Kosher NEW ENGLAND
Providing Senior Care for Nearly 50 Years Throughout Connecticut Call 1-833-JSS-LINK (577-5465) to speak with a Care Advisor about these services and others…
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Glatt Kosher Catering by www.jseniors.org • 203-396-1023
FULL SERVICE CATERING WITH QUALITY INGREDIENTS Event Catering of Any Size • Simple to Exquisite Special Event Brunch, Lunch or Dinner • Holiday Dinners Kosher Bakery with Professional Experienced Bakers and Decorators Catering Provided Both On and Off Premises Delivery Available • All Personnel ServSafe Certified
Contact us for your next special occasion at: 203-396-1023 • email@example.com The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Campus, 4200 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604 KosherofNew England 2021 | Kosher certification through New England Kosher, Rabbi Mayer Abramowitz with approval of Vaad HaKashrus Connecticut
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Try us with a short-term respite stay Call Christina Tuohey 413-567-3949, ext. 3609 or ctuohey@JGSLifecare.org
1. Ruth’s House Assisted Living 2. Sosin Center for Rehabilitation 3. Leavitt Family Jewish Home 4. Wernick Adult Day Health Care 5. Spectrum Home Health & Hospice Care 6. Genesis House for Independent Living
770-780 Converse St, Longmeadow, MA 01106 www.JGSLifecare.org 4 | Kosher New England 2021
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GROCERY & BAKERY MEDITERRANEAN SPECIALTIES MARKET
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For more information or a personal guided tour, please contact us. 463 Summer Hill Rd. Madison, CT PART OF THE 2018-19 BEMA CONCERT SERIES www.laurelwood.org 2626203.421.3736 ALBANY AVENUE • WEST HARTFORD • 860.233.9696 6 | Kosher New England 2021
Kosher New England 2021
On the Menu
Thanks for Dinner
Two new kosher eateries swing open their
10 healthy snacks to power you
Wondering what to bring your
doors in Connecticut.
through the day.
Shabbat dinner host? Wonder no more.
The Road to Kosher Tips on how to turn your un-kosher kitchen
Kids in the Kitchen Kosher cookbooks for kids carry lessons
into a kosher haven.
about Jewish traditions and holidays.
L’Chaim! Tubi 60 is heavy on the happy and light on the hangover. Drink up!
Page 26 Kosher New England 2021 | 7
On the Menu: Fin and Scales (aka kosher sushi) By Courtney Luciana
ou’re going to fall in love,” Chef Nixon Sambuaga promised, “after you try this.” It was hours before the December 2020 grand opening of a new kosher sushi restaurant at 920 Whalley Ave in New Haven. called Fin And Scale. Sambuaga was in the kitchen, centering a bamboo leaf on a plate. He sprinkled slices of onion on top. Then he began to slice the blackened tuna tenderloin into quarter-inch wedges and layered the fish on the whole slice of vegetables. Then came a coat of masago and scallions to add an extra kick of crunch to complement the juicy tuna. He drizzled ponzu sauce the dish and added edible flowers. The result — a rich and flavorsome seared blackened tuna tataki—was one of the dishes that Chef Sambuaga and Sous Chef Herdian (who said he goes by his first name) prepared for Tuesday’s grand opening. Sambuaga, who hails from Manado, Indonesia, has been a chef for 12 years; he has worked with Herdian for the last three. The two have moved their talents from New York to bring Westville a mix of Jewish and Japanese fusion cuisine. Choni and Esther Grunblatt, who live nearby in the neighborhood, own the new restaurant. They hired Sambuaga after witnessing his ability to make each plate into a palette of culinary artwork and his knowledge on
8 | Kosher New England 2021
fresh products. “We went searching for a fish supplier and brought Nixon with us,” Esther said. “We would question suppliers if the product is fresh from that day. Nixon would look at the product and know which supplier’s fish was actually fresh. Our fish supplier is now coming from New Jersey because it has to be the best.” “When we looked for the perfect chef, we looked for someone who has the same passion as us,” Choni said. “We found that when we found Nixon.” That passion was clear as the chefs whipped up Tuesday’s offerings. Herdian prepared a honey wasabi mayo sauce while Sambuaga assembled another appetizer, seared blue fin toro nigiri. Sambuaga lightly torched three pieces of bluefin and balled each one with red rice. He placed the slabs across a bamboo leaf. Every strip was topped with a different color of masago. The plate was decorated with lines of sriracha and more edible flowers. “On the East Coast, they haven’t discovered this menu yet,” Sambuaga said. “This is something different. We’re having bluefin tuna! Bluefin is the highest quality of tuna. That’s something not many restaurants have.” “My favorite dish to make is the tuna tartar,” Herdian added. The Grunblatts hired Rabbi Shmarya Gershon, of the certi-
fication agency Vaad haKashrus of Fairfield County, to work full time to ensure the restaurant complies with kosher guidelines. “I think introducing a fresh concept and fresh product creates a whole new excitement for our town,” Choni said. “We’re looking to excel in the details that make up the entire concept of a sushi restaurant from the product, atmosphere, and customer service. And to make it that much better.” Soon, two more sushi rolls were on display. First, laguna rolls made with salmon and yellowtail, folded with avocado. Spicy bluefin tuna was garnished on top. Final touches included a spread of sweet sauce and honey wasabi mayo. Last, but not least, came the Armstrong roll (pictured). It featured bluefin tuna, salmon, and yellowtail paired with avocado, cucumber, and mango. “The secret to making sushi,” Sambuaga said, “is to put love into it.” For more information, visit finandscalect.com or call 203-553-7905. This article is reprinted with permission of New Haven Independent (newhavenindependent.com).
