Category Archives: Jewish

Bright Ideas That Won’t Cost Your Family A Lot of Gelt

 

Chanukah Events in the New York Area For Kids

 

I wanted to start a list of some of the Chanukah events I found going on in the New York area this year. This was not easy to do, as most of the events that came up in my search were from last year or even a couple of years before that. I was looking for events specifically for families with small children. If you are single, newly married or thought this list might have more parties, you should definitely check out Bangitout.com.

I tried to find events that were completely free, but there are some events included that aren’t free, but the event looked like a lot of fun so I just had to post it. Chanukah is one of my favorite Jewish holidays.

I’d love to hear if you attended any events from the list below and what you thought about it. If you have an event to post, please share it here!

Sunday, December 6

TEMPLE SHAARAY TEFILA ANNUAL BOOK FAIR

TIME: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

LOCATION: Temple Shaaray Tefila is located at 250 East 79 Street, New York, NY.  We are at the intersection of Second Avenue and East 79 Street.

COST: Monies raised go to support The Children’s Library Fund and The Library Fund.

ACTIVITIES: Books for Gifts, and Gifts for Chanukah!  You’ll find books for children and adults, fiction and non-fiction, Jewish cookbooks, culture, history and more. Judaica gifts, too! 

Sunday, December 13

MENORAH MAKING

TIME: 12:00 p.m.3:00 p.m.
COST FREE
LOCATION
Central Park, Belvedere Castle, Central Park (Located mid-park at 79th Street), Manhattan
PHONE: (212) 772-0210.

ACTIVITIES Let your holiday spirit (and appetite!) grow while creating your very own edible Hanukkah menorah. This program is part of the Central Park Conservancy’s Winter Holiday Program series. For more information and to view the complete Winter Holiday Programs schedule, please visit www.centralparknyc.org/winterholidays.

HANUKKAHTHON

TIME: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
LOCATION: Children’s Galleries For Jewish Culture, 515 W. 20th Street, Suite 4E
PHONE: 212-924-4500
COST: $8

ACTIVITIES: Exhibitions, treasure hunt, music, prizes. Make Hanukkah lamps out of clay; create large dreidels; design “stained glass” decorations to hang in the window.
http://www.cgjc.org/

CHANUKAH MENORAH LIGHTING

 TIME: 6:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Bay Terrace Shopping Center (upper level next to entrance to movie theater)
PHONE: 718-279-1457
COST: FREE Sponsored by Chabad of Northeast Queens

ACTIVITIES: Huge 18 foot Menorah * Live Music & Dancing * Sizzling Potato Latkes * Raffle * Edible Chanukah Gelt * Be entertained by Keith Leaf the Amazing Fire Juggler. For more information and for a listing of additional Chabad Chanukah activities go to the Chabad of Northeast Queens website, http://www.chabadnortheastqueens.com

 Wednesday, December 16

CHANUKAH ON ICE NYC  

TIME 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.COST: In Advance $22/Adult; $18/Children 3-13,
At the Door 25/Adult; $20/Children 3-13LOCATION: Trump Wollman Rink in Central Park

ACTIVITIES: Now in its third year, Chanukah on Ice NYC is fast becoming a New York Chanukah tradition! On Wednesday, December 16th, with the dramatic New York skyline as a backdrop, Jewish families and singles will converge on Trump Wollman Rink in Central Park for a celebration on skates. Chanukah on Ice features Jewish music, traditional Chanukah refreshments and a giant sparkling Ice Menorah which is lit at the start of the program. In attendance this year at the Menorah Lighting is the popular acapella group Six13, who will serenade the audience with their version of Chanukah classics. The Chabad Centers of upper Manhattan are sponsoring this event, which drew close to 1,000 participants last year
CELEBRATE CHANUKAH AT THE JCC

TIME:10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

COST: Free Member/Free Non-Member

LOCATION: 334 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023
PHONE: (646) 505-4444

ACTIVITIES Celebrate the holidays in the lobby of the JCC. Crafts, stories, and more—a free drop-in program for your little one to enjoy.

http://www.jccmanhattan.org

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Tastey Thanksgiving Recipes From Manischewitz Ready To Server Broth. No MSG.

Made Like Homemade….Tastes Like Homemade ChickenBroth_small_image1_41737

Manischewitz® the leading brand in specialty kosher foods for over 120 years, brings fresh and exciting news to the broth category with the introduction of their all-natural line of Ready To Serve Broth. Available in three flavors, Chicken, Reduced Sodium Chicken and Beef these delicious broths are debuting just in time for the Fall and Winter Holiday Season. Produced to meet the needs of consumers who are looking for all natural, high quality products, Manischewitz new line of broths are made from a cherished family recipe that includes real kosher chicken and beef, natural spices and vegetables; then slow cooked in small batches to deliver that homemade taste.

