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Published by: Marc Belsky Ltd Editor: Shani Belsky

Health Keeping your Kids Healthy [10] Eating Your Way to Flawless Skin [14] Miscarriages [20] The Mumps Epidemic [24]

Fashion Kallah Wig Choices [26] Bridal Hairstyles For Your Spring Wedding [34]

Finance Potholes Can Be Costly [36]

Philanthropy The First Day [40]

Media The Best of the Web [46]

Food Painless Pesach Preparation [50]

Dating Ask The Shadchan [58]

Contributing Editors: Robert van Amerongen, M.D., Diana Braun, Miriam Eichenstein, Yisrael Friedman, Leah Helfgot, Michelle Jacobs RPA-C, Moshe Kinderlehrer, Dayna Klinger & Cindy Merrill, Tova Marc, Martin Meisels, Tanya Rosen, Riki Wagh, Shonie Schwartz Design & Layout: Sam Belsky Marketing: Barry David Distribution: Victor Distribution Please submit all questions and comments to: Info@InFashionFT.com For advertising information please call

516-499-8356

or email Sales@InFashionFT.com In Fashion is published monthly and is distributed at 170 locations throughout the affluent communities of the Five Towns, Brooklyn, Queens, and Great Neck. Not responsible for typographical errors. The publisher and In Fashion do not promote or endorse any products or advertisers in this magazine. No editorial or art content may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. All rights reserved. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any editorial or advertising content that does not fit our journalistic and advertising policy.

All rights reserved Š2010 Marc Belsky Ltd.

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[ Keeping Your Kids Healthy ] By: Tanya Rosen

D

o you believe that dieting and exercise is only for adults? If you do, then your kids may be in trouble. It is our job as parents to help our children eat healthy and get moving. Notice I substituted diet for eat healthy, and exercise for get moving. Although it’s essentially the same thing, when we put it that way, it makes it more “normal” for kids.

so bad for them. Guess what? They don’t know the difference. Dessert in my house is fruits, and maybe ices, and they think that’s “so cool.” If you do not have kids yet or if they are very young, you too can do this. If they are older, and are used to having nosh readily available, you may want to have a family meeting and see how you can reduce it together.

Here are some tips to make sure your children grow up with the right tools to be healthy!

The school sabotage.

Lead by example. I cannot stress this enough. Very often a mother will come with her daughter for nutrition counseling, and it’s great that she’s seeking help for her overweight daughter. But 9 out of 10 times the daughter will say something like, “My mother doesn’t eat healthy,” or, “My mother never exercises, why should I?” And you know what? She’s right! Just like you are careful to role model good language and nice manners, this is no different. We cannot expect our kids to lead a healthy lifestyle, if they see it being done otherwise by their parents.

I always say that if I had a lot of time, I would reform the way schools relate to food. Besides the mostly unhealthy lunches, they constantly have these “donut sales,” Rosh Chodesh parties with fatty foods, and bake sales. For girls who are on diets, school—where they spend most of their time—becomes such a hard place to be amongst these challenges. Even for girls who are not on diets, this way of eating does not conform to a healthy lifestyle. As mothers, we should advocate for our schools to not necessarily get rid of these “traditions,” but to at least balance them out with regular physical activity, nutrition education, and healthier options. Overbearing will only backfire.

Educate, don’t preach. You can start educating them at a very young age by simply explaining the foods on their plate. Tell them that the chicken nuggets on their plate are a protein, the French fries are a starch, and the cucumbers are a vegetable. This may seem silly and unnecessary when they are young, but they retain this information. My five- and three-year-old constantly name the foods on their plates, and even discuss it with each other, and with me. The Nosh sabotage It starts in your nosh cabinets, and who bought it and put it there? You did. In my house, there is no nosh, no joke. We have snacks for school like pretzel bags, baby carrots, etc. But no real nosh. You must think my kids are SO deprived, and feel 10

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Avoid the temptation to overbear your child with statements like “ANOTHER piece of challah?” or “You really look like you’re gaining weight.” They will tune you out, and may even eat more in response to your nagging. I have a client that gained 100+ pounds within her first 6 months of marriage (no pregnancy). She blames it on her mother who was so overbearing when she was living at home, that she just “partied” away once she got married. So what’s the alternative? Educate them (see above), do activities together, watch that nosh cabinet which YOU stock up, and cook healthier. If you do need to make a comment, NEVER do it in front of ANYONE (not even family members). Typical meals, revisited. Here are just some ideas for a healthier version of some typical meals. F a s h i o n

–Macaroni and cheese: Use whole-wheat noodles and low-fat cheese. Try to add some vegetables, like broccoli or peppers. –Hamburger and French fries: Try to substitute the burger for a veggie burger. If they won’t go for that, use extra lean ground meat or chicken. Bake your French fries, which will cut out a lot of the fat. Add a side salad. –Spaghetti and meatballs: Again, try to use whole-wheat spaghetti, and use extra lean meat, or even turkey. Instead of the store bought spaghetti sauces, which have a lot of sugar, make your own sauce using tomato sauce. As always, portion size is very important. Encourage your kids to wait a few minutes before deciding they are still hungry. In that time, they could try to drink water, have a salad, or play a family game at the dinner table. If they still feel hungry after that time, then give them a little more (you don’t have to give them another full portion). Even young children can be taught to distinguish between hunger, thirst, boredom, etc. Move, move, move. There are opportunities for exercise everywhere! At home, you can turn on a CD and dance around the house. You can also play a game where each child has to think of a “move” and the rest of the kids (AND you) follow along. Cleaning is also exercise, so encourage them to get up and clean up. An inexpensive piece of equipment which is great for kids (but not downstairs neighbors) is a jump rope. In your backyard, consider investing in a trampoline. Kids LOVE jumping on it, and it’s great exercise. Another idea is the hula hoop, also inexpensive, effective, and fun. Remember the no-pressure rule, and remember to join in. [IF] Tanya Rosen is the owner of Shape Fitness in Kensington and the co-owner of Shape Fitness in Flatbush. As a certified and experienced Personal Trainer, Aerobics Instructor, and Nutritionist, Tanya offers these three services to the community. Tanya specializes in prenatal and postnatal fitness, and is best known for her personal and caring approach towards every member of the Shape Fitness family. Tanya can be reached at (718) 438-2400, or (718) 338-8700.

