By Leah Koenig for Tablet Magazine
In Seattle’s Sephardic synagogues, women have come together to bake for more than a century. Will a younger generation continue the tradition?
On a recent Monday morning at Congregation Ezra Bessaroth, one of two Sephardic synagogues in Seattle, Rachel Almeleh was up to her elbows in dough. As a volunteer with the synagogue’s ladies auxiliary group she, along with a dozen or so others, had come to bake, as she does almost every week.
With her easy laugh bubbling over the din, Almeleh sat at a folding table covered with parchment-lined baking trays and bowls of mashed potato, spinach, and cheese. She kibbitzed (or more accurately, “echar lashon,” which means chit-chat in Ladino) with the other women, and the occasional man, while rolling, stuffing, and crimping dough into the savory pastries that are central to Sephardic cuisine. “People are always laughing and joking while we bake,” Almeleh said. “There’s a great camaraderie.”
By Victor Wishna for JTA
Sure, winter might seem like the ideal time of year for curling up with a good book — but summer is when you might actually have time to read.
So before these warm months all too swiftly fade to fall, here are some Jewish-themed titles, from a wide range of genres, to fill your beach bag (or tablet) for the season.
A bonus: These works, from an international smattering of authors, are equally enjoyable while riding in an overcrowded bus on your way to work.
BY MATTHUE ROTH for myjewishlearning.com
The destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem is commemorated with a period of mourning.
The three-week period in summer that begins with the fast of the 17th of Tammuz and climaxes with Tisha B’Av is known simply as “The Three Weeks.” It is a time of grieving for the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. This mourning period was first mentioned in the biblical Book of Zechariah in the Prophets — and, since then, it has been observed as a period of sadness.
The Multiple Tragedies
The 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz is a date in which many tragedies and pitfalls happened, according to the Mishnah (Taanit 4:6). It is traditionally believed to be the date that Moses broke the original Ten Commandments tablets after coming upon the Israelites as they worshiped the Golden Calf.
BY CARLA NAUMBURG for Kveller
I am not built to be a free-range mother. I am anxious and over-protective by nature, and my years of experience as a social worker have only increased my awareness of everything that could happen to my daughters, from sexual abuse to traumatic brain injuries. If I had my way, my girls wouldn’t leave the house without a GPS tracking device, a helmet, a cellphone, and a Taser Jr.
And so I was as surprised as anyone when I realized I had started free-range parenting my daughters, ages 7 and 8.5. The girls will spend weekend afternoons running to the neighbors’ house, and then sometimes the other neighbors’ house, and eventually either my husband or I end up texting the other parents on the block in order to figure out where they are.
By Brian Blum for Israel21c
A large portion of the mass in the universe doesn’t emit light and is invisible to telescopes. This project seeks new methods to detect dark matter.
Does dark matter exist? Astronomical measurements say yes, but it’s never been detected.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) is now leading the search for the illusive matter, which is hypothesized to be one of the basic components of the universe, five times more abundant than ordinary matter.
BGU will construct and operate an advanced dark matter detector based on the theory that some types of dark matter produce a signal imitating a magnetic field and may therefore be detectable by extremely sensitive magnetic sensors.
By Jeffrey Salkin, Martini Judaism
I used to love watching Dana Carvey as the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live. I loved his parody of the smugness, self-righteousness and ideological assurance that is typical of the religious and cultural right.
It is true of the cultural left, as well. Especially in the area of identity politics.
It is time to talk about the issue of cultural appropriation.
What is cultural appropriation? Susan Scafidi, a law professor at Fordham University, defines cultural appropriation as “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission.”
by Jaime Bender for FromtheGrapevine
Scientists make a surprising discovering while studying hundreds of bird species.
How do you like your eggs? Scrambled, sunny side up, hard-boiled, over easy?
If you're one of the distinguished scientists studying the diversity in shapes and sizes of eggs, your answer might be somewhere in the area of "pointy, oblong, asymmetrical, coneheaded."
Those scientists – who hail from the U.K., the U.S., Israel and Singapore – have hatched some pretty revealing conclusions from studying more than 1,400 species of birds to determine how their eggs developed their unique shapes and sizes. For example, why are the eggs of brown hawk owls almost perfectly spherical, while those of the common murre and sandpiper are shaped more like teardrops?
