the liquid from the softened matzoh and add the matzoh to the egg mixture with the apples. Stir the kugel well and pour into a lightly greased 2 1/2-quart casserole dish or a 10×14-inch pan. Dot the top of the kugel with the 4 tablespoons of butter.

6. Bake the kugel for 1 hour. Cover the top with foil if the top begins to become too brown early in the baking. Remove the kugel from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Cook’s Tip:
The kugel can be made 2 days ahead, cooled, and refrigerated, covered. Bring to room temperature and reheat in a 350°F oven.

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SFJCC_Passover (2)

First Night Seders

35th Annual First Night Community Seder
Join our community on the first night of Passover and participate in the telling of the story of the Jewish people’s journey from slavery to freedom. Sing old and new favorites, ask questions and find the afikomen (piece of matzah). A traditional kosher Seder meal is served. Seder led by the JCC’s Rabbi Batshir Torchio.
Catering provided by Continental / Too Caterers

To see the menu, get tickets, and learn more, click here

Date: Monday April 14
Time: Doors Open at 6:00 pm, Program Begins at 6:30 pm
Place: San Francisco JCC, 3200 California St., San Francisco

Passover Seder for Families with Young Children
Celebrate the first night of Passover at the JCC East Bay with this interactive and music-filled Passover Seder! Especially for 2-7 year olds, though younger and older children are also welcome. No Jewish knowledge or experience is necessary. The Seder will include a light, kid-friendly meal, served picnic style, and will be led by Rabbi Bridget Wynne.

Date: April 14
Time: 5:00 pm
Place: East Bay JCC, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley
Cost: $15.00 per child (age 2-13), $25.00 per teen (14+) or adult
Vegetarian option available. Volunteer opportunities and discounts available on first-come basis. Contact Emma at emmas@jcceastbay.org. No one turned away for lack of funds.
This event will sell out, so you’re encouraged to buy tickets as soon as possible.

Community Passover Seder
Celebrate the first night of Passover with this interactive, lively, and music-filled Passover Seder. All are welcome, and no Jewish knowledge or experience is necessary. The Seder will include a full meal with chicken, matzoh ball soup, and wine, and will be led by Rabbi Bridget Wynne.

Date: April 14
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: East Bay JCC, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley
Cost: $60.00 per adult or teen (14+); $40.00 per JCCEB member, senior, or college student; $20.00 per volunteer or child.
Vegetarian option available.
Volunteer opportunities and discounts available on first-come basis. Contact Emma at emmas@jcceastbay.org. No one turned away for lack of funds.
This event will sell out, so you’re encouraged to buy tickets as soon as possible.
Sponsored by the Jewish Community Center East Bay.

Dan Feder leads Seder

    Second Night Seders

Kol Hadash Humanitarian Congregation Community Seder
A woman emailed me to say that Kol Hadash’s Seder is April 19 and the deadline to register is 4/15. But the website said the deadline is Monday, April 7. So go to their website immediately to sign up, www.kolhadash.org

Date: April 19 at 6:00
Time: Doors open at 5:30pm & the Seder is at 6pm
Where: Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin, Albany
Costs listed on website.

Community Passover Seder
“Let all who are hungry come and eat” is one of the central motifs of Passover, when we celebrate not only the freedom of the Jewish people from the tyranny of slavery, but also freedom for all people from the tyranny of hunger. On the second night of Pesach join us for a lively retelling of the Haggadah as the Israelites make the journey from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. The Seder will be led by Rabbis Larry Raphael and Julie Saxe-Taller.

Date: Tuesday, April 15
Time: 5:00 pm
Place: Sherith Israel, 2266 California St., San Francisco
Cost, details and registration here.

Second Night Community Seder
Join Rabbi Reuben Zellman along with Beth El friends, old and new, for a festive Pesach celebration and delicious catered kosher-for-Pesach meal. We are never too old or too young to learn and retell the story of liberation. Through song, ritual and discussion, we will retell the Pesach story, making connections to our own lives and our world.

Date: Tuesday, April 15
Time: 6:00 pm
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
Cost: Members: Adults $54; Young Adult (30 and under) $36; Children $18
Non-members: Adults $72; Young Adult (30 and under) $36; Children $25; College students w/ID $18
Through the generosity of anonymous Beth El members, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. RSVP by Monday, April 7 online here.

Second-Night Pesach Seder
Join the East Bay Minyan and Urban Adamah for a community Seder!
Join us for a wonderful evening of delicious food, lively conversation, spirited singing, and uplifting explanations as we experience our liberation! Dinner will be fully kosher l’Pesach with gluten-free, vegan, and meat options. “We were slaves, now we’re free!” Come celebrate!

Date: Tuesday, April 15
Time: 7pm-10:30pm
Place: Urban Adamah, 1050 Parker St., Berkeley
RSVP: Required! (By April 12.) $25 to $50 per person, sliding scale.
Sign up here.

Second Night Passover Seder
All are invited to our community seder! A full meal will be served. Both a meat and a vegetarian version are available. Advanced reservations are required by April 11. To sign up call the Temple office at 510-522-9355.

Date: April 15
Time: 6:30pm
Place: Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Rd., Alameda

Two Seders at the same time and day at Etz Chayim –
Talk Amongst Yourselves Seder
In addition to the basic songs and symbolic foods and rituals of the seder, Rabbi Cartun will use Haggadah artwork from various artists, genres, eras, and parts of the Seder to “illustrate” the Exodus story. Basically, this will be a Rohrschach Seder, talking about what we see in the art, and how it “speaks” to us about the Passover story. We’ll celebrate, sing and discuss for almost two hours before we eat dinner, but there will be plenty of karpas (crudites) to tide us over.