The Armstrong roll features bluefin tuna, salmon, and yellowtail paired with avocado, cucumber, and mango.
Chef Nixon Sambuaga of newly opened kosher restaurant Fin and Scale on Whalley.
Yosi Market brings Mediterranean cuisine to Windsor, CT
By Stacey Dresner
ince 2004, Yosi Kosher Catering has been the go-to for kosher Mediterranean delicacies at weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and other Jewish celebrations in the Greater Hartford area. In 2008, founder Yosi Awad launched Yosi Kitchen, a retail line of his popular food products, pre-packaged and sold in numerous Whole Foods and Big Y Supermarkets. Now he has opened Yosi Market, a retail space in the Hayden Station Road building in Windsor where his catering kitchen has long been operating. “Yosi Market seemed like a natural extension of our catering and retail line,” said Awad. “We get to bring new creative foods, grocery and take-out to our customers and add a kosher market to serve the surrounding communities.” Spare office space adjacent to Yosi Kitchen was renovated last spring and turned into the bright, cozy retail spot. The market features refrigerator cases full of “grab and go” food items, like Yosi’s salads, wraps and hummus. Freezers contain prepared frozen meals, soups and more for customers to stock up on and prepare at home. And display shelves in the middle of the store tempt customers with baked delights by Yosi’s partner, Daphna Kramer. The store has three small dining tables – socially-distanced – so that customers can order their kabobs, shwarma, schnitzel, tabouleh salad or any other Yosi specialty, and nosh, restaurant-style. Yosi still offers carry out and they offer delivery via Door Dash, GrubHub and Uber Eats. Now, Yosi has formed a partnership with Nala’s Kitchen, the Hartford-based meal preparation company that makes daily and/or weekly meals and delivers them throughout Connecticut, making it possible for customers to order meals made by Yosi Kitchen off of the Nala’s Kitchen website. “Partnering with Nala’s Kitchen is a great opportunity to showcase Yosi Kitchen’s prepared meals,” says Yosi. “Yosi Kitchen provides them with kosher and Mediterranean meals and they provide us a delivery service throughout CT. It is a win-win for both of us.” For more information about Yosi Kitchen and Yosi Market, call (860) 688-6677 or visit www.Yosikitchen.com.
