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Jacob Peri, 10, Rockwern Academy

Elise Kravitz, 11, Rockwern Academy

Mady Warm, 10, Rockwern Academy

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Runner-ups of the 2013 Hanukkah Cover Coloring Contest




Modi’in struggles to preserve its Hasmonean roots


By Judy Lash Balint

Barry & Karen Schwartz

(JNS) – Modi’in is a town mentioned in the Mishnah that was home to the Maccabees of Hanukkah fame, and where the oldest synagogue in Israel was discovered, but it is also the Jewish state’s largest planned community and bills itself as “The City of the Future.” Reconciling those two images of Modi’in is at the heart of a struggle that is playing itself out on the local, national, and international level, as archeologists and preservationists try to raise awareness of Modi’in’s rich Hanukkah-related history and preserve ancient sites, while most city and government officials prefer to focus resources on development of services for today’s residents. In 1993, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin laid the cornerstone for Modi’in on a rocky hillside in the center of the country on an ancient crossroads between the coastal ports and the hills of Judea and Samaria. The idea was to develop a large city in the center of the countryequidistant from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, to spread the population and take advantage of the limited amount of land available for development. Today, Modi’in is a diverse and successful city of more than 85,000 people, spread over 10 neighborhoods built on wadis and hilltops. The city features an extensive park system and a high level of cultural, commercial, and sports facilities. Amongst the first people to arrive in modern-day Modi’in in 1996 was Marion Stone, an immigrant from the U.K. who had been living in the Galilee development town of Carmiel since 1979. “I moved in two days before Hanukkah,” recalls Stone. She was appalled to learn that bulldozers were then already working on the Titora Hill, where evidence of First Temple-era settlement was found along with a complex of cisterns, mikvaot (ritual baths), tunnels, and dovecotes. Some experts believe the area may have been used as a hideout during the Bar Kochba revolt. Stone immediately joined the Society for Preservation of Sites and Landscape in Modi’in that undertook legal action to prevent destruction of the hill. The society’s efforts were only partially successful, as ultimately part of Modi’in was built on portions of the Titora, covering many of the ancient artifacts. Finally, last spring, a court ruling ordered developers to find an alternative site for construction of an additional 750 apartments. Stone and Leiah Elbaum-another early resident of Modi’in, who has a background in Land of Israel studies and has conducted extensive research into her hometown-agree

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A view of Modi’in

that elected officials in Modi’in have neglected to capitalize on the rich Maccabean heritage of the area. Elbaum and Stone cite Titora, as well as the extraordinary find of the remains of the Umm el-Umdan (Mother of Pillars in Arabic) synagogue built in the Hasmonean period, which boasts a roof supported by eight pillars that was constructed in the time of Herod. The structure, located near the Buchman neighborhood on the Modi’in-Latrun road, closely resembles other renowned Second Temple-period synagogues, such as those at Masada, Herodium, and Gamla, that have all become major tourism sites. “There’s never been a proper archeological survey done of this area,” Elbaum asserts. “We have places here that could raise the profile of Modi’in and enhance the connection of the people to the land, but it’s not a priority for local officials,” she says. “Part of what attracted me to live here was the idea of building a new Jewish community where an ancient one had existed so many years ago,” she adds, noting with disappointment that no neighborhood or school in Modi’in is named after an important Hasmonean-era figure. Stone says one of her most profound experiences took place at the Umm el-Umdan synagogue during Hanukkah in 2002, shortly after it was discovered. Students from the nearby Nitzanim School held a torchlight march to the synagogue and lit a Hanukkah menorah there. “It was momentous,” Stone remembers. “I was in tears. There was singing and speeches. It was the day of the terror attack against Israelis in Mombassa.” The hanukkiah lighting ceremony at the ancient synagogue went on for a number of years after that, until the event grew too large and there was concern over damage to the site. In recent years, nearby residents have been marking Shabbat

Hanukkah by coming to pray at Umm el-Umdan. Modi’in resident Howie Mischel wrote of the impact of last year’s Hanukkah’s gathering: “The men stood in the central part of the site, in a rectangular area that was probably the main floor of the beit knesset. In front of me was a small indentation in the stone framework surrounding the floor, perfectly positioned to accommodate an ark to hold Torah scrolls. As I looked past it, I realized that it was perfectly oriented on this hill to face Jerusalem.” “It was not lost on any of us that this site has remained unmarked, undeveloped and virtually ignored by both municipal officials and our national government. How could we have been standing on this incredibly meaningful site, in the town where the Maccabees’ efforts assured Jewish continuity, and be in the dark? How could this archaeological site be so ignored and treated almost as a nuisance by the municipal government, without- aside from the weeds being plucked-a shekel having been invested in site preservation?” According to a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office, the Umm el-Umdan compound was approved for inclusion in the Prime Minister’s Cultural Heritage Program that designates funding for heritage sites across the country. With a projected total budget of 2.1 million shekels, half from the government and half to be raised from outside sources, the spokesman told JNS that renovation of the pathways has been completed; preservation of the synagogue itself, the residential quarters of the Hasmonean village, and artifacts is almost finished, and restoration of the synagogue interior is underway. A protective pergola will be in place in coming months, and the final phase is to include an on-site visitor center. MODI’IN on page 13

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Who were the Maccabees? By Binyamin Kagedan

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(JNS) – You’ve probably been hearing about the Maccabees since you were a kid, and if you’re like me, there’s a good chance that the way you imagined them in preschool is how you still picture them: A troop of five loyal brothers, lean, bronzed, and bearded, and their aged but still vivacious father, swords on their hips, spears in their hands, taking down an entire army of enemy soldiers piece by piece by being bold and sneaky, like Benjamin Martin in “The Patriot.” The real story of the Maccabees is not quite as action-movie-esque, but still quite interesting and exciting. So who exactly were the Maccabees? According to 1 Maccabees, a historical work written in Greek and considered sacred by the Catholic church, but not by Protestant or Jewish authorities, Maccabeus was the surname of Judah, the third son of the priest Mattathias. Mattathias had five sons according to this account, each with their own last name: “In those days Mattathias the son of John, son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib, moved from Jerusalem and settled in Modein. He had five sons, John surnamed Gaddi, Simon called Thassi, Judas called Maccabeus, Eleazar called Avaran, and Jonathan called Apphus.” (1 Mac 2:1-5, RVS). The origins of these names are not clear to scholars, but the common literary explanation is that they represent personal attributes. Maccabee is thought to mean “hammer,” recalling Judah’s aggressive war tactics; Avaran can be translated as “the piercer,” referring to Eleazar’s having killed an elephant later in the text. In defiance of a Seleucid decree that all Jews must offer sacrifices to Greek gods, Mattathias is said to have killed one or more royal officials and then retreated with his sons and early followers into the Judean hills. Judah was selected to succeed Mattathias as the leader of

Courtesy of Wojciech Stattler via Wikimedia Commons

The painting “Maccabees,” by Wojciech Stattler (1800–1875).