These delicious broths hit the supermarket shelves at the perfect time. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, consumers are planning for gatherings with family and friends. Whether they use Manischewitz ready to serve broth as a base for soups or as a key ingredient in holiday recipe favorites, home cooks will realize that NOT all broths are created equal. If you are preparing a kosher Thanksgiving menu I’d love to hear what you will be serving.

“With the soup category on the rise and the broth category up by 11.4%, Manischewitz is delighted to introduce a kosher broth line that is both healthy and delivers exceptional flavor,” says David Rossi, Vice President of Marketing, for The Manischewitz Company. Additionally, as kosher foods continue to gain momentum, the timing is perfect to introduce our broth nationwide.”

Available in both easy to open 14 ounce cans and easy to pour 32 ounce reusable cartons, these wholesome broths can be found in the kosher and soup section of supermarkets nationwide. Suggested retail price for the everyday can is $1.69 and $2.99 for the carton. You can also find them online at kosher.com, your “one click online shop” for everything kosher. Also, be sure to enter your favorite recipes for the 4th Annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off! Entries will be accepted from September 15, 2009 through January 31, 2010 for a chance to win an all expense paid trip to compete live in New York City on March 18, 2010 and $25,000 in prizes including a state of the art GE Appliances. For contest details log on to www.Manischewitz.com.

Try this new and delicious Moroccan Meatballs with Caramelized Honey Onions dish:

Moroccan Meatballs with Caramelized Honey Onions

 5 Extra Large White Onions, sliced into thin strips 3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 tsp. cumin 1tsp. curry powder 1tsp. turmeric 1tsp. ground all spice Kosher Salt and ground black pepper to taste 1 tsp. Manischewitz Clover Honey For Meatballs 1 lb ground lamb 1 lb ground chicken or beef 1 egg 1/4 cup Manischewitz Italian Herb breadcrumbs 1tsp. cumin 1 tsp. allspice 2 tsp. dried chives 1 tsp. dried parsley 1 tsp. kosher salt Pinch Ground Black pepper 2 cups Manischewitz Beef Broth ¼ cup raisins

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, over med-low flame heat the olive oil. Add the onions and all the spices to the oil and mix well. Sauté the onions for about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the honey and mix well. Adjust the flame to low and cover pot. Mix every minute or two to keep the onions from sticking to bottom of pot. In a large mixing bowl, add the 2 ground meats, egg, Manischewitz Italian Bread crumbs, and all the spices. Mix well. Remove cover from onions and using a slotted spoon take half of the onions and place into separate bowl. Start shaping meatballs that are about the size of small golf balls. Place them gently into pot nestling them into the onions. After placing all the meatballs take the remainder of the onions and cover the meat balls. Increase the flame to medium-low, add the Manischewitz Beef broth and raisins cover pot and cook for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove cover, mix everything gently with a wooden spoon and cook for another 10 minutes or until the broth has reduced to less than a ½ a pot. Remove from flame and let cool slightly before serving meatballs.

Serve meatballs over Jasmine rice. For more recipe ideas from Manischewitz Broth such as Onion-Braised Beef Brisket with Roasted Tomato Gravy, Mushroom Risotto, Baked Turkey Meatloaf, etc. log onto www.manischewitzbroth.com.

About The Manischewitz Company: The Manischewitz Company is a leader in the Kosher Foods category providing delicious, premium specialty ethnic food products ranging from traditional Eastern European selections (Gefilte Fish, Noodles, Matzo Ball Soup, and Borscht) to the most comprehensive Kosher-For-Passover product line globally (Matzos, Cake Mixes, Macaroons, Baking Ingredients to a complete line of grocery products). The company markets well known brands such as, Manischewitz®, Season®, Rokeach®, Guiltless Gourmet®, Horowitz Margareten®, Mishpacha®, Goodman’s®, Mrs. Adler’s®, Mother’s®, Carmel®, Croydon House®, Jason® and Asian Harvest®.

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Legendary Chef Jacques Pépin To Host The 4th Annual Manischewitz Cook-Off

cookoff_top_enterGrand Prize Winner Receives $25,000 Prize Package

I was just at Kosherfest 2009 last week in Secaucus, NJ, and I have to start my diet all over again. That should be the worst news, but there really were so many new and healthy kosher food and beverage products; MimicCreme, a non-dairy and non-soy gluten-free blend of cashews and almonds cream substitute, Brain Toniq, which touts itself as the only non-caffeinated “think drink” designed to increase mental focus, function and clarity, Kosher Valley offers kosher turkeys and chickens raised without the use of antibiotics or animal by-products, and are free to roam in a humanely-raised, stress free environment. Then there were the classics that we grew up with, like Manischewitz which now has an -natural Ready-To-Serve Broth with no MSG. That’s progress. You can also test out your cooking creativity at the 4th Annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off. I’ve included more information about the all-natural Broth and cooking contest below. By the time I finished this article, I already had an idea, hopefully you will too!