Kosher New England 2021 | 9
Celebrate freedom and independence during Passover
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Kosher New England 2021 | 11
Going Kosher? A primer on how to transform your non-kosher kitchen into a kosher oasis By Rafael Medoff & Marc Medoff
So you’ve decided to go kosher — and by that we don’t mean you’re going to start ordering whatever incarnation of salmon they’re offering on the menu of your favorite restaurant. We’re talking about going whole hog. OK, perhaps that’s an unfortunate turn of phrase. What we mean is, you’re committed to creating in your home one of the most fundamental elements of Jewish life — transforming your kitchen from non-kosher to kosher. Sound like an overwhelming task? It doesn’t have to be. Any kitchen can be made kosher. We’re here to help with a few tips garnered from several sources, including OK Kosher Certification (OK.org), whose certification symbol appears on food products as the letter K within the letter O. OK is one of the leading Orthodox certification agencies whose logo appears on more than 500,000 products produced worldwide. NOTE: As you embark on the process of making the transition to a kosher kitchen, you can expect to have lots of practical questions along the way. So, identify a rabbi early on whom you can turn to for aid and advice. There are different levels of kashrut and, in consultation with your rabbi, you should determine which level is right for you. For that reason, we offer here basic tips on how to get started. More complex issues — such as whether or not it’s necessary to maintain separate meat and dairy sinks, dishwashers, ovens and stovetops — are best discussed with your rabbi. 12 | Kosher New England 2021
STEP 1: GET SET Start by purchasing only foods which are certified kosher, keeping meat and dairy products separate. At the same time, toss all foods prepared in the pre-kosher kitchen and stop using your non-kosher dishes (you might want to switch to disposable utensils until your old dishes are made kosher or new dishes are purchased). STEP 2: OUT WITH THE OLD Some kitchen paraphernalia, like dishes and utensils, can be made kosher (see Step 3). But dishes, pots, pans, drainboards, appliances, etc. that either cannot be koshered or that you don’t wish to kosher, should be discarded. Even newly purchased dishes and utensils must be made kosher by being immersed in the mikveh (another good topic to discuss with your rabbi!). Designate which cupboards will be used for meat dishes and which will be used for dairy. It’s a great idea to label cabinets “meat” or “dairy” — many people use stickers in red (for meat) and blue (for dairy) that are available for purchase online at any Judaica store website. STEP 3: ‘KASHERING’ UTENSILS Many of the utensils in your kitchen may be still be used after undergoing a process called “kashering.” This is best determined by you and your rabbi, who will guide you in preparing for the kashering procedure and then visit your home to kasher your kitchen. There are several methods of kashering, including immersing a utensil in boiling water or heating it with a blowtorch. The method used depends upon the type of utensil and how it has been used. STEP 4: SEPARATION AGREEMENT Re-modeling your kitchen to for kashrut observance (e.g., two sinks, two stoves) is a great convenience, but by no means a necessity. It is necessary, however, to maintain separate dish towels, draining boards, draining racks, dish spong-
es, scouring pads, and tablecloths for meat and dairy. To keep from getting confused, institute a color-coding system for items that look alike, such as knives, ladles and wooden spoons — most people use red for meat, blue for dairy, and white or yellow for parve (items that are used for food that is neither meat nor dairy). Either buy these items with handles in the appropriate color or mark utensils with colored tape. It’s permissible to use small appliances — e.g., electric mixers, blenders, grinders — for both meat and dairy, though not at the same time. But they must have separate attachments. STEP 5: THE SINK The decision whether or not to maintain one or two sinks is up to you. In either case, the inside of the sink, if it was used before the kitchen was kosher, is considered non-kosher, unless it is stainless steel and kashered. Therefore, food and dishes should not be placed directly on the bottom of the sink; instead, they should be placed on separate pans or racks. STEP 6: TABLE TALK Great news! No need for maintain separate tables for meat and dairy. However, a table can’t be used for meat and dairy at the same time. A table that was used prior to going kosher must be kashered. The tabletop can be designated either for meat or dairy…with a tablecloth or placemats used for the other. STEP 7: THE STOVE, INSIDE & OUT After it is kashered, a stove may be used for both meat and dairy. It’s preferable to use separate burners for the two; however, if that’s not possible be sure to keep the burner very clean and, if possible, to avoid cooking both types of food at the same time. Meat and dairy foods may never be prepared in one oven at the same time, even in separate ovenware. n
Kosher New England 2021 | 13
Hebrew Center for Health and Rehabilitation
THE HEBREW CENTER FOR HEALTH AND REHABILITATION:
Experience 5-Star Nursing Care Complemented with our HKC Certified Kosher Meals
At the Hebrew Center for Health and Rehabilitation, we understand that maintaining your religious beliefs and principles is fundamental in continued enrichment of life.
Our Kosher meal services allow residents to maintain their dietary requirements throughout their stay with us. At the Hebrew Center, we ensure we follow all principles of kashrut including purchase, storage, preparation, and service.
