T HE JE WIS HCHRON ICLE . N E T
A DAY IN…ASPINWALL
J J J J
JEWISH PITTSBURGH LIVING
FINDING THE JEW IN YOU BEYOND THE SHUL WALLS
THE FAST & THE FURIOUSLY HUNGRY
Fast-Breaking Recipes from the J Staff
Alive and Well in the American Lexicon
HIP HAUTE SUKKAHS
Steel City Sukkah Competition
TODAY’S KOSHER WINES: Cabernet with that Kugel?
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David Caoin, Publisher, CEO firstname.lastname@example.org MAGAZINE STAFF Roberta Brody, Editor email@example.com Audrey Brown, Art Director firstname.lastname@example.org Holly Rudoy, Writer email@example.com Raviv Cohen, Photographer firstname.lastname@example.org SALES STAFF Susan Mangel, Sr. Sales Rep. email@example.com Roberta Letwin, Sales Rep. firstname.lastname@example.org Donna Mink, Sales Rep. email@example.com Debra Levy, Associate Sales Rep. firstname.lastname@example.org BUSINESS STAFF Joseph Soloski, Comptroller email@example.com Josh Reisner, Office Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Marcy Kronzek, Receptionist email@example.com BOARD OF TRUSTEES Davida Fromm, President Richard Kitay, Vice President Cindy Goodman-Leib, Secretary Lou Weiss, Treasurer Lynn Cullen, Past President Carolyn Hess Abraham Brian Balk Daniel Berkowitz Stephen Fienberg Malke Steinfeld Frank Stanley Greenfield David Grubman Thomas Hollander Larry Honig Evan Indianer David Levine Judy Palkovitz Amy W. Platt Jane Rollman Benjamin Rosenthal Dodie Roskies Charles Saul Andrew Schaer Ilana Schwarcz Jonathan Wander
Volume 1, Number 4 J is published four times a year by the Pittsburgh Jewish Publication and Education Foundation, 5915 Beacon Street, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15217, 412-6871000 (phone), 412-521-0154 (fax). The information presented is from varied sources considered to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Opinions expressed are those of the indentified subjects and do not reflect the views of J magazine or the Pittsburgh Jewish Publication and Education Foundation. Letters and editorial solicitations should be sent to: J Magazine, Publisher, 5915 Beacon Street, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15217. Unsolicited manuscripts, photography, artwork or other materials will not be accepted, and unless accompanied by return postage, J magazine is not responsible for their disposition.
FALL 2011 ISSUE Volume 1, Number 4 6 FINDING THE JEW IN YOU BEYOND THE SHUL WALLS Jews of all ages are discovering their spirituality in shared interests and activities.Some may surprise you!
YIDDISH IS BACK…DID IT EVER REALLY LEAVE? No spiel here…every mensch and maven is speaking Yiddish.
HIP HAUTE SUKKAHS A new local Sukkah design competition has upped the game for Pittsburgh Jews to get creative.
TODAY’S KOSHER WINES... CABERNET WITH THAT KUGEL? So long Mogen David…hello Baron Herzog! Today’s kosher wines proudly take their place front and center on Jewish dinner tables.
RECIPES & RESERVATIONS Paris 66. If you fancy frites and are mad for macarons, check out this local French bistro.
36 FACES & PLACES PEOPLE ON THE STREET Some thoughts—and tips—on the tradition of breaking the fast after Yom Kippur.
28 THE FAST & THE FURIOUSLY HUNGRY J Magazine staffers sharer their breaking Yom Kippur fast recipes.
ON THE COVER:
Photography by Raviv Cohen.
A DAY IN…ASPINWALL Tucked away across the Highland Park Bridge, this little community has a lot to offer.
Ed Weisberg, shown here at Rodef Shalom Temple, is a member of Pittsburgh’s Mazel Tuff Motorcycle Club.
FESTIVE WITH A FLAIR
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
t’s hard to believe that J Magazine is celebrating its first anniversary with the completion of this issue. The project of starting a new publication has been allencompassing. From editorial content to photography and design, and from advertising to distribution, there was a lot to accomplish before the first issue ever landed in your mailbox. The emotions are not much different from having a baby… you wait with great anticipation for the final product to appear and hope that all who see it will kvell. Well, we waited…and you kvelled! Thank you! The feedback from our first three issues has been overwhelmingly positive, and we greatly appreciate your support. Our skilled publisher, David Caoin, a newly transplanted Pittsburgher, along with our immensely talented creative staff of Holly Rudoy, Audrey Brown, and Raviv Cohen, has made my job as editor most enjoyable. There is so much about our Jewish community that can fill the pages of “J” Magazine. This issue touches upon just a few of them. Our cover story reflects the numerous non-traditional ways that Jews can find community and a sense of spirituality that goes far beyond the walls of one’s temple. With Sukkot approaching, we share a story about the evolution of the sukkah into what has become somewhat of a design competition today. If you visit the Pitt campus in October, you’ll see what we mean! What’s a Jewish magazine without food stories? In keeping with our long standing tradition (okay, so it’s only issue four), we’ve investigated the best kosher wines and their recommended food pairings. If you’re looking for ideas to break the fast this year, we’ve got you covered there as well with some great recipes.
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Other topics include the resurgence of Yiddish in the American culture and our now standard features: People on the Street; A Day in…(Aspinwall), and Recipes & Reservations. We believe that “J” offers something for everyone, and your feedback is important to our growth. Please e-mail your comments or suggestions to us at: JmagazinePittsburgh@gmail.com. L’Shana Tova! Roberta Lando Brody Editor P.S. Please support our advertisers, and be sure to tell them that you saw them in “J.”