SECAUCUS, NJ (October 2009)—Just in time for the holiday season, The Manischewitz Company announces the launch of the 4th Annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off, a cooking contest designed to encourage home cooks to challenge themselves in preparing a kosher meal using the new Manischewitz all-natural Broth, made with real chicken and beef. The contest encourages home chefs to experiment with different ethnic foods and to think of preparing a Kosher inspired meal as part of that experience, in the same way people enjoy preparing Japanese, Italian, Mexican, Chinese and other popular ethnic cuisine. Entrants will compete for a chance to be crowned the “King or Queen of Kosher” and win the $25,000 grand prize package including GE Profile kitchen appliances, cash and more. Five finalists will win an all-expense paid trip to NYC to compete live on March 18th at the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan. The contestants will be judged by an on-site cooking panel consisting of food media and other culinary experts. This year the cook-off will be bigger and better than ever with legendary acclaimed chef, Jacques Pépin as the celebrity guest of honor who will act as MC, head judge and award prizes. Pépin is one of America’s best-known chefs, widely recognized as the host of eleven acclaimed public television cooking series and the author and publisher of twenty-six cookbooks. He is also a founder of The American Institute of Wine and Food (WIWF) and has been the Dean of Special Programs at the French Culinary Institute (New York) since 1988. “I am thrilled to be a part of the 4th Annual Manischewitz Cook-Off!” said Chef Pépin. “I always encourage people to experiment with new types of ethnic cuisine and products.” Chef Jacques Pepin has created some exciting recipes using the new Manischewitz Broth which will be available in the recipe section of www.manischewitz.com.

“Over the past three years over 10,000 people across the country, spanning all ethnic backgrounds, have shared some amazing recipes.” says David Yale, President and CEO, of The Manischewitz Company. “As the leader in the kosher market, we pride ourselves on our wide range of specialty products that inspire cooks of all types to create exciting kosher inspired recipes.” Just-in-time for the Cook-Off, The Manischewitz Company has added a new line of ready-to-serve broths to its extensive portfolio of kosher products, giving you additional items to add to your creative recipe! New Manischewitz Broth starts with a recipe, not a formula, and is slow cooked in small batches. Filtered water is added to all natural ingredients and real kosher chicken and beef stock to deliver that homemade taste. Manischewitz Broth is packaged in a 14 ounce, easy open, pop-top can or a 32 ounce easy to pour reusable carton and is available in three flavors: Chicken, Reduced Sodium Chicken and Beef. Look for these wholesome broths in the kosher and soup section of supermarkets nationwide. Suggested retail price for the can is $1.69 and $2.99 for the carton.

As an added bonus, this year’s event will benefit Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM), a national month of recognition of the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. Updates on JAHM will be available on http://www.Manischewitz.com shortly and will continue through the end of JAHM on May 31, 2010. The Manischewitz Company is the official corporate sponsor of JAHM, and will work with the JAHM steering committee to drive awareness of events and programs. How it works The Manischewitz Cook-Off invites U.S. residents 18 or older to submit an original, easy-to-prepare entrée. All recipes must be original, kosher, include a new Manischewitz Broth product, have no more than a total of eight ingredients and be prepared and cooked in one hour or less.

 For official contest details log onto http://www.manischewitz.com and complete the official entry form and submit your recipe online. You can also enter by mail by sending your recipe entry to: Manischewitz Cook-Off, c/o BHGPR, 546 Valley Road Upper Montclair, NJ 07043. All entries must be received by January 31, 2010 For more information, prize details, rules and regulations, log onto www.manischewitz.com.