the rebellion, and so ancient historians applied the name Maccabee to the whole corps. Simon and Jonathan were his generals, and both play notable roles in the narrative. The sons of Mattathias, and especially the line of rulers that descended from them, are also often referred to as Hasmoneans, a name associated with Mattathias that likely refers to one of his ancient ancestors or a place of family origin. Just how small was the Maccabee force? Historian Bezalel Bar-Kochba, in his book “Judas Maccabeus,” presents a thorough analysis of the available textual evidence demonstrating that the authors of the Maccabees books tended to exaggerate differences in manpower between the two armies, so as to make the Jewish victory seem all the more miraculous. According to his calculations, though the Seleucid army was indeed two or three times larger than the Jewish militia. At certain points Judah commanded as many as 22,000 trained men – hardly the gritty band of brothers found in the picture books. The story of Maccabean leadership begins with the revolt recounted in the Hanukkah story but continues well into Jewish history. After Judah’s initial success in capturing and rededicating the temple in Jerusalem, he continued his campaign to

remove the Seleucid-Greeks from Israel and also conducted raids on neighboring nations with whom Jews had historically hostile relations. However, his good fortune did not last all that long. Joseph Sievers, in “The Hasmoneans and Their Supporters,” explains that through a combination of casualties, desertion, and political schisms, Judah lost much of his popular support by the end of his life. Significantly, he was killed in battle when ambushed by Seleucid forces and then abandoned by the majority of his men. Judah was succeeded by Jonathan, and then subsequently Simon, as the leader of the Hasmoneans and their supporters. It was Simon who managed to establish a royal Hasmonean dynasty beginning with his son John Hyrcanus in 140 BCE, his descendants maintaining political and religious control over Judea until it fell under Roman jurisdiction. A civil war between two Hasmonean princes at that time resulted in the Roman authorities selecting Herod the Great to be their royal proxy in 37 BCE, bringing a century of Maccabean rule to a close.


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Historic Thanksgiving-Hanukkah overlap leads to math and merchandise

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By Jacob Kamaras (JNS) – Nov. 28 marks Thanksgiving Day, as well as the first day of Hanukkah 2013. It would be a natural reaction for an American Jew, when noticing that overlap during a casual reading of the calendar, to smile or even laugh. But Dana Gitell took things much further. A marketing professional living in Norwood, Mass., Gitell coined and trademarked the word “Thanksgivukkah,” launched a website as well as Facebook and Twitter pages for the joint holiday. which won’t occur again for more than 75,000 years. Gitell, who had known “Thanksgivukkah” was coming for five years, said the more she thought about it, the more she came to appreciate the significance behind the overlap of two holidays which “both celebrate religious freedom” and have “similar themes.” “You can celebrate Judaism, you can celebrate America, and you celebrate the Jewish-American experience on the same day, because how would this be possible if we didn’t have a country as free and as welcoming as America?” Gitell told JNS. Exactly how rare is Thanksgivukkah? Gitell did her due diligence through online research and taking a stab at the math herself, but said she ultimately leaves such matters “to the scientists.” Enter Jonathan Mizrahi, who has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maryland and currently works for Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. Mizrahi used a math software program to chart the futures of the Jewish and Gregorian calendars, and the output “produced no results other than this year.” “I thought I made an error in the program, and I checked what I’d done, and everything seemed okay, and I pushed the year out further and further and further… and it still was telling me that it wasn’t ever going to happen,” Mizrahi told JNS. According to an analysis posted online by Mizrahi, the Jewish calendar “is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of four days per 1,000 years.” “This means that while presently Hanukkah can be as early as 11/28, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Hanukkah can be is 11/29,” Mizrahi wrote. “The last time Hanukkah falls on 11/28 is 2146 (which happens to be a Monday). Therefore, 2013 is the only time Hanukkah will ever overlap with Thanksgiving.” “Of course, if the Jewish calendar is never modified in any way, then it will slowly move forward through the Gregorian calendar, until it loops all the way back to where it is now. So, Hanukkah will again fall on Thursday, 11/28... in the year 79811,” he added.

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A graph of the Hanukkah and Thanksgiving start dates in the Gregorian calendar from the years 1950-2100, illustrating the rarity of overlap between the two holidays.

Gitell got enthusiastic feedback when she started posting juxtapositions and mashups of different cultural aspects from Thanksgiving and Hanukkah online. “So many people that I talked to, many who aren’t Jewish, think it’s exciting and funny,” she said. “I felt like [Thanksgivukkah is] almost like a Woodstock-like event, we can tell our kids, ‘I was there, I lived through Thanksgivukkah. I remember that day, it will never happen again.’ So that gave me the idea for something akin to a concert t-shirt, expressing that you were there, you lived through it, as a memento,” Gitell told JNS. Gitell said her childhood in Squirrel Hill, Pa., a neighborhood of Pittsburgh with a significant Jewish population, colored her passion for the Thanksgivukkah project. “[Squirrel Hill] was a place where most kids were Jewish, and people who weren’t Jewish, they felt left out,” she said. “Non-Jews wanted to have their own bar mitzvah in middle school. That’s the kind of experience that probably could only happen in America.” While American Jews prepare for Thanksgivukkah, whether or not 2013 is the first-ever occurrence of the “holiday” is up for debate. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln enacted Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday in November. But Thanksgiving was changed to the fourth Thursday of November-not necessarily the last Thursday-in 1942 under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a move intended to extend the holiday shopping season. Using the former date of America’s Thanksgiving, the last Thursday of November, Thanksgivukkah would have occurred in 1888, according to Mizrahi. Thanksgivukkah’s frequency can also depend on whether the first night or the first day of Hanukkah is used as an indicator. This year, the first candles of Hanukkah are lit the night of Nov. 27, while the first full day of the holiday is Nov. 28, corresponding with Thanksgiving. According to an analy-

sis by Eli Lansey, who has a Ph.D. in Physics from the City University of New York and like Mizrahi used the Mathematica software program, the first night of Hanukkah will correspond with Thanksgiving in the years 2070 and 2165-much sooner than 79811, the next time after 2013 that Mizrahi said Thanksgiving would fall on the first day of Hanukkah. No matter what metric one uses, Thanksgivukkah has garnered a significant following-Mizrahi’s mathematical analysis garnered about 100,000 page views online, to his “utter amazement.” “When I first did this, I thought it was interesting, but I did not expect anywhere near the response I got,” Mizrahi said.

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Menorah: History of a symbol By Binyamin Kagedan

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(JNS) – There are few more ubiquitous symbols of Jewish presence than the menorah. From its first mention in the book of Exodus, the menorah has pervaded the literary and visual culture of the Jewish people, predating the Star of David as a uniquely Jewish insignia by at least a millennium. In fact, one rabbinic tradition suggests that the emblem on David's shield was not a star at all, but a menorah! While the star is the centerpiece of Israel's flag, the menorah was chosen as the nation's coat of arms, and large, ornate menorahs grace both the Knesset and Ben Gurion Airport. Countless Jewish organizations, schools and synagogues weave the menorah image into their logos, and many have taken the word as their names. What is the story of this potent symbol, and why has it captured the hearts and imaginations of the Jewish people for so long? Most people, including U.S. presidents, come across the menorah primarily on Hanukkah. The technical name for the eight-branched candelabras lit each night of Hanukkah is hanukkiah, a modern-Hebrew word. The word menorah is used colloquially for these ritual objects, but technically refers only to the sevenbranched golden oil lamp meticulously described in God's instructions to Moses regarding the building of the Tabernacle. References to the menorah appear throughout the bible, though is it not clear that it always looked the same, or that there was always just one in the temple; I Kings tells that Solomon had ten golden menorahs made for his temple. Nevertheless, there is ample indication that a menorah existed in one form or another throughout the First and Second Temple periods. The iconic image found on the Arch of Titus in Rome, depicting the menorah and other temple objects being carried away as the spoils of Roman victory over Judea, confirms that a seven-branched menorah was a part of Temple worship up until the end. Yet the whereabouts of the final menorah of the Second Temple remain a great mystery. In his beautifully written work, The Tree of Light: A Study of the Menorah, L. Yarden suggests that the concept and form of the menorah are likely to have derived from the ancient mythological idea of the Tree of Life, found in different forms throughout the cultures of the

Courtesy of The Temple Institute, Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem via Wikimedia Commons.