BY AMY SARA CLARK for The Jewish Week
Shabbat pilot program’s DIY vibe speaks to generation’s instincts.
When Ronit Levin Delgado signed up to host a Shabbat dinner that would bring together a cross-cultural group of millennials, she planned to keep it small. Living in a one-bedroom Prospect Lefferts Gardens apartment that realtors would call “cozy,” she figured she could accommodate at most 10 people.
But, being a typical Israeli, when people began asking if they could bring a friend — or two — she couldn’t say no. When the guest list hit 15, the multimedia artist got creative, giving the dinner a picnic theme, and painting several large forest-scapes to set the scene.
BY WENDY ZIERLER for myjewishlearning.com
Explaining this ancient song about a 'woman of valor'
I cannot remember exactly when my family began singing Eshet Hayil at the Friday night table. I do know that it was we, the kids, who brought this custom into the house. When I was 5 years old, my family moved to Toronto from Sarnia, a small town in Western Ontario where my father had owned a furniture store that was founded by his father, an immigrant from Galicia.
“Who had time in Sarnia,” recalls my father, “for a leisurely Friday night dinner? You had to rush home, eat quickly, and get back to the store.”
Organizers of North Carolina’s gay pride parade and festival said they would find a solution following complaints from the Jewish community about the event being scheduled for Yom Kippur.
“We’re going to solve that no matter what it takes,” organizer John Short told The Herald-Sun on Thursday. “Exactly how we’ll solve that we don’t know.”
Short said the Durham Pride parade’s volunteer organizing committee had Jewish members but it still had not realized the scheduling conflict. He added that “all the Jewish community will be able to attend” the event.
“We’ll develop a solution that will be able to be carried over in the future,” Short said.
This story is sponsored by the Orthodox Union.
By Ben Hartman for JTA
It’s early morning in the Sardinian countryside and a farmer is milking his sheep while an Orthodox Jewish kosher supervisor looks on.
The supervisor, known as a mashgiach, is sleeping in the farmer’s barn, and he’ll be there all week.
Welcome to the world of kosher cheesemaking.
The weeklong kosher cheese run in Sardinia is just one of a number of methods that artisanal kosher cheesemaker Brent Delman, owner and founder of The Cheese Guy, uses to manufacture products for kosher consumers who have developed a taste for fine Italian cheeses.
BY ARIE KAPLAN for myjewishlearning.com
How American Jews created the comic book industry.
Jews built the comic book industry from the ground up, and the influence of Jewish writers, artists, and editors continues to be felt to this day. But how did Jews come to have such a disproportionate influence on an industry most famous for lantern-jawed demigods clad in colorful tights?
First Comic Books
The story begins in 1933. During that year, the world experienced seismic changes in politics and pop culture. An unemployed Jewish novelty salesman named Maxwell Charles “M.C.” Gaines (née Max Ginzberg) had a brilliant idea: if he enjoyed reading old comic strips like Joe Palooka, Mutt and Jeff, and Hairbredth Harry so much, maybe the rest of America would, too. Thus was born the American comic book, which in its earliest days consisted of reprinted newspaper funnies. Gaines and his colleague Harry L. Wildenberg at Eastern Color Printing soon published February 1934’s Famous Funnies #1, Series 1, the first American retail comic book.
Numbers 30:2 - 36:13
BY RABBI DOROTHY A. RICHMAN, Rabbi Martin Ballonoff Memorial Rabbi-in-Residence at Berkeley Hillel, for myjewishlearning.com
Creating Sustainable Freedom
All people must know that they have value.
Parashat Masei, the portion of journeys, begins with a recounting of the Israelites’ travels from slavery in Egypt to the borders of Israel. Yet within this re-telling of the Israelites’ trek comes a different journey: the path of a man-slayer into exile.
Powerful Priest and Accidental Killer
An entire chapter of the portion addresses the process by which an unintentional murderer is sent out of the community for his own protection. A person convicted of accidentally taking a life is sent to one of six cities of refuge. He lives there, guarded from his victim’s avenging relatives, until the natural death of the high priest (Numbers 35). If an exiled murderer wants to return home, his only recourse is to pray for the High Priest’s death.
Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels teaches Jewish thought and mysticism at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.
Heroic or Sinful?
Zealous acts are not always heroic.
Just before this Torah portion begins, Israelite men have begun sleeping with foreign women. These relations have brought the Israelites to worship foreign gods and have caused, in response, a Divine plague to break out in the Israelite camp. God and Moses then command the Israelites to slaughter the idol worshipers among the Israelites.
In the very next verse, we learn that Zimri ben Salu (an Israelite) and Kozbi bat Tzur (a Midianite) publicly display their relationship as Zimri takes Kozbi back to his tent to sleep with her. Our Torah portion opens with the conclusion of the bloody tale as Pinchas slaughters Zimri and Kozbi and ends the plague (Numbers 25).
By Shannon Sarna for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com
Traditional yet guilt-free.
Jewish food (particularly Ashkenazi) really gets a bad rap as being overwhelmingly fat laden, obesity-inducing dishes lacking fresh fruit and vegetables. But Jewish food is diverse, vibrant and even uses fresh, seasonal vegetables, herbs, colors and spices. Here are a few surprisingly healthy, traditional foods to enjoy with none of the (Jewish) guilt.
1. Traditional tzimmes from Martha Stewart is actually packed with sweet potatoes, carrots and dried fruit — fiber, veggies and fruit all in one sweet, delicious side dish.
By Curt Schleier for Hadassah Magazine
It turns out the Jews are not the people of the book. That moniker, writes author Adam Kirsch in The People and the Books, is “an Islamic title, used in the Koran to designate both Jews and Christians—peoples who possess their own revelations from God in the form of holy scriptures.”
That is one of many tidbits in Kirsch’s brilliant, well-researched work, which looks at Jewish texts over the past 2,500 years to explain the enduring, diverse beliefs and philosophies regarding the nature of God, Torah, the Land of Israel and the Jewish people.
BY MJL STAFF
A minor fast day with major history.
The 17th of the month of Tammuz is observed as a minor fast day, with eating and drinking forbidden from dawn until sundown. Like Tisha B’Av, which comes just three weeks later, the 17th of Tammuz (often called by its Hebrew name, Shiva Asar b’Tammuz) is said to commemorate not to just one calamitous event in Jewish history, but several tragedies of the Jewish people.
BY JOANNA C. VALENTE for Kveller
June 9 was Natalie Portman‘s 36th birthday. The mom of two (her kids have the best Hebrew names: Aleph and Amalia) is also one of the biggest stars today, not to mention one of the most talented. Regardless of whether you are a huge fan or not, you have to admit, she’s got range; her films range from “V for Vendetta” to “Black Swan” to “Jackie” to “No Strings Attached.” And let us not forget one of her most shining moments: that profane SNL rap.
Here are some of my favorite Portman quotes in which she reveals her sassy side, how she parents, and what she stands for.
By Brian Blum for Israel21c
The Israeli company plans to be the FedEx of the drone delivery world, with a system enabling customers to operate an entire fleet of drones remotely.
You’ve just run out of toothpaste and you’ve got a big date tonight. There’s no time to drive to the store and there’s too much traffic to send a courier.
You’re starving for sushi but your favorite restaurant says it will be at least an hour to get take-out to your door.
No worries. Just send in the drones.
This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily
by Rabbi Keara Stein
The debate in Jewish communities about interfaith marriage is heating up. Rabbis and Jewish professionals are arguing both sides and predicting the future of Judaism based on whether or not they will officiate at interfaith marriages. I’ve seen articles that talk about “caving on intermarriage” and “coming to terms with it” and “addressing the problem.” This kind of language infuriates me because it makes interfaith marriage about the rabbis, and not about the people getting married.
It’s not about caving on interfaith marriage.
It’s not about settling or coming to terms with it.
It’s not an issue.
It’s not a problem.
By telling someone we will not marry them, we are not stopping them from marrying someone of another faith background. What we’re stopping them from (and I have heard this time and time again) is engaging in Judaism and being part of the Jewish community.