At the Hebrew Center for Health and Rehabilitation, we offer a variety of services and amenities to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. SERVICES INCLUDE: • Long-Term Skilled Nursing Care • Passport to Rehabilitation Program • Dementia Care • Respite Care Program • Palliative Care and Hospice Services Coordination
OUR AMENITIES INCLUDE: • Barber/Beauty Shop • Café • Cultural Menus • Laundry and housekeeping services • Patient and Family education
We’re only minutes away - but miles ahead in care! Contact us today to learn more. 1 Abrahms Boulevard West Hartford, CT 06117 860.523.3800 www.HebrewCenterRehab.com
14 | Kosher New England 2021
טי TRINIT Y COLLEGE
• Warm, welcoming, inclusive community
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• Shabbat and holidays on campus
הלל @ טריניטי @ טריניטי הלל @ טריניטי • Major and minor in Jewish studies • Kosher eatery in main dining facility
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• The Zachs Hillel House—an inviting h www.trincoll.edu away from home
• Trinity College—one of the nation’s t liberal arts colleges Kosher New England 2021 | 15
What’s new in kosher health foods By Rafael Medoff & Marc Medoff
Emmy’s Coconut Cookies These scrumptious organic “Superfood Bites” begin with a coconut base but then come in more than a dozen flavors, from Peanut Butter to Dark Cacao to Pumpkin Spice. Our favorite is Chocolate Chip, but there are so many to choose from! Supervision: Earth-K
Chum Fruit Bites Pure fruit in a tasty snack packet. Peach, Berry, Apple, Mango, Strawberry. And 15% of profits go to WildAid, which fights illegal wildlife trade. Supervision: OU
RX Protein Bar Using egg whites and nuts, they’ve come up with one of the highest-protein bars we’ve ever enjoyed—12 grams of protein in just a 1.83-oz bar. Doesn’t hurt that they’re quite tasty. Pecan, Gingerbread, Coconut Chocolate and many more. Supervision: OU Once Again Organic Sunflower Seed Butter Very spreadable. We like the travel-size packets—extremely convenient when you’re on the go. Supervision: BVK (Buffalo Vaad of Kashrus)
One Potato Two Potato Root Veggie Chips Can’t get much healthier than root vegetables! Light and crispy. Supervision: OU 16 | Kosher New England 2021
Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers Terrific for dipping, or just regular old snacking. Supervision: OU
Go Plants Pea Protein Chips Pea protein is the new sensation. This cross between a chip and crisp hits just the right note. Supervision: OU
Bakery on Main Organic Creamy Hot Breakfast Perfect on a train or plane (or anyplace else)—just add hot water and you’re ready for breakfast. Supervision: OU
Treat4U Fruit Bowl Just 100 calories and nut-free. For a mid day craving, these packets hit the spot. Supervision: OK
Flourish Veggie Crisps You don’t have to feel guilty with these 90-calorie packs. We particularly liked Roasted Beets — flavorful but not overwhelming. Supervision: OU
Kosher New England 2021 | 17
A Modern Way to Fulfill an Ancient Commandment… Give to Ensure Others Do Not Go Hungry and Your Gift Will Be Matched! When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the corner of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not pick your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for those who are hungry and for the stranger; I the Eternal am your God. - Leviticus 19:9-11
Through Charter Oak’s program EATS OF THE STREET, we place pots of organic vegetable plants on the streets of Hartford. People in the homeless community are hired and trained to take care of them and, then, anyone in need can pick the vegetables when they are ripe. Artists paint the pots and transform them into pieces of public art. EATS OF THE STREET means food, jobs and art for Hartford. Sustainable CT will match every dollar we raise up to $7500. Will you help us feed those who are hungry in Hartford and fulfill an ancient commandment? Please make your check payable to Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106, or visit CharterOakCenter.org.
18 | Kosher New England 2021
FEATURING -FINE KOSHER DININGHoffman SummerWood Independent & Assisted Living 160 Simsbury Road, West Hartford CT
When your loved ones join our community, our family grows. FEATURING PREMIUM ON-SITE SERVICES: ENRICHING SOCIAL PROGRAMS INCLUDING LIVE MUSIC; MEN AND WOMEN SOCIAL CLUBS; EDUCATIONAL LECTURES, HOBBY WORKSHOPS, DAILY EXERCISE CLASSES AND MUCH MORE. CHEF-PREPARED, NUTRITIOUS MEALS. CUSTOMIZED NURSING SERVICES. FULL-TIME RESIDENT RABBI OFFERING WEEKLY SERVICES, CLASSES, SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE AND PASTORAL CARE. ONSITE GIFT AND SUNDRY SHOP. FULL-SERVICE HAIR & NAIL SALON. WEEKLY HOUSEKEEPING SERVICES COMPLIMENTARY TRANSPORTATION. CALL US TODAY TO ASK ABOUT A TRIAL STAY (860)-523-3808 EMAIL: SCANNAVO@HOFFMANSUMMERWOOD.ORG Kosher New England 2021 | 19
The Taste of Tradition Kosher cookbooks just for kids
ids and cookbooks. Two of our favorite things! Besides teaching kids to
take their first steps into the wonderful world of cooking, it teaches them about the laws of kashrut, Jewish traditions and Jewish holidays. AND, it’s
a great activity for parents to engage in with their little ones. To get your budding
chef off and cooking, here are a bunch of kosher cookbooks designed just for them. All are beautifully illustrated and can be found on amazon.com.