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By Holly Rudoy
Express Your Jewish Self
Beyond the neighborhood shul: New places to be Jewish
ALL BIKER PHOTOS BY RAVIV COHEN The Mazel Tuffs on their monthly Sunday cruise down the highway in search of good food and good times.
rom a very young age, whether we realize it or not at the time, we learn that Judaism requires “community.” We gather 10 people for a minyan. We study and pray together in Hebrew school, play together at summer camps and in youth groups, and meet at Hillels on college campuses. As a religious group, we are commanded to gather together, and at so many times in our history, we have had only each other. Maybe this explains why some Jews enjoy sharing hobbies and interests with their fellow Jews, like the Northern California chaverim of Jewish ham radio operators or the Potomac Yacht Club of Jewish sailors. Pittsburgh Jews do it, too— finding Jewish harmony in places you wouldn’t think to look… like on a yoga mat or a Harley Davidson.
PHOTO BY RAVIV COHEN
Eat to Ride and Ride to Eat Six years ago, when the Chai Riders of Chicago and other members of the Jewish Motorcycle Alliance were on their way to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC for the first “Ride to Remember,” they appealed to Jewish motorcycle riders in Pittsburgh to join them. Coincidentally, a steady group of about 10 men and women was already riding together once a month. The group “Jews Who Cruise” (now known as the “Mazel Tuff Motorcycle Club”) joined in and, along with 900 of their fellow riders, received a police escort from Virginia into D.C. and to the museum. A rabbi from Florida had a special carrier on the front of his three-wheel motor trike to cradle a kosher Torah for the occasion—a meaningful event the Mazel Tuffs would not soon forget. They have since participated in the Israel Day Parade in New York City and in Hadassah’s Ride for Research to benefit breast cancer research, but according to Ed Weisberg, a regular rider, most of their rides are of the “ride for brisket” variety. They meet one Sunday a month (April to October weather permitting), and as they like to say, they “eat to ride and ride to eat.” This is a group of Jewish bikers after all. And to that end, helmets are mandatory and they must be home by dusk…all raised under the influence of Jewish mothers, obviously.
Participants in the Yoga and Jewish Spirituality Teacher Training Institute led by Diane Bloomfield (Torah Yoga) and Rabbi Myriam Klotz (Institute for Jewish Spirituality) at Isabella Freedman Retreat Center in Connecticut last August.
Express Your Jewish Self
“Nobody understands an ‘oy vey’ like another Jewish rider,” offers Ed’s wife, Dotty, who follows in her car. After all, someone has to schlep the bags and the food.
“I get a chance to write and talk about my Jewish self. I don’t have to explain the back story.” - Mimi Botkin
Riding with the Mazel Tuffs, according to Ed, a Pittsburgh physician, has “reinvigorated my Judaism—kind of like a trip to Israel. The fact that we’re all Jewish and riding together says something. Somehow there is this bond…something ingrained in us to seek out our own. “We have a common interest in the motorcycles and also in our Jewishness. It’s not like we go to shul together, but there is a common bond there that you can’t measure.” In addition to the Weisbergs, some of the group’s regulars include Sally and Todd Levenson, Bill and Sue Werksman, Bob and Gretchen Goldberg, Ron and Lois Goldberg, Bill Braslawsce, Andrea Riberi, Mariuza Odle and Todd Levine. “We like to say that we’re our own little minyan of riders” says Dotty. We get together and use Yiddish words, tell stories about our bubbes and zaydes. And at bar mitzvahs and weddings, we always get seated together at the ‘motorcycle’ table!” The Write Stuff While they may not yet have their own table at weddings, the eight members of Temple Sinai’s Writing Circle forged an immediate bond when they began meeting in April 2010. Like the Mazel Tuffs, members of the Writing Circle could be enjoying their craft with a host of different people. But from 4:00-5:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month, they choose to unlock the temple and join together to share the intimacy that writing brings. From the college student to the 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, group members have been more candid and more vocal than many participants in long-running groups. Mimi Botkin, a retired teacher and a Fellow of Pitt’s Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, leads the Temple Sinai group and is still a little amazed by the turnout and response. The first time the group met, “everybody wrote and everybody shared; it was so monumental,” she says, explaining that group members are not required to write anything, let alone share it. “It’s unheard of,” she adds, referring to the ease with which participants opened up their personal thoughts and stories to each other.
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The difference, Botkin notes, is that the writers in Temple Sinai’s group, “speak the same culture.” Naturally, some of the barriers that might prevent writers from exposing themselves are removed. “We have a level of comfort coming in the door,” she explains. “People had stories to tell that nobody wanted to hear. Only Jews listen to other Jews’ stories as intently as we want them to,” she offers. Jeff Cromwell, a member of the Circle, finds that being in the temple among peers helps him with the writing process. “Shul helps refine my perception of reality and rectifies the emotions of my heart…I achieve a unity in the community not found in my inner consciousness alone.” Participant Arlene Chodock Adelman agrees. “There is a relaxed feeling among the people attending. I know that I am getting closer to the synagogue in a spiritual way. But I also know that I am, at the same time, becoming more creative… learning to express myself in words without embarrassment from others.” Botkin herself enjoys participating as a writer in the Circle. “I get a chance to write and a chance to talk about my Jewish self. I don’t have to explain the back story.”
Minding the Body & Spirit The same feeling of connection goes for Julie Newman as a participant and a leader in a Torah Yoga practice, where she has been able to incorporate yoga and Judaism, recognizing that they are both “deeply rooted in a celebration of and gratitude for life,” she says. 10
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Now a cantorial student at Hebrew College in Boston, Newman taught Torah Yoga at Rodef Shalom’s congregational retreat in April and just completed her third session of Yoga and Jewish Spirituality Teacher Training offered by Rabbi Myriam Klotz and Diane Bloomfield, author of Torah Yoga.