A replica of the Jewish Temple's menorah, made by The Temple Institute in Israel.

ancient middle east. Images of sacred seven-branched trees guarded by cherubic figures can be found on Persian pottery dating back to 2300 BC, well before the centralization of Temple worship in ancient Israel. The almond tree, which is native to Israel and has special significance in Jewish lore and ritual, may have been the original inspiration for the menorah's upward sloping design. It is quite possible that the menorah represents a blending of the Tree of Life idea with another important Israelite symbol of the divine presence, the luminous, ever-burning bush encountered by Moses. Indeed, the tradition surrounding the menorah tells that it was tended to day and night by the Temple priests so as to stay continuously lit, the original “Eternal Light” found in today's sanctuaries. Whereas, Yarden explains, the Star of David is never mentioned in canonical Jewish texts, nor does it appear on Jewish monuments before the Middle Ages, the menorah image can be found wherever Jews lived since the fall of the Second Temple, all across Europe and Asia. Synagogues built between 200 and 700 CE in Israel and beyond commonly sport menorahs carved into stone reliefs and laid

into floor mosaics. Menorahs also adorn large numbers of Jewish gravestones from the throughout the post-Temple period, both within Israel and at various locations around the ancient Roman Empire: Sicily, Sardinia, Malta, and Milan, as well places in Spain, Portugal, France, and Greece. Yarden's book offers dozens of examples of the centrality of the menorah in Jewish art and architecture past and present, including vivid photographs of original ancient pieces. Jewish thinkers through the centuries have been drawn to the power and beauty of the menorah image and its effortless fusion of the natural with the man-made, of form with light. To Zechariah it was beacon of the future redemption of Israel; to Josephus it represented the seven known planets that illuminate the cosmos; for Philo it manifested the light of divine wisdom; in the Zohar, it holds the primordial light of the ein sof, from which all being emanates; for Herzl, a metaphor for the possibility of Jewish national renaissance. Today, the menorah continues to capture the imaginations of rabbis and laypeople, artists and thinkers, religious and secular, an enduring symbol of eternal hope.



At Thanksgivukkah, celebrate uniqueness of the separate holidays By Dasee Berkowitz NEW YORK (JTA) – Some folks are taking the rare confluence this year of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah to heart, renaming it Thanksgivukkah, redesigning their menus for the occasion (latkes topped with cranberry relish anyone?) and refashioning ritual objects (a turkey-shaped hanukkiyah called the Menurkey is gaining traction on Kickstarter). Others are taking it one step deeper, celebrating how the combined holidays enable us to fully appreciate being both Jewish and American. It’s a perfect symbiosis: As we freely celebrate Hanukkah this year, we recognize that we directly benefit from the freedoms that were at the core of what brought the Puritans and Pilgrims to settle a new land. But Jewish tradition doesn’t love conflating holidays. In fact, there’s a concept – “ein mearvin simcha b’simcha” – that we shouldn’t mix one happy occasion with another. No weddings during Sukkot or Passover, or any Jewish holiday, for that matter. At first glance it seems like a downer. Shouldn’t doubling up on our celebration just enhance our enjoyment and be a net gain? For those of us with birthdays on Rosh Hashanah or New Year’s Day, we know that conflating celebrations doesn’t really work – one celebration usually gets lost into the other. Keeping celebrations separate enables us to be fully present for each. So instead of conflating Hanukkah and Thanksgiving, let’s look at it another way: How can the unique aspects of each holiday help us more fully celebrate the other? Thanksgiving teaches us to give thanks for the harvest and for all we have without the need to acquire more. How can that concept inform our celebration of Hanukkah, a holiday that has become overrun with gift giving that verges on the excessive? Instead of being thankful for the plenty that so many of us experience – we mostly take the most basic things for granted, like waking up in a dry, warm bed each morning – we want more, and on Hanukkah we watch children tear through gifts wondering what else awaits them each night of the Festival of Lights. Parents can help children appreciate that mom and dad’s presence in their lives can be present enough by giving the gift of time to their kids at Hanukkah. So often we are distracted by everything we must do in life – I have been shamed by my son asking me

to stand “still as a statue” as he tries to get my attention or by my daughter saying “Ima, just listen to me.” Pick a night of Hanukkah and give your child a period of your undivided attention. Friends and significant others can also give each other the gift of an evening unplugged. Go out with your friends or spouses unmediated by a screen of any kind. For your children, help them cultivate a sense of gratitude and the plenty in their own lives. On one night of Hanukkah, ask your kids to recycle some of their own toys and gift them to others. On another night, they can give some money or time to charity. We don’t need more things, we need to appreciate the people who fill our lives with meaning and the power we have to help others. What lessons can Hanukkah provide in our celebration of Thanksgiving? For starters, it can teach us not to shy away from ritual. Significant Jewish occasions are ritualized, from lighting the hanukkiah to recounting the Exodus story on Passover, to a Shabbat meal replete with blessings over candles, grape juice and wine. The rituals help to connect us to Jewish time and to the drama of Jewish history. They transport us from the realm of the ordinary into the realm of the sacred. They enable us to slow down and pay attention to the experiences that are unfolding before us. While each family may have its own rituals on Thanksgiving – the football game or carving of the turkey – many of us feel self-conscious about rituals that enter the sphere of the sacred, like inviting guests to share what they are grateful for or chanting a blessing to thank God for the food we are about to eat. It amazes me how much time, effort and money is put into preparing a lavish Thanksgiving meal, and the invited guests just dig in and then complain about overeating. Invite everyone to pause before eating and say one thing for which they are grateful – from the food, the chef or the One who makes it all possible. Connect your feelings of gratitude to the company that surrounds you or for what it means for you to be an American today. Make this sharing circle or some other activity you create as a group a ritualized part of what you do each Thanksgiving. Hanukkah can also teach Thanksgiving a thing or two about being different. Whereas Thanksgiving sends us a powerful message about intergroup rela-

tions and the coming together of the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians for a fall harvest feast, Hanukkah celebrates what sets us apart and makes us different. Hanukkah honors the Maccabean revolt to safeguard practices unique to Jewish people (like Shabbat, holiday celebration and circumcision). The strong impulse to develop our unique and particular identities is an important first stage to pass through before coming together with others and celebrate multiculturalism. We need to know who we are first before we can share that with others. And while I love Thanksgiving because it is a holiday celebrated by so many Americans, with common foods and customs, let’s celebrate what makes our families different and unique. What is particular about your family that you would like your kids to learn about this Thanksgiving? Stories of resilience or bravery? Others? This Thanksgiving, encourage those gathered around the table to share the particular legacy they would like to leave to their children and grandchildren. Ein mearvin simcha b’simcha suggests that we shouldn’t mix our celebrations. But when the calendar leaves us no other choice, let’s do so with integrity. Let each holiday’s central values – being thankful for what we already have, celebrating ritual that connects us to that which is sacred and rejoicing in our differences – inform how we experience both festivals this fall.