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[ Eating Your Way to Flawless Skin ] By: Idy Neuman MS, RD, CDN

–Truths and Myths

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n searching for the magic bullet that will transform our skin into healthy and youthful radiance, it’s oh so enticing to spend a bundle on skin products or to undergo risky procedures such as injections, lasers, and plastic surgery which claim to miraculously “deage your skin.” However, health experts tell us that by consuming foods rich in anti-oxidants, we can renew our skin from the inside out and we can say bye bye to those wrinkles and good riddance to that embarrassing acne in a natural, healthy, and less expensive way. Beauty Foods: According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, foods that are rich in vitamin C and linoleic acid are termed “beauty foods” and are associated with better skin in older age. So by loading up on our fruit, vegetable, and nut intake, we are both improving the nutritional status of our bodies and ensuring that its protective coat remains in top notch shape. Fully Loaded: Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and plums…oh my! These fruits are laden with powerful antioxidants that can help banish sun damage. Artichokes, beans, prunes, and pecans have nothing to be ashamed of either. They, too, are rich in antioxidants and can help your skin dazzle and shimmer the natural way. Vitamin Power: Vitamins C and E can help battle the DNA damage caused by of all those lazy summer days spent 14

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baking in the sun. This isn’t a free pass to sunbathe; however, your skin can stay healthier, younger, and supple looking by consuming foods that are rich in these antioxidants. So fill up on those vitamin C-laden citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens as well as the Vitamin E rich vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, and asparagus. (A note of caution: Refrain from taking vitamin E supplements, as large doses of Vitamin E can be dangerous.) Protein, Protein, Protein, and More Protein: A recent Australian study found that the secret to the extinction of those pesky acne pimples might lie in the consumption of a high protein diet and foods with a low glycemic index, such as whole grains and legumes. By powering up on protein and working up an appetite for those whole grains, you could actually begin to see the clearer and more radiant side of your beautiful skin. Something Fishy: Consuming a balance of two Essential Fatty Acids, omega 6 and omega 3, can help stimulate the skin to produce a natural oil barrier resulting in improved hydration and fewer white and black heads. Most people get plenty of omega 6s, as they are commonly found in baked goods, cooking oils, poultry, grains, and many other foods. However, the omega 3s are often lacking, resulting in an imbalanced equation. So, let’s even things out a bit and increase our consumption of cold-water fish, including salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Flaxseed and flax F a s h i o n

and safflower oils are also good sources of these important omega 3s. Don’t Even Bother With…

• Large doses of vitamins such

as vitamin A, zinc, vitamins B6, and B12 for the treatment of acne—scientific investigations have not found any evidence of its effectiveness. Large doses of vitamin A for the treatment or prevention of skin cancer—there is no evidence that this works. Selenium supplementation for the prevention of wrinkles or acne—it has been shown to actually increase the risk of certain forms of skin cancer.

The Bottom Line: Consuming a wellbalanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, can help rejuvenate your skin’s beauty naturally. (And it’s easier on your pocket than those invasive procedures!) [IF] Idy Neuman is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master’s of Science degree in Nutrition. Her private practice provides professional nutritional counseling services as well as medical nutrition therapy. She specializes in pediatric and adult weight management and is proficient in the Yiddish language and kosher dietary laws. Idy can be reached at 845-641-3238 or at IdyNeuman@yahoo.com.

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[ Miscarriages ]

By: Michelle Jacobs RPA-C

—Not as Uncommon as We May Believe

T

he term miscarriage, also known as Spontaneous Abortion, is defined as the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy prior to 22 weeks gestation. It is the most common complication of early pregnancy, with the incidence reaching as high as 25 percent—that’s one out of every four pregnancies! 80 percent of these losses occur prior to 12 weeks of pregnancy; after 15 weeks, the likelihood of miscarriage drops to 0.6 percent. These numbers may even be higher as a woman may be unknowingly pregnant and miscarry before or around the time of her expected menstrual cycle and assume that it was just her normal period. There are numerous risk factors associated with pregnancy loss. Advanced maternal age is the most important risk factor for spontaneous abortion in healthy women. The incidence is 20 percent at 35 years of age and jumps to 80 percent over 45 years old. Previous miscarriage also increases the risk; after 3 or more, the incidence goes up to almost a 45 percent chance of recurrence. Heavy smoking (greater than 10 cigarettes a day) is associated with an increased risk as well (and that includes second-hand smoke gentlemen!). Smoking decreases blood flow in and around the body, and that can apply to the blood flow to the fetus as well. Some studies have even shown a correlation between miscarriage and the number of pregnancies and/or live births, but this has not been proven. High levels of caffeine intake may also increase this risk. It is recommended to limit caffeine intake to under 3 cups of coffee or any caffeinated beverage a day. Malnutrition is another factor, especially low levels of the B vitamin folate, lack of which has been associated with brain

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and neural tube defects. All women of childbearing age should take a prenatal vitamin daily, regardless of whether they are actively trying to conceive. Finally, maternal weight contributes to pregnancy loss as well. Being either overweight or underweight not only increases the miscarriage risk, but that of infertility as well. Although many cases of miscarriages go on unexplained, chromosomal abnormalities of the fetus account for up to 50 percent of them. That’s a fairly high number. This fact usually applies to miscarriages that occur up until 11 weeks of pregnancy. Exposures to teratogens such as drugs, radiation, or other chemicals may also be responsible. Certain abnormalities in the physical makeup of the mother may contribute as well. This includes an abnormally shaped or positioned uterus or uterine fibroids that can interfere with proper implantation of the embryo. There are many types of hormonal imbalances that can affect the proper development or progression of the pregnancy, such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, or the fairly common Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Commonly, these disorders are associated with low or inadequate levels of the hormone progesterone, which is responsible for preventing the uterus from contracting and expelling the baby. These levels can be determined by a simple blood test and low levels can easily be supplemented with medication. Although a single isolated miscarriage doesn’t usually warrant looking into all of the above factors, more than two usually prompts the Obstetrician to begin running a series of tests. The first sign that alerts most women or physicians to a possible miscarriage F a s h i o n

is vaginal bleeding or uterine cramping. Lower abdominal cramping is completely normal in the first trimester. It is due in part to implantation of the fetus into the uterine wall as well as growth of the uterus. Occasionally, light spotting is expected as these changes occur. Actually, up to 40 percent of pregnant women can experience bleeding in the first few weeks, and even heavy and prolonged bleeding can be associated with completely normal outcomes. Either way, any vaginal bleeding should be directed towards the Obstetrician. A simple ultrasound can be both reassuring and diagnostic. It should be comforting to any woman who has undergone the traumatic experience of losing an early pregnancy to be aware that it is fairly common, almost 1 out of every 4. Most babies that are lost to a miscarriage have chromosomal abnormalities and would not have survived past infanthood anyway. What’s even better is that most women go on to experience healthy pregnancies after a miscarriage. Contrary to popular belief, continuing normal, everyday activities such as cleaning, caring for other children, exercise, or prolonged standing should not be blamed for a pregnancy loss in normal pregnancies without prior issues. Expecting women should continue to follow up with their Obstetricians on a regular basis, get plenty of rest, fluid, and nutritional food, and of course pray for a healthy, full-term, and uneventful pregnancy. [IF] Michelle Jacobs is a Senior Physician Assistant at the Weiler Hospital of the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in the Department of Medicine.

