For The Love Of An Onion Roll

With old-world recipes for everything from Russian coffee cake to New York Water Bagels, new book brings life to the ‘Golden Age of Jewish Baking.’

Jewish Week Book Critic

It wasn’t only grandmothers who shoved the onion rolls into their pocketbooks at Ratner’s. The soft, freshly baked rolls flecked with onions and poppy seeds that appeared in bottomless baskets on tables in the Lower East Side restaurant, reappeared in the kitchens of many diners the following morning — that is, if the rolls weren’t already enjoyed on the way home.

A retired professional baker and a hobbyist baker joined forces on “Inside the Jewish Bakery.”

Celebrate December 2011

Beauty secrets from the Bible, old-world bakery recipes, outdoor weddings in Israel, and more.

Celebrate December 2011

Celebrate Showcase

Tradition never goes out of style.

The Book On Bat Mitzvah Projects

Twelve-year-old’s project turns out to be a book on the subject.


W hen it came to choosing a bat mitzvah project, Alexandra Kukoff had a long, make-the-world-a-better-place list: volunteer at an animal shelter, help out at a soup kitchen, take on an environmental project, and so on. She knew she needed to pick just one if she had any hopes of completing a project in time for her Aug. 20 celebration.

Alexandra Kukoff’s hopes her how-to book “will inspire other bat mitzvah girls to think about community service.”

Just Desserts

The cakemaker to the stars still likes it best
when customers actually cut into his creations.

Editorial Assistant

Ron Ben-Israel wants you to know that he “is still a schlepper.” The cake decorator to the stars, who rocketed to wedding cake fame after being discovered by Martha Stewart, is still happy to pitch in with his small team and deliver his confectionary creations himself.

Dutch treat: Ron Ben-Israel and some of his towering creations. Courtesy Ron Ben-Israel

Wild About Saffron (And Tumeric)

The exotic culinary-cultural journey of the author of ‘Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride.’

Jewish Week Book Critic

W hen her new Persian relatives told her that she’d never be able to learn to make dolmeh, stuffed grape leaves, Reynah Simnegar grew determined to prepare this staple of Persian cuisine. She brought her husband’s grandmother into the kitchen and insisted that she not leave until she taught her. Although the older woman didn’t speak much English and Reyna didn’t understand Farsi, they worked together until Reyna mastered the “little bundles of joy.”

Spice rack: Reynah Simnegar has developed a taste for sumac, cumin and cardamom.

Simcha Necessities? There’s A Gemach For That

Having lost its stigma,
the rental-shop concept is now expanding.

Staff Writer

At a wedding the other evening, the guests peered at the tall glass vase filled with white calla lilies in full bloom. “Do you think they’re real?” a woman asked the guests seated around the table. “They look real,” another replied. “Why don’t you touch them and see?” said a third.

Some goodies from a “shtick gemach” to liven up the dance floor at wedding and other simchas.

The State Of The Art Of The Jewish Marriage Contract

Ketubot past and present, from here to Philadelphia.

Special To The Jewish Week

T here’s an art to marriage — quite literally so, when it comes to the decorative art of the Jewish marriage contract, known in Hebrew as the ketubah.

Archie Granot’s ketubah (1999), is made up of multilayered colored papercut and ink on paper. JTS Library

My Big, Fat, Mixed-Union Wedding

She’s Ashkenazi, he’s Sephardi: what’s a couple to do?

Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — When Debbie Miller and her then-boyfriend, Ofer Valkurlker, decided to marry, they knew their wedding would be a fusion of east and west. Miller is American-born and Ashkenazi while Valkurlker, who is a member of the B’nei Menashe community, was born in India.

A well-planned cross-cultural wedding sheds a positive spotlight on both cultures. Michele Chabin

Celebrate April 2011

Cross-cultural weddings, ketubot past and present, cakemaker to the stars, wild about saffron (and tumeric), and more.

Celebrate April 2011
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