What's Happening at DHJC
Daily Morning Minyan
Monday and Thursday, 6:45am
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 7am
Daily Evening Minyan
Sunday to Thursday, 8pm
Mincha, Maariv and Havdalah
Weekly at Sundown
(weekly calendar for exact times)
Save the Date!!
Please check our calendar for all our events.
Early Childhood Center, Religious School & Youth Group & J-Team dates have been posted.
Rabbi's Summer Class Schedule 2017
DHJC Collegiate Outreach
DHJC would love to keep in touch with your college student while they are away at school. Sisterhood would like to include your college student in our Collegiate Outreach Program. As a member of DHJC, your undergraduate college student(s) are entitled to receive various mailings and good wishes, all geared to the Jewish lifestyle and calendar.
Partners in Caring
The PIC Program provides Counseling, Education, Case Management and Volunteer Coordination through the gateways of our synagogue partners
Dix Hills Jewish Center
Huntington Jewish Center
North Shore Jewish Center
Michele Herman, LMSW
PIC Coordinator 631-462-9800x239
Welcome to the Dix Hills Jewish Center
Welcome to the Dix Hills Jewish Center, a Conservative Congregation, celebrating 49 years as a beacon of dynamic Judaism in Dix Hills. We are a traditional egalitarian synagogue committed to the reality that all Jews are full partners in the beauty of Jewish life and that all Jews are given an equal role in all rituals. The Dix Hills Jewish Center is an engaging, vibrant congregation. We are excited about the growth in our synagogue, and the wonderful growth of the Jewish community of Dix Hills, Commack and the neighboring communities. We are a community committed to learning, to supporting each other, and to being a warm and welcoming place for all who participate. Welcome to the Dix Hills Jewish Center.
Service & Minyan times located at the bottom of the page.
If you are interested in attending any of our programs please check the Calendar in Upcoming Events. Children's programming is also available.
In Case Of........
For joyous occassions in your life, please share your naches with the Rabbi. Inform the Rabbi about births, engagements, weddings and other noteworthy moments in the life of your family. The Rabbi will arrange for baby namings, provide information regarding a mohel ( for infant boys), coordinate a pidyon ha-ben (the redemption ceremony for firstborn males), schedule an aufruf (to celebrate a forthcoming marriage), weddings and bring the richness of Jewish traditions and mitzvoth into your simcha(email rabbi or call 631-499-6644).
In case of illness and/or hospitalization, please notify the Rabbi at 631-499-6644 (24/6 - on Shabbat, see below for further emergency instructions)
Even before making funeral arrangements notify Rabbi Buechler at the synagogue office at 631-499-6644 (after office hours press #3 for the emergency numbers). Rabbi Buechler will assist and guide you in making the appropriate arrangements for the funeral. In the event that you cannot reach the Rabbi, contact the Jewish funeral home and begin to make your arrangements. PLEASE, if Rabbi Buechler is going to officiate at the funeral, do not finalize the funeral time until the Rabbi has contacted you. At most this will be a few hours. In the event that Rabbi Buechler is on vacation, Cantor Hevenstone is available and other local Conservative Rabbis are on call. Their names can be obtained by calling the synagogue office, an officer of the synagogue or the Ritual Chairman. It is also appropriate to contact Rabbi Buechler whenever tragedy or trauma occurs. On Shabbat and Yomtov the Rabbi does not use the telephone. Therefore, you can convey information to him on these days at the synagogue during scheduled service times, by calling him immediately after Shabbat or Yomtov or by going to his residence.
Social Action Committee
Bikur Cholim & Home Visits
Do you have a relative or friend in our congregation who would benefit from a personal home visit? We are here for you! Members of our DHJC Social Action Committee - Tender Loving Congregants -- will happily come to visit and chat. BIKUR CHOLIM -- we visit our friends and relatives in Gurwin. Become a volunteer. Learn how.
High School students -- learn how to be a volunteer at Gurwin! There are many ways to volunteer.
Please contact us [email protected]
An Aliyah for YOU
Whether you are 20 or 120, or anything in between, we would like to honor you on the anniversary of your bar or bat mitzvah. Please send the date of your bar/bat mitzvah or the name of your parsha to Lee Grebstein [email protected]
New Newsletter is here!!