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A number of children with mumps have come in to NYM’s Pediatric Emergency Service, and many more have called in describing symptoms of the disease, which are flu-like and can include painful swelling of the salivary glands. The disease lasts for approximately two weeks right after exposure, and there is no treatment.

[ The Mumps Epidemic ] By: Robert van Amerongen M.D.

I

n 1967, a vaccine was introduced for measles, mumps and rubella. Since then, the number of cases in the United States has been under 300 annually. Until now. Since last summer, more than 900 New Yorkers have been infected with mumps, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Centers for Disease Control have counted 1,500 mumps cases in New York and New Jersey, with additional cases expected. The current epidemic in New York is traced to a young boy who caught the disease last summer while traveling with his family in England, where vaccinations are not as common, and 4,000 people had the mumps. Upon his return, the child attended an upstate sleepaway camp, 24

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where 57 fellow campers, ages 10 to 15, were infected. There is reason for concern because while most children who get the mumps will have a simple viral infection, in some people, it can develop into more serious illnesses like encephalitis, hearing loss, and can even cause sterility in males. What’s most disturbing is that the epidemic—and the danger in which it places children—is preventable. Because of a flawed study (which was subsequently proven entirely false) that linked vaccinations to autism, some parents choose not to immunize their children. But there is absolutely no credible evidence of any kind that shows that vaccinations cause autism; it has been proven again and again that there is no relation. F a s h i o n

The best thing to do is to get children vaccinated. The mumps vaccine is 85 percent effective against the disease. Children should receive the measlesmumps-rubella vaccine on or after their first birthday, followed by a second dose at four to six years of age. The bottom line is this: vaccines are safe; viruses are not. [IF]

Robert van Amerongen, M.D., FAAP, FACEP, FAAEM, is a board certified pediatric emergency physician and the Chief of the Pediatric Emergency Service, Dept. of Emergency Medicine at New York Methodist Hospital. He is also the founder and Medical Director of Priority Pediatrics located at 444 Merrick Road in Lynbrook, New York.

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brochos, she has little or no time to stop in at the sheitel macher to discuss these problems, or drop off the wig for a couple of days for an extended repair. Inevitably, she may be miserable for the entire first week, or longer, until she can bring it into her stylist. Making the right choices and decision will hopefully ease the transition. Important decisions to make include: who to go to, what types of wigs to buy (falls, pony wigs, etc), deciding on a budget, deciding on the actual wigs, scheduling appointments around your affair, and when to go back for repairs. Below, I’ve come up with a few guidelines for each of these steps. Who to go to: This is going to potentially be a very personal experience, hopefully not too traumatic for the kallah, so who you go to is as important as which wig you pick. The most obvious choice is your mother’s sheitel macher, but it’s not always the best. She may be able to transition from her 40-something clientele to a 20something’s style and taste, but it’s not just about the cut. It’s also about personality, compatibility, and communication, and if a kallah is not comfortable expressing herself and her opinion, she may come out of the whole experience with the wrong results. If a girl has a long relationship with her mom’s stylist, that just might work.

[ Kallah Wig Choices ] By: Gitel Rosenzweig

W

ith Lag B’Omer and June wedding season approaching, I thought I should go into a little detail about how to choose the right wigs for kallahs. (I hope mothers who read this issue will insist that their daughters read it also, and daughters should feel free to use me as an excuse to assert their opinions with their moms too!) This is one of the toughest decisions attached to getting married, especially because the rest of the wedding-related choices to make are just for one night. A bride’s wigs are expected to last every day of every week for the next couple of years at least. The wrong choices can make her miserable until all the

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problems are fixed (if they are, hopefully, fixable). That being said, I will also add that every new wig has a break-in period, when you get used to the wig and figure out all the little nips and tucks and snips that have to still be done. This applies even to custom made wigs and women who have been married for years. Every new wig is a new experience. As many times as a bride can practice taking a wig off and putting it back on, this break-in period can’t start until after the wedding, when she will start to have it on her head on a regular basis. Unfortunately during sheva F a s h i o n

Of course, you have to trust the stylist’s knowledge completely, so many girls choose to cut their wigs with someone who has been cutting their hair for years. This could be a potential disaster for two reasons: First, no matter how much experience they say they have, styling hair is very different from cutting wigs. The distribution and direction of the hair and construction make everything about a cut behave differently. Second, if the wig is not bought and cut in the same place, a problem that arises from the cut (such as a thin spot in the construction) may be argued by the manufacturer as the stylist’s fault, and therefore not covered by whatever guarantee the sheitel may have on it. This could turn out to be a very expensive mistake, involving removing and replacing hundreds of dollars of hair. For this reason, and for sheitels in general, referrals are worth thousands of dollars. Take into account everyone’s past

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experiences, and all the opinions you can absorb, but make sure to value the opinions of people who have similar personalities to you, so that the stylist they got along with can potentially work for you too. Other important things to consider in choosing a sheitel macher are: responsiveness (getting called back on time), her work schedule (making sure it allows you to visit enough times without taking too much time off from school and work), and finding out if she carries the brands you’ve heard about and are interested in seeing. These are all important, but personality should make the final decision for the kallah. What you need: Every kallah should to start with at least two options. In the event that one is in the shop for repairs, washing, or any other reason, she needs to have something else to wear, especially during sheva brochos. For those who choose in advance to live in hats, only one wig may be an option, but giving that one wig in for service has to be planned very carefully around events and when it will be needed back. Also, the kallah has to decide how much hair she wants to cover, leave exposed, or if she wants to cover her hair at all. Your sheitel macher should not be asked to “pasken halachah” for you, but rather facilitate your level of observance in the most natural and beautiful options. Your decisions will also determine if you are looking at full wigs, pony wigs, falls, hat falls, yarmulka/kippa falls, or any other options. Discuss with your future husband or parents what you want or need to do before going to shop for wigs, so that you can rule out unnecessary options right away. Still, remain flexible until you try things on, because what you think you want to buy just might not look good on you. Try to visit a couple of married siblings or friends and try on their fall or pony wig to decide if that look is for you. Once you’ve decided what you’re shopping for, you have to decide where to shop. Very enticing ads with attractive sale prices are hard to ignore, especially when private stylists are quoting double and triple the price. These are great places to visit to try on different styles to help you decide about falls versus wigs, but never make an impulse decision on the spot. Make sure you have seen at least one more brand of expensive wigs before you buy from any 28

