The Last Kiddush

For the last kiddush under Rabbi Greenstein’s supervision, the Shomrei kiddush team went all out to prepare a menu that reflected  his and Zelda’s preferences and paid tribute to his vision.

The team of Karen Altman, Aileen Grossberg, Beryl Hiller, Sharon Hurwich, Carol Katzman, Audrey Levitin,  Zen Lucey (recoverd from COVID just in time), Cary Riker, (our newest volunteer)  and Rita Singer prepared a veritable feast.

As requested by Zelda, there was no cake but there were chocolate covered donuts (Rabbi Greenstein favorite Shabbat treat ), lots of green salad, and egg salad, a Greenstein favorite. Specially requested by Rabbi Greenstein was sable served with a no mayonnaise potato salad.

Baked pomegranate glazed salmon, accompanied by a tomato and mango Israeli style salad., was the centerpiece of the kiddush luncheon.  A tub of mini ice-cream cones, rice pudding, fruit and cookies rounded out the menu to please anyone’s sweet tooth.
Preparing kiddush for Rabbi Greenstein and Zelda was a labor of love, all the more so because Rabbi Greenstein has made a point of dropping into the kitchen every Friday morning to thank the cooks. He has also in his role as Rabbi answered questions about food products and kashrut so that both halachic and culinary needs were satisfied.
As Aileen said in her thank you to Rabbi Greenstein :”Kiddush would not be as successful as it has become -some people come just for kiddush!- without your support- both for me personally and the volunteers in general. Kiddush has become a unifying community event and a centerpiece of our weekly Shabbat celebration”
Here are some of the recipes from Saturday’s kiddush. They’re not difficult. Try them yourself.
Pomegranate Glazed Salmon
(serves 4)

Ingredients

1-1/2 pounds salmon filet

1/2 c. pomegranate juice

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Put the pom juice, soy sauce and garlic in a large bowl and mix well. Add the salmon, cover and let marinate for about 15 minutes or put everything in a plastic bag to marinate.
3. Remove salmon from marinade and place skin side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 7 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, put marinade in a small pan. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and cook for 3-5 minutes until thick and syrupy.
5. Remove salmon from oven after 7 minutes and pour half of reduced marinade over the fish. Return the salmon to the oven and bake for an additional 5-7 routes until cooked through.
6. Transfer salmon to plates and pour rest of marinade over the salmon.
Notes Serve hot or cold. Garnish with orange and lemon slices or pomegranate seeds. To make this super simple. Substitute pomegranate molasses for the juice. No need to reduce. Rice or roasted veggies is nice alongside the salmon.

 

Mango, Cucumber and Sumac-Onion Israeli Salad
(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

Salad

2 mangoes, peeled and cut into small cubes (about 3 cups)

1 cucumber, diced (about 3 cups)

1/4 cup Simple Sumac Onions (see below)

3 Tablespoons chopped, fresh mint

3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Toss to combine and serve with additional sumac onions.

 

Simple Sumac Onions
(makes 1 cup)

1 red onion, sliced very thin

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon ground sumac

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl  and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes: Use jarred mango. It’s quick and easy and just as good as fresh in this recipe. Costco has an excellent jarred mango. It is also available in the refrigerated produce section of Shoprite and other markets.  This  salad will keep for a few days.

 

Potato Salad with Capers and Onions
(Serves 4)

Ingredients

1/4 cup capers (rinsed), preferably salt-packed

1 1/2 pounds medium Yukon Gold or other salad potatoes

Salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Ground pepper

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

parsley

Directions

1. In a small bowl, cover the rinsed capers with warm water. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold salted water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain.
3. While the potatoes are still warm, peel (if you wish) and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to a large bowl.
4. In a small bowl combine olive oil,lemon juice and capers and season with salt and pepper. Pour two-thirds of the dressing over the potatoes and toss.
5. Garnish with parsley

Notes: This can be served as an accompaniment to smoked fish such as lox, whitefish or sable.