20 | Kosher New England 2021
A Kids’ Kosher Cooking Cruise
by Mildred L. Covert $11.95 Future chefs will love riding up the Mississippi with Hannah and Hershel while they learn about the food, history, and traditions of cities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri. Twenty-three recipes, including Spaghetti with Swamp Sauce, Natchez Nosh, and Graceland Green Bean Casserole are featured. Each dish is rated according to difficulty, with a list of utensils needed for each dish.
Kosher by Design: Kids in the Kitchen
by Susie Fishbein $25.99 Simple enough to give a child confidence and interesting enough to engage the paren-tal chef, these kid-friendly recipes and helpful tips introduce the techniques known by every good kosher cook. Each recipe comes with an equipment list, an ingredient list, and a photo of every dish.
Matzah Meals: A Passover Cookbook for Kids
by Judy Tabs and Barbara Steinberg $13.90 This simple cookbook includes lots of great recipes for the young Passover cook. You’ll also find instructions for preparing the seder and craft ideas for decorating the seder table.
Tasty Bible Stories: A Menu of Tales & Matching Recipes
by Tami Lehman-Wilzig $6.36 Enjoy food fit for the kings and queens of Israel with an innovative mix of Bible stories related to food and the recipes they inspire--from Adam and Eve’s apples, to Noah’s grapes and Queen Esther’s feast. Includes tips on kitchen safety and metric conversions.
Mark Stark’s Amazing Jewish Cookbook for the Entire Family
by Mark Stark $9.98 This hand-drawn volume includes recipes for traditional Jewish foods such as bagels, chicken soup, and matzah balls, as well as holiday treats like potato latkes and Passover sponge cake. Each recipe shows the ingredients, tools, and steps involved in preparing the dish. Recipes are arranged by Jewish holiday, with valuable supplementary material about the celebrations and their customs.
The Children’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen: 70 Ways to Have Fun with Your Kids and Make Your Family’s Celebrations Special
by Joan Nathan $19.94 The beloved authority on Jewish cooking Joan Nathan shares 70 child-friendly recipes and cooking activities from around the world. Covering the 10 major holidays, included are dishes old and new, traditional and novel—everything from hamantashen to hummus, chicken soup with matzah balls to matzah pizza, fruit kugel to Persian pomegranate punch.
Jewish Holiday Treats: Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family
by Joan Zoloth $20.61 From Chanukah, Purim, Passover, and Shavuot to Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot, Jewish Holiday Treats serves up the traditional with clever twists. Welcome the festivities with tempting treats like Chanukah Star Cookies and Amazing Honey Cake. The entire family will enjoy constructing simple toys and decorations such as a deliciously detailed Gingerbread Sukkah.
Chocolate Chip Challah and Other Twists on the Jewish Holiday Table: An Interactive Family Cookbook
by Lisa Rauchwerger $28 A cookbook using the calendar of Jewish holidays as a framework to provide meaningful ways to celebrate them. Includes stories and an illustrated cooking dictionary.
Beni’s Family Cookbook for The Jewish Holidays
by Jane Breskin Zalben $22.08 What better way to celebrate the holidays than to cook the foods so important to Jew-
ish tradition. Included are recipes for such favorites as matzoh ball soup, noodle kugel, gefilte fish, kasha varnishkas and hamantaschen. Each section features a different holiday and includes notes on its religious and cultural importance, as well as amusing intro-ductory notes for every recipe. Pastel-watercolor illustrations make this a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy.
The Cherry on Top: A Kosher Junior Cookbook
by Chaya Feigy Grossman $22.99 Give your kids the sweet experience of trying their hand at cooking and baking with this kid-friendly cookbook, a compilation of recipes that appeared in the Binah Bunch cooking pages. Clear instructions, safety precautions, and a definition of terms make this book a winner, as kids concoct their own creations, from delicious desserts to satisfying salads.
