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December 6, 2012 • Washington Jewish Week

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Washington Jewish Week • December 6, 2012




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December 6, 2012 • Washington Jewish Week

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Planning a book club meeting ...........................................................B6 A football party with help from the cooking coach ......................B7 The next great party favor ...............................................................B10 Kids’ parties ..........................................................................................B11 From one bride to another ................................................................B12 Phoning in the party photos .............................................................B14 Pick the right music to set the tone ................................................B15 Party for a cause.................................................................................B16 Life of the party ..................................................................................B17

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Planning a book club meeting By Meredith Jacobs Managing Editor


remember my first book club. I was a young mom in my 20s when I was invited to the neighborhood book club meeting. Having been an English major in college, I enthusiatically dove into the book, highlighting key text and jotting down notes. Needless to say, my attempts at literary analysis were met with silence. It was then I realized that “book” was just the excuse for “club.” I was particularly struck by the absence of book when walking my dog with friends the other morning. ey were talking about the fun they had at book club. When I asked what book they had read, neither knew the answer. For Rachel Wolf, 24, a political communications consultant in D.C., her monthly book club meetings are a chance to get together with friends. e ten women, all busy, working women, keep their monthly meetings “low-key and low pressure.” If someone doesn’t read the book, she’s still welcome to come. And if someone can’t make it, she won’t get kicked out. e women bring wine, hors d'oeuvres and desserts. Although, Wolf said that reading e Paris Wife by Paula McLain, inspired some to get into the kitchen and attempts were made at making crepes and serving themed drinks. e group selects their next book at the end of each meeting. “It’s an organic process. We all just name books we are interested in reading.” Usually a novel, the group has also read the memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed and the historic nonfiction book, Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff. And, when the group read A Good Year by Peter Mayle,

a novel about wine tasting in France, the women decided to replace their monthly meeting with a group wine tasting in Virginia. Wine definitely plays a big role in book club. “I don’t want anyone to think we’re just drinking wine and not reading the books,” Wolf said. “I’ve read most of the books, but for the most part, it’s an opportunity to catch up with friends.” From time to time, she notes, a book will catch their attention and they will discuss it. is month, the group eliminated a book selection and is instead having a holiday book club party with a cookie and “White Elephant” (re-giing of a terrible gi) exchange. “One of our book club members is leaving this month to travel in Southeast Asia. We’ve asked her to pick the book that we’ll read next and she’ll read as she travels,” she said. It’s the club members’ way of staying connected with their friend. Wolf suggests to those interested in starting a book club that you know what sort of book club you want. If you are more about wine, a literature major may not get what she wants out of the meetings. Conversely, if you aren’t committed to reading the books each month and are in a group that will kick out members who aren’t prepared to discuss, that also will not be a good fit.

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December 6, 2012 • Washington Jewish Week

In the end, find a group of women who get along. Said Wolf, “it’s ‘book club’ in name only. It’s really about bringing people together.” Lori Steinman, a Rockville-area decorator, has been a member of two book clubs. Both clubs themed the food of the meeting with the book. For example, the host would serve Indian food when the group read Life of Pi. Some groups can even get a little competitive with hosts trying to out-do each other with their food offerings. But be warned, this can get tricky. As one book club member asked, “What do you serve when reading 50 Shades of Grey?” Here’s a suggestion for your next book club meeting. Published last month, e Lawgiver: A Novel is a modern epistolary work told through emails, Skype transcripts, journals, letters and text messages. Written by Herman Wouk, author of e Caine Mutiny and Marjorie Morningstar, it is the story of two writers attempting their own versions of the story of Moses. Margo Solovei, the brilliant, young film maker, who has rejected her rabbinical father’s strict Jewish upbringing in order to pursue a career in film, reconnects with her family and the young lawyer who is her first love while writing the screenplay. Wouk drags himself into his own book by creating a scenario whereby the wealthy

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Australian businessman who is financing the film, insists on the author’s approval of Solovei’s script. rough the book, we learn about Wouk’s wife of more than 60 years, Betty, who serves as his agent and the one to whom he turns for advice and approval. In the end, e Lawgiver is not so much about Moses as it is about Wouk’s wife— the love of his life, who passed away before the novel was published. It is a clever look at the film industry and an endearing tribute to a marriage. Suggested meal to serve when discussing e Lawgiver: Select a lovely Australian chardonnay in honor of the Australian multi-billionaire and the handsome young shepherd/actor who eventually lands the part of Moses for Solovei’s movie. Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into strips. Place in bowl and toss with olive oil and McCormick’s Montreal Chicken seasoning. Cook in a saute or grill pan until chicken is cooked through. Squeeze lemon over the chicken and serve with arugula, grape tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette. In a nod to the Exodus, create a side dish of Israeli couscous. Add fresh pomegranate seeds and orange zest. en, for dessert, a taste of Egypt. Remove the pits from fresh dates and replace with pistachio nuts. Close the dates and roll in sugar. Enjoy!

A football party with help from the cooking coach

Beef Tostadas

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon onion powder 10 small corn tortillas 1 tablespoon canola oil 3/4 cup black beans (from a 15-ounce can), rinsed and drained

2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, mashed 1/4 cup nondairy sour cream hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot or sriracha See FOOTBALL, next page

We cater it all by Meredith Jacobs Managing Editor


osher by Design series author Susie Fishbein is back with one of her best cookbooks to date. is time, she’s coaching us through the cooking process with recipes, tips and techniques in Kosher by Design: Cooking Coach. Fishbein gives us the “gear” (equipment), “playbook” (menus for the day or the week) and “game plan” for everything from how to assemble a cheese plate to how to carve a chicken. is is just the coach we’ve been looking for to yell at us from the kitchen sidelines. (Wow, I think I’ve exhausted my sports knowledge in that one sentence.) In keeping with Fishbein’s sports theme, we’re offering up a plan for your next football party with these recipes from the coach. (We’ve given you three recipes. Buy the book, so you can also make Fishbein’s Kansas City Ribs— yum!)

