Additional Things to Make and Do


Return overdue library books to Shomrei or Aileen’s front porch (no mask needed). Just place the books preferably in a plastic bag into the marked box on the front porch. 204 Park Street, just a couple of minutes up from Shomrei.

Marcia Falk’s  Days Between  looks at liturgy from a feminist point of view, breaking new ground with poems, prayers and meditations. On September 23 from 3-4, this well-known poet will lead you into the season in this session presented by the Hadassah Brandeis Institute. Click here for the link to register.

HillelCollege students on campus or studying remotely will find many ways to connect over the High Holidays at the Hillel website. Registration is required for prerecorded programming featuring Broadway performers, Hollywood screenwriters, musicians and more.

giraffeThe Montclair Art Museum is open.I visited over the weekend. The exhibit of animals and natural environments by Federico Uribe is spectacular. Using found objects-such as plastic items, old books, bullet casings, Uribe has explored the sea, earth and sky. This exhibit is well worth a visit. Children will love the animals, while adults will be fascinated by the workmanship and the philosophical underpinnings of the exhibit. Days are limited but hours are extended; admission is limited so there should be no crowds in the galleries. Check the MAM website for specific safety requirements, hours and other information.

If you haven’t yet decided what to make for the holiday, try the following which is perfect for beginning the year with something sweet

chickenTsimmes chicken  (serves 8-10)

2 whole chickens (about 4 pounds), broken down into 8 pieces, wings and backbones reserved for another use
4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds carrots, preferably young carrots with greens attached, halved lengthwise or quartered if large- save the carrot tops for garnish
Yukon gold potatoes and sweet potatoes cut into 2 inch pieces (optional)
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2″ wedges
12 garlic cloves, peeled
8 ounces dried apricots (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 ounces dried prunes (about 1 1/2 cups)
20 sprigs thyme
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
Parsley leaves with tender stems (optional, for serving)


  1. Arrange racks in top and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 400°F. Season chicken pieces with 2 tsp. salt.
  2. Whisk honey, oil, lemon juice, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, and remaining 2 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Add chicken pieces, carrots, onion, garlic, apricots, prunes,other vegetables and thyme and toss to combine. Divide everything but chicken between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Stir wine and 1/2 cup water in a 2-cup measuring cup, then pour half over each sheet.
  3. Cover sheets tightly with foil. Roast 15 minutes, then remove from oven.
  4. Remove foil, divide chicken between sheets, and continue to roast, rotating sheets top to bottom halfway through, until carrots are fork-tender, chicken is golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast registers 165°F, 30–35 minutes (if some pieces of chicken are finished before others, transfer them to a serving platter).
  5. Transfer chicken mixture to serving platter. Pour pan juices over. Top with carrot greens or parsley before serving.

And for dessert, who can resist Marian Burros classic plum torte, featured in the New York Times for decades. it’s one of the most requested recipes ever. Serve with ice cream, dairy or non.

Books to Read

villainessMy Life as a Villainess by Laura Lippman.  Mystery writer Lippman is best known for her award winning mysteries set in Baltimore. Her latest mystery Lady in the Lake is a page turner featuring Jewish leading character Nadeline Schwartz.  Lippman’s newest book contains her musings on being an “old” mother, life as a writer, her two marriages. She is opinionated, open, and at times self-centered and   Women readers will identify with much of what Lippman has to say. Lippmann is married to David Simon, creator of The Wire.

Remix Judaism: preserving tradition in a diverse world by Roberta Kwall believes that seeking an authentic, mindful, joyous practice of Judaism is the goal of most Jews. Kwall’s book seeks to help Jews find meaning in what might seem meaningless and value in practices that may seem to have no intrinsic value.She asks  “How much can it (tradition) change and still be Jewish tradition?” Remixing tradition means perhaps putting a personal twist on a ritual: doing something because it recalls a loved one, for example. This book should appeal to those who are looking for a way to integrate their liberal and cultural Judaism with tradition.


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Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg, a professional librarian, is a long-time congregant and serves as volunteer librarian for Shomrei's Lampert Library. The library, one of the best-kept secrets at Shomrei is used by the Rabbi, congregants, students and teachers of the JLC (Hebrew School) and Preschool. It's a tremendous resource completely supported by your donations and gifts. Aileen also heads the Shomrei Caterers, the in-house food preparation group. Can there be any better combination…good food and good books!
Aileen Grossberg

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