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of these sale brands, so that you know the difference in quality when you shop. Many of these places will hold a piece or two for a day or so, so that you can go elsewhere to try on and then call or come back with a final decision. They will most likely not let you leave the premises with any wig, though, without full payment. In this case, make sure you can get your money back if you bring the wig back uncut, or you may get stuck with store credit only, and be forced to buy from a brand you don’t want. You may be told, by one or more stylist that you should custom order, or need only a custom. You can always get a second opinion from another stylist, but here are the main reasons for needing a custom order: 1. Unusual colors, such as extreme reds, multi-tonal blonds, or very ashy (absent of all red) tones are difficult to find and may be low in stock. These are just rare in the European hair supply, and even rarer in cheaper supplies, such as Asian hair. (How many Chinese girls do you know with red or blond hair?) 2. Unusual sizes may need to custom order because most standard wigs don’t fit you. Your size can also be affected by trying to stuff thicker-than-normal hair underneath your wig, so ask if cutting your hair will help the situation at all. Smaller-than-normal caps can be easier to adjust down to your size, but extra extra large heads just have to accept their fate. 3. Unusual hairlines can seriously affect your fit, too. Having a very low or very high hairline can make your measurement difficult to fit. Beware of sales staff that tell you to ignore it because the cut will cover it up: a strong wind will expose that cover-up completely. Often these problems can be solved by going a size or two larger and then adjusting the cap in all other areas of the head except the hairline, but these special coverage issues may call for a custom order, too. Get referrals from people with the exact same issue, who were happy with the resolution their stylist had. How to budget: Mothers making weddings always ask me, “Why should I spend tons of money if she doesn’t really know what she wants?” My answer is the same every time: “Getting cheap wigs is an expensive lesson in what she doesn’t want!” Expensive wigs have the potential to change with the ties and with F a s h i o n

the kallah’s taste over time. I do believe you get what you pay for and mothers who budget properly will be giving their daughters a higher probability of being and staying happy with their wigs for an extended period of time. Again, research is so important here, but everything you hear has to be taken with a grain of salt. People love to brag about what a great deal they got on their wig, but when asking around about prices, remember to check if the cut was included, as that can add a couple of hundred dollars to the price. The current going prices for “virgin” (unprocessed) European hair are from $1200 (shortest) to $3000 (very long), depending on length. There are more expensive places where you are paying strictly for reputation and slightly cheaper, but as a general rule, if you find something for less, it’s for lesser quality hair. Those lesser quality wigs can include more processed European hair or Asian sources, which might be an appropriate texture or budget for some. As a general rule, they are not a compromise in construction and can often be found in many size options, so the only real compromise is the quality and the lifespan of the hair. These wigs are often advertised for $400 (shortest) to $1000 (long), but can also go up to $1500 for really long lengths or once you’re finished with the fit and cut. Obviously these price ranges are extremely wide because they carry a lot of variables: of course the length will affect your prices, especially in more expensive higher quality hair, but also prices are going to vary from hat fall to full fall to full sheitel based on the amount of hair included in the wig. The most important thing to remember when budgeting is to keep an open mind and finish your research before you decide a final price. How to choose a wig: The biggest considerations for a kallah (in any price level) must be: color, fit, and texture. Kallahs who have never colored their hair often have notoriously colorful hair because their hair gets to see the sun through many seasons and takes on different shades and natural highlights. The best color to match for these kallahs is usually not their darkest root color, as that will make her face look pale and washed out, or even witchy and overwhelming.

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The lightest color found on their heads, usually the tips of their ends, is also not going to look good, because it will be too light and look oxidized before she even gets married, and be too huge a contrast to her hair in six months when her hair starts getting darker. The best color to look for is a match to the middle color, most often the color directly surrounding her face, or immediately near the eyes and cheekbones. A talented colorist can take a wig that is an exact match to the root color and make some very subtle thin highlight which can simulate the lighter areas of her head without looking streaky. Girls who have colored their hair are actually a little less color sensitive, as their color goes through different shades and grows out occasionally, so that any of the many colors they have experienced, plus a little highlighting, will probably blend with their own hair just fine. Reds and blondes are often the most color sensitive and usually have the hardest time finding an exact color match, so they take the most searching. How a wig fits is to be considered next on the list, but this is not limited to simply small, medium, and large caps. While kallahs have to go through the transition to wearing something on their heads daily, they will definitely be miserable if it is just plain uncomfortable. There are several different types of construction, including stretch nets with machine sewn hair or handtied strands, and other variables. Each different manufacturer may offer different types, and some distinctly shaped heads may need one type of cap, while other shapes and sizes may get better coverage from an entirely different construction. If a kallah is just not finding anything that feels right to her, it might pay to research how the wig is constructed and find other manufacturers who offer other options. Finally a wig must be similar to the texture of the kallah’s hair. Girls who have very straight, thin, fine hair will just never look right in a wig with thick, wavy hair. It will always be overwhelming and even considered frizzy to her. Unless she is terribly sick of her hair and has been trying all of her life to fix, perm, and fill up her own hair to make it what it’s not, she will 30

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never quite feel like herself. The same goes for girls who have terribly curly hair: they will only really love a very straight wig if they have been relaxing and fighting with their curls for all their lives. Finding a wig with a similar texture to your own hair will also allow you to get it cut similarly to your own cut, as hair of the same texture will behave similarly with the same layers.

very stressful time—crunching period— and there can be very slow-moving, time-consuming errands that often run late or behind schedule. Leave the week before the wedding for things that can’t be done sooner, like picking up gowns and undergarments, packing to move, benchers, etc. Make the time to go:

When to go in: Obviously your individual stylist may have her own scheduling issues, so try to schedule an

appointment as soon as you get engaged. Many sheitel machers book weeks (if not months) in advance, especially during busier holiday seasons, so make sure to leave yourself enough time to receive and finish the wigs before the wedding. Any custom ordered wig usually takes two to four months to get in, as they are manufactured overseas by almost all stylists. Many major repairs, though, can be done locally, so if you’re getting a wig that is fine in color, length and texture, but needs to be fitted on a whole new cap, or have repairs made to the existing net, you can schedule to cut that within a month of when you choose the wig. Most ready-made wigs (meaning anything not custom ordered) can be cut and fitted within two to four weeks, so if you’re buying a wig that you can already see that just needs a cut, you can wait until a little before the wedding. Just don’t ever schedule or plan to be at the sheitel macher within the week before the wedding. It is a F a s h i o n

Make sure to take time out of your busy post-wedding schedule to go back to your stylist and fix any problems that arise. You may be told that some problems need to take a little time to work themselves out, but you won’t know if you don’t ask. Anything that is fixable may make

the transition to wearing a sheitel easier, so try to do it sooner rather than later so that you can speed the process. The last, but probably most important piece of advice I can give any client of mine, kallah or otherwise, is to ask tons of questions. It’s better to be annoying (though most stylists have a lot of patience) and get the information you need than not to ask the questions at all. [IF] Gitel Rosenzweig, a wig stylist with 12 years experience, is the owner of Gitel Wigs located at 3708 Avenue S in Brooklyn. For any questions or comments to be addressed in future articles, she can be reached at 718-758-1022 or via email at: gitelrosenzweig@yahoo.com.