Beef Tostadas Meat Yields 5 tostadas You can use ground turkey in place of the beef—just add the beans earlier so they have time to cook. Corn tortillas are a must, as the flour ones won’t become crispy. If making in advance, keep all the elements separate and assemble just before serving. Ingredients: 3 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice 1 small red onion, peeled, cut into 1/4inch dice 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped 2 scallions, root ends trimmed, very finely chopped 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded, very finely chopped 1/2 lime fine sea salt 1 pound ground beef, can use ground turkey Party Planner

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Washington Jewish Week • December 6, 2012



Faux Crab Cakes

from previous page Directions: 1. Prepare the salsa: in a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, scallions, jalapeño, and juice from lime half. Season with 1⁄8 teaspoon salt. Set aside. 2. In a medium bowl combine ground beef, garlic powder, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, cumin, and onion powder. Mix well. 3. Heat an empty, large (12-14-inch) frying pan over medium heat. Add the tortillas and toast, flipping as each side becomes toasted. Remove from pan. Keep warm. 4. Add the oil to the pan and heat over medium-high. Add the ground beef mixture, using a wooden spoon to break up the chunks. Cook until the beef is browned and no longer pink. Add the black beans and cook for 5 minutes longer. Stir well. 5. Smear a little of the mashed avocado on 5 of the tostadas. Top with some of the meat mixture. Top each with second tortilla. Add a spoonful of the tomato salsa on top of each tostada. Add a small dollop of nondairy sour cream. Sprinkle each with a few shakes of hot sauce over the top.

Faux Crab Cakes Parve Yields 10-12 crab cakes or 18-24 mini crab cakes Old Bay is a spice blend that is the quintessential seafood spice, although I have used it in hamburgers, on grilled corn, and in cole slaw as well. It originated in Maryland over 70 years ago and is the spice of choice for authentic-tasting “crab” cakes. e little yellow spice box is easy to spot in any supermarket. Feel free to experiment with other spice blends. You can try blackening spice for blackened faux crab cakes, which are yummy too.

Ingredients: 1 package (300 grams) surimi imitation crab seafood flakes or sticks, defrosted 3 large eggs 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 2 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning Spice blend 3/4 cup mayonnaise, divided 1 lemon, divided 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce or other hot sauce 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

canola oil 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 1/4 teaspoon dried dill Directions: 1. Place the imitation crab into a food processor fitted with a metal “S” blade. Using a few on-off pulses, pulse until evenly chopped but not ground. If using the sticks, cut each in half before processing. You will need a few extra pulses to get these to the right consistency so that the fish is almost ground, not shredded in ap-

pearance. Transfer to medium bowl. 2. Mix in the eggs, breadcrumbs, Old Bay spice blend, 1⁄4 cup mayonnaise, juice of 1⁄2 lemon, hot sauce, and parsley. With wet hands, form into 12 small cakes. If you prefer, you can use a ring mold or 2-3-inch biscuit cutter to shape them so they are all the same size. 3. Heat a thin layer of canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the cakes, See FOOTBALL, next page

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December 6, 2012 • Washington Jewish Week

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Green-Bean and Asparagus Fries with Dipping Sauce

FOOTBALL from previous page a few at a time; do not crowd the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove to a plate or platter. Repeat with remaining cakes. 4. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise, cayenne, dill, and juice from remaining lemon half. Serve with the “crab” cakes.

Green-Bean and Asparagus Fries with Dipping Sauce Parve Yields 8-10 servings Speed green-bean-eating contests, created by my ingenious sister-in-law Sarah, were a clever way to get my kids and their cousins to competitively eat their veggies while at the same time satisfying their mothers' desire for veggie consumption. ere will be no need for contests with these fun “fries.” Just make sure to have plenty of the dipping sauce on hand. Ingredients: 4 large eggs, whisked well 1 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs 1 pound green beans, stem ends sliced off 1 bunch (20-28 spears) medium-thick

asparagus, bottom 2 inches cut off nonstick cooking spray 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon yellow mustard 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill or Israeli pickles 2 teaspoons pickle juice from jar or can of pickles Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 2. Set up a 2-part breading station. Place the whisked eggs in one part and the panko in the second part. 3. Working with a small handful of green beans at a time, dip into the eggs and then into the panko, patting to adhere the panko to the vegetables. Place in a single layer, with space between the coated “fries,” on 1-2 jellyroll pans. Repeat with remaining green beans and the asparagus. Using a sweeping motion, spray nonstick cooking spray over the green beans and asparagus. Bake, uncovered, for 12 minutes, until crisp and light golden brown. 4. In the meantime, prepare the dipping sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, mustard, chopped pickle, and pickle juice. 5. Serve the “fries” with the dipping sauce.

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Washington Jewish Week • December 6, 2012


e next great party favor By Emily Jacobs Staff Writer


arty planners today will tell you that all great parties should be focused around a logo or theme. Ranging from a simple monogram or color scheme to a full out theme party (think wild west or country chic), having a central idea or brand will help tie all the aspects of your party together. Enter Seth Koretzky, a 25-year-old entrepreneur who can literally put your brand in your guests’ hands with his personalized water bottles at H2O Custom, the company he founded this past April. We caught up with Koretzky, a 2010 graduate of Towson University, to learn more about H2O Custom and how his company is making a splash on the party favor scene. Why and how did you come up with the idea behind H2O Custom? I’ve always been entrepreneurial and have run a couple businesses in the past and a buddy of mine and I came up with the idea for custom water bottles. e plan was put on hold when I began traveling in Asia earlier this year, but while I was over there and checking in and out of hotels, I saw custom water bottles in every room, and the idea started to seem really good again. I got back to the States and decided I didn’t want to work for a corporation but wanted to start my own company. I started the company in April and already have more than 40 clients in the D.C., Md., and Va. area.

