More Hanukkah and Beyond

Dec 16 KahootHanukkah is almost over, but there’s lots more Jewish fun and learning left for 2020.

If you need some family fun for the last night of Hanukkah, here’s an online game:

Dec 16 Key from SpainLadino (Judeo-Spanish) is having a comeback.  Flory Jagoda was almost single handedly responsible for its preservation and revival in the United States. While at 97, she no longer performs, her legacy lives on. She was lauded by the Library of Congress with a celebratory concert in 2013.

Celebrate Flory’s birthday with the National Museum of American Jewish History on December 21.

She’s best known for the Hanukkah song Ocho Kandelikos (Eight Candles). Here’s a new version.

There is also a children’s biography by Debbie Levy. The Key from Spain: Flory Jagoda and her music.

Join the challah bake on Friday, December 18 at 1 pm. Fill your house with the lovely aroma of baking hallah. It only takes about a hour of active time.

Dec 16 StoudemireAre you a sports fan who loves a good story? On December 21 at 7 pm listen to the amazing story pf basketball great Amar’e Stoudemire at

The Hub at My Jewish Learning gathers manyJewish activities from study to song to entertainment.

Dec 16 Black cantorsClose your eyes. Imagine you are listening to wonderful cantorial music. Describe the person you see in front of you. Chances are it won’t be one of the little known Black cantors. Learn about the fascinating history of the Black cantors and listen to their wonderful voices.

Meet the prophets in a series of emails from My Jewish Learning. maropost&ut_ campaign=MJL&utm medium=email

Are you looking for something to do on the evening of December 24?  First make a delicious, family friendly dinner of oven fried chicken, John Lasiter’s easy foolproof latkes and super simple jelly donuts (recipes below). Then spend  the evening  with My Jewish Learning’s Nittel Nacht, an evening of fun, games and learning from 7-11 p.m.

Lastly, as we approach a new year and a new presidential administration, the words of the late Rabbi Jonathan Sacks seem germane. A prolific writer and teacher, a former leader of the Orthodox Community of Greta Britain, Rabbi Sacks, who was also a Baron, wrote “The test of faith is whether I can make space for difference. Can I recognize God’s image in someone who is not in my image, whose language, faith, ideal, are different from mine? If I cannot, then I have made God in my image instead of allowing him to remake me in his.”

Oven Fried Chicken

1/3 c flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder or cayenne
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 pounds bone-in chicken parts ( I like thighs)
1/3 cup unsalted margarine


  1. Heat oven to 425.
  2. In a pie plate or wide shallow bowl, combine flour, spices, salt and pepper.
  3. Place chicken in flour mixture, turning to coat throughly. Or put flour and seasoning in a plastic bag. Add chicken pieces a few at a time and shake to coat.
  4. Put 1/3 cup margarine in a shallow baking pan (like a sheet pan); place it in the hot oven. When the margarine has melted, arrange the chicken in the pan in a single layer, skin side down. Do not crowd the chicken.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, turn chicken and bake 15 minutes longer or until chicken is tender and registers at least 165 on a food thermometer.


  • Boneless chicken breasts can be used. Check temperature after about 15 minutes.
  • Add curry powder to the coating.
  • Substitute panko for flour. You will need to use at least 2/3 cup.

John Lasiter’s Oven Baked, gluten free latkes  (serves  about 4-6 as a main course with toppings, 10-12 as a side dish)

24 oz Frozen Shredded Potatoes (Shredded Hash Browns, uncooked).  Thawed, plain, no flavoring, nothing but potatoes.
4 Eggs
½ Cup of Potato Starch
½ Cup of Grated Yellow Onion, drained. (approx 2-3 onions, see directions)
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Black Pepper
Corn or Vegetable Oil for pan


  1. Preheat convection oven to 425º F. Convection fan(s) set to high. No convection? You can fry these in a pan or just let them bake longer.
  2. Place frozen shredded potatoes on baking sheet, set aside, let come fully to room temperature.
  3. Peel onions and grate with a large cheese grater or food processor. Place in colander and let the liquid drain away. It’s important that the onions fully drain otherwise the mix will have too much liquid.
  4. In large bowl, beat the eggs, Then combine all ingredients (except oil) until well mixed.
  5. Prepare baking sheet(s) which have a side or lip with oil. Pour enough oil to cover the pan to a depth of approx ⅛ of an inch.
  6. Use a standard ice cream scooper (or something similar) to portion latkes on the pan. For consistent done-ness all the Latkes should be as close to the same size as possible.
  7. Flatten the scooped latkes if necessary. (should be flat)
  8. Bake for 12-16 minutes. The time will depend on your oven. You’ll know it’s time when the outer fringes of the latkes at the bottom (in the oil) are golden brown.
  9. Remove the pan, flip the latkes, spin the pan 180 degrees and return to the oven for 3-5 minutes.
  10. When done remove the latkes to draining rack and immediately salt to taste.

This recipe is very easy to cut in half or quarters.  These latkes are perfect for a latke bar as they stand up to a variety of toppings. 

Easiest Jelly Donuts

1 package refrigerated biscuit dough
vegetable oil, for frying
jam, prepared pudding, Nutella, or other filling
powdered sugar 


  1. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a large, deep pan over medium-high heat (oil should be 350 degrees F). To see if the oil is hot enough, use a thermometer or place wooden skewer into the oil. If small bubbles appear, it’s ready for frying.
  2. Remove biscuits from can. To make small donuts, cut into rounds with a soda cap or other small circular device. Or, for large donuts, fry the biscuits as is.
  3. Drop the small donuts in 5-6 at a time; for full biscuits, 2-3 at a time. Fry for 1-2 minutes on each side, until just golden brown.
  4. Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove from oil and place on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.
  5. Stick a wooden skewer into one side of each donut and create space inside by wiggling it around gently.
  6. Fill a piping bag or squeeze bottle with your filling of choice and gently insert into the hole. Gently squeeze filling into each donut.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar. 


Lampert libraryREMINDER: the library is open for borrowing.  There are many new books available as well as great older books for readers of all ages including teens.  Use the online catalog to choose your books; then email the library (email hidden; JavaScript is required)  with your request. The books can be left either in the office or on my porch (open 24/7, address by request). The catalog is very easy to use. There is a link on Shomrei’s home page. Questions or requests: email the librarian at email hidden; JavaScript is required.


Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterestemail hidden; JavaScript is required
Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg, a professional librarian, is a long-time congregant and serves as volunteer librarian for Shomrei's Lampert Library. The library, one of the best-kept secrets at Shomrei is used by the Rabbi, congregants, students and teachers of the JLC (Hebrew School) and Preschool. It's a tremendous resource completely supported by your donations and gifts. Aileen also heads the Shomrei Caterers, the in-house food preparation group. Can there be any better combination…good food and good books!
Aileen Grossberg

Latest posts by Aileen Grossberg (see all)

What do you think?