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“Practicing yoga with other Jews gives us a common language of metaphor to bring into yoga practice, on and off the mat,” she explains. Many of those metaphors can only be appreciated and made meaningful through a shared experience with other Jews. Newman offers an example: “At Passover we think about slavery and freedom; narrow constricted places in contrast to expansiveness and freedom. In a Jewish yoga class, we can use these themes to explore the constrictions in our own bodies, and through asanas, or poses, we see if we can find some freedom.” Not only do Newman and her fellow practitioners find Jewish metaphors to apply to yoga, they also acknowledge the spiritual alignment of yoga and Judaism and the benefits of sharing that. “They both are meant to come with us out in the world—to develop our characters in order to act compassionately and make wise choices, especially in difficult and challenging circumstances.”
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RESOURCES For more information on the Chai Riders, Hillel’s Angels and other Jewish motorcycle clubs across North America, visit www. Jewishbikersworldwide.com. To learn more about the Temple Sinai Writing Circle, visit the congregation’s web site at www.templesinaipgh.org. Additional information on Torah Yoga can be found at www.torahyoga.com. To find out about the next J-Burgh Running Club route, contact David Katz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday evening for a run in the East End. And like the Mazel Tuff Motorcycle Club, there’s usually a culturally mandatory meal involved. “We usually begin and end at a restaurant that serves alcohol,“ says Katz, noting that the group provides great motivation and that participants “enjoy the socialization afterwards.” So whether it’s an exhilarating run, a downward dog, a heartfelt poem or a rolling Pennsylvania highway, Jews in our community are creating venues that add meaning to their lives and the spirit of community to their Judaism. It has been said that those who play together stay together. It’s been that way for the Jews for thousands of years, and judging by these groups, it’s still going strong!
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ARE YOU A MAVEN? BY ROBERTA BRODY
iddish is everywhere! Everyday we hear it…on TV, at the movies, and even from our gentile friends who weave the words into conversations, often unaware that they are using Yiddish! Some words have become so ingrained in our American lexicon that even Jews don’t realize they’re speaking it. Take the lyrics to the Black Eyed Peas recent mega-hit, “I Got a Feeling,” where one of the verses starts with “Fill up my cup. Mazal Tov.” People everywhere are singing the lyrics to that song, but how many actually know that they’re singing Yiddish words? More than an old language, Yiddish represents the rebirth of a nearly lost culture that, today, can be found everywhere in our daily lives. The language itself, which is closely related to German, originated among Ashkenazi Jews more than 1,000 years ago. It was the primary language spoken by Jews of Central and Eastern Europe, but unlike most other languages, Yiddish was also spoken by Jews of different nationalities all over the world. In the 1930s, Yiddish was spoken by more than 10 million people, but by 1945, 75 percent of them were gone. Many Jews who were lucky enough to emigrate to America spoke only Yiddish. Their children, in contrast, were educated in English-only American schools. At home, the mix of the parents’ Yiddish and the children’s English over several decades lead to the blending of the two—or Yinglish as it’s often called. Many American Baby-Boomers grew up with Yinglish as a perfectly acceptable part of their culture. While Jews may have heard it used at home, from 1948-1971, Jews and non-Jews alike were tuning in to Ed Sullivan on Sunday nights to hear Borscht Belt comedians like Jackie Mason, Alan King, Myron Cohen, and others tell jokes that were laced with Yiddish words and phrases. Over the years, these words became an accepted part of everyday English communication and have slowly crept into our most respected dictionaries. Hollywood writers and producers have intertwined Yiddish into their scripts for many years. Woody Allen, who only spoke Yiddish as a young child, uses it freely in his movies. Of course, Mel Brooks is famous for his use of Yiddish in his movies; in Blazing Saddles, Brooks’ Indian chief speaks Yiddish to his tribe, ISSUE 4
declaring “Loz im geyn” (“Let him go”) when they come across the black sheriff. And, the Coen brothers’ recent movie A Serious Man (about a Jewish family in the 1960s) is full of Yiddish references—both in language and culture; in fact, the beginning of the movie (set in a Polish shtetl) is spoken solely in Yiddish. From Leo Rosten’s 1968 book The Joys of Yiddish to the more recent publication of the mainstream spoof Yiddish with Dick and Jane, non-Jews are taking an interest in Yiddish. Recently, Michael Wex, author of Born to Kvetch (about Yiddish language and culture), appeared in the New York Times online to respond to reader questions about the use of Yiddish in America today. This is one of the questions he answered: Q: After the latest round of corporate downsizing, is it more insulting to call your (former) boss a “shlemiel,” a “shmegegi” or a “shmendrikh?”—JMS A: Sorry to have to tell you this, JMS, but if you’re the one who has been downsized after years of devoted service to the company, then you’re the shlemiel, the shmegegi and the shmendrikh—the hapless patsy who staked his or her whole future on the idea of continued employment. The boss who did the downsizing could be described as a “puhtz” or “shmuhk” (penis), a “paskudnak” (roughly, S.O.B.), a “mamzr” (bastard), a “ganuhv” (a thief)...voos hot dikh gekoylet oon a meser (who slaughtered you without a knife). These are all pretty insulting. The Yiddish for unemployment insurance is pushke. Today, Yiddish is the official language of more than 100 newspapers, magazines, radio broadcasts and websites. The following are some of the most widely recognized Yiddish words and their English meanings. See how many you know or use
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balebaws: A good homemaker, a woman who’s in charge of her home and will make sure you remember it. bihsl: A little bit. bubkes: Bubkes or bobkes may be related to the Polish word for “beans,” but it really means “goat droppings” or “horse droppings.” It’s often used by American Jews for “trivial, worthless, useless, a ridiculously small amount”—less than nothing, so to speak.