Personalized water bottle labels created by Seth Koretzky at H2O Custom are the perfect party favor for your next event.

What do you attribute the success of your company to? Water is a very friendly thing to market because people drink water every single day. It’s a product that people have to have

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Why are personalized water bottles such a great party favor? Whether it’s a bar mitzvah or wedding, having a personalized water bottle really strengthens the brand of the event because the more things you can brand at an event the more people feel connected and a part of the party. It’s the perfect addition, and a great way for guests to bring something home with them. What are your goals for H2O Custom? My goals are to get a lot bigger and have clients nationwide. I’d also eventually like to expand to other custom products that go hand in hand with water bottles such as coasters, cups, plates and napkins. What is the best business advice you’ve ever received? e best business advice I’ve ever received is to not remain stationary and to keep moving forward with the company and not be afraid to take risks. To learn more about H2O Custom, visit, or send Seth an email at

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Kids’ parties by William Treger Staff Writer


rom cake-baking to goodie bag-making, arts and cras to Ninjago, organizing your child’s birthday celebration can make your head spin. Here are some tips to turn party planning into kids’ play.

In-Home Parties When it comes to party-time for Allyson Glassband’s kids, the sky is the limit. Glassband steers away from prepackaged parties, and opts for in-home celebrations where she can make her kids feel extra special. Glassband starts with what the kids are into to decide on a theme. is year she threw a Ninjago party for her son Spencer, who loves both the cable cartoon and karate. ey played “Pin the Weapon on the Ninja,” a “rowing Stars” game, and hired Brian Kushner, a local martial arts expert, to dress up as Ninjago’s Sensei Wu and teach the kids martial arts. Glassband has had Cinderella over her house for her daughter Carly’s party, and an Elmo party, in which she decorated her house in red, “with a little bit of orange, for Elmo’s nose,” she said. “My greatest source of inspiration” for party planning is the Internet. “Whether it’s Toy Story or omas [the train], just click ‘omas party ideas’ and there’s a world of resources.” “I like stuff to be decked out to the nines,” Glassband said. “I really get into it. I take a lot of pride in it. I love it.” And the sky is also the limit when it comes to guests. “I’m not really good at limiting the guest list. I like all my kids’ friends to come, and all my friends’ kids to come. I like to plan a party with as many people as possible.” An intervention teacher for Howard County Public Schools, Glassband toys with the idea of becoming a party planner. “I love thinking of ideas. If my friend is having a Wizard of Oz party, I want to help.” Glassband’s aunt is also a “cake-maker supreme,” who can turn any party theme into a three dimensional confection. But, Glassband contends, “I’m not a cake snob, I’m a theme snob.” Likewise, for goody-bags, she always tries to “find something that won’t get lost on the car ride home—card games, a big themed-plastic cup or a cool pencil sharpener for later use.”

Out-of-home parties Glassband’s time-intensive and detailed approach to party-planning is great, but many parents, crunched for time, go a dif-

Spencer Glassband stands tall before his Ninjago birthday cake.

ferent route and pay to host their kids’ parties at an outside venue where they can bring in food or order cakes, snacks, and pizzas through pre-arranged menus. According to Beth Dorman of Potomac, “First I’ll ask my son what he is into or what he wants to do, and then we’ll try and book it. If he says ‘let’s have a soccer party,’ then we’ll try to explore that option and find a good place for him and his friends to do a clinic or kick the ball around. If he wants to bounce, we’ll try and set a date for that.” “I want my sons to feel like they’re at the top of the world on their birthdays, but I don’t have enough time to plan large inhome gatherings. e pre-arranged birthday venues make our lives simpler. And the kids have a great time!” Bowling parties, bounce parties, soccer parties, nature parties—there are venues to fit every interest. At Mark Sickel’s Fitness for Health, kids play oversized video games that actually get them moving “within” the technology. It’s called exergaming—exercising while you’re playing games, and it represents the latest in planned party options. According to Sickel, a large party can break into groups of children and go through different stations controlled and managed by his staff.

Experiential, family-oriented Parties Like Glassband, Jodi Grossblatt Saunders of Columbia, enjoys planning in-home parties, and tries hard to time her parties so that as many family members as possible can be included, including out-of-towners.

Which means the parties for Saunders’ three daughters might not hit the same date as their actual birthdays. Sophie, 6, who has a birthday in March, has already drawn up her invite list. Saunders likes the sense of excitement the kids experience throughout the year as their birthdays approach, and knows how to play into the anticipation. She learned how to create home-spun parties from her mother-in-law, who counseled her to never mind the mess. On the night before the party, Saunders and her mother-in-law will make the cake— whether it be Elmo or Curious George. It always looks a little lopsided but the girls are always thrilled when they see their cakes. Saunders gets her kids involved in the party planning by having them create their own goody-bags—decorating them, writing their guests names on them, stuffing them. For the Curious George party, they put a banana in a bag. “ese are the things that money can’t buy,” says Saunders. “e emphasis is on creativity and friendship, and … it’s cheap.” To plan a party, Saunders begins with an Internet search for sites with party ideas. She and the kids select games based on their interests. Art and drama parties are very popular right now. A favorite game for drama parties begins with kids sitting in small groups. Each group is given a paper bag containing five small items. e object of the game is to make a play that utilizes all of the items. en the groups will perform.