On One Foot Seder
Long before they were here, there, and everywhere, frogs were living in Egypt, and they are very proud of the role they played in freeing the slaves. For generations, they have continued to tell the story. At this interactive, family-friendly Seder, we will hop through the Haggadah along with the frogs. We have our Four Questions, and the frogs have theirs! Jump right in to celebrate the Seder from a whole new perspective. Abra will lead us in singing and fun for about one hour before dinner.

Both seders will offer a catered, gourmet dinner with a chicken or vegetarian option. If you’d like wine, please bring a bottle to share (must be kosher for Passover).
Kosher catered by Wendy Kleckner of Too Caterers with everything that you would hope to find in a seder dinner. By reservation only. Non-members welcome. Reservations close Tuesday, April 8.

Date: April 15
Time: Doors open at 5:30; Seder begins at 6pm
Place: Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma Street, Palo Alto
Register here.

Second Night Passover Seder: Fun for The Whole Family
Join us for a warm, celebratory, and multigenerational seder in the Lillian Byer Social Hall. We’ll share our stories of slavery and freedom, join together in singing songs old and new, and enjoy a delicious Passover feast.

Date: Tuesday, April 15
Time: 6pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Dr, Burlingame
Cost: Adults $49; children $28
For more information and to RSVP click here. You can also RSVP to Georgina at gbaca@sholom.org or (650) 697-2266.

Second Night Community Seder
Congregation Beth Jacob invites you to a night of story, study, and song, led by Rabbi Nathaniel Ezray
A night with Passover games and activities for kids
A night with a delicious catered kosher dinner
A night with no dishes afterward!
A night to reflect on our freedom
A night for intergenerational Jewish community

Date: Tuesday, April 15
Time: 5:45 pm
Place: Congregation Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City
Cost: $50/adults; $30/children ages 4 to 12; $10/children 3 years & under occupying a seat.
The reservation deadline is Friday, April 11. Go here to register and pay.

Annual Passover Congregational Seder
The community is invited to a family-friendly, participatory Seder on the Second Night of Passover with Temple Beth Hillel. Join Rabbi Dean Kertesz in retelling the Passover story, sing holiday melodies, and share a festive meal with all ritual Seder foods. (Vegetarian option available.)

Date: Tuesday, April 15
Time: 6:30 pm
Place: Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central (Hilltop exit off I-80), Richmond
Cost: Reserve early to assure seating: $8-$30. Please read the details on their website.
Questions: 510-223-2560/tbh@aol.com

Kehilla Annual Community Passover Seder
Led by Rabbis Burt Jacobson & David J. Cooper; with Special Guest, Reverend George Cummings of Oakland Community Organizations, and Imani Community Church
Our Theme: The Mitzvah to Take Action
The Hebrew prophets, A to Z (Amos to Zachariah) were called to protest the injustices in ancient Israel. And even though they were resistant, they felt compelled by divine command to speak out in order to turn their society around.
The Torah says to “not stand idly on the blood of your brother,” i.e. that in the face of suffering and oppression—of others and our own—we are forbidden to simply witness; we must act. But no one of us alone has the ability to be effective. Yet united with others who are also acting under the same prophetic responsibility, we have the power to effect change.
Many activists in Kehilla are involved in the struggle against the Pharaohs of our time. How are you or can you make a difference, too?
Moses, Jeremiah, Miriam and Micah are all invited to join us we celebrate the process of liberation and retell the Exodus story as a paradigm for our own situation today. Join them for Passover.
This year we are featuring a delicious organic catered primarily vegetarian dinner.

Date: April 19
Time: 4:45 pm – 8:30 pm
Place: Kehilla, 1300 Grand Ave, Oakland
Cost: $40/adult member; $55/adult non-member
details and registration here.

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Got a fabulous Pesach recipe? Please email it to me at dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org; I’m posting them!

Francisco and daughter
Here’s one from a San Francisco Dad, Francisco, seen here with his daughter.

Francisco Caravayo’s Charoset
“My family loves this charoset. I don’t use dates or wine because I don’t like either.”*

1 apple, minced
5 prunes (dates)*, minced
¼ cup golden raisins
10 dried apricots, minced
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp kosher grape juice (wine)*
¼ cup toasted almonds, chopped
¼ cup toasted pistachios, chopped
¼ tsp each, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
1 dash of kosher salt

Either chop by hand or make it easy on yourself by using a food processor.

*I’ve noted where one would use the dates or wine if you so desire.

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I love doughnuts and I love a good jelly – but not together. So for Hanukkah I prefer good old plain doughnuts. Powdered or Glaze!



2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
5 Tbsp. melted butter
4 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
Canola oil

Beat eggs; continue beating and add the sugar slowly. Stir in milk and melted butter. In a separate bowl sift flour with baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix well. Chill dough about 30 minutes so it is easy to handle. Roll it out on a very lightly floured board. Roll or pat to a thickness of ½ inch. Cut with a double ring cutter to make a doughnut shape.

Heat an inch & ½ of oil in a flat bottomed pan to 375 degrees. Gently slide dough into oil. Fry each doughnut 2 – 3 minutes on each side. Don’t crowd the pan. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon or fork and put on paper towels to drain.

You can dust with powdered sugar or glaze with a Milk Glaze.

Milk Glaze
Sift ½ cup powdered sugar and add 2 tsp. hot mil and ¼ tsp. vanilla. Mix until smooth.

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