“The ring was bubkes!”
chutzpa: Nerve, extreme arrogance, brazen presumption. In English, chutzpa often connotes courage or confidence, but among Yiddish speakers, it is not a compliment. glitch: Literally “slip,” “skate,” or “nosedive,” which was the origin of the common American usage as “a minor problem or error.” gawrnihsht: More polite than bubkes, and also implies a strong sense of nothing; used in phrases such as “gawrnihsht helfn” (beyond help). goy: A non-Jew, a gentile. As in Hebrew, one gentile is a goy, many gentiles are goyim (the non-Jewish world in general is “the goyim”). Goyish is the adjective form. Putting mayonnaise on a pastrami sandwich is goyish. Putting mayonnaise on a pastrami sandwich on white bread is even more goyish. kibbutz: In Yiddish, it’s related to the Hebrew “kibbutz” or “collective.” But it can also mean verbal joking, which after all is a collective activity. It didn’t originally mean giving unwanted advice about someone else’s game—that’s an American innovation. klutz: Literally means “a block of wood,” so it’s often used for a dense, clumsy or awkward person. See shlemiel.
kvetch: In popular English, kvetch means “complain, whine or fret,” but in Yiddish, kvetch literally means “to press or squeeze.” maven: An expert, often used sarcastically. mensch: An honorable, decent person, an authentic person, a person who helps you when you need help. Can be a man, woman or child. meshugaas: Insanity or craziness. A meshuganer is a crazy man. mishpacha : It means “family,” as in “Relax, you’re mihshpacha. I’ll sell it to you at wholesale.” nosh: To nibble; a light snack, but you won’t be light if you don’t stop noshing. nu: A general word that calls for a reply. It can mean, “So?” “Huh?” “Well?” “What’s up?” or “Hello?”
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platz: Literally, to explode, as in aggravation. “Well, don’t platz!” is similar to “Don’t have a fit!” Also used in expressions such as, “Oi, am I tired; I just ran the four-minute mile. I could just platz.” That means collapse. shlep: To drag, traditionally something you don’t really need; to carry unwillingly. When people “shlep around,” they are dragging themselves, perhaps slouching. On vacation, when I’m the one who ends up carrying the heavy suitcase I begged my wife to leave at home, I shlep it.
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shlemiel: A clumsy, inept person, similar to a klutz. The kind of person who always spills his soup. schlock: Cheap, shoddy, or inferior, as in, “I don’t know why I bought this schlocky souvenir.” shlihmazl: Someone with constant bad luck. When the shlemiel spills his soup, he probably spills it on the shlihmazl. shmendrikh: A jerk, a stupid person. shmaltzy: Excessively sentimental, gushing, flattering, over-the-top, corny. This word describes some of Hollywood’s most famous films. From shmaltz, which means chicken fat or grease. shmooz: Chat, make small talk, converse about nothing in particular. shmuhk: Often used as an insulting word for a self-made fool, but you shouldn’t use it in polite company at all, since it refers to male anatomy. spiel: A long, involved sales pitch, as in, “I had to listen to his whole spiel before I found out what he really wanted.”
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shihktse / sheiguhtz: A non-Jewish woman/a non-Jewish man, respectively.
“The Jews taught me this great word... schmuck. I was a schmuck. And now... I’m not a schmuck.”
shmutz: Dirt—a little dirt, not serious grime. If a little boy has shmutz on his face, and he likely will, his mother will quickly wipe it off. It can also mean dirty language. shtihk: Something you’re known for doing, an entertainer’s routine, an actor’s bit, stage business; a gimmick often done to draw attention to yourself.
“All this chitterchatter, chitterchatter, chitterchatter ‘bout schmatta, schmatta, schmatta…” Rolling Stones —“Shattered” tsatzke: Knick-knack, little toy, collectible or giftware. tzuhruhs: Serious troubles, not minor annoyances. Plagues of lice, gnats, flies, locusts, hail, death… now, those were tzuhruhs. tuhchuhs: Rear end, bottom, backside, buttocks…origin of the American slang word tush.
“Stop whining and eat your shiksa.”
J Magazine September Issue 4_Layout 1 8/22/2011 11:15 AM Page 1
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yentuh: Female busybody or gossip. yiddisher kop: Smart person. Literally means “Jewish head.”
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sukkahs By Holly Rudoy
ikipedia defines a sukkah as a temporary hut constructed for use during the weeklong Jewish festival of Sukkot. It is topped with branches and often well decorated with autumnal, harvest or Judaic themes. The Book of Leviticus describes it as a symbolic wilderness shelter, commemorating the Israelites’ time in the wilderness after they were freed from slavery in Egypt. It is common for Jews to eat, sleep and otherwise spend time in the sukkah. The above may be historically factual, but in some backyards today, the sukkah has become nothing short of an architectural feat. Make a preSukkot trek through the yards of Pittsburgh’s Jewish neighborhoods and you will find a wide variety of sukkahs--some quite unique--and each one a reflection of the family that built it. Un-officially speaking, sukkah-building seems to be on the rise. One reason for this so-called proliferation is that constructing a sukkah has gotten easier for those of us who may not possess degrees in architecture or engineering. Just Google the word “sukkah”
and you will find a plethora of websites offering everything from online instructions to special order custom sukkah kits. Some area temples even lend kits to willing congregants each year to enable them to build a suitable backyard sukkah. This fall, the Oakland area--specifically the lawn of the William Pitt Union--is about to be transformed into a sukkah haven, with the start of the 2nd Annual Steel City Sukkah Competition, sponsored by Hillel JUC; the American Institute of Architecture Students: University of Pittsburgh; the University of Pittsburgh; and Judy Shimm. Beginning on October 11, sukkahbuilding teams from the university community will have a little under 24 hours to design and build their sukkahs. Their challenge, besides the time constraint, is to “rethink the sukkah.” The teams must incorporate the ancient laws that constitute a sukkah (with the consideration that they will remain in front of the Union for a week) and like all sukkahs, each one should be designed for dwelling and sharing meals. Michael Zimmerman, who conceived the idea last year as Social Action Chair for the Hillel student
board, explains that during last year’s inaugural event, “we really wanted kosher sukkahs, but we didn’t want to see the traditional-looking box sukkah. “Part of the goal is to raise awareness about the holiday. Last year, there were tons of students walking by watching them go up and they were automatically struck by them and wanted to learn more about them. We really reached a lot of students, “ says Zimmerman, himself an architect major.