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For paper plates and party-ware, Saunders is a big fan of the Dollar Store. And she never serves pizza. Instead, it’s kugel, pizza bagels, tuna, egg salad, PB&J, chips, pretzels, and carrots.

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Washington Jewish Week • December 6, 2012


From one bride to another

Photos by Justin Tsucalas By Emily Jacobs Staff Writer


t’s hard to believe that I became engaged and planned our engagement party a little over a year ago.

With five months to go until my fiance, Garen, and I tie the knot, I decided to look back at the party-planning process for the engagement party, to give recently engaged couples some real life advice.

Setting the engagement party date Your engagement party should take place within 1-2 months from when your fiance popped the question. If you’re planning on having a longer engagement, it’s okay to wait several months to have the party, just be sure that the party takes place closer to when you became engaged than your actual wedding date. If you’re anything like me, I wanted to celebrate with my friends and family as soon as possible, and, despite having a 16-month-engagement, scheduled our party for three weeks after I said ‘yes’.

We have the date, now who do we invite? The guest list for the engagement party can be dependent on a few factors. First, if you’re planning on bringing in a caterer for the party, then your list may be a little tighter if you’re keeping the budget and the price of per person, per plate in mind. However, if you want to throw a more casual affair, feel free to invite as many people as you want, keeping in mind that those invited to the engagement party may be expecting an invite to the wedding, as well. Another important factor to consider is the location of the party and if your venue can fit your entire high school basketball team or your freshman year floor mates. Discretion may be necessary. We had a more casual affair at the clubhouse in my parents’ neighborhood, so,


December 6, 2012 • Washington Jewish Week

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yes, I did invite my entire synchronized skating team from college and allowed my fiance to invite his elementary school friends, the more the merrier!

The guest list is complete, how do we invite guests? e invites can be as simple or formal as your budget allows. If you’re throwing a sit-down dinner, then a paper invitation may be more appropriate. On the flip side, if you’re planning a party that’s more casual, word of mouth or electronic invitations work great. No matter what form of invite you decide to use, be sure to send them out as soon as the date has been decided to give guests as much time as possible to put the date on their calendars, especially if you’re inviting a large number of out-of-towners. My parents used word of mouth to tell their friends about the party, and we used an electronic invitation to tell our friends.

Menu ideas and cocktails Decide on the theme of your party and then create the menu based on that. If you’re going for a formal celebration, then hors d’oeuvres or canapes would be appropriate. Family style buffets of finger foods (that are easy to eat standing up) are great for laid back parties. You may also want to consider doing a dessert reception if you want to have a late-evening party. We chose to do a

See bride, next page


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Cake pops, like the ones shown here made by my sister, are the perfect dessert bite, and look great, too!

BRIDE from previous page dairy dessert party with a full range of desserts including muffins and delicious cake pops. Thankfully, my mom, sister, and grandma are amazing bakers and literally made every single dessert (a huge deal considering there were more than 30 options). Another option may be to include a themed menu that relates to you and your fiance. For instance, if you had your first date at a movie theater, then gourmet style popcorn in a variety of flavors (think rosemary, garlic or even chocolate and peanut butter) would give your menu a fun and personalized twist.

How do we decorate the venue? The decorations are really up to you and how much you are looking to spend. While hiring a florist and decorator is an option, for those on a budget consider using colored tablecloths, confetti and candles. Another great way to add light and warmth to the party (if it’s an evening affair) is to string lights across the room and use them as the

main source of light for a cozier atmosphere. Placing framed pictures of you and your fiance around the room is also a great addition.

Engagement party entertainment Depending on the size of the venue, a DJ or band may be appropriate to keep the party going. If the room is small, you can just hook up your iPod and play your favorite tunes as background noise for the party. Once you feel that the majority of guests have arrived, turn down the tunes and invite your parents and your fiance’s parents to make speeches, followed by those most important to you. At our engagement party, my father spoke, followed by my parents’ rabbi, and the rabbi who will be marrying us come April. Be sure to have some tissues handy as these speeches can get emotional and may cause some happy tears.

Be sure to say thank you! Many of your party guests will bring you engagement gifts, even before you have officially registered. Be sure to send out thank-you notes as soon as possible after the party. Party Planner

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Phoning in the party photos By Meredith Jacobs Managing Editor


hese days you don’t need to wait for more than a minute to share your party pictures. Now, all you need is an iPhone and an app.

Pro Picks Begin by downloading Instagram to your phone. Now, when you take a photo with your phone, you can open it in Instagram and use various filters to add shadow and contrast to the photos, giving them different looks. The photos on this page, taken by professional photographer, Kendal Stopak, illustrate the different effects. The “earlybird” filter adds brown tones, giving the image a vintage look. “Amaro” washes the photo out and removes harsh shadows. “Lo-fi” is more saturated. It makes the colors “pop” and adds more contrast. And “inkwell” converts the photo to black and white. “Everyone looks better with a filter. Your teeth look whiter,” she said. Stopak

likes using the Instagram filters for details, your friend’s really cute pair of shoes or the amazing piece of chocolate cake. “Instagram makes everything look a little more professional because of the filters.” She cautioned that Instagram creates square photos, so it you take a long, horizontal photo of a group of friends, some may be cut off. Those with an iPhone 4s or 5 can take panoramic shots. “I’d use this to take a room shot if there was a lot of fun decor at the party,” she suggested. Those without an iPhone or Instagram can upload photos to sites like and get similar effects. There’s even a “cartoonize” option. Just click a button to turn your photo into a caricature.

