The kitchen stayed cool at the MESH Café on Tuesday as we served a dinner of mostly leftovers, allowing Chef Lynne Kurzweill to wear seasonable appropriate long sleeves. We served 24 guests and prepared four takeaway meals.
The meal started with a freshly made tomato vegetable soup – good to the last drop, with not a smidge leftover. That was followed by leftovers from the Women’s Seder on Sunday: a kale salad with apples, craisins, and roasted pecans plus a touch of mango salsa to add sweetness; salmon topped with a horseradish crust and accompanied by roasted grape tomatoes; and a quinoa vegetable salad.
With the days lengthening and the temperatures still fluctuating in early spring, we hosted twenty-four guests with three additional people who were fortunate to take away food, since there was limited space in the cafe. Sarita Eisenberg and Sarah Steindel were the chefs for the evening and were assisted by Susan Rosenblatt and Lou Hammerman as sous chefs, servers, and cleanup crew. Amalia, Noah, and Orly were teen helpers who assisted in every task of the evening. The MESH staff of Adrienne, Bonny and Joe pitched in as they always do with their expertise and familiarity with many of our guests. Continue reading →
What an amazing weekend it was with our guest, Joey Weisenberg. A highlight for me was towards the end of services on Saturday, when Joey invited us to gather round him for Musaf. To make room, we shifted the bima and moved the chairs aside. Envision the people, after moving through the parted Red Sea and gathering on the far bank, singing their praises and gratitude. Now come one step closer, he coaxed us. Now come even one more step closer. And so we stood shoulder to shoulder. Continue reading →
The Carol Starr MESH Cafe welcomed twenty-four guest on this cold wintry evening. Sarita Eisenberg and Sarah Steindel were co-chefs and created a delicious and generous repast, some of which was re-purposed from the Honor Night dinner for Nick Levitin. The menu included appetizers of carrot salad, couscous, and cucumber salad with cheese and crackers on the side, the main course of middle eastern fish stew, baked salmon, roasted broccoli, rice, bread and butter, and finally fruit salad and cookies as dessert.
On a warm and humid evening, we welcomed 24 guests for a sumptuous meal consisting of a green salad with buttered challah on the side, Moroccan baked salmon with rice and lentils and roasted broccoli and carrots, and a dessert of fruit salad, cookies, and chocolate cake. Our chefs extraordinaires were Sarita Eisenberg and Sara Steindel with assistant chefs of Lou Hammerman and Charles Steindel. Susan Rosenblatt and Linda Ariel pitched in as well with the preparation of the many dishes. Continue reading →
This past Shabbat, September 22, 2018, we were honored to welcome to Shomrei Dr. Gwen Parker Ames, Executive Director of MESH, as our @nourish speaker. Dr. Ames is Dean of Student Success at Nyack College, Adjunct Professor in Family and Child Studies at Montclair State University and Chaplain Educator at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital. She is also a licensed staff minister at St. Paul Baptist Church.
Our first Carol Starr Mesh Café of 2018 opened on a very wet and dark rainy night—and brightened everyone’s evening with deep orange colors and tangy flavors. It may have been miserable outside, but inside it was a flaming fall festival of color—with a little pumpkin spice ala Starbucks! Continue reading →
The Anne Frank House conveys the narrative that Holland protected its Jews. To quote the fact checker for the New York Times: this requires context.
Conversos settled in Amsterdam during the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s important to note that Holland was not uniformly welcoming as they were not allowed to settle in other towns and it took a while before they were comfortable living openly as Jews. They also did not know much about being Jewish. Rabbis from other countries – Italy, Morocco, Germany – came over to teach them about Judaism. Ashkenazi Jews came to Amsterdam later and during the 18th century this was the larger of the two communities. Continue reading →
It is called the Anne Frank House but it was not actually her home. The buildings housed her father’s company and Anne, together with her family (father Otto, mother Edith, sister Margot) and 4 other people, hid in the top two floors of the back annex above the warehouse for 2 years.
The entire building is empty. No furniture – the Nazis removed everything and Otto Frank did not want other furniture brought in to recreate the space. Only a few personal items have survived – postcards and magazine photos that Ann glued to her bedroom wall, a shopping list, Edith Frank’s siddur. Continue reading →
Tuesday night was our last cafe before we break for summer, resuming in early September. We welcomed 24 guests and provided 3 takeaway meals. Uber Chef Aileen Grossberg planned and prepared a special four course meal with the assistance of Sous Chef Beryl Hiller. First course was a refreshing cold Cucumber Soup followed by Green Salad with a small scoop of Tuna Salad, a mini Quiche and a buttered Roll. Main course was Maple Balsamic Roasted Steelhead Trout, Green Beans with Sautéed Mushrooms and Shallots and homemade Corn Pudding. Dessert included Rice Pudding with Blueberries, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Strawberries and Grapes. Whew! A healthy, colorful, gourmet meal that was thoroughly enjoyed and much appreciated by our guests. Food prep and cleanup helper was yours truly and of course, our MESH staffers Adrienne, Joe and Joe. It was a great night of good food, good feelings and fellowship. Several of our regulars personally expressed their thanks for all we do for them at our cafe, wished us a good summer and looking forward to returning in the fall.
Look for signup reminder emails the end of August and make this the year you commit to volunteering for MESH! You will not be disappointed!