From Youth Rabbi Zach Fredman
This week we read the portion of Chayey Sarah. After the binding of Isaac and after the death of Sarah, Abraham marries again - a woman named Keturah. The rabbis say - this is Hagar. The Midrash teaches that there are three things that we must return to, because they are always changing: Prayer, Wisdom and Love. Return to them, make them new, because they are always changing. This is why Abraham returns to Keturah - Hagar. He returns to Prayer, Wisdom, and Love. To make it new because it is always changing.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
From Youth Rabbi Zach Fredman
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
From member Susan Berger
Thanks to the wonderful hospitality of hosts, Bill and Rachel Rood, Liz Newman, Allison and Lee Kempler, Annie and Steve Yanovsky, Dusty and David Berke , and Anita and Phil Sher, the amiable participation of the 50 households who attended, the Friday, October 22nd Pot Luck/Mazel Shabbat dinners were a huge success. And thanks to the Membership Committee members who worked so hard in making it happen: Wendy Kantor, Rachel Brau, Kathi Jacob, Phyllis Belkin and Beth Weiner.
It's a terrific way for members of The New Shul community to get to know each other and have the opportunity to appreciate all the interesting, creative and dynamic qualities that is The New Shul membership. We, as a community, are our own greatest asset, and the success of these
dinners certainly demonstrates that. We can look forward to our next Pot Luck/Mazel Shabbat dinner on Friday, May 20th and are continuing to work at making the planning process work even more smoothly. Those of you who may have wanted to host this time around but for one reason or another weren't able to, will have an opportunity to do so in May.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
We are seeking 5-7 volunteers to serve Shabbat lunch on Saturday, November 13. Make a difference in the lives of the homeless, impoverished, and mentally ill Jews of Project ORE.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Where: The 14th Street Y, located at 344 E. 14th St.
Time: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Adults, tweens, and teens welcome.
To RSVP, please contact Maia Wechsler at maiawechsleratgmaildotcom
Monday, October 25, 2010
We had a blast participating in the West Village Halloween Festival on Sunday, October 24th. Teen member, Eva Philips, baked 264 mini-cupcakes, which were all gone by noon! Members manned the table that had New Shul logo M & Ms, tootsie-pops, and cut out boards for little ones to pop their head in for a photo shoot. Happy Halloween from The BOO Shul!
Friday, October 22, 2010
One angels comes to heal Abraham
One angel comes to tell Sarah that she will have a child
And one angel comes to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.
Rashi, the 11th century winemaker and biblical commentator says:
Three angels - because one angel does not perform two missions
One angel - One mission.
What does that say about us?
Our most minute tasks - the laundry, the subway ride, the making of a pie
Are the singular tasks of an angel
Or the whole thing - our whole life
Is one angelic mission.
(Youth Rabbi Zach Fredman chants Torah with Oud)
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
From Youth Rabbi Zach Fredman:
Reb Yitzchak spoke a parable - It like a person who wanders from place to place until he sees a burning castle. He thinks to himself, "Is it possible that this castle is without a keeper?" And then the keeper of the castle appeared, and said, "I am the keeper of the castle." ... (Midrash Genesis Rabbah 39)
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Check out this blog post featuring teen member Aja Baldwin, which was originally featured on The Jew & the Carrot blog.
By Renee Ghert-Zand
The guests at Jack Cohen’s recent bar mitzvah enjoyed gefilte fish. Sounds familiar. But Cohen’s friends and family were not only treated to it at the kiddush lunch, but also by way of an in-depth PowerPoint presentation on the traditional Jewish food as part of Cohen’s ceremony.
By choosing to delve into the complex history of one of the most identifiably Jewish dishes, Cohen was able to explore his heritage while reveling in being a passionate young foodie. While all b’nai mitzvah students at The City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism in New York must do a serious research project, not all focus on the culinary aspects of Judaism. However, Cohen, who has helped his mom in the kitchen since he was a preschooler, “knew my major project would be related to food.” He gave serious consideration to brisket and challah but ended up choosing gefilte fish. “Gefilte fish intrigued me because it is like a blank canvas. You can do so many things with gefilte fish,” he explained.
One might be tempted to think that Cohen’s 64-slide presentation of extensive research of chopped fish balls through gastronomic, religious, political, geographic and personal lenses is unique. Cohen’s strong admiration – and taste – for gefilte fish may be singular among the b’nai mitzvah set, but he is not alone in terms of young teenagers who are marking their Jewish coming of age by connecting to Jewish food, or to food in Jewish way.