Upload and share Once you’ve applied the filter, upload the photo to Instagram (the app has a social network allowing friends to “follow” your stream of photos), Facebook or Twitter. By tagging your friends (listing their Facebook, Twitter or Insta-

Using Instagram to apply filters can turn images taken with your phone into professional looking photos. Clockwise from top le: inkwell, lo-fi, earlybird, and amaro filters. Photos by Kendal Stopak

gram names), you can alert them to new photos. Friends can even pull the photo to share on their pages. Using “hashtags” categorizes the image, allowing others to search for photos by theme.

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Photography tips — The best photos are taken in open shade. Open shade is outdoor/available light (without a flash) in the shade. For example: under a tree, on the shady side of a house, or just a cloudy/overcast day. — When taking a photo, you want to make sure your background isn't brighter than your subject. This will make your subject into a silhouette. (Unless thats what you're looking to do which can cause a fun effect).

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December 6, 2012 • Washington Jewish Week

rible. Crop the image, so you just have a photo of you (looking gorgeous). ink before you write your hashtag or caption. What you think is funny may not be. A photo of you and a group of friends with #mybffs could hurt the feelings of the one friend not included in the picture. And don’t post any photos or use any hashtags or captions that have to do with your workplace. Be professional. You don’t want to inadvertently reflect poorly on yourself or your company. Kendal Stopak, is a professional photographer in Bethesda. Check out her work at Mitzvahs. To contact her, email

Party Planner

Pick the right music to set the tone by David Holzel Senior Writer


ou can’t have a party without music. It sets the tone, energizes the room and can even serve as an ice breaker. Naturally, each age group – teens, twentysomethings and over 30s – go for sounds that reflect their world and mindset. Some even turn out to be the same songs. For young teens, the number one party song today is “Gangnam Style,” says DJ Doug Sandler. e runaway international hit by South Korean pop artist Psy has a line dance that’s a must at the bar and bat mitzvah parties Sandler works. Another song, “I Got a Feeling,” by Black Eyed Peas, “has become a party standard by the new terms of party standard,” he says. at standard is set by Top 40 stations such as Hot 99.5 (WIHT-FM). Hot artists include LMFAO, Ke$ha, Justin Bieber and a new boy band, One Direction. “Whatever is the latest song for these artists is hot,” Sandler says. Teens get a heads up on what their peers are listening to from YouTube videos, says DJ Jared Rosen. Bieber, Psy, Rihanna, Flo Rida, Chris Brown, Katy Perry – they’re all on high rotation. “e key here is to have a beat and to have a hook. And it has to have something crazy.” “Gangnam Style” is the current Exhibit A. While teens follow the herd musically, people in their 20s want music “with a social message and are off the beaten path,” Sandler says. He names Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, Indigo Girls, Amy Winehouse and Adele as popular artists whose work oen emphasizes message over musicality. “It’s ‘never mind that it’s not melodic. is is what I feel and I’m an artist,’ ” he

says. Rosen says that at weddings, people in their 20s go for three types of music: Top 40 hits, “old school stuff ” -- which means music from the ‘90s -- and ‘80s rock. Old school is Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back,” Backstreet Boys and Beastie Boys – “back to the time when they were younger.” Rosen calls the ‘80s music of artists like Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Madonna and Michael Jackson, “frat house songs” – “songs that came on at the end of the night at a party.” Aer that, there’s an even larger song list to draw from to get that nostalgic feeling. Sandler’s party song picks for those 40 and up: Queen, Aerosmith, Foreigner, Rolling Stones, Doobie Brothers, AC/DC, Hall and Oates. “And the Beatles have stood the test of time,” Rosen says. Hit music shows like “American Idol” and “e Voice” have mixed the musical knowledge of the generations, bringing classic rockers Steven Tyler and Aerosmith to teens and pop singer Christina Aguilera to the attention of boomers. “Music in the last 4-5 years is really bringing people together,” Rosen says. What’s likely to stop a party dead? Rosen says despite the perennial popularity of styles like funk and Motown, “nobody’s requesting disco.” Disco had its detractors even in its heyday. Other songs burn so brightly that aer the first few hundred listens, no one can stand them anymore. Such is the sad case of Carly Rae Jepsen’s quirky mega hit of last summer, “Call Me Maybe.” “It’s been overplayed,” Rosen says. “It’s even showing up on some do-not-play lists.” With that warning, go ahead and get ready to party. Music may be the universal

language, but it definitely has more than one dialect. Twitter: @davidholzel

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Washington Jewish Week • December 6, 2012


Party for a cause by William Treger Staff Writer


oes your mitzvah have a mitzvah? Does your party have a cause? Ariana Heideman, founder of Starburst Communications, is no stranger to planning parties with a cause. In May 2012 she helped plan an Israeli Wine Tasting for The Lone Soldier Project of The Israel Forever Foundation, in cooperation with the Embassy of Israel. The organization brought in a former Lone Soldier to speak about his time serving in the IDF, and the meaningful contribution of the Lone Soldier Center which provided a home to sleep for Shabbat, a meal for days off the base and a sense of family and belonging. According to Heideman, “Causebased events have a life of their own as there is already an invested theme. The key is to ascertain how to best frame the cause in order to draw attention and leave a positive lasting impression.” “All elements from the location, guest list, refreshments, and entertainment must be meticulously determined before any promotion is underway or event announcements issued.” “Further, what interests one age group may be of no interest to another, so it is vital to know your target audience, as well as the focused goals and mission of the event. A simple event for Lone Soldiers will always bring in numbers, but a special twist such as a Wine Tasting tribute featuring only Israeli wines from cities where soldiers serve, personalizes the experience for both the soldiers and the attendees.” Heideman says many groups have their own in-house event planners for their cause-oriented functions. Her specialty at Starburst is to provide services to organizations without an internal event team who might be looking to plan a charity, cause or corporate event. With a background in communications and passion for doing good, Heideman believes the combination creates a great niche. “All organizations,” she says “like any business, require financial stability to survive.” “In the last year I have planned several philanthropy-based events including happy hours that mesh cause with fun with networking; but for it to be


