Parshat ha Shavuah Verses Deuteronomy / דְּבָרִים

This past Shabbat we have said “Be Strong, Be Strong, Let Us Be Strengthened – חזק, חזק,להתחזק for the Book of בְּמִדְבַּר – Numbers. This week, we are starting to read the last cycle of the year – the book of Deuteronomy – דְּבָרִים. For me, this is a momentous Shabbat. My younger daughter is leaving to…

My Cookbook Collection

I always say that I am crazy about cookbooks, especially Jewish ones that double as the Jewish food history books. I almost never use the exact recipes though, even for baking, let alone for cooking. I love to experiment with ingredients, always adding and subtracting stuff depending on what I have in my pantry or fridge,…

Some Observations

This was an interesting week for me: challenging, exhilarating, nourishing, disturbing, all at once. Last Sunday, I have started a week long Jewish Professionals Institute at Mechon Hadar. My reasoning was mostly financial – since I wouldn’t be able to afford going to Jerusalem this year to study at Pardes, I decided I would take…

A Random Step

This Sunday I am embarking on a new adventure. I am starting a week-long class at Mechon Hadar. Again, not without trepidation. This is not exactly the place where the level of observance and Yirat Shamaim is according to my view of the world. And yet, I’ve decided to try it. For a very practical reason – there…

Women Leadership in Orthodoxy. A New Reality.

Yesterday, I have spent my morning attending the graduation (smicha) ceremony of the Yeshivat Maharat that took place in the beautiful Kehilat Yeshurun synagogue of the Upper East Side. Not without some trepidation I went not really knowing what to expect. For some time now I have been fascinated with roles of women in leadership within…

Talking About “The Other” – Pseudo Diversity in Action

Just have to rant. Thinking about it more and more lately. Brings me back to the theater of the absurd, Your  “blood pressure rising ” once the word “immigration ” comes up? Why is it at the low with the words like “rabbinate” or “Haredi”?   I have just returned from a brainstorming meeting for the…

Fish, Anyone?

I remember being intimidated by preparing fish back in Russia. But of course! You had to buy the fish and totally clean it yourself – scale, gut, etc… And, I’ve just seen that this is the way people recommend to do it now. What a great recipe! I am totally going to try this sans…

Verses of Pain, Food & D’var Torah All in One Shot

I guess we, the unfortunate souls trapped in the cement jungle of the biggest apple of the world – New York City are so used to the pollution we take for air, that once we hit the real clean air of the country, our bodies start to reject it. Right after returning from my mini…

Birthday Vacation – Made in America!

I’ve spent the last three days in Upstate New York, or more precise the Hudson River Valley. A couple of friends and I rented an Airbnb in Sparrow Bush, near Historic Port Jervis.  It was so nice. peaceful, quiet, relaxing. Driving through this area makes you keenly aware of the beauty of the scenic routes all around, as well…

My Birthday Shavuot

Shavuot was always my favorite holiday. I was always thinking that it was because of my bad relationship with winter and my love of warmth that always arrives with this holiday. I also preferred dairy over meat all my life. And then I found another reason: my Hebrew birthday! I was born on the 7th of…

Songs that I Love

Being at Limmud FSU reminded me again that Jews come in all colors, speak different languages, have diverse backgrounds and like a variety of things. Music is probably the one thing that brings us together regardless of what specific kind of music we love. At the conference, we heard the very talented singer from Israel, Ninet. We…

Limmud! What a Great Idea!

Limmud is a really neat idea!I have been going to Limmud in New York area for years, was involved with the Limmud NY chavruta project and Limmud FSU for quite some time now. I have just returned from yet another amazing weekend celebrating Jewish life in all its incarnations. The energy of the place filled with a…