To inspire you for Cook-Off try this delicious chicken dish: POT OF OLIVE OIL BROTH POACHED CHICKEN WITH ARTICHOKES AND TOMATOES Ingredients: 1 whole chicken, cut up 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/2 cups onions, diced 1 1/2 cups celery, diced 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped 42 oz Manischewitz® Chicken Broth (3 cans) 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped 2 bay leaves 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and halved 2 whole tomatoes, chopped 1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips Preparation: PREPARATION: 1. In a large stock pot sear chicken skin side down in olive oil; remove. 2. In same pot, sauté onions, celery and garlic. 3. Add Manischewitz® Chicken Broth, thyme and bay leaves; bring to a boil, then reduce heat 4. And chicken. 5. Simmer 30 to 45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and tender, skimming off any fat or broth that comes to the surface; add water if necessary to keep chicken covered. 6. Remove chicken and set aside on serving platter. 7. Skim off any remaining fat or froth; add artichokes, tomatoes and basil; simmer briefly. 8. Serve with chicken. Serving Suggestion: Strain 1 1/2 cups of stock and add to 1 1/2 cups of couscous for a quick side dish. NUTRITION INFORMATION • Servings per Recipe: 6 • AMOUNT PER SERVING: • Calories (kcal): 709 • Total Fat: 47g • Cholesterol: 226mg • Total Carbs: 24g • Dietary Fiber: 9g • Protein: 50g

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What’s Cooking and What’s Not Cooking In A Kosher Kitchen

What do I, a kosher mommy blogger, a Rebbetzin from Boro Park, and a Mashgicha-a female Mashgiach- from Albany, NY, have in common? I was hungry for information on kosher food certification processes and the laws that make them kosher. These women, some of them from generations of kosher kitchens and some of them that just wanted to increase their own personal kosher curiosity. Last week, I spent the entire week with 24 of these incredible women at the OU Advanced Kashrut Seminar For Women and had an in depth look at “what’s cooking” and “what’s not cooking” in kosher cuisine today.  Rabbi Grossman, Director of OU Kosher Education, organized this opportunity for women after he had received requests from over 80 women for such a seminar last year. The week long seminar addressed the areas of kosher food management such as checking lettuce for insects (we did find one on our lettuce); baking bread (challah); blood spots in eggs; meat and dairy control; identifying and purchasing kosher fish and chicken; and becoming an educated kosher consumer.

The seminar also included a couple of field trips to OU certified factories, hotel kitchens and food service establishments.  It is incredible the amount of detailed processes, check lists, and quality control required for working in a large kosher kitchen or an OU certified factory.  I was so impressed by the OU kosher rabbinic staff – both those who are based in the OU office (rabbinic coordinators) and those who work outside (rabbinic field representatives) – and their extensive knowledge of animals, natural history, chemicals, medicine, and Halacha (Jewish Law) in their areas of concentration.  

I have been kosher for less than a decade, but after this course I can’t understand why anybody would not choose to keep kosher.  You don’t have to be a Jew or even an Orthodox Jew to benefit from kosher certification. In fact, Phyllis Koegel, OU New Business Development/Marketing Associate, shared some information on kosher consumers that I found most interesting. According to Mintel Market Research, “Kosher Foods Market – US Report,” January, 2009, The U.S. Kosher Marketplace is growing steadily.  According to the report, nearly 80% of All Kosher Food Sales are Outside of the “Traditional” Jewish Market. These markets include Muslim, Seventh Day Adventists, Vegetarians, and Vegans. Mintel also discovered that general consumers believe kosher food is safer, healthier, and better. Then there is the consumer with Dietary Restrictions such as Lactose, Shellfish, and Gluten Intolerant. This research confirms my personal opinion that consumers don’t have to be Jewish to love kosher food. However, if they are health concious consumers with food nutrition as a major priotity, Jewish or not, this is something we can all agree on. Still not convinced?

You can bring a world expert on kashrut — one of the Rabbanim and Mashgichim of the Orthodox Union — to your institution to share his expertise. Arrangements may be made for small adult groups to visit OU headquarters for an in-house session, seminar or shiur with an OU rabbinic expert. For more information, contact Rabbi Eliyahu Safran at safrane@ou.org or 212.613.8115.

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Kosher BBQ At POMEGRANATE Was Smokin’ Hot

450pomegranate-logo450pomegranate-logoThis was just the event I wanted to attend, but you know the saying, “man plans and G-d laughs”.  That’s what happened when my 2 year old spiked a fever at 4:00 in the afternoon and my 1 year old son had a fever soon after. So, here I was at home dreaming about the delicious BBQ and “grilling tips” at Pomegranate in Brooklyn. I was very happy to hear that the event was a big success and over 200 shoppers from near and far tasted some delicious food, presented and prepared by the talented staff at Pomegranate.  

The Pomegranate valet parking lot comfortably accommodated the attendees as they watched a live demonstration of BBQ techniques.  Jason Beck, a Pomegranate chef,  while the crowd savored the results. 