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Menorah mania By Diana Burmistrovich (JNS) – The menorah forever commemorates the eight-day stretch of Jewish history during which one day’s worth of oil gave the kohanim of the Jewish Temple eight, blessed days filled with light. But dating back to the first Hanukkah, celebrated by our ancestors in 165 B.C.E., the sevencandle menorah has come a long way. For the modern holiday of Hanukkah, the menorah – or more specifically, its eight-candle iteration, the Hanukkiah – has come to reflect whoever owns it, with all sorts of funky, crazy, and beautiful versions presenting contemporary ways to memorialize God’s miracle. JNS presents some of the most unique present-day menorahs: Art Lovers will glow over these contemporary menorahs that double as pieces of fine art. Creations like these are easy to keep around the house as regular sculptures during the year. Focus the festive energy of the holiday season on the color schemes of these menorahs, to provide a modern ambiance. This beautiful Gary Rosenthal piece will pique the interests of anyone loving an industrial look. Made of embossed copper, steel, brass, and crackled-glass, this menorah incorporates items found at a typical warehouse. The pop of

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color adds excitement to an otherwise gritty demeanor. Paying homage to centuries past is nothing new: Art, architecture, and fashion use history as a jumping-off point to create a fresh take on an old idea. This vintage brass menorah from the Eames Era takes cues from the monolithic, crude style of Brutalist art to stylishly update what resembles the Temple’s original menorah. Traditionalists will appreciate the masterful nod to other important Hanukkah symbols with these menorahs. Even if your version of Hanukkah is merely a time to give and receive gifts, these menorahs are a perfect way to bring back the true meaning of what the holiday celebrates. The Hanukkah story tells that there was only enough olive oil left to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted eight days, which was enough time to make new pure oil. This hand-painted glass menorah is a perfection celebration of God’s miracle. Juxtaposing Greek-style art-to symbolize the perseverance of the Jewish people under Greek rulewith fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls makes this menorah as much a history lesson as holiday staple. The menorah has been a symbol of the Jewish people since ancient times so incorporating the second most important Jewish symbol is all too fitting. This black-and-white stained glass leaves no doubt that you are proud of who you are and where you came from. Hipsters and hobbyists can incorporate favorite activities into their holiday celebrations with these DIY (do-it-yourself) creations made by local artists. These menorahs add a fun touch and a talking point perfect for youthful,

creative types. Sleek and stylish, this menorah repurposes the metal handlebar from a bicycle with its cog as the centerpiece. Bikers, rest assured that this piece is handcrafted with heavy-duty goodness-just don’t forget to take the candles out before going on a cruise with it! No one really knows where the moustache obsession came from, but needless to say, love for those fine hairs is probably as old as the first Hanukkiah! Ride the moustache love all the way through your holiday season with this laser-cut wooden menorah, fit for anyone feeling funky. This stained glass menorah is too beautiful to bounce. Perfect for the sports lover in the family, this menorah is a must-have for any self-proclaimed basketball addict. Travelers will love these minimenorahs that they can use if they happen to be abroad during the holiday season. Toss these in your pocket with a box of candles, and you have a makeshift celebration anywhere you decide to post them up! The aluminum base and anodized aluminum make it easy to throw this palm-sized menorah into any traveling bag for your trip. With a bright, festive, stainedglass look, the menorah can cheer up even the glummest holiday traveling experience. This is a bonus mini-moustache menorah from the same creator that brought you its big brother, the menorah moustache. This little guy is as small as a matchbook – which is perfect, because those are the “candles” that are meant to be used. Those worried about its wooden composition need not fear: the laser-cut edges of the wood make it hard to burn, and the matches tend to burn out before they reach the bottom.



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With a candle each night, celebrate the many dimensions of courage By Dasee Berkowitz Jewish Telegraph Agency


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NEW YORK – My 4-year-old son is obsessed with superheroes, dressing up at every opportunity as the superhero du jour to do battle with the bad guys lurking around the corner. (My 2-year-old daughter is just as enthusiastic, but at her age all she can really muster is a “meanie” face.) From a developmental perspective, I know this fantasy play is his way of exercising control over a world he is learning is increasingly out of his control. But I also see other qualities – his desire to be strong, to stand up for the good guys – in short, to be courageous. Becoming courageous doesn’t happen overnight. It develops when children have opportunities to stand up for what’s right and to take responsible risks. Through experiences my husband and I provide, and the stories we tell them, we can lay some groundwork. As I think about a central message of the Chanukah story and the way I want to portray it to my kids, models of courage abound. From Judah Maccabee, to Judith and Hannah and her seven sons, heroes and heroines fought for the right to be different, to be Jews who refused to assimilate into the prevailing Hellenistic culture. When Antiochus Epiphanes came to power, and observance of the most basic mitzvot (circumcision, Shabbat celebration and kashrut) were turned into capital offenses, their acts of courage formed the basis of a central narrative of the Chanukah story that has been passed down through the generations. Consider Judah Macabee, whose army with a bunch of Jewish soldiers used guerrilla tactics and religious zeal to defeat the stronger Assyrian Greek army. He forced the Assyrian Greeks to rescind the policies that forbade Jewish practice, and in 164 BCE liberated the Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to a place of Jewish worship. Consider Judith, who did her part to prevent the siege of Jerusalem in her hometown of Bethulia by seducing Holfenes, the Assyrian Greek army general, and then decapitating him. Her bravery is so highly esteemed by the Rabbis that it is because of her act of courage that Jewish women are obligated to light Chanukah candles. And consider Hannah and her seven sons, who refused to bow

down to Zeus and Antiochus and eat non-kosher meat. The Book of Maccabees relates that each of her sons and then her mother were tortured to death. These acts of courage seem extreme and even unpalatable to our modern ear – what woman would sacrifice her son, not to mention all seven? And aren’t we a peace-loving people who should not extol brute force? But they also lead us to a deeper questions about the nature of courage. Are there values and beliefs for which we are willing to make great sacrifices, and if any of these values or beliefs were to be violated, would we be stirred to action? While these figures present us with one narrative of the Chanukah story – of heroism in battle and martyrdom – a second narrative is favored by the ancient Rabbis. The story begins with the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem and the faith that the Jews had that the small cruse of oil which should have lasted for one day only could last for eight (in time for others to travel and get more oil.) The second narrative downplays the military victory won by human hands and elevates the story to one in which our faith in God and God’s miracles are kindled. It reminds us that courage is born when we continue to have faith and hope even in our darkest time. Having faith in itself is an important kind of courage. While the call to be courageous is central to the Chanukah story – spiritually or physically – it is also daunting. But the Rabbis offered another way for us to understand how to live a courageous life and be our own heroes. “Who is a hero?” the Rabbis ask. “One who overcomes his urges?” (Mishna, Pirkei Avot 4:1) Overcoming our most natural desires and exercising personal