December 6, 2012 • Washington Jewish Week

successful, the bills have to be paid and therefore it is often necessary to charge an entry fee in order to raise the funds required to support the organization and its work.” Heideman says anyone can host a party and raise awareness. But, she says, “In order to raise funds at the same time, in support of quality programming, it is Young Jewish professionals party for a cause at this year’s Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Impact DC gala at the Howard eatre in the District. sometimes necesb’nai mitzvah set and their parents, self and what we are as a community. sary to enforce a call to action rather Toronto-based is helping Because of this, it is very easy to discuss than to sit back and hope attendees will parents create cause-related birthday finding a cause related to your party.” be in the mood to contribute without parties for their young children. “Parents tend to love when I bring up being solicited. And, when people pay According to EchoAge co-founder the subject of partying with a cause. It's even a small amount they feel vested Debbie Zinman, parents and their child all about finding something that you and invested; it raises their own awarefirst select an invite. Then, the child secare enough about and want to put your ness and commitment; if they receive lects a charity for their friends to donate efforts towards. For example, creating a value, they will come back and they will to and a gift, for themselves. Parents donation concept as one aspect of a consider giving their time and some make donations to the cause on behalf party. This involves being creative and available funding in the future.” of the invited children. Half of the dothinking out of the box.” Just recently, Heideman co-chaired nations are given to the selected charity. Weiss sees parties with a cause as a and assisted in the planning of the JewThe remainder goes to the birthday boy niche area in planning that is bound to ish Federation of Greater Washington’s or girl to buy a gift of their choosing. expand. “This might go beyond the HeImpact DC gala at the Howard Theatre The premise is simple—any child who brew school mitzvah project,” Weiss and according to Heideman, it was an uses his birthday to help fight a disease said. “It would be wonderful if temples “epic event.” or help animals or help the homeless— made it a requirement; it is actually “Our goal was to attract young profesis a child one step closer to knowing and what becoming a b'nai mitzvah is really sionals to get involved in the work of understanding the world around him about.” Federation as part of their commitment and getting his heart and mind prepared With Heideman focusing on young to the community and to supporting orfor mitzvah study. professionals and Weiss covering the ganizations and causes. The funds that were raised from last year’s Impact DC Want Something DIFFERENT For Your Party? WE GOT IT! event were able to help bring Israelis to Walk-around D.C. for a Reverse Mifgash program and characters/actors Snowglobes Fun Foto Frames & Novelties Flip Books then this year to support JFGW's huge *Bling Station* donation to support Israel during the RHINESTONE, recent Gaza events.” Heideman takes AIRBRUSH, & HENNA TATTOOS Photo Sticker Telescope Keychains pride in the fact that contribution and Booths time were used in such impactful ways. Keychains & Magnets Cara Weiss of Save the Date is a wellNEW Air Brushed known event planner and B’nai Mitzvah Patch FOTO MORPH Fantasy Faces Hats planner. She likes to emphasize the BOOTH!! word, “mitzvah,” and discuss “parties Carbone Entertainment with a cause.” 301.572.7717 1.888.590.0039 • According to Weiss, “The idea behind Check out our website for other exciting entertainment! any Bar/Bat Mitzvah is to discover yourParty Planner


Life of the party by Phil Jacobs Executive Editor

1-year-old baby Why are my parents wearing those strange pointy hats? Better still, why am I wearing a strange pointy hat? Okay Dad, enough with the VHS video camera. is red rose thing on the cake tastes pretty great. Why don’t I smear it all over my face? Grandma, stop kissing me every two seconds, or I’ll cry again. (Don’t make me go there.)

Kindergarten birthday Did I have to invite the entire class? I just want to throw my face into that ice cream cake. Me, me, me, me. If I don’t get the biggest piece, I’m going to spill my apple juice on purpose. Come on, Mommy! You know ripping wrapping paper is pretty cool. Wait, isn’t that gi the same one I gave to that kid? Daddy, enough with the mini-video camera. is isn’t a press conference. Wow, we’re giving out kickin’ goodie bags. I’m not sure I want to give them out. I am a big boy now, I deserve to keep them. Grandma, eeewwwww, stop kissing me!

Early 20s

Our grandson and his parents

First party at my apartment. Invite 10 people on Facebook. Sixty show up. Run out of drinks and food. Wake up the next early aernoon. Find roommate asleep in the hallway outside of our front door. Piece of pizza in the bathroom sink. Yuck! Turn on phone. Twenty five texts from Mom. First wishing me “Happy New Year!” Later, “Why aren’t you answering?” Finally, “Are you avoiding us young man?”

Sure, sure you guys go out and enjoy the evening. Wish your friends Happy New Year. We watch Dinosaur Train and the Muppets. We toast the New Year with the finest brand of apple juice box. We put our grandson in his crib. We tell him we love him and Happy New Year. It’s about 7:30. He looks at me with his eyes that say, “Poppy, enough with the kissing.” My eyes say back to him, “Kid, it’s never enough.” I hug my wife and partner of 36 years. We watch a movie on TV. We get a phone call from our two children. e older daughter calls and asks, “Did he go to sleep okay?” She texts us about 10 times during the course of the evening. We text back, “Everything is great, we’re having the best New Year’s we’ve ever had.” e younger daughter calls, “Why didn’t you answer my text? I was worrying about you guys.” e party’s not over. It’s just better.