The Kid’s Kosher Cookbook
by Miriam Zakon $39.95 A collection of super-simple kosher recipes for beginners, including important information on dietary laws and kitchen safety. With full-color graphics.
Kosher New England 2021 | 21
Invited Out for Shabbat Dinner? 7 Gift Ideas to Delight Any Host So, you’ve been invited out for Shabbat dinner and you’re wondering whether or not to bring a gift…and, if so, what sort of gift would be most appropriate. First, though it’s a lovely and thoughtful gesture, it’s not absolutely necessary to bring any gift at all — especially since you may not know the level of religious observance practiced by your hosts, which could make gift-giving tricky. Second, while a nice dessert, a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine is always welcome, find out in advance if your hosts keep kosher. If they do, make sure your gift carries an acceptable kosher certification symbol, and avoid bringing anything homecooked. In addition, if you do bring food, make it parve — neither meat nor
22 | Kosher New England 2021
dairy — so that it can be shared by everyone partaking in the Shabbat meal. Third, if you plan to arrive at dinner before the Shabbat candles have been lit, bring your gift with you. But if plan to arrive after Shabbat has started, and you know your hosts are Shomer Shabbat (Sabbath observant), drop off the gift at the hosts’ home sometime during the day prior to the start of Shabbat. Fourth, religiously observant people are prohibited from putting flowers in water on Shabbat. So, if you do bring flowers, make sure they’re already in a vase with water or, better yet, bring a potted plant. A few Shabbat dinner gift suggestions follow.
LIGHT UP THE WORLD
Bring a new book, preferably relevant to Jews or the Jewish community. A great choice: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ z”l new book Morality. Published not long before his recent death, the book earned Sacks the Jewish Book Council’s 2020 Book of the Year Award. $19.50 at amazon.com.
Beautiful sets of hand-dipped Shabbat candles come in a host of vibrant colors. A box of decorative Shabbat candles paired with a decorative box of Shabbat matches makes for the perfect Shabbat gift. Pictured here are carefully dipped and hand decorated candles made by skilled artisans in the ancient city of Safed. Candles $12.95; Matches $3.95, @ TraditionsJewishGifts.com.
THROW IN THE TOWEL Hand towels embroidered with the blessing for washing hands come in all sorts of beautiful designs. Some examples: Plush Judaica Shabbat Kodesh Netilat Yadayim Towel by Ben and Jonah. Set of 2 - $38.99 @ wayfair.com; Hand towels embroidered in blue or gold with “Netilat Yadaim” in Hebrew. Set of 3 - $22.00 @ etsy.com
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
The Judaica Shabbat Shalom challah and wine cover by The Holiday Aisle comes in elegant and classy designs and is extremely easy to use and clean (just run a wet cloth over them). $45.99 @ wayfair.com
Custom door plate papercuts with the family’s name written in Hebrew or English and decorated with Jewish themes and beautiful decor make for wonderful Shabbat gifts. Pictured here are the Door Sign Hang Name Papercuts produced by Michel P of Israel, whose glass artwork is inspired by traditional Jewish symbols and literature, as well as the rich architecture of Jerusalem. Each papercut delivered with layers of Perspex, a hard acrylic transparent cover front and back that is weatherproof and suitable for hanging easily. $45 @ ahuva.com
SOME LIKE IT HOT
Why drink out of an ordinary mug when a personalized printed mug is so much cooler? The Feldman Jewish Hebrew Surname ceramic coffee mug is lead-free, microwave-safe and FDA -approved. Get a few for the whole family! Hand washing is recommended. $12.99 @ cafepress.com
Shabbat meals are heated in style with decorative plata (hotplate) covers — and beautiful “blankets” that can be placed over food while it’s being warmed on your plata to keep the heat in and the food hot. Pictured here is a plata cover by the renowned Israeli artist Dorit Judaica. The center of the cover features a pomegranate-based mandala design that is surrounded by verses about the celebration of Shabbat. This and many other stunning plata covers can be found at judaicawebstore.com for $49.
THE COVER UP
Kosher New England 2021 | 23
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Serving Westchester County and New England with over 100 years of combined kosher catering expertise.
