MESH Report 1/29/2019

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From Captain Aileen Grossberg:

On a relatively mild winter night, the Carol Starr MESH Cafe served a full house of 24 appreciative guests plus several take away meals. Lynne Kurzweil and Aileen Grossberg served as creative co-chefs, repurposing food left from the weekend’s events.

Our guests were treated to a multi-course meal of salmon salad with miso marinated carrots, felafel with tahini, pickled cucumbers and crackers as an appetizer. This was followed by squash soup garnished with house made crispy chick peas, a mixed green salad and warm pita bread. The entree  was za’atar chicken strips over vegetable infused pasta with a side of farro salad. A colorful fruit bowl of grapes, cantaloupe, and berries accompanied by crumb cake completed the meal.

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Meaningful Work Choices — New Frontiers – @nourish, Sat, Feb 2, 2019, 10:30am

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Sat, Feb 2, 10:30 am
Free and open to everyone

Good Coffee and Nosh!

It takes courage to leave the known world for new frontiers. The panel members will share their experiences and open up the discussion to the audience so that we can all explore the journey of finding meaning in work and life.

Our panel, led by Dale Russakoff, who left her longtime job as a reporter at the Washington Post in 2008 to become a freelance writer, will consist of:

Alison Wininger
A public interest lawyer who represented low-income clients in the Bronx, Harlem and London, then chose to become a stay-at-home mom to her two daughters.  She has begun to share her passion for social justice with her older daughter, Abigail, now 3, and together they volunteered with IHN for the first time in December. Continue reading

MESH Report 1/22/2019

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From Captain Stuart Green:

Shomrei’s MESH cafe opened on Tuesday night, welcoming 24 guests seeking respite from temperatures in the teens. They came early and stayed late, enjoying a hot and nutritious meal prepared by MESH superstars Lynne Kurzweil and Aileen Grossberg, sous-chef and pot washer Susan Rosenblatt, and shopper Sarah Steindel. The menu featured minestrone soup, salad, baked tilapia on a bed of greens, rice and mixed vegetables, rye bread, fruit salad, and apple strudel. Teens Amalia, Jonah, Kendall, Louis, and Max served, cleared, and kibitzed, along with MESH pros Bonny, Adrienne, and Joe.

Quick plea from MESH co-chairs Lynne Kurzweil & Aileen Grossberg:
With the exception of Tuesday, 2/12, there are no Cooks nor Captains signed up going forward.  We need more help if we want to sustain our MESH Cafe. If you’ve never cooked for MESH or been a Captain we will guide you all the way. Please consider signing up and then do it. To sign up, go to shomrei.org/mesh.

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Time to Travel

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Winter is upon us, yet again. Although everyone seems always to be scurrying and hurrying, it’s important to find time to escape our hectic lives.

Unfortunately we can’t always go off to some exotic place. But winter is a fine time to settle into that comfy chair and escape through the magic of reading.

Books will take you anywhere if you let them-even to places that don’t exist. Continue reading

Guest Rabbi Ari Perten at Shomrei

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Rabbi Ari Perten will be Shomrei’s Guest Rabbi on the following dates:

Fri Jan 18th – Sat 19th
Fri Feb 8th – Sat 9th
Fri Mar 8th – Sat 9th
Fri Mar 22nd – Sat 23rd
Fri Apr 5th – Sat 6th
Fri May 17th – Sat 18th
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Tu B’Shevat is Coming

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There may be a wind chill below freezing and perhaps some snow in the forecast, but inside our homes and synagogues it’s spring like as we celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of the Trees.

In Israel the month of Shevat marks the beginning of the growing season when the trees bud and flower. It’s a perfect time for planting.

So there is a lot of pretending in far colder New Jersey, but isn’t it nice to imagine?

While Tu B’Shevat also had a very serious side to it as one of the financial landmarks of the year, it’s often treated as a holiday just for kids in modern America and has also taken on the identity of an ecological holiday as  Jewish Earth Day.
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MESH Report 1/15/2019

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From Captain Sarah Kravits:

On a sub-freezing night, the Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei provided many kinds of warmth — a hot meal, a warm place to eat it, and friendly people providing it. Chef Melissa Elbaum unfortunately was sick and could not cook, so Chef Lynne Kurzweil and sous-chef Aileen Grossberg came in to save the day, ingeniously repurposing food in the refrigerator and freezer. They created a delicious meal of a hearty tomato and roasted eggplant vegetable soup, a green salad with marinated tomatoes, a “flight” of quiches (broccoli and cheddar, mushroom and spinach, and salmon and goat cheese), a tuna chickpea salad on a lettuce leaf boat, toasted bagels with cream cheese and butter, and roasted root vegetables that were the last of the CSA generously provided by Judy Wildman and Zelda Greenstein (in the photos you can see the “before” and “after” of the roasting). Dessert was fruit salad and homemade chocolate/chocolate chip cookies.

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Rhapsody for a Pot

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I’ve rhapsodized about my Breville Smart Oven, expensive but well-worth the price especially since my full-sized oven is broken, but the Breville’s place in my culinary heart may have been taken over by the Instant Pot. This appliance, available under several brands, is essentially an electric pressure cooker with added features so that it’s great for making a meal in one pot.

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Fri, May 10, 2019 – Cantor Galeet Dardashti: Heartfelt and Hypnotic Jewish Liturgical Music

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Renowned Cantor, Galeet Dardashti comes to Shomrei for a Firday night Kabbalat Shabbat service, Shabbat dinner and Presentation, Fri, May 10, 2019.

Her dynamic Sephardi/Mizrahi Kabbalat Shabbat service always has participants singing and clapping. Each new melody introduced is taught in nigun form (wordless melodies) first. This service involves prayers with beautiful melodies from a range of Middle Eastern/North African Jewish communities.

At dinner, Dr. Dardashti will offer an interactive presentation on Jewish Middle Eastern and North African (Mizrahi) piyut traditions (piyut: Jewish liturgical poem). Come hear, study, and learn to sing several of these beautiful poetic songs, and gain an understanding of their shifting cultural significance throughout Jewish history and in Israeli pop and rock music today. Continue reading

Mar 1 & 2, 2019 – Joey Weisenberg, Musical Scholar-in-Residence, Cultivating the Power of the Communal Voice

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Joey Weisenberg will be Congregation Shomrei Emunah’s “Musical Scholar-in-Residence” Friday March 1 – Sat March 2, 2019.  Mr. Weisenberg is the Creative Director of Mechon Hadar’s Rising Song Institute, which seeks to empower Jewish community-building through music. He works to educate and train communities around the world to unlock their musical and spiritual potential, and to make music a lasting and joy­-filled force in shul and in Jewish life. He runs workshops and trainings across the country and is a multi-instrumental musician, singer, and composer. His nigunim, published in 6 CDs and a Songbook, have become popular worldwide.

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