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[ Bridal Hairstyles For Your Spring Wedding ] By: Tova Marc

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pring is such a wonderful time to get married. Spring is a fabulous season full of flowers, blossoming trees, and sunlight galore. Winter has faded, leaving us with the crisp air to enjoy. Now that you’re just about finalizing your wedding details, one important aspect to consider is how will you wear your hair? The perfect hairstyle will flatter your face, wedding gown, and veil. It should fit your personality and accentuate your best features. They key ingredient for perfect Spring hair is keeping it soft, not stiff. Here are several ideas of Bridal Hairstyles fit for a fabulous Spring Wedding. Hair Worn Down Straight: Have your hair blown out straight for a sleek modern look. This style looks beautiful with almost any hair length. You can add a pretty headband with this look. Hair Worn Down with Waves or Curls: Add bottle curls that are loose or tight depending on your taste. Loose curls have a soft free flowing effect, while tight curls have an edgy feel. Comb headpieces are great for this look. Hair Worn Down and Swept to the Side: This look is so Spring! Have your hair stylist sweep the left or right portion of your hair to one side, add some soft loose waves or curls, and then insert a fabulous flower, pin, or small comb. Hello, trendy bride!

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Half Up-Half Down: If you still want the look of flowing Spring hair, but don’t want to fuss with any hair in your face, this look is ideal. You can keep your hair straight or wavy. Take the sides of your hair and sweep it back to the middle of your head, right behind your nose. Complete this with a small headpiece in the front or the back. This look is very romantic. Upsweep: That’s right, an upsweep. What I mean here is all your hair up in a sweep-like fashion. This is not a tight, pulled back look. This look is freshly swept back and up looking like you may have even done it yourself. Updos with pulled back tightness are a Spring no-no. Spring is about free flowing softness. Just about any headpiece will do, but stay clear of the extremely oversized monster tiaras, yuck! Short Hair Styles: So your hair is above shoulder length and you still want a fabulous Spring do; keep it simple. Have your hair blown out straight and leave it down. This is the best style for short hair. Whatever style you choose, make sure you have a practice session before your big day. [IF] Tova Marc is the designer and owner of Couture De Bride by Tova Marc. Her showroom is located at 406 Cedar Lane in Teaneck, NJ, and she can be contacted at 201-357-4877 or contact@couturedebride.com, www.tovamarc.com. 5 1 6 - 4 9 9 - 8 3 5 6


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• When driving at night, try to drive on well-lit roads so you can see the road surface.

• Slow down and give yourself a chance to see the pothole and avoid it.

[ Potholes Can Be Costly ]

• If you hit a pothole, carefully inspect your tires

By: Phil Berkowitz

and wheels for possible damage. Note how your car handles in the aftermath. If it pulls to one side or if you feel a wobble in the steering, you may need to have your car checked by a mechanic.

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inter brings a number of driving hazards, but one of the most hated is the pothole. An encounter with one can leave damaged tires, wheels, and suspension components in its wake. Potholes can occur in any region or climate, but at this time of year, they’re especially prominent in areas known for ice, snow, and below-freezing temperatures. The freezing and thawing cycles allow moisture to seep into the road surface, which causes the road to crumble. There’s not much that can be done to prevent the deterioration of the driving surface, but there are some things you can do to protect yourself:

• Try to limit your travels to roads you know very well. That knowledge could keep you from hitting a pothole and seriously damaging your car.

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• If you must hit a pothole, do your braking before impact. There’s less damage when a tire is rolling than when it is skidding over a hole during braking.

While damage caused to a car by a pothole may be covered under the collision portion of your auto policy, there are some things to remember. If the damage is to the tire only, it might not be covered. Damage to the vehicle is subject to the collision deductible. For more safe driving tips, visit www.StateFarm.com. [IF]

Phil Berkowitz is the office manager of State Farm Insurance, specializing in all lines of Personal & Business Insurance and located in Hewlett, NY. He can be reached at 516-374-2100. 5 1 6 - 4 9 9 - 8 3 5 6


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[ The First Day ] By: Azriel Ganz

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was sitting at my desk on a hot summer day in July, 2005. It was about 2 p.m. when the phone rang. I recognized the number displayed on my phone. It was Sara’s cell phone. “Hi, What’s up?” “Ohel called. They need to place a ten-week-old baby. A girl.” “What’s the story?” “The baby is fine. Her mother is in the hospital. They think it may be postpartum depression. Ohel tried a number of foster families without success. They’re pretty desperate.” “How long?” “Ohel said probably a couple of months, but it’s unclear.” “What else do you know?” “Nothing. That’s all that Ohel knows right now. What do you think?” “Well, the burden is much more on you. If it’s ok with you, it’s ok with me.” 40

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“Good, ‘cause I already told them yes. The baby’s coming this afternoon.” Ohel is the first agency contacted by New York’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) when a Jewish child is brought into the foster care system. Ohel is given a very short time to place the child in a Jewish home with certified Jewish foster parents. If a Jewish home cannot be found, the child risks being placed with a nonJewish family. That’s why it’s so critical that Ohel has enough foster families who can be contacted at a moment’s notice. Sara and I were certified as foster parents in the spring of 2000. Raising our kids in a comfortable environment in the Five Towns presented challenges of their own and we felt that engaging in this type of hands-on chesed would be good for them. We had a stable and structured home, and our home was, thank G-d, a happy and fun place where a sense of humor was a must. Working with government agencies responsible for New York City’s children, Ohel has been providing certified Jewish foster homes for forty years. During that time, over 2000 foster children have come through their doors. The children range F a s h i o n

in age from newborns to eighteen-yearolds. Sometimes they come in sibling groups. They come from all kinds of homes, ranging from non-observant to Modern Orthodox to Chassidic, Sephardi and Ashkenazi. They often come with emotional or psychological issues, some more pronounced than others. (Being removed from one’s home alone can be traumatic). Foster children need foster parents who are loving but structured, non-judgmental but firm, and, above all, patient. A sense of humor doesn’t hurt. Many children had passed through our home since we were certified, but we had never before fostered an infant. Our youngest was 13 at the time. We hadn’t changed a diaper in years. We no longer had a carriage, nor a playpen, baby clothes, or formula. So, Sara called a younger friend from shul and by the time the baby came later that evening, our wonderful circle of friends had provided virtually everything we needed. I came home from work early that evening. We anxiously awaited the baby. Finally, a worker from ACS dropped off the baby. At first, Meira stared straight ahead when we held her, expressionless, as if to say, “What’s going on?” Thankfully, this lasted only a few hours; she quickly