Scenes from last year’s Steel City Sukkah Competition on the lawn of the William Pitt Union at the University of Pittsburgh. Look for this year’s masterpieces beginning October 12th.
Architects Arthur Lubetz of Front Studio and Joel Farkas of Farkas Associates, along with Rabbi Scott Aaron, did the judging for last year’s competition. According to Zimmerman, “The rules were those for building a kosher sukkah so we weighted that the heaviest, but we had a decent amount of deliberation and interesting conversation between the architects and the Rabbi.” For most of us, the basic backyard sukkah will have to suffice this year. But if you are interested in experiencing a Steel City Sukkah or would like to learn more about the competition, contact the Hillel JUC at 412-621-8875 or at www.hilleljuc.org. J Magazine wishes good luck to all of this year’s competitors. May the best sukkah win, although in this case, with sukkahs on the lawn of our largest university, the entire Jewish community wins!
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For reservations please email email@example.com, call 412-224-4440 or visit www.OverIt.me
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FINE KOSHER WINE
Once an oxymoron…now a culinary adventure! By Holly Rudoy Photgraphy by Raviv Cohen
he family is gathered around the table, the food is heaped high on platters, and a sense of shared joy fills the air. The only thing that can make a Jewish holiday dinner even more special is some fine kosher wine. Don’t panic because I just used the words “fine,” “kosher” and “wine” in the same sentence. While there’s nothing wrong with Manischewitz or Mogen David, let’s just say that kosher wines have come a long way from the syrupy, sweet concord grape potables of your childhood Seders. (Disclaimer: It’s okay if you DO like the aforementioned wines—it’s is all about individual taste, but it’s hard to drink more than a few sips…and what’s the fun of wine if you can’t tolerate more than a few sips?) And don’t believe everything that you hear about kosher wines; not only can they be flavorful and complex, they can be quite affordable. The following is a sampling of kosher winemakers and wine styles—for less than $18 a bottle—that you might not have considered for a holiday dinner. But first things first…let’s explore exactly what is kosher wine? WHAT MAKES WINE KOSHER? In order to make a kosher wine, all equipment, tools and storage facilities must, of course, be kosher. But that’s just the beginning; several other factors also come into play depending upon the country of origin (Israel’s proscriptions are among the strictest). Beginning in the fields, grapes on new vines cannot be used until three years have passed; no other fruits or vegetables can be planted between the vines; and every seven years, the fields must be left fallow (completely uncultivated). During the production process, only Sabbath-observant male Jews are permitted to handle the wine, and the barrels must be cleaned three times a day. Since animal products are forbidden, the gelatin or egg whites often used to clarify non-kosher wine (fining) are replaced with bentonite, a clay material. Finally, one percent of the wine must be discarded in a symbolic remembrance of the 10 percent tithe paid to the Temple of Jerusalem. For a wine to (technically) remain kosher, only Jews can handle or pour it. So if a non-Jewish waiter poured your kosher wine, it would no longer be kosher. This is where
“mevushal ” wine comes in. By bringing the wine to a boiling point during the winemaking process, it remains kosher no matter if handled by a Jew or non-Jew. The pasteurizing (heating) process affects the flavor of the wine, and this, as you might suspect, is what’s behind kosher wine’s negative reputation. Wine aficionados often describe mevushal wines as tasting overly raisiny and having a flat finish. However, the pasteurizing process has come a long way over the years, and there are stories of mevushal wines scoring better than their non-mevushal counterparts of the same batch in blind tastings. It is quite possible that those of us with less discerning palates can’t even tell the difference! HOW DO I “PAIR” MY WINE? Now that you’ve chosen your kosher wine, you’re halfway to a great meal. Food can bring out the best flavors of a wine (and vice versa)…it can also kill an otherwise “great” wine or dish. Conventional wine wisdom pairs white wines with “white” meats (fish, fowl, etc.) and red wines with “red” meats (beef, lamb, etc.); additionally, white wines traditionally pair well with lighter fare (salad, fruit, etc.) and red wines with heartier food (grilled, spicy, etc.). More to the point, how do traditional Jewish foods pair with different wines? Cheese Blintzes Cholent Chopped Liver Corned Beef Gefilte Fish Kugel (savory) Matzo Brei Stuffed Cabbage Tzimmes
Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris Pinot Gris, Merlot, Prosecco Chardonnay, Riesling, Pouilly Fuisse Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Sauvignon Blanc Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais Pinot Grigio, Rose, Viognier Grenache, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc Blanc de Noir, Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Rose
That being said, if you drink the wine you like with the food you love, you can’t go wrong (there are some great chardonnays that play with steak and pinot noirs that soar with fish). But if you want to start slow and go with proven pairs, onlinekosherwine.com features an excellent wine pairing section with three charts to guide you in planning for your particular palate. WHERE/HOW CAN I GET IT? Great kosher wineries are not as hard to come by as they once were, and they are sprouting up all over the world. Besides Israel and the United States, good kosher wines can be had from Australia, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa and Spain. If you’re reading this article from your home in the Keystone state, then you already know how tricky it can be to get the wine you want delivered to your door. You might find plenty of wineries willing to ship to you no matter the regulations, but it’s a risk. To be safe, check to see if the wine you want is available through finewineandgoodspirits.com, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board online store. If they do not carry it, then the winery may ship your order directly to the Pennsylvania wine and spirit store of your choice where you can pick it up. L’Chaim!