MESH Report

MESH Report 6/28/22.
For The Carol Starr MESH Cafe’s last meal of the current year, co-chairs Aileen Grossberg  and Lynne Kurzweil along with chief packer and dishwasher Susan Rosenblatt were joined by our newest volunteer, Rabbi Greenstein who spent an hour or so away from his office to help prepare the evening’s meal.  Among his many other talents, Rabbi Greenstein is a very capable chopper. Continue reading

A Stronger and Holier Community

Rabbi David Greenstein’s tenure as spiritual leader of Congregation Shomrei Emunah started not with a bang but a silence. A sanctifying silence. On his first Shabbat on our bimah, in August 2009, he introduced us to the practice of maintaining absolute silence until all congregants finished reciting the Amidah to themselves. No kibbitzing with your seat-mate about afternoon plans. No rabbi moving on to the next reading once most of us were seated. At every Shabbat and holiday service for the next 13 years, if anyone was still praying, the rest of us held the silence. In time, the silence itself felt like prayer. It was an early lesson from our new rabbi in achieving communal holiness, not through words or deeds but through respect. A community of all for one, as well as one for all.

Rabbi Greenstein announced upon his arrival that his greatest value was building Jewish community. And in a recent conversation, that is how he looked back on his years as our rabbi: “I tried as hard as I could to share my love for living a Jewish life, for studying Torah, for connecting people, to be there for people. That’s what I tried to do.”

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MESH Report

MESH Report June 21, 2022, From Chef Shirley Grill: On the first day of summer, yours truly, the appointed MESH chef was joined by two wonderful women: Aimee Brooks and Risa Bernstein in the preparation of a delicious meal for our MESH guests. Aimee took on salad making-she needed to leave earlier so she took the first course–salad prep-from the mixing of the ingredients to filling 20 salad containers. Aimee got the job done. Continue reading

Faithfulness and Hope: Parashat Sh’lach

Parashat Sh’lah
Numbers 13:1-15:41

There are so many threads in our Torah portion that we can try to tie together!

Our text tells of the spies sent by Moses to scout the Promised Land that the Israelites were about to enter. They spend 40 days on their mission. But, at their return they literally destroy all hope in the hearts of the people. They refuse to enter the land. In fury and disappointment, God decrees that the entire adult population shall wander in the wilderness “until all of your carcasses are finished in the wilderness. According to the number of days that you scouted the land – forty days – one day per year – shall you bear your sins – for forty years, so that you will know My opposing Will.” (Num. 14:33-34)
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Past Their Prime: Parashat B’ha`a lot’kha

Parashat B’ha`a lot’kha
Numbers 8:1-12:16

When I was much younger, I occasionally went to the opera to hear singers I admired. On my limited budget, I bought the cheapest “Standing Room” tickets. One evening I went to hear a renowned tenor sing the male lead in Verdi’s Aida. The tenor had been singing for many years and was in the twilight of his career. I wanted to catch him before he retired. His great aria, “Celeste Aida,” comes right at the beginning of the opera and we greeted the opening music with anticipation. But we were sorely disappointed when the tenor was unable to sing the high B-flat at the end of his aria on pitch. Everyone’s heart sank. But even more memorable to me than the great singer’s failure was a remark made at intermission by one of the “mavens” up in the cheap-seat gallery. Acknowledging everyone’s deflated spirits at the fall of this singing legend, he instructed us, “It is always better to hear a singer past his prime than to hear a singer who never had a prime.” If the aged singer was no longer able to muster the energy needed to hit that high note, he was, nevertheless, able to sing with an intelligence and wisdom gained from years of artistry and even from years of coping with his failing powers.
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Remembering A.B. Yehoshua

A.B. Yehoshua, Israeli literary giant and ardent humanist, dies aged 85. This headline from The Times of Israel sums up the life of one of Israel’s foremost authors.

A.B. (Abraham Gabriel, called Boli)) Yehoshua was born in Jerusalem in 1936. His father, an author and translator, was a fourth generation Jerusalemite while his mother was a Moroccan immigrant. This “mixed” marriage was not successful leading Yehoshua to vow that his marriage would be for love.

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