restraint is another kind of heroism. This is a kind of everyday courage. When we are present in a difficult conversation with someone we care about even though our impulse is to leave, we are a hero. When we resist the urge to say something that we know will offend another person, even if we think it is warranted, we are courageous. When we have vowed not to feed a habit that is destructive to us, and when tempted and resist (a smoke, an extra piece of chocolate cake), we are being our own heroes. This Chanukah, celebrate all of the dimensions of courage by dedicating each night to one of them: Candle 1 to the classic Chanukah heroes of Judah Maccabee, Judith and Hannah. Candle 2 to the courageous acts of our children who welcome a new kid to the school, speak out against bullying or have faith that the next day at school might be a little better than today. Candle 3 to someone in your community who took up a cause you believe in and fought for it. Candle 4 to someone in your family – perhaps a parent or grandparent – and a courageous act they performed during their lives. Candle 5 to American and Israeli soldiers who are fighting to protect values and ideals that are sacred to us. Candle 6 to the courage that you have exercised by restraint – with a co-worker, spouse, child, friend or parent. Candle 7 to a person in your life who exemplifies courage the most. Candle 8 to that quality of courage in ourselves that enables us to bring light into dark places and for the energy to continue to stoke the embers of our own sense of courage.



Hanukkah jewelry makes for ‘nuclear program’ with unquestioned peaceful intent By Edmon J. Rodman (JNS) – While at the U.N. General Assembly and other public forums, Iran continues to tout what it calls the peaceful intentions of its nuclear program to a skeptical audience. But the peaceful intentions of another “nuclear program”-one that will come in handy for Jewish shoppers this Hanukkah-are unquestioned. Using the words of the prophets as inspiration, a company called From War to Peace is turning swords into ploughshares-actually, recycled material from nukes into Jewish jewelry-in California. The line of peace-oriented products that includes flower power earrings, peace symbol pendants, tree of life bracelets, and household accessories is made from recycled copper cabling that once carried the launch codes to Minuteman III nuclear missiles. The copper, taken from a disarmed and deactivated Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) site in Grand Forks, ND, is cast by the company into an array of wearable and usable symbols from many religions, including Star of David earrings, hamsa pendants, and mezuzahs. In time for Hanukkah, a new menorah pendant design will soon be available. From War to Peace’s work is available in stores nationwide, in Canada, online, and at the Clinton Presidential Library, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and The Jewish Museum in New York. “The Jewish prophets are the absolute inspiration for what we do,” said the organization’s founder, Paul Ogren, a former Minnesota state senator who lived in Israel in the 1970s. The truncated bible verse, “Turn your swords into plowshares, and you shall know war no more,” from both Isaiah and Micah, is featured prominently on the website of the company, which was launched in 2010. “The cabling is a good source of copper,” said Ogren, who first found out about the metal from a friend who had the scrap contract from the federal government for the silo’s metal and plastic. Ogren said he bought 10,000 pounds of copper, but initially was not sure what he would do with it. “I’m always looking for a transformational element,” said Ogren, who recalled that hearing a niece singing a Hebrew song,


Courtesy of From War into Peace

A menorah necklace by From War into Peace, which uses recycled material from nukes for Jewish jewelry.

“Lo Yisa Goy El Goy Cherev,” (“Nation shall not lift up sword against nation”), put him on the path to making jewelry. “Weapons that kill people can be used for constructive means,” Ogren, a peace activist during the Vietnam War, said. After discovering that copper needed to be alloyed to be cast successfully as jewelry, Ogren decided on a mixture that included manganese and silicon to create a “Peace Bronze,” which is cast into various shapes in Albuquerque, NM, and Paso Robles, Calif. Various styles are given an iridescent finish in San Luis Obispo, Calif., or dipped in silver or gold in Albuquerque. One of the mezuzah designs is cast with the words “Peace to all who enter here.” Other styles feature the word “peace” in three languages-Hebrew, English and Arabic-or an image of a dove. “There is a naïve quality to them, like American folk art,” said Nestor Diaz de Villegas, who owns one of the mezuzahs as well as a pendant. “That they are made of metal from nuclear weapons in really amazing,” added Diaz de Villegas, who is a poet and a journalist. “We do museum grade castings, using the lost wax process”

said Ogren, whose company also uses its Peace Bronze in casting the Gandhi Peace Prize as well as the Sean MacBride Peace Prize, awarded by the Geneva-based International Peace Bureau. Ogren said 24 percent of the company’s profits are dedicated to peace and social justice organizations, with current recipients including Veterans for Peace, Homeboy Industries, and Mothers for Peace. Seeing a benefit in injecting “humor and lightness” into the messages of his work, Ogren also creates beer bottle openers which say “Beers Not Bombs,” and wine bottle stoppers which say, “Make Wine Not War,” out of the Peace Bronze. Just how hot is Ogren’s nukerelated jewelry? The cabling was buried six feet underground, has been tested, and is not radioactive. “I get asked, ‘Will I glow in the dark if I wear your jewelry?’” Ogren said. “I would have to charge you more,” he said he often responds.

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Make miracles happen this Hanukkah for the Kadish family By Staff (JPRwire) – On June 29, at Goldman Union Camp Institute, a Union for Reform Judaism summer camp near Indianapolis, Ethan Kadish was teaching a group of younger children how to play ultimate frisbee when a bolt of lightning struck him to the ground. Until recently, Ethan was in the Rehabilitation Unit at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital preparing for his discharge to go home. He is now at home working hard in his daily therapies. His family is facing mounting financial costs related to his ongoing care and necessary accommodations to their home. In the effort to help Ethan and his family, organizers have created a series of Hanukkah fundraising events. In connection with the

Union for Reform Judaism, and HelpHOPELive, URJ Camp George has organized a fundraising flash mob on the 8th Night of Hanukkah called 8th Night for Ethan. This campaign invites individuals and organizations to give donations (in multiples of 18 – a number that symbolizes good luck in the Jewish tradition) over an 18 hour period on the last night of Hanukkah. Donations will go directly to HelpHOPELive, which has set up a fundraising campaign to assist with Ethan’s ongoing medical expenses. Camp George’s Facebook page will include updates on the event beginning on the first night of Hanukkah and ending on the 8th Night of Hanukkah. Families are encouraged to donate to HelpHOPELive in lieu of a gift exchange on the last night of the holiday and congregations are invited to

include donation boxes at their holiday parties or hold latke sales and donate proceeds to the fund. Visit this page for more fundraising ideas for individuals, schools, congregations and families. Team Ethan Cincinnati, and HelpHOPELive are hosting the First Annual 8th Night for Ethan fundraising event in Ethan’s hometown of Cincinnati, OH, at the Rockwern Academy featuring a live concert with Jewish rock musician Dan Nichols. Funds from this event will benefit HelpHOPELive in honor of Ethan Kadish. URJ’s Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Indiana, will host “Road to Eden/Ethan,” a documentary film screening and musical performance by Dan Nichols to benefit HelpHopeLive in honor of Ethan Kadish.

