What foods do you “share” between cultures?

(image from www.anapnoes.gr)

Last week I asked you, What are you doing for Passover & Easter?

I thought you’d enjoy reading a couple of replies:

From a Catholic husband:
We’re going to a Seder on Saturday and, err, cooking Easter brunch on Sunday.
Easter brunch will include French toast casserole made with (what else) challah made on Saturday.  (It’s not a day of rest for me.)
I’m aiming for a religious Passover and Easter – and just as importantly, for an inclusive seder and brunch.

Other observations:
Our Catholic Relief Services “rice bowl” (alms) box for Lent isn’t that different from a JWS tzedakah box.
I swear gelt is made from the same bad chocolate as cheap Easter bunnies 🙂

From a Jewish wife:
We’re doing a smidge of both. Well, lots of Pesach and a smidge of Easter. We’re going to two Seders at friends’ houses and I’ll go to services both days. Then we’re having a chill lunch with a few friends and my mom after services on Sunday. Then we’re going to my mom’s for an Easter dinner, since it’s important to her. She usually gives my sister and me Easter baskets. I asked her not to put candy in it though, because it’s too hard with kashrut for Pesach. I’ll go and eat fresh kosher meat or veggies at her house on Pesach even though I normally don’t eat anything from a kitchen that hasn’t nullified chametz, but not processed candy. And as always, my non-Jewish hubby did nearly all of our cleaning for Pesach. (We put away chametz and sell it but don’t really kasher yet).


Sharing Customs
You’ll note that in the first case, Easter Brunch will include a casserole made with challah. In the second, the daughter of a non-Jewish mother will graciously accept an Easter basket minus the non-kosher candy.

One of the most common traditions to share is our cuisine, our foods. A friend of mine who began practicing Kashrut after growing up in the south and eating plenty of pork went on a long series of experiments to recreate the flavor she was missing. Turned out to be most easily reproduced using a product you all know, Liquid Smoke.

Dying Easter eggs is often seen as a fun, crafty activity that parents who don’t observe the religious holiday still want to do with their kids. A couple years ago a woman wrote me that her daughter had decided to dye eggs to represent each of the 10 Plagues and have them on the Seder table. This year another friend told me that he dyes eggs with his daughter but puts Jewish symbols – star of David, Chai, Torah scroll – on the eggs. Recently another friend remarked that the Jewish practice of celebrating the end of Passover by baking an egg into a round loaf of bread is similar to the Christian practice of baking eggs into Easter breads.

Are there foods that you have adapted from another culture or tradition to fit into your Jewish practices? Please tell me about them. I think we should share these ideas.


Next Jewish Holiday: Yom Hashoah
No sooner does Passover end than the next holiday is upon us. It is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year it begins at sundown on April 11. There will be community gatherings around the bay area.



Mussar and Meditation Service (Lafayette)
Yom HaShoah (San Francisco)
South Peninsula Yom HaShoah (Los Altos)
Remembrance of the Holocaust and Acts of Courage (Burlingame)
Torah, Talmud, and Tales of Our Tradition (San Mateo)
Friday Night Lights (Palo Alto)
Tot Shabbat Morning (Lafayette)
Yom Ha’Atzmaut Shabbat (Lafayette)
Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration and Concert (San Francisco)
Havdalah Pizza and PJ Party (San Francisco)



Mussar and Meditation Service
If you are seeking a soulful Shabbat, but with a little less prayer – this is for you. If you are seeking ways to grow wiser in your everyday life – this is for you. If you aren’t so sure about chanting and silence, give it a try anyway. You might be surprised at how the combination of music and silence calms us, connects us, and creates space for new ways of thinking and acting to emerge. Please join us even if you have never come to this unique Shabbat experience before.

Saturday, April 7
Time:   10:30am
Place:   Temple Isaiah, 925 Risa Rd., Lafayette


Yom HaShoah: 40 Years of Dedication, Education, and Action in San Francisco
This year’s community Yom HaShoah program pays special tribute to the Bay Area survivors who organized San Francisco’s first public Holocaust commemoration 40 years ago. Attendees will also hear testimony from Hana Berger Moran, born in a concentration camp, who survived to tell her mother’s story.

Date:   Wednesday, April 11
Time:   5:00 – 5:45 pm: Reading of the Names
6:00 – 7:15 pm: Community Program
Place:   SF JCC, 3200 California St., San Francisco
Details here.
Presented by JFCS Holocaust Center in partnership with Lehrhaus Judaica, JCCSF, and the Jewish Community Relations Council.


