The Bat Mitzvah Wanderings

From rural Vermont to the Western Wall, several generations of a family come of age in the most eclectic of ways.
Special To The Jewish Week
12/03/2012 - 19:00

I was not the only Jewish child in our small town in Vermont in 1980. I had a sister, two years younger. The Brooklyn-born science teacher at our public school had two young children. We were friends with another Jewish family who lived a few towns away.

The author and her son, Theo Canter.

A Wedding Menu That Transcends Borders

When marrying someone from a different background, what is the best way to provide a menu everyone will love?
12/03/2012 - 19:00

As borders become more faint, and online dating services more prevalent, many of us are pushed out of our respective ethnic bubbles and into the arms of a special someone from a different background.

While Jews share many customs and traditions, we also have our share of diversity— including the kosher and not, and Ashkenazim and Sephardim, to name a few. Attempt to fuse these different customs into one wedding, and you’ll undoubtedly run into conflict. Particularly in an area that all Jews, regardless of background, feel quite passionate about: food.

The cuisine at a wedding table often melds various ethnic, cultural and religious preferences. tracy hunter

Vintage Capsouto

Jacques Capsouto delves into the Israeli wine market with a vineyard in northern Israel.
Special To The Jewish Week
12/03/2012 - 19:00

There is an iconic Tribeca restaurant known for its delicate soufflés and its old-world charm. Though the restaurant is not kosher, its wine list includes many Israeli options (18 to date) and it holds an annual Passover seder.

Jacques Capsouto with the rabbi certifying the kosher wines in his new vineyard.

Your Presence Is Requested…

Electronic invitations a growing trend, but many still want traditional paper keepsakes.
12/03/2012 - 19:00

Washington — My bat mitzvah invitation had bright purple embossed text on a hot pink card with my name enlarged in decorative script at the top and daisies adorning the bottom.

Twenty-plus years later, I remember eagerly waiting for my friends to receive the invitations and running home weeks later to check the mailbox for the return of the RSVP envelopes. Secured in a scrapbook, the invitation is a treasured memento.

No envelopes or stamps needed: Online simcha invitations are quickly replacing the traditional printed version. JTA

Food Coexistence

Diverse culinary traditions come together in ‘Jerusalem’ cookbook.
Jewish Week Book Critic
12/03/2012 - 19:00

I was once chatting about food with a cab driver in Jerusalem on a Friday at midday, and he offered a detour to his mother’s apartment to see the Kurdish Shabbat dishes she was preparing. I happily agreed, and soon was lifting lids on the many pots still simmering on her stove — fragrant soup, stuffed vegetables, spiced rice, with Moroccan-inspired salads already on the table. This was Jerusalem home cooking at its best: fresh ingredients, bold flavors, great hospitality but no recipes. She cooked it all, literally, by heart.

“Jerusalem: A Cookbook” is based on the authors’ families’ recipes.

Weddings In A Time Of War

The recent Gaza conflict was tough on simcha preparations. ‘I was prepared to get married in the backyard if necessary,’ a bride says.
Israel Correspondent
12/03/2012 - 19:00

Jerusalem — Months ago, when Pnina Weiss was planning her late-November wedding, she spent a lot of time choosing the hall, the menu, the photographer.

What Weiss couldn’t anticipate was that a war would make it impossible to tie the knot in her fiancé, Shimon’s, hometown of Ashkelon, located just a few miles from Israel’s border with Gaza.

A week before their big day, Israel’s Home Front Command began prohibiting gatherings of over 100 people in the south of the country.

An Israeli couple, posed for photos at the Western Wall while a prayer vigil,held during the recent war between Israel and Hamas

Celebrate December 2012

Weddings in a time of war, food coexistence in “Jerusalem” cookbook, Jacques Capsouto delves into Israeli wines, and more.
12/03/2012 - 19:00
Celebrate December 2012

Painting Lives

Artist helps clients mark pivot points, from bar mitzvah dreams to a dying wish.
06/11/2012 - 20:00

Lori Loebelsohn enters other people’s lives at pivotal moments: a marriage, a milestone birthday, a bat mitzvah. Armed with a pen and a notebook, she discusses intimate details about the inner lives of those she has just met: their passions, their most significant memories, their dreams.

Lori Loebelsohn recently completed illustrating a Haggadah featuring this Exodus scene. Courtesy of Lori Loebelsohn

A Sephardic Cooking Rhodes Trip

Stella Cohen’s new cookbook moves tastily from Greece to Zimbabwe.
Jewish Week Book Critic
06/11/2012 - 20:00

When we meet in a New York café, Stella Cohen is far from home, which is Harare, Zimbabwe. She’s also far from the roots of her cooking, which is the island of Rhodes, in Greece. But for Cohen, a cookbook writer, artist, textile designer and communal leader, the past has eternal dimensions — evoked through food and stories — and seems always present.

Cohen emphasizes the need “to cook with love.”

A Twist On Tradition

Old becomes new as couples personalize wedding ceremonies.
06/11/2012 - 20:00

Washington — In the months before his wedding, Jon Cetel cringed at the notion of having his friends dance him to his bride at a traditional bedeken ceremony, where he would place the veil over her face.

The concept “was completely foreign to me,” he said. It “felt too traditional.”

But his bride, Ashley Novack, 26, was entranced by the tradition. “I love dancing, and this sounded like an amazing opportunity definitely not to be missed,” she said.

Mike Peretz reads a personal statement to his bride, Sara Cohen. JTA
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