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warmed up to us and the kids made a big fuss over her, fighting for a chance to hold her. We bathed her and put her to sleep. While getting up in the middle of the night to feed a baby was not necessarily part of my plan at age 50, I found it very comforting. Meira was relaxed, staring at me with her big black eyes. When you sign up as a foster parent, it is important to know that you are signing up your entire family. Your children are a big part of the team. They must “buy into” fostering because they will inevitably have to sacrifice. They will sacrifice their time and, more importantly, some of your attention. From that sacrifice, however, they will learn life lessons that cannot otherwise be taught. They will see things that they would not otherwise see. They will grow and mature in profound ways. Ironically, Sara almost never answers her cell during the day. But she picked up that phone call. Who could have imagined how profoundly Sara’s two-minute conversation with Ohel would change our lives forever? Two months has turned into more than 42

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four and a half years. Meira has been with us every day since. She is as much a part of our family as each of the other kids. She is one of the “sisters.” Growing up surrounded by teenaged siblings, Meira sometimes acts like 4 going on 16. And, like any child her age, she tests our patience and our resolve. But she makes us smile and laugh much more frequently. She makes our backs creak (picking up a toddler at the age of 54 is not so simple). But she keeps us young. She is delightful and adorable. Fostering enriches the lives of foster children and foster families alike. But it is certainly not for everyone. Ohel provides extensive training to all prospective foster parents to assist them in this important decision, and provides ongoing support once a child is placed in a home. If you have it within you, fostering is a wonderful, important mitzvah whose rewards far exceed its sacrifices. And I don’t mean that in a spiritual way; I mean the rewards in this world, not the next. Knowing that you have given a needy child some love, some stability, some structure, and a friendly smile; seeing their smiles F a s h i o n

and hearing them laugh is worth it all. Knowing that you have played a small part in helping to save a Jewish neshama, a Jewish world, is priceless. Ohel is always looking for a few good families. Perhaps yours is one of them. On May 12th, 2009, Lag B’omer, the holiday of the bonfires, we adopted Meira (whose name means light). [IF] OHEL Bais Ezra is a pioneering social services agency that delivers a breadth of innovative programs and services for individuals and families at risk, and individuals with developmental or psychiatric disabilities, in both residential and out-patient settings. Founded in 1969 and with close to 100 residences and apartments, and over 30 diverse programs, OHEL services have been consistently ranked #1 by New York City. Touching the lives of thousands of individuals at every stage, and every day, OHEL’s professional services are available throughout New York and New Jersey. These services include Housing, Foster Care, OutPatient Counseling, At Home Based Services, School Based Services, Abuse Services, and Camps.

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[ The Best of the Web ] By: Leah Helfgott

–5 Great Jewish Sites

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ou’ve probably noticed that not all websites are built alike. Some sites are excellent, while others, well… lag behind. Actually, there are incredible challenges involved in designing a website, and the decisions that need to be made are not as simple as, “Should we use blue or green?” Sites need to be intuitive so that users don’t need a manual to learn how to use the site. They need to be attractive, especially to their particular audience. And they need to inspire trust, such that we are are willing to buy from them, donate to them, or rely on their information. Many sites fail in one area or another, but a small group of Jewish sites really shine. 46

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We wanted to give credit where credit is due. We wanted to show our appreciation for those sites that somehow manage to do it all. So we scoured the web for Jewish sites we think deserve recognition for their important achievements. We judged sites based on three factors: how intuitive their design is (user-friendliness), the attractiveness of the site, and how comfortable we feel trusting the site. You’ll like our reviews because we’re honest where we think the sites need improvement. And we have no personal or professional connection to these sites. We simply admire the way they look. Here are five of our favorites... F a s h i o n

Mostly Music www.mostlymusic.com Hailing from the popular music store on 13th Avenue in Brooklyn, MostlyMusic. com offers a huge selection of Jewish music, both shipped and downloaded. Their site includes motion, high quality graphics, and an exciting design. And here’s where we see their genius: despite the site’s tremendous amount of content, the site is easy to use and not overly cluttered. This is extremely difficult to pull off, but we think MostlyMusic’s got it down. Some nice touches that make it special: (continued on page 48)

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When you click on an album, the site immediately starts playing a sample from the album. Also, they offer a link to their own online radio station at JewishBroadcast.com. Any e-commerce site should be secure, and MostlyMusic.com has done its homework. On the page where you enter your credit card information, the URL starts with https (not http). This is how you know your purchase is safe. One downside we noticed was some quirkiness when switching over to the Hebrew version of the site, but as soon as they get that issue ironed out, we think the world-wide Jewish community will appreciate MostlyMusic’s bilingual site. Jewish Telegraphic Agency www. jta.org With its cutting edge redesign, this 90-year-old Jewish news agency has successfully made itself relevant to today’s web-savvy reader. With prominent links on its homepage to Facebook and Twitter, the site has a great blog-like feel. Categories are denoted by orange “blog” icons, and news stories have little green arrows. The whole feel of the site is bright, easy on the eye, and comfortable to use. We especially like the white background and the elegant tabs at the top. The site says they supply information to over 100 Jewish publications—and we believe it. We’ve all seen the JTA byline in our local Jewish newspapers. This is where the stories come from. Two things they need to work on: First, there is no clear “Contact Us” link; contact details are hidden under “Subscribe.” This is certainly not intuitive. Second, they should re-evaluate their available ad space, and should better monitor the google ads on their site. We love JTA’s new look and think it will take them far in this new world of instant news and social media. The Jewish Museum www. thejewishmuseum.org Six years ago, The Jewish Museum celebrated its 100th anniversary. But the museum’s website is far from old. The 48