RESOURCES: According to kosherwine.com, a select few wines have made it to their current lists of recommended wines at affordable prices. Visit the website to see a complete listing of offerings and prices. Here are 18 wines worth considering: WHITES $18 AND UNDER Barkan Sauvignon Blanc—$11 Baron Herzog Chardonnay—$15 Gamla White Riesling—$15 Galil Mountain Viognier—$14 Tabor Adama Gewürztraminer—$16 Yardon Chardonnay—$17 REDS $18 AND UNDER Abarbanel Beaujolais Villages—$12 Bartenura Valpolicella—$12 Binyamina Teva Cabernet Sauvignon--$18 Kinneret Merlot—$15 Le Mourre de E’Isle Cotes du Rhone—$14 Sforno Pinot Noir—$12 SPARKLING WINES $18 AND UNDER Borgo Reale Prosecco—$17 Cantina Gabriele Spumante Rosso—$15 Elvi Adar Brut Cava—$16 En Fuego Cava Reserva—$13 Kraemer Chardonnay Brut—$13
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THE FAST & THE FURIOUSLY HUNGRY J MAGAZINE STAFFERS SHARE THEIR BREAKING YOM KIPPUR FAST FAVORITES
he final call of the shofar late on Yom Kippur signals the end of a solemn 10 days of reflection and 24 hours of fasting. For many balebaws (see page 15), it is time to open our doors and lay out a spread for our friends and loved ones to help end the fast with light and delicious ease.
The following recipes are from us at J Magazine to you, our hungry readers. They are the tried and true traditions from the mavens (see page 15) in our own families. We wish you an easy fast and a scrumptious break fast. L’Shana Tova!
ROBERTA’S NOODLE KUGEL From Roberta Brody, Editor 12 oz. noodles (medium wide) 5 large eggs 12 oz. cottage cheese (regular or light) 12 oz. sour cream (regular or light) ¾ C sugar 1 C milk 3 T butter, melted 1½ tsp. vanilla
cinnamon Cook noodles and drain. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sugar, and then add cottage cheese, sour cream, milk, butter and vanilla. Put into a greased 11x14 baking dish and sprinkle cinnamon on the top. Bake @ 350 for 1 hour.
COUSCOUS WITH CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES From Audrey Brown, Art Director 4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces 4 lb potatoes diced 3 carrots cut to half inch dice ½ head of cauliflower cut into 1 inch pieces 1 acorn squash, cut into 1 inch pieces 1 can garbanzo beans 2 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce ¼ C vegetable oil 2 tsp. kosher salt
5 C water 1 Box of cous cous Brown the onion in oil on low heat for approximately 7 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and salt. Add the chicken bites, potato, carrots, garbanzos. Lower the heat to med/low for 2 1/2 hours. Add diced squash and chunked cauliflower. Cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with couscous cooked per the recipe on the box.
HOPPEL POPPEL From Dave Caoin, Publisher, CEO Potatoes (2 medium per person, sliced) Onions (2 small per person, chopped) Eggs (2 per person, beaten) Liquid (milk or water, 1 teaspoon per person) Salt & Black Pepper (to taste) Oil/Butter/Margarine (your choice, enough to cover bottom of pan)
Cook potatoes in oil/butter/margarine until half-way tender. Add onions and cook until soft. Add options (not cheese) and cook until contents are golden brown (gently turn while cooking) Add egg/liquid mixture (cheese/cheese substitute) and cook until (cheese/cheese substitute is melted) eggs are done. Season with salt and pepper.
RAVIV’S EGG FRITTATA From Raviv Cohen, Photographer 1 small can green chili peppers peeled, chopped 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 ¼ C sharp cheddar cheese grated 1 ¼ C Monterey cheese grated ½ C flour 1 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ C milk Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into a buttered pie pan. Bake for 50 minutes on 350 degrees. Serve with salsa if desired.
