L’Dor V’Dor – how does your past speak?

A couple of weeks ago I went to a luncheon at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Leadership with my colleague, Lisa Kaplan. As the theme of the event was L’Dor V’Dor, from generation to generation, people were encouraged to attend with their family and bring an heirloom that reminded them of their family history. Participants even had the chance to have their portrait taken with the heirloom they brought. In my photo, I was wearing my Great-Grandmother’s wedding ring. To me, this ring holds a great deal of sentimental value. My grandmother had given this ring to my mother and it was passed down to me. Someday I will likely give to a daughter of my own. It is the birthright of the women in our line – something that binds us all and holds our spirits together. I am so excited to send my mother a copy of that photo, and wish that she could have been there when it was taken.

Wednesday’s “Jewish Joke of the Day” – The Plotkin Diamond

Sylvia went to a charity event wearing abeautiful diamond the size of a pigeon egg. Everyone oo’d and ahhh’d over it. Finally, someone asked her about the diamond.

“This,” she said, “is not just any diamond.. this is the Plotkin Diamond.”

“Oooh” said an admirer, “is it famous?”

She said, “Oh, yes, the Plotkin diamond is very famous… and it comes with a terrible curse”

The nearest woman asked, “So, what’s the curse?”


Ahhhh! a cool drink for a hot day: Meatless Monday at Temple Sholom

In honor of summer (and warmer weather that’s hopefully here to stay) I thought I’d put a little twist on this week’s Meatless Monday post and share a recipe for homemade strawberry lemonade . This recipe comes from my sister. I’ve mentioned in past blogs that she’s become a vegetarian over the past year. In addition to that change, she has really made a conscious effort to be healthier overall. She has given up all soda and other carbonated beverages, and has switched from dairy milk to Almond Milk. In the beginning she was drinking a lot of bottled lemonade and ice teas to replace the soda, but recently she decided she wanted to be in control of the quality of ingredients and started looking for recipes she could make herself. After making the recipe below she immediately shared it with friends and family.

Can Temple Sholom’s Bulletins Teach us about World War II? – Thursday in Temple Sholom History

This week’s post is less focused on an artifact and more on an idea. How can we look at the Temple’s recorded history in the context of the events of World War II?

As I was looking through the old bulletins looking for information about interesting historical facts in Temple history, Kendra Gerstein (our B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator and Director of Curriculum) and I struck up a conversation. After all I was invading her space, because the old bulletins were moved to her office in a cupboard that you have to stand on a chair to get to.

Sisterhood stands with Women of the Wall

Welcome to the first Temple Sholom Sisterhood Blog post!

Members of our Temple Sholom Sisterhood joined over 100 women and men to pray at a Rosh Chodesh service held at the Daley Center on May 10. The event was sponsored by Chicagoland Women of the Wall.

What a powerful experience it was to pray at a replica of the Western Wall right here in Chicago − particularly knowing that, just ten hours earlier in Jerusalem itself, women assembled to pray and were, for the first time, assisted rather than arrested by police.

Women of the Wall is a tremendous organization which has been holding prayer services and fighting for the right of Jewish women to worship at the Western Wall for decades. The recent court decision permitting women to pray at the Wall wearing tallit and tefillin marks the first step in a long journey to come.

Wednesday’s “Jewish Joke of the Day” – The Ventriloquist

Issy had received no work for six months. So he went to his agent, Swifty, and told him he needed work badly.

Swifty said, “There’s no call for ventriloquists, but there’s plenty of work for psychics.” So Issy went home and hung a psychic sign outside his house. Within an hour, a woman knocked on the door and says, “I want to talk to my deceased Bernie. How much will it cost me?”

Issy replied,
“To talk to him, $50. If he talks to you $70. But if you want to talk to each other while I drink a glass of water… $150.”

Reflection on the Election

A member for four years, I’ve attended Adult Ed classes and events, Saturday minyans, helped prepare sandwiches, attended environmental meetings and The Lakeview Action Coalition, and- most important, I play the African drum with the Temple’s Brementown Klezmer Band.

Being a relative newcomer to Chicago, and with no other family members as Temple congregants, I had mixed feelings about last Tuesday’s election. While impressed by its dignity and good fellowship, I was, however, distressed that I missed the opportunity of seeing each candidate, after s/he was announced, for that would have enhanced my future participation, through greater familiarity with Temple leaders. I also hoped for a voice “yea” or “nay” voice vote for the slate of officers and that of board members, as well as the announced opportunity to nominate from the floor.

It also would have been a tzedakah if there had been an arrangement for linking those needing a ride home with those having wheels. Having recently reached eighty years old, I was very fortunate indeed that a female congregant caught up with me, and offered me a ride, which I much appreciated.

Temple Sholom’s Meatless Monday: How I learned to stop worrying and love cauliflower

I was talking to my mom over the weekend about some of the recipes I have wanted to try and some of the foods that are now my favorites, and she replied, “When did you start to eat like this? You didn’t like any of these foods when you were a kid!” And it’s true; when I was a kid my taste buds were much different. My favorite vegetables were cucumbers and green beans. My mom will tell you that getting me to eat other vegetables was a struggle unless they were covered with cheese!

Cauliflower was definitely not on my childhood list of favorite veggies, but now it’s one of my favorites! I am always looking for recipes that include it and making it in various ways. Mashed cauliflower is a great alternative to mashed potatoes – I add a little chive into mine!