Dreidel Fun-Facts By Binyamin Kagedan JointMedia News Service The word dreidel is Yiddish, and comes from the German verb dreihen, meaning “to spin.” Dreidel literally

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means “little spinner.” The first dreidel players were Yiddish speaking Jews in medieval Europe. In fact, playing with tops has been a popular pastime across Western Europe since at least the 16th century! Many believe that the four letters on the dreidel – nun, gimel, hay, and shin – were taken from the Hebrew expression Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, meaning “a great miracle happened there,” referring to the miraculous events of the Hanukkah story in ancient Israel. Really, this meaning was added later on – the letters originally represented the Yiddish instructions for what to do when you land on each one (Yiddish and Hebrew use the same alphabet): Gimel for gantz, “whole”: take the whole pot; hay for halb, “half”: take half the pot; nun for nisht, “nothing”: don’t take out or put in; and shin for shtehl einl, “put in”: put some of your coins into the pot. As the dreidel became a symbol associated with Hanukkah, many legends began to stem from it, like this one: When Antiochus decreed that Jewish law may no longer be studied in public, righteous

Jews defied him and continued to teach Torah to their children. When they saw the king’s henchman coming, groups of students would quickly hide their books and bring out their dreidels, pretending that they had merely gathered for a bit of fun and gambling. Recently dreidel spinning has become a competitive sport! The group Major League Dreidel hosts tournaments each year in New York City and crowns a champion for the longest-lasting continuous spin.



Light My Fire: The Jewish Museum’s Hanukkah App 2.0 available By Staff New York, NY (JPRWire) – The eight day holiday of Hanukkah begins at sundown on Wednesday, November 27th. The Jewish Museum’s Hanukkah app, which debuted in 2012 and has now been expanded. The app is perfect for those without a menorah, travelers, students, or anyone seeking a flexible, fun way to mark the holiday. Light My Fire: A Hanukkah App allows users to select a contemporary or traditional Hanukkah lamp from the Museum’s renowned collection, choose a unique background to place it on, light the lamp, and then share it with their family and friends. This year users can also upload their own photo as a background. There is a choice of twenty-six lamps from eleven different countries, representing four centuries of artistic production, and nineteen backgrounds from the traditional to whimsical, including a window sill, Jerusalem, a moonscape, a turkey (for Thanksgivukkah), and more. Users can save the lamps they choose to their very own collection. The app also provides options to access blessings in English, Hebrew, and transliterated Hebrew; lighting the menorah instructions; holiday information; and background details on menorahs in general as well as each Hanukkah lamp pictured. MODI’IN from page 3 Alex Weinreb, 55, was one of those who stood in front of the tractors at Umm el-Umdan during Hanukkah 2001 to prevent the destruction of the synagogue. His concern led him to run for office, and the New York native subsequently served as deputy mayor of Modi’in between 2003-2010. Weinreb, who has an advanced degree in archeology, has long been in the forefront of efforts to put Modi’in’s history on the map. One initiative he pushed through is

Light My Fire: A Hanukkah App requires iOS 5.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. New this year is a version for Android users requiring Android 2.3 and up. The Jewish Museum is the preeminent museum in the United States devoted to art and Jewish culture, and has the finest, largest and most comprehensive collection of Hanukkah lamps in the world. The lamps featured in the app come from Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Eastern Europe, Morocco, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Israel, and the United States. Materials range from the traditional copper, silver, and brass but also include ceramic, silicone, stainless steel, and one using souvenir Statues of Liberty. Hanukkah lamps have often been produced using fantastical designs and shapes. Four major design categories are represented in the Museum’s collection, including Jewish heroes and heroines (like Judith), architectural elements, animals (like the lion), and plants. The lamps incorporate Jewish symbols and secular motifs common in the decorative arts from the Renaissance to the present. The menorah, also called a Hanukkah lamp, is a special object used in the eight-day ceremony of Hanukkah. It holds eight lights – typ-

ically candles or small cups of oil – as well as a ninth, the shamash. The shamash is used not only to kindle the lamp, but to provide light so that one does not use the sacred Hanukkah lights for illumination. The joyous nature of the holiday has led over the centuries to a profusion of imaginative lamp shapes and decorations, serious or whimsical: biblical figures, characters from popular culture, buildings, exuberant flowers or exotic animals. Each lamp reflects the interactions between artistic expression, Jewish traditions, historic and geographic influences, and personal experience. Local styles and motifs may be seen in many of the lamps and show the great diversity of places that Jews have settled and flourished. The festival of Hanukkah commemorates an ancient victory for religious freedom – the reestablishment of Jewish worship in the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE. According to legend, a miracle occurred as the Jews gave thanks for divine intervention. A one-day supply of consecrated oil necessary for worship burned for eight days, enough time to create more oil. Hanukkah celebrates freedom and the blessing of miracles, and the tradition of kindling the festival lights continues to have profound meaning around the world.

the annual Hanukkah and Modi’in Heritage Conference, which brings together scholars, archeologists, and community members to study aspects of the area’s history. Weinreb also initiated the approach to the Prime Minister’s Cultural Heritage Program. In 2010, Weinreb and a team of architects, designers and museum specialists put together a sophisticated proposal to create a Hasmonean Educational and Tourist Visitors Center for the promotion of the Maccabean heritage in Modiin on the site of the syna-

gogue dating to the Maccabee period. They’re still seeking donors and government support to jumpstart the project. Despite the official sign at the entrance, contemporary archeologists believe the site just outside Modi’in is of Byzantine origin. The true location of the grave of the Maccabees continues to be the subject of speculation, and, like many other parts of history in Modi’in, is awaiting funds for methodical research.

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Pass the cranberry latkes: When holidays collide By Edmon J. Rodman LOS ANGELES (JTA) – If the Pilgrims are lighting menorahs and the Maccabees are chasing turkeys, it must be Thanksgivukkah, as some have come to call the confluence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah that will happen this year on Nov. 28. It’s a rare event, one that won’t occur again until 2070 and then in 2165. Beyond that, because the Jewish lunisolar (lunar with solar adjustments) calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, the HanukkahThanksgiving confluence won’t happen again by one calculation until the year 79811 – when turkeys presumably will be smart enough to read calendars and vacation in space that month. How do we celebrate this rare holiday alignment? Do we stick candles in the turkey and stuff the horns of plenty with gelt? What about starting by wishing each other “gobble tov” and then changing the words to a favorite Hanukkah melody: “I cooked a little turkey, Just like I’m Bobby Flay, And when it’s sliced and ready, I’ll fress the day away.” The holiday mash-up has its limits. We know the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will not end with a float carrying a Maccabee. But it has created opportunities as well: Raise your hand if you plan to wait until the post-Thanksgiving Day sales for your Hanukkah shopping. Ritually, just as we’ve figured out that we add candles to our menorahs from right to left and light them from left to right, a new question looms this year: Should we slice the turkey before or after? For our household, the dreidel-wishbone overlap means that our son at college who always comes home for Thanksgiving will be home to light the family hanukkiyah, too. “I think it’s wonderful,” said Dr. Ron Wolfson, whose book speaks to how our communal relationships – how we listen and welcome – can make our Jewish communities more meaningful. “This year is about bringing friends and family together.” Wolfson said in a recent interview that this year’s calendrical collision was a way to enhance “Thanksgiving beyond

Courtesy of Edmon J. Rodman

With the cornukiyah, Edmon J. Rodman tries his hand at creating a centerpiece suitable for a Thanksgivukkah table.