HOLLY’S AUNT SHELLEY’S CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD From Holly Rudoy, Writer 3 eggs 2 C sugar 1 C vegetable oil 1 tsp. vanilla 2 C grated zucchini 2 C flour 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. cinnamon ¼ tsp. baking powder
1 1 1 1
tsp. baking soda heaping T Special Dark Chocolate Cocoa 10 oz. bag swirled chocolate and white chocolate chips cup nuts, optional
Beat eggs until lemon colored. Then add sugar, oil, vanilla, zucchini and cocoa. Mix well, then add the dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips and nuts. Grease two loaf pans and pour into pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. ISSUE 4
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A DAY IN... ASPINWALL BY ROBERTA BRODY PHOTOGRAPHY BY RAVIV COHEN
hen you venture north across the Highland Park Bridge, you may have your sights set on the beautiful communities of Fox Chapel Borough or O’Hara Township, or maybe you’re heading to shop at the sprawling Waterworks Mall. But if you slow down and take the first right over the bridge, you’ll wind up in the charming, yet affordable community of Aspinwall, well worth the few minutes of detour from Rt. 28. With a population that hovers at around 3,000 and an imprint of less than .5 square miles, what Aspinwall lacks in size, it makes up for in small-town character. Neighbors told us that it’s not unusual for the local pharmacist at Towne Drugs to personally deliver medicine to them on his way home from work! Founded in the late 1800s, Aspinwall was originally designed to offer upper-middle class Pittsburghers a residential community along the banks of the Allegheny River. Today, it retains its village-like quality and enjoys a wide variety of shops and restaurants, managing to elude the big-box evolution of many of its neighbors. A day in Aspinwall might start with morning coffee and a muffin at Beans ‘n Cream on Brilliant Avenue. Afterward, you can stroll next door into Dovecote, a selfdescribed shabby-chic shop for home and personal gifts. Across Brilliant Avenue, you’ll find Nota Bene, a paper boutique that specializes in custom note paper, invitations, greeting cards and gifts. If you’re in a pampering mood, Esspa Kozmetika, a day spa also on Brilliant Avenue, can delight and relax you with facials, massages, and a host of other beauty treatments. ISSUE 4
By now, you might be looking for a local lunch spot, like the Frontporch Grille on Commercial Avenue, offering American fare inside and out (weatherpermitting) or the Aspinwall Grille on Commercial Avenue, that features American diner food. After lunch, stop in at One Brilliant for a look at their selection of jewelry, accessories and clothing. Rosebud’s on First Street is a great place to wander through their vast array of home accents and gifts for all ages and interests. If you are a collector of miniatures, the unique family-owned Lynlott Miniatures on Commercial Street can help you buy, build or fill your own dollhouse. If you are more into fur than dollhouses, Briskin Furs on Freeport Road can adequately prepare you for the oncoming winter weather. Dinner in Aspinwall has some delicious options: Cornerstone Restaurant and Bar on Freeport Road offers innovative comfort food with a twist, with enticing seasonal menus for the entire family, as well as a full-service bar. The menu at Luma, on Brilliant Avenue, features contemporary regional and international cuisine in a welcoming neighborhood eatery. No day in Aspinwall would be complete without visits to Patty’s Farm Market (Freeport Road) or Bella Christie Sweet Boutique (Commercial Avenue). From the freshest produce at Patty’s to the sweetest treats at Bella Christie, you can take home the tastiest souvenirs of Aspinwall to enjoy the next day.
RESOURCES: Towne Drugs 227 Commercial Ave. 412-782-2244
Frontporch Grille 235 Commercial Ave. 412-252-2877
Briskin Furs 347 Freeport Rd. 412-782-3877
Beans ‘n Cream 16 Brilliant Ave. 412-781-2373
Aspinwall Grille 211 Commercial Ave. 412-782-6542
Cornerstone Restaurant & Bar 301 Freeport Rd. 412-408-3258
Dovecote 20 Brilliant Ave. 412-781-1777
One Brilliant 1 Brilliant Ave. 412-781-3443
Luma 8 Brilliant Ave. 412-781-0355
Nota Bene 9 Brilliant Ave. 412-782-6300
Rosebud’s 338 First St. 412-784-8272
Patty’s Farm Market 703 Freeport Rd. 412-781-1212
Esspa Kozmetica 17 Brilliant Ave. 412-782-3888
Lynlott Miniatures 223 Commercial Ave. 412-781-6445
Bella Christie Sweet Boutique 213 Commercial Ave. 412-772-1283 ISSUE 4
PARIS 66 6018 Penn Circle South Pittburgh, PA 15206 412.404.8166 SAY YOU SAW IT IN J AND RECEIVE A COMPLIMENTARY ORDER OF FRENCH MACARONS FOR DESSERT (1 PER PERSON PER TABLE) FROM OCTOBER 6-20.
n the heels of the frites (that’s real French for fries) revolution in the U.S., Pittsburgh has seen an increase in the number of eateries with a French influence. One of the latest—and most authentic—is Paris 66 on the newly renovated Penn Circle corridor. The dream of Frederic Rongier, and his wife, Lori, Paris 66 opened in 2009, offering a limited menu of crepes, quiches and salads for both lunch and dinner. Recently, the charming eatery added a full dinner menu that features bistro favorites, such as roasted chicken, steak frites, and scallops provencal. The warm, crusty French bread and delectable desserts are made in-house by Pastry Chef David Piquard, as are the many flavors of authentic French macarons (not to be confused with the macaroons we eat at Passover). Al fresco dining is available (weatherpermitting) on their covered back porch. Award-winning Executive Chef Larry Laffont kindly shared his recipe for Liver & Onions with J readers.
BEEF LIVER WITH BALSAMIC AND ONION 2 1 1 1 2
lbs. Beef liver, thinly sliced for 4 persons Onion sliced cup Balsamic vinegar cup White wine cups Veal demi glaze (homemade or store bought)
Sauté the onion in butter (or margarine) until slightly caramelized. Add balsamic vinegar, followed by the white wine and allow to reduce. Add veal demi glaze and reduce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook liver to your choice of temperature. Serve over mashed potatoes. Bon appétit!
PHOTGRAPHY BY RAVIV COHEN 34
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Kabbalat Shabbat with Jordan Snyder, Emma Kuhns and Lyla Barnett.
Proud artists, Luke Glickman, Michael Ulis and Talia Landerman at The Arts & Crafts Pavilion.
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Jonathan Bahm celebrating his Bar Mitzvah at the Hard Rock Cafe this summer. Photo by Dimitry Babichencko.
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ADVERTISE IN “J” MAGAZINE! “J” is mailed free of charge to 13,000+ Jewish households quarterly. That means your ad could be seen by as many as 35,000 educated consumers. Call today to learn about how our advertising opportunities can help you reach this target market most effectively! Louise Cooper and Azriel Krongauz at Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Shalom Pittsburgh Newcomers Day at PNC Park, May 22.
