Look Back to go Forward

Photo courtesy of Forwards: How many Jews of Color Are There?

Photo courtesy of Forwards: How many Jews of Color Are There?

As we approach the 244th anniversary of independence for the United States, soul searching might be in order.

The following books are available at the Lampert Library or most public libraries. Continue reading

For Education and Entertainment

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During these  months with their special challenges for librarians, I’ve learned that there is so much more available that I ever thought although I would never give up hard copies of books.

While there is nothing like face-to-face experience, the online presentations have become almost as good as presenters adapt to unfamiliar technology.

The whole world is available through online presentations. I have discussed the Holocaust with an educator from India, baked hallah with a Jewish woman from Italy, attended a book talk with 30,000 other eager readers and “attended” a lecture with my daughter in France.

None of these things would have been possible in the “real” world. And if you miss something, most presentation are recorded so thatthey are accessible at any time.  Continue reading

Summer’s coming in

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As the weather warms, we look for food that takes little effort and is light to counteract the heaviness of a summer day.

Soup is always a good starter. There’s gazpacho (Fit for the Fourth, 5/5/17), cucumber soup (Cool as a …,  8/1/19) , cucumber gazpacho (Summertime and the Cooking is Easy, 7/26/18) and cucumber pineapple soup (Cool Food for a Hot Day, 6/17/17), of course. But even easier is this versatile gluten and dairy free zucchini soup discovered  by Beryl Hiller on the Allrecipes website. Continue reading

Shavuot Nature Wall

CU yellow blossom w orange _ red_ St Barts, Feb 2011-COLLAGE (1)

Celebrate Beautiful Nature on Shavuot!

A Message From Rabbi Greenstein:

There is a wonderful custom of decorating synagogues and homes with flowers and leaves and pictures of nature on the holiday of Shavuot, the festival celebrating our receiving the Torah. While we are still not able to celebrate within the walls of our synagogue, we can create a wall of photos and images of nature’s beauty to enhance our joy.

Thank you to photographers in our community, Judith Antelman, Bruce Baff, Nancy Breslin, Aimee Brooks, Sarita Eisenberg, Aileen Grossberg, Rabbi Richard Hammerman, Laura Monka and Merrill Silver who have submitted their images in honor of Shavuot.

What a beautiful way to welcome our holiday! May we always take to heart the world’s great beauty!

view the gallery

Shavuot Resources

shavuot1Shavuot was frequently called the forgotten holiday. Religious schools had often closed by the time the holiday came around in late May or June.

Shavuot didn’t have the newness of the fall holidays; it lacked the gift giving and competition with Christmas of Hanukkah; and it’s missing the nostalgia of family gatherings that Passover brings.

However, Shavuot is one of the great pilgrimage holidays that along with Sukkot and Passover that drew ancient Jews to Jerusalem for sacrifices. The holiday also marked, for an agricultural people, the summer harvest and presaged the bounty that was to come in the fall. Continue reading

Israeli Flavors for the Weekend

IMG_1988IMG_1985chicken-salad-with-tahini-dressing

This weekend is Memorial Day which marks the official start of the barbecue season and unofficial start of the summer.  While there won’t be any parades, you might be able to catch some sort of tribute to our war dead on a webinar or in a classic movie.

But back to barbecue. If you are looking for something different for a Memorial Day meal, try the following recipes with a Middle Eastern twist.

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Reading in Difficult Times

Stone CarvingsAs I sit at my computer,  so-called normal times seem so distant.The coronavirus pandemic has altered the way we act, where we go, even how we eat. We hope that soon we will return to a semblance of normal. If not, books may bring us entertainment, escape and solace, as well as, challenge.

While the synagogue library itself with all its treasures may not be accessible, this is the time to investigate ebooks borrowed from the public library, from an online  bookseller. or a local bookstore.  Brick and mortar bookstores also are doing their best to serve their customers with curbside or home delivery service.

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A Special Month to Celebrate Us

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By Proclamation, May is Jewish American Heritage Month. While it does not get the attention that Black History Month or Hispanic Heritage  Month get, we can make it important in our lives.

It is amazing how many programs are available while we are confined. Jewish organizations and museums have a wealth of programming on line, much of it more than just talking heads or a sage on a stage.

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Quick to Make; Good to Eat

sku_3860_1During these trying days, some of us have more time on our hands for kitchen duties; while others, challenged by new ways of working, have less.

But we all have to feed ourselves and our families, and, in times of stress,  food seems to become more important. What we put on our tables is within our control when much of the world outside our front doors is not. Continue reading

Tributes to Vivien Lichter

VivOn Sunday, April 19,  there was a touching memorial for Vivien Lichter. Many of the speakers at the service were Shomrei people – Rabbi Greenstein, Toby Stein, Aileen Grossberg, Dale Russakoff and me [Shirley Grill] – and our stories were about Viv and Shomrei…It felt like a story of Shomrei as well as Vivien.

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