Passover

Lou Reed: The Wise Child

Downtown Seder impresario Michael Dorf remembers the iconoclastic rock legend and his role at alternative Passover celebrations.

10/28/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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Lou participated in one of my first Downtown Seders at the Knitting Factory in 1994. In our version of this ancient ritual, we take the Haggadah and allocate the sections among musicians, thinkers, poets, political figures, etc. Each of the Four Children are represented, and I recall thinking if I should ask Lou to be the “bad” child or the “wise” child. I think that year John Zorn ended up being the bad child and Lou was the Wise Child and read one of his poems.

Rock legend Lou Reed loved Michael Dorf’s Downtown Seders. Getty Images

Pastry That Inspired Two Marriage Proposals

Dive back into chametz, post-Passover, with peanut butter and chocolate rugelach.

04/11/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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Before I started my Jewish food blog, and developed a love for making lox, brisket and bagels, my passion was baking. I made elaborately decorated cupcakes, chunky chocolate chip cookies and layered birthday cakes. But my rugelach became what I was known for and continues to be my most requested treat. I have had no fewer than two marriage proposals over these cookies.

These rugelach prompted two marriage proposals from satisfied eaters. Amy Kritzer

Bye-Bye Matzah, Hello Pizza

Apricot, rosemary, blue cheese: create this flatbread, inspired by Bubbe's classic tzimmes.

04/09/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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Now that Passover is over, only one thing is on my mind. Bread, and lots of it. Bagels, challah, muffins and, of course, pizza. One of my favorite things to cook with my Mom growing up, besides the classics -- rugelach, roasted chicken and latkes -- was pizza.

It really is worth making a tzimmes over this. Amy Kritzer
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Tzimmes Pizza 1
Tzimmes Pizza 2
Tzimmes Pizza 3

A Seder Comes To Szczecin

In a northwest corner of Poland, an old-timer remembers a once vibrant Jewish community.

04/04/2013
Staff Writer

Szczecin, Poland — The Jewish senior citizens, dressed in casual skirts and suits, began filing into the headquarters of this seaside Jewish community shortly before sunset on the first night of Passover last week.

Róża Król, a lifelong resident of Szczecin, is a leader of the city’s small Jewish community. sztetl.org.pl

April’s Multiple Messages

04/04/2013
Editorial

April is a month crowded with Jewish observances and remembrances this year, both ancient and modern.

Fresh off of Passover and its inspiring message of freedom and spiritual liberation we face the cruel reality of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed on Sunday, April 7, recalling a time not only when 20th-century European Jews were denied their freedom but systematically put to death simply because they were Jewish. We are painfully aware that each year there are fewer survivors within our midst to give personal testimony to the tragedy. All the more reason why we should take part in religious and communal observances that mark the day, often featuring survivors telling their own stories.

Six million is an almost impossible number to think of in terms of victims of the Nazi regime. But one person’s authentic recollections can be a powerful reminder of the human suffering that took place and the physical and psychological scars that remain.

Recent events in Europe provide a troubling echo of the fact that anti-Semitism is still with us. Attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions, whether they are explained as anti-Israel in nature or motivated by hatred of Jews, are deeply worrying. They need to be addressed not only through statements by government officials but by civic and religious leaders in the local communities as well as through vigilance against future destructive acts and educational programs in the schools.

In Israel, Jews throughout the country will mark April 15 as Yom HaZikaron, Memorial Day for the thousands killed in the country’s wars these last six decades. Those who have been in Israel on that day understand that it is a far more somber, emotional observance than Memorial Day in the U.S. When the blast signaling a moment of silence across the country sounds, all movement stops, and one realizes that hardly a family in the Jewish state has not suffered a loss in Israel’s struggle for independence and survival.

In typical Israeli fashion, though, mourning and joy rub against each other as Yom HaZikaron gives way to Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, April 16. Perhaps the celebration is so spirited because people realize the depth of sacrifice that led to statehood.

Then, closing out the month of April, comes Lag b’Omer, the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer between Passover and Shavuot. Though a minor, ancient holiday, it is a joyous one. But there is no definitive reason why. Some say it is because the Jews marked a victory on that day in ancient times in the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans; others say it was the only day no students of Rabbi Akiva died during a weeks-long plague. But neither explanation indicates a time for celebration. Still, amidst a calendar fraught with solemn occasions and anniversaries, it’s good to have a day to rejoice. We can always find a reason to be grateful.

As we enter a month rich in Jewish tradition and history, we note that its peaks and valleys reflect the human condition, with times to laugh and times to cry, and a responsibility to find meaning in each.

Pushing The Passover Envelope

L.I. Schechter expands traditional Pesach customs for Jewishly diverse generation.

03/28/2013
Associate Editor

Had there been scallion “whips,” but no Ladino rendition of “Who Knows One,” dayenu.

Michael Datikash

Chip In!

Oftentimes on the final day of Passover I’m writing a list of the foods I can’t wait to eat once Passover ends, but there’s one Passover treat that I crave year-round— Oppenheimer semi-sweet chocolate chips. They’re only sold in the weeks leading up to Passover, but they taste so much better than ordinary chocolate chips, so I load up on enough to last me several months.

Oppenheimer semi-sweet chocolate chips are delicious. Fotolia.

A Mother's Prayer: Like Chametz, Take My Resentment

Seder night is almost upon us and I am dreading it.

Rabbi Rebecca Schorr

A Passover Recipe That’s Good Year ‘Round

03/22/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

What’s the most sought-after information regarding Passover? Is it, A, where to find a great new Haggadah? B, how to keep kids engaged during the seder? C, trying to appreciate the meaning of freedom? Or maybe D, something as provocative as the debate about whether the events portrayed in the Book of Exodus are historically accurate? Actually, the answer is E, none of the above.

This Holiday, You Won't Miss Noodles

Make your own gnocchi: potato-based dumplings are perfect for Passover.

03/22/2013
Online Jewish Week Columnist
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Pesach is just around the corner, so quickly finish up your bread, pasta and cakes! There's still plenty to eat over the holiday, but sometimes its hard to find quick dinners when you can't have spaghetti or sandwiches. In comes gnocchi! The pasta is based on potatoes, so its perfect for Pesach, and it can also be a fun activity - especially the shaping - for kids during Chol Hamoed, or the intermediate days.

Make, don't buy, your own gnocchi. Amy Spiro
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