Rabbi Peter Schweitzer of The City Congregation shared with the Forward bar and bat mitzvah projects by Ben Farber and Arielle Silver-Willner, both of whom researched and wrote sophisticatedly on issues of eco-Kashrut – with one referring to the writings of Temple Grandin, a noted advocate for the ethical treatment of livestock and another personally interviewing Jonathan Safran Foer about his book, “Eating Animals”.
Another of Schweitzer’s students, Jonah Garnick, did a photographic essay of Jewish delis (his favorites being Katz’s and Sammy’s Romanian). The thirteen year old opined, “The deli is all about perspective. Some may think it’s just a restaurant with a certain kind of food. Some may think of it as a hangout for family and friends. Some may think of it as a place to touch upon your roots, to try nasty sounding foods like tongue, chopped liver, gribenes, schmaltz, and gefilte fish.” (Cohen, would likely beg to differ on the latter).
Aja Simone Wessely Baldwin decided to create a special cookbook for her bat mitzvah, which took place recently at The New Shul in New York recently. Her guests left with a copy of “Aja’s Family Food Fables: A collection of family recipes and related stories and commentaries from every branch of her extended multi-ethnic family.” Wessely Baldwin, an avid cook, let her cookbook’s readers, know that she plans on becoming either an actress, chef or food critic when she grows up.
This trend extends beyond New York City to points west and north. In Berkeley, young foodie and food memoir enthusiast Elazar Sontag is preparing for his upcoming Purim bar mitzvah, which will take the form of a Persian feast. The ceremony and celebration will be combined into one as guests sit at banquet tables, listen to Sontag chant from the Megillah, participate in a shpiel, and dine on Persian food and Purim story-inspired food, such as dumplings and stuffed “pockets” echoing Haman’s “taschen.”
In Toronto, Iris Benedikt celebrated traditional Jewish agriculture with a bat mitzvah in the Kavanah Organic Community Teaching Garden, where she was volunteering and studying about Jewish environmentalism and agricultural law. On the day of her celebration, Benedikt shared her passion for Jewish food ethics by touring her ninety guests through the garden, teaching them from the texts she had studied, giving a d’var Torah and unveiling a sculpture she had made of reused materials. Originally hoping to source the food for her luncheon from the garden, she graciously compromised and allowed her parents to treat her guests to a meal at a nearby restaurant.
Becoming a bar or bat mitzvah is about coming of age and finding a door into one’s Jewish identity. For some young teenagers, that door is the kitchen door. Teens foodies are making Jewish food their own, and incorporating their passion into a right of passage in a different, unexpected way. “I’ll be a gefilte fish guy for years to come,” Cohen says confidently. At the same time, he is not content to only follow the recipes of his ancestors. For his bar mitzvah, Cohen came up with his own variety of gefilte fish (calling for Moroccan-inspired pickled lemons ground in) and served it to his guests.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Save the date for Friends of Bleecker Playground's
Annual West Village Children's Halloween Festival
Sunday, Oct 24, 10am-3pm
Bleecker Playground and Plaza
We are looking for volunteers to help man The New Shul table!
We will be handing out written material and information about The New Shul, as well as having a creative booth filled with Halloween activities.
There will be 2-hour shifts, 2 people per shift. Any time you can offer will be appreciated!
This should be a fun event and a great way to spread the word about The New Shul!
For more information call Toni Golin & Keith Foster at 212-366-9835.
From Rabbi Zach Fredman:
He grows cedar trees, and cuts them,
and the people gather round
and ask, "What are you doing?"
and he tells them.
Building the ark, is "saving the world" - kind of work.
Whatever you do to save the world
do it public
so the people gather round
and you tell them.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
From Rabbi Zach:
In our YouTube meets the Talmud class we studied the weekly Torah portion - Genesis. Why do we tell creation stories? How do modern creation stories fulfill the same needs as ancient creation mythologies. Our favorite creation "video/texts" were the domino effect, which conveyed Aristotle's God as , and Allan Watts musings on the relationship between the creation of and the earth.
Genesis Chapter 1 - 1 When God began to create heaven and earth — 2 the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water — 3 God said, " "; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Watch Rabbi Zach chant the entire Beresheet/Genesis section below.
The world begins with the creation of light. Light is the possibility of seeing each other and the world.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Our short film FLYING LESSON is now part of an audience online festival - if we can gather the most votes, we can win some money to start our next project.
Appreciate your support,