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Jeffrey Finkelstein with Nanette and Ira Gordon as Joshua Donner of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh is presented with the 2011 Ira and Nanette Gordon Community Professional Achievement Award at Rodef Shalom Congregation on July 13.
Rabbi Gibson reads Torah from the bimah, surrounded by founders of Temple Sinai, their children and grandchildren, as a heartfelt celebration of Temple Sinai’s 65th anniversary, at services on Friday, September 9, 2011.
“Fitness—for us it’s a family thing at the JCC.” –Darcy, with Rebecca, Mike and Dora, JCC members
Join the JCC: ONE MONTH FREE. Call (412) 521-8011, ext. 176. Offer expires November 30, 2011. General memberships only.
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Kiya Tomlin, Honorary Chair for the Designer Days Patron Event in 2010 and again for this yearâ€™s event on October 27th.
If you’ve had an event that you would like to share, please e-mail a high-resolution – preferably candid -- photo to us at: email@example.com. Your submission grants us permission to use your photo. Photos used as space permits. MLO 1-4 Color JC June 11.pdf 5/18/2011 11:43:39 AM
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FACES PLACES EMMA KAUFMANN CAMP
The Philip Chosky Fund, providing annual support for leadership development and underwriting the Counselor in Training Program at Emma Kaufmann Camp with particular emphasis on the Israel Leadership Seminar component of the program made it possible for these local camp counselors to visit Israel in June.
WANT TO APPEAR IN “J” MAGAZINE? CENTENNIAL FUND FOR A JEWISH FUTURE
“Faces & Places,” a regular feature of “J” is comprised of photos sent to us from our readers. If your organization, temple, or your family has an event to share, please e-Mail high resolution photos with names, the event and date to: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please Note: While we try to accommodate all requests, We cannot guarantee publication or return mailed photos.)
Local Pittsburgh youth visit Israel through Birthright, made possible by The Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future (CFJF), an endowment within the Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Corporate Headquarters
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athletic & recreational facilities, higher education, corporate & commercial, healthcare, religious facilities, hospitality entertainment, retail & residential
Jacob Riberi celebrates his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Emanuel on June 18 2011.
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4621 Liberty Avenue • Pgh 15224 • (412) 683-4575 firstname.lastname@example.org ISSUE 4
PEOPLE ON THE STREET PHOTGRAPHY BY RAVIV COHEN
ost Jewish holidays revolve around food -- from latkes at Chanuka to hamantaschen at Purim. But on Yom Kippur, the emphasis is on the fast rather than the meal.
“Cream cheese, bagel and orange juice.” - SOSSIE BROWN
After we repent and atone during the 24-plus hours of fasting, we then observe the ritual commonly referred to as the “break fast.” Many Jews have developed their own customs for this repast, so we asked some people on the street: “How do you break your fast at the end of Yom Kippur?” Here is what we learned...
“Pizza.” - STEVEN LAUTMAN
“Growing up we broke the fast with matzo ball soup.” - RABBI DONNI AARON
“Homemade beef vegetable soup and bread.” - KELLY GABLELABELLE
“Lox, scrambled eggs, coffee, noodle kugel.” (married 64 years). - VERA AND MILTON WEISS
“Bagel and lox.” - BRIAN GOLDMAN “Chicken paprikash. It is grandma’s recipe. Everyone in the family learns to make it. “ -LAUREN GRINSTEIN
TIPS FOR BREAKING YOUR YOM KIPPUR FAST Believe it or not, there is a correct way to break your fast on Yom Kippur. During the 24-plus hours of fasting, your body is emptied of essential nutrients and bacteria, specifically in the stomach and intestines. Often, people will break their fast by eating as much as they can, as fast as they can. And it’s normally a carbohydrate loaded meal such as bagels and pastas, and often, these same people will end up feeling worse than they did before the shofar blew to end the fast. It is important to break your fast correctly so you can restore the right minerals and nutrients to your body and slowly start your digestive system again. Here are a few tips to successfully breaking your fast this Yom Kippur: J MAGAZINE
“Bagel and lox with butter and orange juice.” - AMY SCHWARTZ
“Soup is what I always have, but it would be sushi if someplace was open.” - MORDY BROWN (chef/owner of Mordy’s Cafe at the J)
When we asked JCC Personal Trainer Brian Goldman how he breaks his fast, he gave us more than just his personal favorites. He offered us some smart tips for breaking the fast in a healthy way. We thought we should share these tips with our readers:
“Bagels, cream cheese and lox. Lots of veggies and orange juice. The OJ is good and soothes the digestive system.” -JAKE MORITZ
“My first fast was last year...broke it with Dunkin’ Donuts.” - SHOSHANA NAIDITCH
“Taco.” - TALIA LANDERMAN
“Pizza.” - CAROLE HORNE
East slowly and don’t fill your plate with food. Eat small amounts over the course of hours. Break your fast with fruit first. Fruit provides the right nutrients your body needs to restart your digestive track. Avoid heavy carbs such as bagels and pasta. Carbs are hard for your body to digest after a fast, so eat foods that digest quickly such as fruits and proteins. Sip that first drink. Try apple juice first instead of water for the same reasons you should eat fruit first. Stop eating over an hour before you go to bed. Your digestive system is slow right now, so you don’t want undigested food in your stomach all night. Relax and joy your evening with family and friends. Start the next day with a good breakfast! By Brian Goldman—Personal Trainer, JCC; Owner, Grandview Health & Fitness (Mt. Washington); M.S. Health & Wellness; NASM—Certified Personal Trainer.
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