Pomegranate is happy to provide our shoppers with the ultimate shopping experience,” says Mayer Gold, Pomegranate’s General Manager. From the time a shopper pulls into the valet parking, they receive an exceptional level of service while being presented with the highest quality and variety of products available. This is a dream come true. Frequent maintenance and re-stocking ensures that the store is kept in pristine condition, while knowledgeable Pomegranate employees roam the aisles in search of customers they can assist. Somebody pinch me! It is so great that Pomegranate gets what the customer wants. 

 From the time Pomegranate opened its doors less than a year ago, they have not only attracted the Kosher Brooklyn community, but shoppers from all over the tri-state as well as varying backgrounds have become regular shoppers. One woman explained that although she doesn’t adhere to the dietary laws of kosher, she still makes the one-hour trip from Brighton Beach because, “Pomegranate carries everything I’m looking for and am interested in.” This makes me so incredibly excited, as kosher food has had a bad rap for way to long. This is just one example of how the kosher food industry has made efforts to “cut the fat” out. 

Keep an eye out for more semi-weekly events from Pomegranate this summer including celebrity chef visits, instructional cooking tips and a one year anniversary event in August. I am so going to be there!

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Kosher Cuisine, What Does It All Mean?

While I was awake in the early hours of Shabbos, I had some great ideas about how to help my friends and family that don’t keep kosher understand my dietary choices. I will be traveling a lot with my family this summer and that means that the conveniences of New York kosher cuisine won’t be as plentiful. So, what is a kosher observant family supposed to do when traveling out of the “kosher zone”?

First of all, it is important to understand the laws of keeping kosher. Some families have been keeping kosher for decades; others have been keeping kosher for a week. Personally, I started keeping kosher in September 2001. Before then, I ate everything and everywhere my heart desired. It was my journey of Jewish re-discovery that I was introduced to the kosher cuisine that would change my eating habits from that day forward. Like many Jewish American families, I associated kosher food with Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and Passover. It was at those times of the year that the kitchen in my house was taken over by brands like Manischewits and Streits. My mom would “put up” the most amazing chicken soup with the fluffiest matzo balls I’ve ever eaten. The oven would overflow with the smells of brisket, kishke, and tzimmus. My family and I would make our annual journey to the kosher bakeries in Skokie and stock up on honey cake and boubka. I loved these times of the year. Even though I wasn’t raised in a kosher home nor one that kept Shabbos, it was the effort of my family to share these holidays in full force that made me the Jewish mom that I am now.

Even though things are different today and I now keep kosher religiously and observe Shabbos every week, my extended family does not. It doesn’t make me love them any less; in fact I love them even more. I just have to prepare my own food plan for my husband and children in advance. This is nothing new for people that have certain food allergies, suffer from lactose intolerance, diabetes, and vegetarians. Just because I don’t eat your food doesn’t mean I don’t love you!

While the laws of keeping kosher may seem limiting to most people, it made perfect sense to me. It is not as hard or isolating as people think, and it’s even good for you. I have attached some links that I find helpful in my attempt to explain my food requirements to people that feel that I have gone off the “creep end”. I am still the same me, I just eat differently and here are some reasons why:

I stumbled upon JewFAQBlog  a weblog commenting on news and events.  As rabbi/humorist Jack Moline noted, “Everyone who keeps kosher will tell you that his version is the only correct version. Everyone else is either a fanatic or a heretic.” (Growing Up Jewish, 1987).

Kosher Links that will satisfy your kosher curiosity include  The Orthodox UnionStar-K Kosher Certification, and KosherQuest.  Has a member of your family become kosher recently? How has this affected family occasions?

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Jewish Shmooz Network

Well, I did it. I started a show on blogtalkradio and I completed my second show this morning. Yes, I was nervous, but not about what to say. I was nervous about retrieving callers from the que. After a few big fail whales, I was able to hear my guest, Allison Josephs, a.k.a., Jew In The City. A big shout out to Allison for calling and sharing with me what she’s been up to these days. Yes, she’s been on TV and on the Radio. She will be posting an upcoming segment that includes her very close friend and Torah study partner, Mayim Bialik, or you might have known her back in the late 80’s as Blossom. I must admit, I never saw Blossom until a link to the show was sent my way via YouTube . However, I did see her in Beaches and fell in love with her voice and personality. Now she is all grown up with children of her own and showing up in news stories quite frequently these days. Not just because of her recent appaerances on Bones or TLC’s What Not To Wear, or that she has a PhD. By the way, the TLC crew would probably put me in fashion rehab if theycaught me out on the street-my favorite jean skirt from thrift-and I’m keeping it. Not only has Mayim’s dress code been adjusted to her more Jewish obersvant lifestyle-modest dress-she has become more observant in her kitchen and keeps kosher with vegan options at home. Way to go, Mayim!

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