The Joy of the Chanukah Simcha Band

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Eighteen hours after the Simcha Band played at Shomrei’s annual Chanuka party I was sitting poolside in St. Petersburg, Florida. Did I hear Christmas music everywhere? Not me! I continued to hear the eleven Chanuka songs and Israeli folk songs we played the night before. The joy of the band, the SIZE of the band and our professionalism continues to sustain me through the last day and night of the holiday. Continue reading

Mesh Cafe Oct 31, 2017

From Captain Aileen Grossberg

IMG_1244On an evening that was all treats and no tricks,  21 guests sat down to a simple but hearty meal of minestrone soup, perfectly seasoned baked chicken breasts, colorful roasted baby carrots and broccoli, and smashed roasted potatoes followed by a medley of cantaloupe, pineapple and strawberries accompanied by Halloween Oreos for dessert. Co-chefs Sarah Steindel and Sarita Eisenberg operated like a well-oiled team, never missing a beat and timing the meal perfectly. Continue reading

Mesh Cafe June 27, 2017

Mesh 2017 june 27

From Captain Sarah Kravits:

Shomrei welcomed 20 guests for the last MESH meal of the season before we break for summer. Chefs Sarita Eisenberg and Sarah Steindel prepared a delicious meal, starting with a mixed green salad with hearts of palm and corn served with bread, a main course of honey balsamic chicken served with herbed pasta and green beans mixed with sautéed mushrooms and onions, and finally a dessert of sorbet with cookies and strawberries. When Captain Sarah Kravits announced the menu, the guests applauded — they consistently appreciate the food we serve at Shomrei! Continue reading

Mesh Cafe Apr 25, 2017

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From Captain Sarah Kravits:

On a chilly, rainy Tuesday night, Shomrei’s MESH cafe provided a warm welcome to 15 guests. Chefs Sarah Steindel and Sarita Eisenberg worked with captain Sarah Kravits to make it a “team of Sarahs” night. Sarah and Sarita prepared a tasty meal of a mixed multicolor salad, buttered bread, Dijon chicken breasts, potato spinach casserole, and roasted carrots and broccoli, with fruit salad, wafers, and chocolate covered pretzels for dessert. Kudos to our chefs for repurposing potatoes and spinach that were in the refrigerator. Continue reading

Purim Simcha Band Plays Its Heart Out

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For the sixth year in a row, the multi-generational Simcha Band played our hearts out at our annual Purim celebration. Setting the lively tone for the Costume Parade and then playing in between chapters of the Megillah, the band added a new dimension to its name “Simcha” Band! When the Megillah readers chanted Haman’s name, the band successfully drowned out his name. Continue reading

Mesh Cafe Feb 28, 2017

MESH 2017 feb 28

From Captain Sarah Kravits:

On this last night of February, Shomrei’s MESH cafe welcomed 25 guests (the tables were set for 24, but we were able to serve the 25th guest downstairs). Chefs Sarita Eisenberg and Sarah Steindel created a lovely meal of chopped salad with farro served with bread, baked chicken with fresh rosemary lemon marinade, roasted carrots and broccoli, rice, and a dessert of fruit salad and cookies. One vegetarian guest was served vegetable lo mein instead of chicken. Continue reading

Mesh Cafe Jan 17, 2017

MESH Jan 17 2017From Captain Linda Ariel:

On a dark rainy raw wintery night, Shomrei Emunah welcomed twenty-two guests into our warm bright home. Sarita Eisenberg and Sarah Steindel were the chefs who created a wonderful nutritious meal from not only food that they had purchased but also from repurposed food from the kiddush and hosting IHN.

The menu for the evening began with a delicious green salad with artichoke hearts as the surprise, with bread and butter on the side. This was followed by baked tilapia in a lemon mustard sauce complimented by roasted broccoli and carrots and warm savory rice and beans. The dessert was fresh fruit salad with Oreos on the side.The guests were most appreciative of the food and expressed through compliments to the chefs and partaking of seconds that were available. Continue reading

Pure Joy! – The Hanukkah Simcha Band!

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Today’s WELL column in The New York Times (12/20/16) talks about how running makes the brain work in surprising ways. Similarly, it says that “Playing a musical instrument, for instance, requires refining a variety of fine motor skills, while also engaging memory, attention, forward planning and many other executive functions of the brain. So it’s not surprising that past brain-scanning studies have found that expert musicians tend to have greater coordination between areas of the brain associated with different kinds of thinking, as well as sensory processing and motor control, than do people who have never picked up a bassoon or other instrument.”

The Times article forgot one important thing. Playing a musical instrument is pure joy (and some practice, too). The multi-generational Hanukkah Simcha Band proved this with its glorious sound at our community Hanukkah party on Sunday, Dec. 18. Whether you were playing, singing, dancing or listening to the gorgeous music, it was exhilarating. Continue reading

Mesh Cafe Nov 29, 2016

MESH Nov 29 2016

From Captain Linda Ariel:

Our MESH cafe met on a raw, rainy night, and we had nineteen guests, including one child. I understand that some of our regular guests have jobs for the holidays and were not able to come, but I anticipate that we will be back to our usual number of guests as the winter progresses.

Chefs Sarita Eisenberg and Sarah Steindel prepared a hearty meal of corn salad accompanied by bread and butter, warm chili on rice with broccoli on the side, completed by dessert of clementines and chocolate chip cookies. Continue reading