Married with first child on New Year’s Haven’t slept through the night in six months. Go to Redbox and rent two movies for babysitter. Grab pizza and snacks for her. Give her my cell number, my wife’s cell number, my parents’ cell number, every cell number I’ve ever called. Go to dinner with friends, end up at their house to watch Dick Clark and the ball drop in Times Square. I’ve called the babysitter. My wife has called the babysitter. Bubbe has called the babysitter. Get home aer midnight, drive babysitter home, come home, collapse in bed, 45 minutes into sleep, baby starts to cry. Happy New Year.

Bar mitzvah party Mom, Dad, please don’t embarrass me. Why are my friends texting during my speech? I didn’t want the red silk yarmulkes, it makes me look like a dork. Uh, oh, she’s staring at me. I wish I could get the DJ to stop playing Coke and Pepsi and let me dance alone with her…instead of my bubbe. Bubbe stop kissing me!

Teen New Year’s eve party Dad, can I have the keys? We’re all going over to my friend’s house. Yes, his parents will be there. Yes, I’ll text you when I get there. Yes, I’ll come straight home aer midnight. I’m too afraid to call her to ask her to be my girlfriend. But she did stare at me at the bar mitzvah party.

My teenager Goes out with boy who drives a van. Oy. We start texting at 10. She answers at a rate of one text to every 97 we send her. We go to dinner and movies and get home to watch ball drop. 12:01, no call from daughter. 12:02 still no call. Wait up for her. She’s home before negotiated curfew, which was a harder to achieve agreement than a United Nations’ resolution.



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College student birthday party Why are there so many red plastic cups and ping pong balls? Do your friends play table tennis? at’s a great party activity. Beer pong? How could you possibly hit a beer over a net? By the way, where is the ping pong table?

Parent of a teen-age daughter on New Year’s eve

Married daughter

You’re not leaving this house wearing that young lady. “Mom, everyone else is wearing this, why can’t I?” “Dad, can I wear this dress to the party?” Dad: “Sure sweetie.” Mom to Dad: “Did you just give her permission to wear that dress to the party?” Dad: “Um, I don’t know.”

Oh, you have plans with your husband and friends? Don’t worry about us, mom and I also have plans for New Year’s eve. Off to Redbox. Stop and buy a bottle of cheap champagne. Pop some popcorn. Watch movie. Now what do we do, it’s 8:30? Party Planner

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PARTY PLANNER LISTINGS BANQUET FACILITIES/ VENUES/RESTAURANTS CLYDE’S OF GALLERY PLACE 707 7th St.,NW Washington,DC 20001 202-349-3700 The Piedmont Room accommodates up to 200 for cocktail receptions, and up to 140 for seated events. This room has a private balcony and a private bar. Call Tim Gabel at 202349-3700 or

CLYDE'S OF TYSONS CORNER 8332 Leesburg Pike Vienna,VA 22182 703-734-1907 Four private rooms that open into one large ballroom to accommodate up to 175 seated guests. Decorated in Art Deco pastels, Clyde's Overlook Room is the perfect setting for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, as well as other joyous occasions. Allow us to assist you in all aspects of your reception. Please call Kristin Larson at (703) 734-1907.

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December 6, 2012 • Washington Jewish Week Enjoy our delicious kabobs that are prepared daily and cooked right before your eyes on our open-fire grill. We offer delicious daily specials. Let us cater your next event!

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NOSTOS 8100 Boone Blvd. Vienna, VA 22182 703-760-0690 Nostos, from the owners of the twenty year successful Mykonos Grill, is now open in the Tysons Corner area, specializing in traditional Greek cuisine with an emphasis on fresh fish and mezedes (small dishes).

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wiNDOwS CATERiNG 5724 General Washington Drive Alexandria, VA 22312 703.519.3500 Windows Catering Company is one of DC’s premier off-premise caters. Windows’ culinary creations are abound with inventive interpretations and modern designs based on the finest traditions of American, regional, and international cuisine. We offer Kosher and KosherStyle cuisine while combining our exquisite food, presentation, and service for your memorable event.

YARDEN CATERiNG 2850 Quebec Street NW Washington, DC 20008 202-670-4308 Karla Rosenfeld Azachi, CMP We at Yarden Fine Catering believe every event is a momentous one. Your event should not only be flawlessly planned and seamlessly accomplished, but also memorably delicious. Yarden has the experience to bring together an event from the overall theme to the finest details. We are creative, forward thinking and detail oriented with a single focus to deliver unique experiences tailored to your event and your guests.

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salon Fusion 1401 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852 240-430-0415 At Salon Fusion, we are delighted to have the opportunity to lift your spirits while attending to your personal care needs. We pride ourselves in taking the time to listen to our clients while taking into account personality, life style and maintenance. Our goal is to create a salon where not only do you leave looking and feeling great, but where great things happen because of it! Through integrity, commitment to education, and dedication to our team, we at Salon Fusion are determined to give you the service you deserve and look forward to meeting you! Come visit us before your next simcha!

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israeli accents 4838 Boiling Brook Pkwy Rockville, MD 20852 301-231-7999 Importer of Israeli giftware and Judaica.All items discounted 20 percent daily, including invitations and personalized yarmulkes for weddings and bar mitzvahs.The area’s most outstanding selection of Judaica, jewelry and gifts.

silver spring Jewelry 9421 Georgia Ave and 11205 New Hampshire Ave 240-432-4946 Are you in the market for Jewelry? Choose Silver Spring Jewelry, the only complete jewelry manufacturer in the DC area. Silver Spring Jewelry has been family owned and operated since 1971. Silver Spring Jewelry is direct importer of EGI and GIA certified diamonds. Save $$$ buying diamonds direct! Silver Spring Jewelry will trade your unwanted gold jewelry for a new piece of jewelry or we can buy your gold for cash. Jewelry repairs and replacements of watch batteries can be done while you wait. Design Your Own Jewelry- let us help you design the perfect pair of earrings, pendant, or ring using our exceptional certified diamonds. Authorized Watch Dealer for Movado, Accutron, Wittnauer, Bulova, Seiko, Citizen, Caravelle, Pulsar, Kenneth Cole. Now open in downtown Silver Spring as well as White Oak. Stop in today!