football and a big meal.” In our land of commercial plenty, the confluence certainly has served up a feast of merchandise. There are T-shirts saying “8 Days of Light, Liberty & Latkes” and a coffee mug picturing a turkey with nine burning tail feathers. And then there’s the ceramic menorah in the shape of a turkey – a Menurkey, created by 9-year-old Asher Weintraub of New York. But being more of a do-ityourselfer, I recycled an old sukkah decoration to create my own Thankgivukkah centerpiece – the cornukiyah. For the holiday cook trying to blend the two holidays’ flavors, there’s a recipe that calls for turkeys brined in Manischewitz, and I found another for cranberry latkes. But what about a replacement for the now infamous Frankenstein of Thanksgiving cuisine, the turducken? How about a “turchitke,” a latke inside of a chicken inside of a turkey? For Wolfson, who has largely ignored the merchandise and wordplay, this year simply is an opportunity to change the script. At his Thanksgiving dinner, he is going combine Hanukkah ritual with holiday elements found on a website that uses American holidays to pass on “stories, values and behaviors.” For our own celebrations Wolfson, a Fingerhut professor of education at American Jewish University, wants us to consider the similarities of the stories at the heart of each holiday. “The Pilgrims were escaping religious persecution in Europe. They did not want to be assimi-

lated,” Wolfson said, adding that “the Maccabees were fighting against Hellenization,” another form of assimilation. Counter to the usual “December dilemma” for the intermarried – whose numbers have increased to 58 percent since 2005, according to the recent Pew study – Wolfson noted the “opportunities and challenges” presented this year by Hanukkah and Christmas not coinciding. “We usually feel the tension between the two holidays,” he said. “This year we can feel the compatibility of the two.” The early Hanukkah will help people to appreciate its “cultural integrity,” said Wolfson, adding that he “would not be surprised by a spike in candle lighting this year.” But for others in the Jewish community, the pushing together of the Festival of Lights with Turkey Day has forced other changes, some unwanted. Rabbi Steven Silver of Temple Menorah in Redondo Beach, Calif., is canceling his temple’s traditional Friday night Hanukkah dinner. “That holiday weekend will be vacation time, people will be out visiting family and friends,” he said. “The rabbis won’t have anyone in front of them that weekend, and that’s a problem.”



Hanukkah latkes and cookies with a twist from ‘Queen of Kosher’ Jamie Geller By JNS Staff All kinds of uber-creative latke recipes appear around Hanukkah-time: apple-parsnip latkes, sweet potato-leek latkes, sweet cheesy latkes, and savory cheese and chive latkes. But the truth is, you can’t go anywhere in the world of latkes until you’ve mastered the classic potato version, says celebrity chef Jamie Geller, who likes to try the latkes, keep them warm, and then layer them with show-stopping toppings. Latkes with Caviar and Cream Kosher Status: Dairy Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 40 Minutes Total Time: 55 Minutes Yield: 20 latkes Consider creating a latke-topping bar, so your Hanukkah party guests can mix and match or try them all. I like topping latkes with guacamole and an over-easy or poached egg, or doing Caprese latke towers with slices of mozzarella and tomato, plus a few fresh basil leaves. Oooo, and I love a smear of brie cheese topped with a dollop of jam, or blue cheese, pear, and arugula piled on top. You can go exotic or country or Brooklyn, but this super elegant cream and caviar version can only be described as super posh and simply divine. Ingredients 4 large russet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds) 3 large eggs, beaten 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Canola oil for frying 1 medium onion quartered 1/4 cup Manischewitz® Matzo Meal 1 1/4 cups crème frâiche or sour cream Caviar, for garnish Directions 1. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Peel the potatoes, cut them into quarters lengthwise, and place them in the bowl of cold water to prevent browning. 2. Combine the eggs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; set aside. 3. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. 4. Put the onions and potatoes in a food processor and pulse until pureed. Transfer the mixture into the large bowl with the eggs. Add Manischewitz® Matzo Meal and mix to combine. 5. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. 6. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop up the potato mixture and carefully drop it into the hot oil. Use the back of the measuring cup to flatten the latke. Fill the pan with as many latkes as you can, but do not let them touch. Do not overcrowd your pan, or the latkes will be soggy instead of crispy.

Fry until golden brown and crispy, three to five minutes per side. Drain on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining batter. 7. To keep latkes warm and crispy once fried, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a 200°F oven until ready to serve. 8. To serve, place the latkes on a large serving tray and garnish each with a generous tablespoon of crème frâiche and caviar. Quick Tip Remember, don’t overcrowd your pan when frying. Make sure the latkes aren’t touching and there is room around each for the edges to crisp. That’s the perfect latke: soft, fluffy, and creamy on the inside with crispy edges. Sweet Cinnamon Latkes My friend Anita’s grandmother used to make her latkes with a pinch of cinnamon. Omit the onion and the pepper, reduce the salt to a pinch, and add 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and 3 tablespoons sugar. Mix 1 cup sour cream with 1/4 cup maple syrup and serve it on the side. Make it Pareve Use soy sour cream or serve with applesauce. Cardamom-Scented Cookies

Directions 1. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and ginger in a small bowl. Beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and orange juice and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. 2. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly flour your work surface. 4. Flour your rolling pin and cookie cutters. Roll out the dough to 1/4inch thick on the work surface. Cut into desires shapes and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Reroll the scraps and continue until all the dough has been used. Bake until the edges are just golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool two minutes on the baking sheet, then move to a wire rack to cool completely. 5. Place the confectioners’sugar in a small bowl. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk until a smooth, thick but pourable consistency is reached. Drizzle the frosting on the cookies and decorate them with blue sugar or sprinkles.

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Kosher Status: Dairy Prep: 10 minutes Chill: 30 minutes Bake: 12 minutes Cool: 10 minutes Total: 1 hour 2 minutes Yield: About twenty-four 2-inch cookies I really feel like a good mom when I bake with my kids, especially for the holidays. Hanukkah cookies can also be a lot of fun to make, but they’re usually so blah and one-dimensional, no one really craves them. With just one touch of cardamom, this recipe immediately transforms those bland little cookies into something super special. You don’t even need to decorate them. Just pile them on your party tray and watch them go! Ingredients 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar 1 large egg 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice 1 cup confectioner’s sugar Blue sugar or sprinkles, for decorating

Variation Use 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, or 3/4 of each. Black and White Chocolate-Dipped Hanukkah Cookies To make Chocolate Ganache¸ bring 1 cup of heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place 4 ounces chopped milk chocolate in a small bowl and 4 ounces chopped white chocolate in another small bowl. Pour half of the warm cream into each bowl. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir with rubber spatulas to melt the chocolates. Let cool slightly before dipping your cookies. Divide the cookies into two equal batches. Dip the cookies in one batch in the milk chocolate, covering each cookie halfway; dip the cookies in a second batch in the white chocolate, dipping each cookie halfway. Sprinkle the frosted parts of the cookies with gold and silver decorating sugar. Make it Pareve These are so easy to make nondairy: just sub in margarine for butter. Because it’s traditional to eat dairy delicacies on Hanukkah, and I rarely have occasion to make dairy desserts, I seize the opportunity to use butter in this recipe. But it’s a great quick cookie recipe and shouldn’t be relegated to Hanukkah – just use cookie cutters that are not holiday themed.