South Peninsula Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day
Time passes, but still we remember. Time passes, but we will never forget.
Join us for a special service as we honor those lost during the Shoah and people from other faiths who saved Jews, The Righteous Among the Nations. The service will include the stories of six survivors recorded and presented by local teens, as well as music, song and visual art in remembrance. The service is free and open to the public. Ride sharing is encouraged to help with the parking process.

Date:   April 11
Time:   7 to 8:30pm
Place:   Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills
For more information, contact Milla Serper, (650) 223-8604.
Co-Sponsors: Congregation Beth Am; Congregation Emek Beracha; Congregation Etz Chayim; Congregation Kol Emeth; Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School; Jewish Community Relations Council; Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties; Jewish Family and Children’s Services; Jewish LearningWorks; Keddem Congregation; Kehillah Jewish High School; Oshman Family Jewish Community Center; Sequoia Chapter of Hadassah; South Peninsula Hebrew Day School


Remembrance of the Holocaust and Acts of Courage
Remembering the Holocaust. This program is free and open to the public Parental discretion recommended for children under age 12.
Multi-generational Service | Procession of Survivors Student Artwork and Writings | Music and Song Candle-lighting | Survivors’ Biographies

Doors open at 6:00 pm 6:30 pm
Reading of Martyrs’ Names 7:00 pm
Service of Remembrance Dessert reception following service

Date:   April 11
Place:   Peninsula Temple Sholom 1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame
Details here.


Torah, Talmud, and Tales of Our Tradition
Join Rabbi Sara for a journey through Jewish stories from Creation to Chelm. It’s no coincidence that we are called the “People of the Book!” Our stories have always been our foundation and our future.

This class is a great follow up to the Introduction to Judaism class, though all are welcome–whether this is your first Jewish learning experience, or if you’ve been studying for years.

Dates:  Thursdays, April 12, 19, and 26
Time:   7:00 to 8:30 pm
Place:   Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
RSVP to the class by emailing Cindi at Temple Beth El at cserbin@ptbe.org


Friday Night LightsThe Israel Tour Edition
A Shabbat experience for children ages 6 and under and their families! Featuring seasonal and holiday scavenger hunts, Shabbat blessings, singing, light refreshments and time for children to learn and play while parents have a Shabbat rest. For more information

Date:   Friday, April 13
Time:   5:45 – 7:30 pm
Place:   Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma, Palo Alto


Tot Shabbat Morning
Geared toward families with children 0 to 5 years old, Tot Shabbat morning is an interactive and friendly Shabbat experience with free bagel brunch and activities. Please click here to R.S.V.P. so we have enough food.

Date:   Saturday, April 14
Time:   9:30am in the Adult Lounge
Place:   Temple Isaiah, 925 Risa Rd., Lafayette


Yom Ha’Atzmaut Shabbat
The Israel and World Jewry Committee invites you to a Yom HaAtzmaut celebration in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday with cake and special Shabbat service where we’ll sing Israeli songs and hear the personal experiences of temple members who recently were in Israel.

Date:   Friday, April 20
Time:   6pm Oneg with cake and 6:30pm Shabbat Service
Place:   Temple Isaiah, 925 Risa Rd., Lafayette


Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration and Concert
with Hadag Nahash
Come celebrate Israel at 70! Here’s the schedule:
4-6 pm: Israeli “shuk” (market) with activities for the whole family, music, and food for purchase
6-7:30 pm: Torchlight ceremony and musical performance by Israel’s biggest hip hop/funk band, Hadag Nahash.

Date:   Sunday, April 29
Place:   Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., San Francisco
Cost:    Ages 18 and up: $18; Ages 10-17: $10
Details and tickets here.
Hosted by Jewish National Fund, Congregation Emanu-El, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund and Israeli American Council


Havdalah Pizza and PJ Party
Join us for a Havdalah Pizza and PJ Party!
Let’s celebrate the end of another year of living Jewishly with little ones with a Havdalah PJ Party! Together with our friends at Congregation Emanu-El, PJ Library and Interfaith Family, we’ll come together for a fun afternoon of games, toys, and songs with early childhood educator Mimi Greisman. The afternoon will close with Havdalah and pizza!

Date:   Sat, May 11th
Time:   4pm-5:30pm
Place:   Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., San Francisco