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updated site is chock full of information about the museum, warmly inviting users to visit them on 92nd Street in Manhattan. Some wonderful website extras include a page dedicated to “Families” that is both fun and colorful, specifically inviting parents and children to the museum. There is even a hands-on “Kids Zone” where kids can learn to make their own holiday projects. A separate section for Education mentions special contests and events for teens. One small feature that really adds a nice touch is that the calendar includes options to show or hide different types of events. Where can they improve? We think the site should follow the recent trend of centering all content within the browser. We also think the Shop should have a more prominent link back to the main site. But all in all, we think the site accomplishes what it sets out to do. After you see this site, you might just plan a visit. After all, the museum boasts a nice gift shop and a kosher café. Park East Kosher www. parkeastkosher.com Entering the online kosher food scene is Park East Kosher, a butcher in business for 40 years and under Chof-K supervision. Located on 2nd Ave on the east side of Manhattan, they now deliver meat, dairy, fish, grocery, and baked goods throughout the United States. Their website is so clear that online kosher orders now look like a simple matter—just as simple as your online order for clothes. We like their menu on the left-hand side, with elegant icons for each category. The orange color compliments the beautiful food images. Orange is also said to induce hunger and cravings—think fast food restaurant—so we think this was a good choice. The design of the site inspires us to trust Park East. The site offers secure purchases and shows a large security symbol on the homepage. It was also rated very favorably by Zagat, and includes the logos of the Chof-K and FedEx, organizations many of us feel we can trust. There is even a little message from the the management about F a s h i o n

their new site, strengthening trust and creating a personal connection with users. A few minor comments: We’d like to see the “About Us” page in the top navigation (or at least more prominently), as it would strenthen our trust even more. Park East Kosher.com is truly the cutting edge for the kosher food market in America. Jewish National Fund www. jnf.org It’s been a while since we visited the JNF website (okay, maybe a few years), but we were truly wowed by their new look! JNF now looks classy, exciting, and very mature. In fact, we’ve completely forgotten about those funny light blue tzedakah boxes from our childhood…. The navigation bar on top is dedicated solely to getting us involved in the JNF. The items read: “About JNF,” “The Work We Do,” “Support Our Work,” “Get Involved,” “Donate.” This is very clever of them, as it brings the uninitiated user right in. We like the brand new look of the familiar Plant-a-Tree campaign, as well as all the information about their current water supply and forestry projects. (And who knew they were building baseball fields in Israel?) The site is missing a twitter link, but we know JNF tweets (www.twitter.com/ JNFUSA). We hope they notice this oversight and fix it. Overall, JNF’s new site is top-notch. At 109 years old, JNF is still going strong. It just shows that no matter how old your company or organization is, your website can be relevant, exciting, and inviting. And there you have it: five great Jewish sites we’d like to congratulate. Keep up the good work! [IF]

Leah Helfgott is a Designer and Social Media Specialist at i-Point Web Design (i-pointwebdesign.com). She may be contacted at leah@i-pointwebdesign.com or at her newest twitter account: @ipointwebdesign. More information is available on her blog, i-pointwebdesign.com/blog.

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Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup 5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms 5 ounces fresh portobello mushrooms 5 ounces fresh cremini (or porcini) mushrooms 1 tablespoon good olive oil ¼ pound (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted margarine, divided 1 cup chopped yellow onion 1 carrot, chopped 1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves, divided Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks) ¼ cup all-purpose potato starch 1 cup dry white wine 2 cups pareve milk ½ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

[ Painless Pesach Preparation ]

By: Emuna Braverman and Elizabeth Kurtz

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veryone knows that the secret to successful real estate is location, location, location. The secret to a successful Pesach (on a practical level, not a spiritual one) is organization, organization, organization. Even if we don’t do it any other time of year, Pesach preparation requires lists. We need cleaning to-do lists. We need grocery lists (we’re not going to talk about the number of trips to the market!). We need lists for clothes shopping, for those Pesach dishes or pots you never got around to buying last year, for that endless supply of aluminum baking pans…We need lists and we need a plan—Sunday is for the upstairs, Tuesday we’re cleaning the extra freezer…you get the point. It can happen without these things, but it won’t be pretty. The other secret is to have realistic expectations. Yes, we will be tired when we sit down to the seder. That’s a given, no matter how organized we are, no matter

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how hard we plan. We’ll be less frustrated about it however, if we expect it. But we also need to be honest about how many people we can host and still maintain a sense of calm. We need to be clear about how much room there really is for sleepover guests. We need to look at the calendar and our other commitments and see if there is any time left over for spring cleaning this year (probably not!) We need to evaluate whether we need some extra help—if there is any wiggle room at all left in the budget, this is the time to use it. Maybe we need more babysitting. Maybe we need more cleaning help. Maybe our older daughters will help out. Maybe our married children will chip in when they come to visit. The one area where we don’t need to skimp or sell ourselves short, however, is in the kitchen. Below is a sampling of delicious Pesach recipes from our website that you can try at home. F a s h i o n

Clean the mushrooms and dry them very well. Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps ¼-inch thick and, if they are big, cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. To make the stock, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the margarine in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, the onion, the carrot, the sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper, and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. You should have about 4½ cups of stock. If not, add some water. Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining ¼ pound of margarine and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown. Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are browned and tender. Add the potato starch and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the pareve milk and parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and heat through but do not boil. Serve hot. (continued on page 52)

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Yemenite Chicken

large bowl to blend. Stir chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Add nut-flour mixture, stir just to blend.  Chill dough until firm enough to scoop, about 4 hours.

2 chickens, cut in 1/8’s 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon granulated garlic ½ teaspoon cloves ½ teaspoon pepper ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes 4 tablespoons oil 1 onion, chopped 1 cup orange juice ½ cup chopped pitted dates ½ cup chopped dried apricots ¼ cup toasted slivered almonds

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough by rounded tablespoonfuls between palms to form balls.  Divide between prepared sheets. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover and keep chilled.

Sprinkle spices on top of chicken pieces. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Sauté chicken pieces until browned on both sides.  Add onions and continue sautéing until soft.  Add orange juice, dates, and apricots.  Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Sprinkle with toasted almonds before serving.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll dough balls in powdered sugar to coat thickly, return to prepared sheets. Bake until cookies puff and form cracks, and tester inserted into center of cookies comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 18 minutes. Cool cookies completely on sheets on racks. Store airtight at room temperature.