HOTELS the FairFax at embassy row 2100 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington DC, 20008 202-293-2100 Cecilia Mojica The elegant Fairfax at Embassy Row is a beautiful hotel which is nestled among the stately mansions of Massachusetts Avenue. Located in Dupont Circle, one of Washington, D.C.’s most vibrant neighborhoods, the luxury hotel, which offers both ceremony and reception spaces, embodies the grace and elegance of a bygone era.

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3315 Carolina Pl. Alexandria VA 703-548-5427 Lynne Sandler Unique invitations: elegant papers, thermography, engraving letterpress printing. Hebrew too. Beautiful addressing envelopes and place cards, picture frames, kippot, benchers, ketubot. Customized ceremony programs. Beautiful framed seating chart and gold or silver table number stands to rent. Colorful personalized 3-D sign-in books. One-on-one customer interface.

Publisher & Chief Operating Officer Craig Burke Executive Editor Phil Jacobs



Managing Editor Meredith Jacobs

leila Jewels ® Cabin John Shopping Center 7737 Tuckerman Lane, Potomac, MD 301-299-5675 Leila is more than just fabulous jewelry. We can help you choose the perfect gift for any occasion: Housewarmings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Weddings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Graduations, and Holidays.


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simchatography by ben droZ 412-805-0087 Make Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah a Special Simcha with Simchatography™ by Ben Droz, one of the area's most noted event photographers (Washington Life, Washingtonian and private events), and offering Special Simcha rates, free photo albums, candids, portraits and more. Call 412-805-0087 today to see how Simchatography can Make Your Simcha Special.

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Copy Chief Aaron Leibel Staff Writers Emily Jacobs Suzanne Pollak William Treger

Director of Finance Lequita Preston

202-249-3311 Conventions and meetings. Sports and entertainment. Special Events. If it's an event you don't want to forget, remember Events DC. It's got to be perfect. It's got to be memorable. If you want it to exceed your expectations, make Events DC your planning partner. We've got the venues to guarantee that your next events will be unforgettable. To book an event or for more information, contact us today.

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Senior Writer David Holzel


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245 Muddy Branch Rd., Gaithersburg Festival Shopping Center


301-620-7480 200 South Market St. Frederick

Take Diamondback Dr. to Muddy Branch Rd. Make Right turn into Shopping Center. Just 5 minutes away!


December 6, 2012 • Washington Jewish Week

Party Planner

Adventure Theater..............................B23 Carbone Entertainment .......................B16 Catering by Alan Weiss .......................B21 City of Fairfax ....................................B23 Clyde’s Restaurant Group ....................B22 Designs by Nicole...............................B15 Earth Treks Climbing Center ................B20 Events DC ...........................................B2 Fairfax Embassy Row .........................B22 Fitness for Health.................................B4 Fotographix Productions.......................B3 Hilton Gaithersburg ..............................B4 Hoffman & Co. Caterers ........................B7 Il Porto Restaurant .............................B20 Israeli Accents ...................................B14 Kabob Bazaar ....................................B15 Leila Fine Gifts ...................................B12 Lettering by Lynne..............................B10 Marriott International .........................B24 Mr. Omelette Caterers .........................B17 Mykonos ...........................................B17 Normandie Farm ................................B11 Nostos ..............................................B17 Potomac 18 Caterers ............................B3 Salon Fusion......................................B10 Save the Date ....................................B13 Silver Spring Jewelry ...........................B6 Simchatography by Ben Droz ................B9 Sweet Frog White Oak...........................B8 The Continental Event Center ................B5 Windows Catering................................B8 Yarden Catering ...................................B2

Creating Magical Events For Your Once In A Lifetime Celebration! 443.394.8338 | 443.394.6646 | 800.459.0009 Party Planner

Washington Jewish Week • December 6, 2012


The Fairfax At Embassy Row

Events that dazzle. But no one shines brighter than you.

When you plan an event at The Fairfax at Embassy Row, a Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel, you and your guests become the center of our world. From Bar/Bat Mitzvahs to weddings, our professional staff handles your every whim. Make your day an affair to remember – and one your guests will never forget. Call our sales team today at 202.293.2100 to learn about our 2012/2013 Special Event Packages.


December 6, 2012 • Washington Jewish Week

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Book a Party at Adventure Theatre MTC! CHOOSE FROM OUR PARTY OPTIONS: Professional Performance Parties, Dance Workshops, Pretty Princess Workshops & Light Saber Workshops

Musical Theater Center

for more information, visit or call 301-634-2270.

Want to host a holiday party… don’t have the space and time to accommodate one? Call us today at 703-385-1703 and enjoy your festivities in the City of Fairfax’s beautiful historic Old Town Hall in Old Town Fairfax, this graceful venue will provide a warm, yet elegant setting for your party. Mention where you saw this ad, and receive $100 off your rental and use of the Catering Corner FREE—a combined value of $150 for bookings in December, 2012 or January, 2013.


Party Planner

Washington Jewish Week • December 6, 2012



December 6, 2012 • Washington Jewish Week

Party Planner

Party Planner  

Your guide to plan the perfect event.

Party Planner  

Your guide to plan the perfect event.