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For Thanksgivukkah celebrations, planning and simplicity lighten the load By Helen Nash NEW YORK (JTA) – The phenomenon this year of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coinciding could mean even larger family gatherings than usual. So here are some tips: Plan the menus well ahead of the special celebration, and pick recipes that are easy to follow and make them well in advance. This way, cooks can enjoy their company. Have a few appetizers available as guests arrive and dinner isn’t ready. One of my favorites is hummus, which I like to serve with cucumbers, radishes, bell peppers and toasted pita triangles. My recipe uses canned chickpeas, which makes it easy to prepare and is a huge time-saver. Hummus can also keep in the refrigerator for awhile, so it can be prepared toward the beginning of the week. I like to start my holiday gatherings with soup, and for Hanukkah-Thanksgiving I suggest Barley Soup with Miso. It’s a delicious variation on the traditional mushroom barley that most of us know (and love) from childhood. This recipe is vegetarian, it’s a perfect fall dish and can be made ahead of time because it freezes well. What would Thanksgiving be without turkey? And Hanukkah without latkes? My roast turkey is surprisingly easy to make. For Hanukkah I like to make a Grated Potato Pancake, which is ideal when you are expecting many guests. Another holiday favorite for the holidays is Osso Buco (Braised Veal Shanks); make it ahead of time. To end the festive meal for this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, I recommend everyone’s favorite – brownies. The fudgy treats can be cut into any size or shape. They freeze well and can be served with sorbet or fruit. HUMMUS Makes about 10 servings as an hors d’oeuvre or dip .Makes 6 appetizer servings My family and friends always love this creamy dish, which can be found all over the world. Since hummus refrigerates well, I try to keep it on hand as a nutritious snack for my children and grandchildren. The canned chickpeas make this version less garlicky than the norm because the garlic is baked first. Ingredients 8 unpeeled garlic cloves One 15.5-ounce can Goya chick-

From “Helen Nash’s New Kosher Cuisine”

Barley Soup with Miso, perfect for autumn, offers a tasty variation on the traditional mushroom barley.

peas, drained 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste) 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water Preparation Wrap the garlic tightly in a piece of foil. Bake in a toaster oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until soft. Remove and let cool until you can handle the cloves. Squeeze the pulp from each clove into a food processor. Add the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt, and cumin. Pulse until smooth, adding water through the feed tube until the mixture is creamy and has a mayonnaise-like consistency. Season to taste. BARLEY SOUP WITH MISO Makes 12 servings The addition of miso adds a delicate Asian flavor; the bright green dill, a nice jolt of color. Ingredients 2 medium onions 3 garlic cloves 4 celery stalks, peeled

4 medium carrots, peeled 1 pound white mushrooms 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup medium pearl barley 8 cups vegetable broth 1 bunch fresh dill 2 tablespoons barley miso paste (see note following Preparation steps.) Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper Preparation It is easy to chop the vegetables in a food processor. Quarter the onions and garlic, and pulse in the food processor until coarse; remove to a bowl. Cut the celery and carrots into large pieces. Pulse them separately until coarse, and add to the onions and garlic. Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and cut them in quarters. Pulse until coarse and set aside. (If you chop everything together, the vegetables will become mushy.) Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Saute the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots for 1 minute. Add the barley and broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the soup along with half the dill. Cook for another 15 minutes or until the barley is tender. Remove and dis-


card the dill. Stir in the miso and season to taste with salt and pepper. Snip the remaining dill for garnish. Note: You can buy barley miso in most health-food stores. GRATED POTATO PANCAKE Makes 12 servings This large pancake is fun to serve to a large gathering – you just cut it into cake-like wedges – and it’s not greasy. Another plus: You can prepare it ahead of time and reheat before serving. Ingredients 4 large Idaho baking potatoes Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 4 tablespoons vegetable oil Preparation Peel and quarter the potatoes. If you are not grating them immediately, place them in a bowl of cold water to prevent discoloration. Using the medium grating attachment of a food processor, grate the potatoes coarsely. Place in a dish towel and wring dry to remove the liquid. Transfer to a bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add the potatoes, patting them down firmly with a spatula to flatten them and even out the edges. Cook over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes, until the bottom is golden. Invert the pancake onto a plate and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet to heat. Slide the pancake back into the skillet. Pat it down again with the spatula and cook for another 8 minutes, or until the underside is golden. Invert onto a platter and cut into the desired number of slices. ROAST TURKEY Makes 12 to 14 servings You do not have to wait for Thanksgiving to serve this dish, as it is easy to make and quite tasty. I often serve it when I have many guests to feed. Ingredients 14-pound turkey 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce Freshly ground black pepper 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 1 cup dry white wine 2 onions 5 sprigs rosemary 5 tablespoons unsalted margarine, melted Preparation

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Discard any excess fat from the turkey. Rinse it inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Season the skin and the cavity with the lemon juice, soy sauce, and pepper. Combine the orange juice and wine in a measuring cup with a spout. (This makes pouring easier.) Thinly slice one of the onions and set it aside. Cut the other onion in quarters and place it in the cavity along with the rosemary sprigs. Brush the turkey with the margarine and place it on its side in a roasting pan. Scatter the sliced onion around the pan. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes, basting with the orange juice-wine mixture. Turn the turkey on its other side and roast for another 30 minutes, continuing to baste. Turn the turkey breast side up and, continuing to baste, roast for 20 minutes. For the final 20 minutes, place the turkey breast side down. (If the drumsticks begin to get too brown, cover the ends with foil.) The turkey is ready when the drumsticks move easily in their sockets and the juices run clear. (The total cooking time is about 1 hour, 40 minutes, or about 7 minutes per pound.) A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast should read 160. Remove the turkey from the oven and cover it tightly with heavy foil. Let it stand for 30 minutes. (This allows the juices to flow back into the tissues.) Place it on a cutting board. Pour the contents of the roasting pan into a small saucepan. Put the saucepan in the freezer for about 10 minutes, so the grease can quickly rise to the top. (This makes it easier to remove.) To serve: Skim off the fat and reheat the pan juices. Discard the onion and rosemary from the cavity and carve the turkey. Serve with the juices. EASY BROWNIES Makes 7 dozen 1-inch squares These fudgy bite-size brownies can be cut into any size. Ingredients 16 tablespoons unsalted margarine, at room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing the pan 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting the pan 5 ounces good-quality imported semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces Scant 1 3/4 cups sugar 4 large eggs, room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Generous 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped Preparation Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9-

HANUKKAH • B17 by-13-by-2-inch baking pan with wax paper. Grease the paper with 1 tablespoon of the margarine and dust it with 1 tablespoon of the flour. Invert and tap the pan to shake out the excess flour. Place the remaining margarine and the chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Cover and set over simmering water. Stir from time to time until all is melted. Remove the top from the double boiler. Using a wooden spoon, gradually add the sugar, stirring continuously until the chocolate is smooth. Stir in 1 egg at a time until well mixed. Add the vanilla and flour and blend well. Stir in the chopped nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tilting the pan to spread the batter evenly. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes, or until the top is slightly firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out moist. Cool on a wire rack. Run a metal spatula around the sides of the pan to loosen the brownies. Invert the pan onto a board and cut into squares. Note: These brownies freeze well. Place them side by side in an air-tight plastic container, with wax paper between the layers.

Best wishes for a happy Hanukkah Rick Michelman, President Barbara Glueck, Director

Happy Hanukkah! from all of us at











Israelite chanukah 2013  
Israelite chanukah 2013