Filling: 2/3 cup blanched almonds, (about ½ cup finely ground) 1   tablespoon potato starch 7    tablespoons sugar 6    tablespoons margarine 1    egg 1    small can (about 13 oz) pear halves Sliced almonds Mix nuts and potato starch in a food processor.  Mix in sugar, then margarine, and blend until smooth. Mix in egg. Cover and chill 3 hours. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread filling over crust.  Slice the pear halves horizontally and gently place in the almond filling. The fat bottom of the pear should be against the rim and all the tops meet in the center. Put five pear halves in the shell and leave approximately 2 inches between them so the filling shows a bit. Top center with sliced almonds. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes. [IF]

Maple Baked Onions 6 large red onions, sliced 1/3 cup pure maple syrup ¼ cup margarine, melted Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Layer onions in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Pour syrup and margarine over onions. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Makes about 25 12  ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped ¼ cup margarine ²/3 cup roasted salted macadamia nuts ²/3 cup slivered almonds ½ cup matza cake meal ¼ teaspoon baking powder 3   large eggs ½ cup sugar Powdered sugar Stir chocolate and margarine in medium bowl, set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth; cool 10 minutes.  Using on/off turn, blend macadamias and almonds with matza cake meal in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add baking powder and pulse to blend.  Whisk eggs and ½ cup sugar in 52

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Almond Pear Tart Crust: 1 box of nut cookies 4 tablespoons margarine, melted Crush cookies into crumbs and add melted margarine. Line a tart or pie pan with the crust. Refrigerate. F a s h i o n

Emuna Braverman has a law degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Psychology from Pepperdine University. She lives with her husband and children in Los Angeles. When she isn’t writing for www.aish.com or taking care of her family, Emuna teaches classes on Judaism, organizes gourmet kosher cooking groups, and hosts many Shabbos guests. She likes to keep her menus elegant but easy, more focused on taste than presentation. She enjoys combining forces with her more creative friends; hence her partnership with Elizabeth. Elizabeth Kurtz lives in New York with her husband and children. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in business administration. She spent ten years working as an executive for AT&T and now fills her days raising her family, being involved with her children’s schools and her favorite charities, and cooking and entertaining Shabbos guests and friends. She loves to meet fellow “ foodies” and shop at farmers markets, gourmet food stores, or anywhere that delivers. Together Emuna and Elizabeth created Gourmetkoshercooking.com, where they have compiled flavorful, elegant, and creative recipes for those who like to potchke...and those who don’t. There are old favorites and new innovations. You’ ll find some free giveaways, discount coupons, and tabletop ideas as well.

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[ Ask The Shadchan ] By: Yisrael Friedman

My son is just starting to date. Are there any places you can suggest for a nice evening? Also, what do we do as the dating progresses—does he still go to hotels/lounges? Please help.–Just Starting, Brooklyn, NY

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have been waiting for someone to ask these questions for some time. Being a seasoned Shadchan, I am put to the test almost every day with inquires about different dating venues, and I have become somewhat of an expert on the topic. I will divide (and conquer) the venues into the 4 stages of dating. 1) Non-Committal First Two Platonic Dates. 2) “Let the Fun Begin” Date. 3) Getting Serious/Tachlis Date. 4) Commitment/Proposal date. Obviously, this is not necessarily going to be a straightforward linear process with every couple, but this is generally the common modus operandi. Since most dates end up in Manhattan, I will focus on that area. (If you’re dating in Chicago, check Google or speak to your long lost cousin who lives in the area.) Disclaimer: This a venue guide. Every dating experience is different and no one can tell you what will be the pace of the dating or how it will necessarily play out. Speak to your parents or mentor if you have serious questions and never use this as your guide for dating.

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Non Committal First Two (or 3 or 4) Dates: The common trend for this stage is a nice hotel lounge usually in close vicinity to where the girl lives. If a girl lives in Brooklyn, expect an abundance of other daters (and possible some of your close friends, or even worse, the girl/boy you went out with last week) in places such as the Brooklyn Marriott and the Ritz in Battery Park. To avoid crowds, go to a place a little further uptown like the 58

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Mandarin Oriental on the 35th floor of the Time Warner building, or the Athenne Plaza on 64th and Madison. You will find that these places are less crowded, and more intimate and conducive to conversation. It also shows the girl that you actually put in the extra effort and you will see that you will automatically have a nicer time.

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The Fun Begins” Date: After you see that there is basic chemistry and attraction between the two of you, it’s time to see how you can relax and enjoy the interaction between you in a fun setting. These dates are typically more casual and you should probably let the girl know beforehand to dress accordingly. (It’s hard to play air hockey in four-inch heels.) In and around the city there is a variety of fun places to go to. Generic places include ESPN Zone on Broadway, or Dave and Busters on 42nd street. If you’re a little more daring (and in touch with your feminine side), take her to one of the various pottery studios around the city such as Make Meaning. It’s a pretty original concept and you can be almost sure that she hasn’t done it before. Many boys will complete a long activity with a relaxing dinner or dessert, which can really set the mood for taking things to the next level. Try a place like Le Marais (46th and Broadway) or My Most Favorite Dessert around the block. Both are lovely settings which, although lucrative, won’t strip your wallet. She will definitely be impressed.

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Getting Serious/Tachlis Dates: Many mentors stress the importance of speaking about Hashkofos once things start heating up. The best type place to do this is a quiet intimate setting like a nice restaurant (or lounge when you run out of money). Remember, expensive does not necessarily mean quiet. Some places F a s h i o n

around the city not only charges exorbitant prices, but also sound like Penn Station Erev Thanksgiving, especially when they serve the Delmonico. Try a place like Le Carne on Lexington and 39th or Gusto Va Mare, a quaint intimate dairy restaurant on 53rd between 2nd and 3rd. Remember, this is usually the longest phase of dating, so keep that in mind before you start ordering one of everything on the dessert menu. (It probably won’t impress the girl anyway.)

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Proposal-Commitment Date: After you’ve wrapped up all the Hashkafos and aspirations and you realize that this may be the person you want to spend the rest of your life with (speak to your mentor about specifics), you need to plan your last pre-engagement date (or maybe two if she declines the first time—don’t laugh, it happens all the time). Some boys tell me stories of proposing on a massive jumbotron in Madison Square Garden or on billboards in the city. I personally feel that this is a very impersonal way of expressing your undying love to your prospective spouse together with 20,000 other drunken Knicks fans (rest assured it will also be on the 7 o’clock news if she declines). Keep it discreet, intimate, and personal. Assure her of how you will always be there for her. Present her with a beautiful card along with an elegant flower. This is the day both of you will remember forever. Make it special. [IF] Yisrael Friedman is a full time shadchan for Connections, the Shidduch division of Gateways. For questions or interesting and funny dating stories to be published in future articles, please email yfriedman@gatewaysonline.com. For all shidduchim inquiries, email connections@gatewaysonline.com.

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In Fashion  

April issue of In Fashion

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