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The Israeli drink that makes you happy (and doesn’t give you a hangover) By Jessica Halfin (Israel21C.org)
even years after it was first introduced, the Israeli liquor Tubi 60 is now poised to make it big around the globe. From its inception, rumors have swirled around the brand, stemming from the secretive factory built in one of Haifa’s rougher neighborhoods, the ambiguous contents of the drink, and the euphoria felt by those who drink it. Tubi 60 originated with an unofficial mafia of friends, a kind of fraternity with mild Peter Pan syndrome, eyes hidden behind sunglasses. They were living the hard-working hipster lifestyle, sending logoed sweatshirts that read “Come sit with us” and drinking glasses with the words “pure happiness” printed on them to those showing loyalty to the brand. Founder and CEO Hilal Tubi refers to this as sending “positive energy and love.” The story of Tubi 60 may have started with the Tubi brothers in Haifa, but once the Tel Aviv party scene got a hold of it, all bets were off. Now carefree millennial partiers were drinking bright green Tubi 60 slushies, and taking shots of the stuff at trendy bars, street parties and clubs. It wasn’t long before it spread to other cities across the country. Barkeeps were busy enhancing or disguising the unusual taste (depending on whom you asked), creating cocktails that mixed Tubi with everything from Jägermeister to strawberry juice. A hard alcohol whose true contents are known only to a select few, Tubi 60 is ambigu-
ously described as containing “herbs, spices and citrus,” claiming to leave drinkers with a happy feeling and no day-after hangover. After pressing Hilal Tubi about what’s in the drink, he disclosed to ISRAEL21c that Tubi 60 contains lemon, ginger, mint and cumin, but not only. He and his brother created the unusual alcohol in their parents’ Haifa apartment back in 2012.
Tubi ‘brothers and sisters’ I first met Hilal Tubi in 2017, when Tubi 60 was at its peak in Israel’s party scene and was on the cusp of graduating to international sales. Today, Tubi 60 is sold in eight US states including New York, Texas and Florida; as well as in Germany, Switzerland, Hungary and Romania. Tubi tells ISRAEL21c that he is profusely thankful to the brand’s fierce supporters. Evan Hoffman of Tempe, Arizona, is one such super fan. He first tried Tubi 60 at the bachelor party of a Haifa-based Israeli friend he met on a Birthright Israel trip. “I remember not really liking it [at first], which is surprising since I now love it so much,” he recalls. “Everyone told me all the stories and rumors about what was in it, how it makes you feel, and the fact that it was created in Haifa. I think that is what really made me stick with trying Tubi whenever I came back to Israel,” says Hoffman, who started bringing bottles home to share. “I like to see how people react to the shot when they have
never had it,” says Hoffman. This reaction is affectionately called “The Tubi face” by fans. Like the face of a baby trying a new food, “Tubi face” refers to the confused look as the drinker tries to crack the code on what exactly they are tasting. Like a brand ambassador, Hoffman creates social-media posts dedicated to his love of Tubi 60, joining others who take photos of the drink in popular travel spots, like Thailand and Las Vegas.
Tubi 60 grows up Shortly after the overseas expansion, Hilal Tubi bit the bullet, becoming slightly less secretive in exchange for kosher certification — which Tubi 60 carries, under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, Kosher section Haifa office. Also operating under FDA and Israeli Health Ministry’s approval, the drink he invented clearly doesn’t contain illegal drugs like khat, despite rumors to that effect. He asserts that Tubi 60 is less about the money and more about bringing a positive social experience to as many people as possible. And although it’s gone global, it isn’t ashamed of its Israeli roots. Bottles are proudly and clearly labeled “Made in Israel.” The drink was photographed on the Tel Aviv beachfront alongside Israel’s most popular snack, Bamba, in an official promotional photo on the brand’s US Instagram page. Tubi 60 is also frequently photographed by fans next to a favorite mix-in: sabra and pear juice, a green bottled juice by Israeli super brand “Spring”
sold on Israeli supermarket shelves alongside other kid-friendly flavors, like strawberry-banana and mango. Last Israeli Independence Day, a special edition bottle was produced with the Tubi’s logo dove coming out of the Star of David on the Israeli flag. It’s safe to say that the drink, with its chunky layer of sediment at the bottom, once known only to those in trendy northern Israel circles of 20-somethings, has properly moved on while embodying the Israeli spirit unapologetically. Although not available in New England, it may be purchased online from Kosher Wine Direct (kosherwinedirect.com). This article is reprinted with permission of Israel21c.org.
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