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    The SCOOP

            The Happenings of Congregation Beth Israel
              April 2022

Get Creative with Your Passover Seder

The Haggadah reminds us that we are obligated to tell and retell the Passover story of our slavery to freedom. Isn’t that the ritual of every seder you’ve attended since the beginning of time? But if you're like most, the ritual of the seder experience becomes rote and your guests might even get a bit bored doing the exact same thing year after year.

Here are some suggestions to help you and your family & friends discover some new and  creative ideas around the Seder table:

  1. Part of the seder ritual is having four cups of wine. Why not make this experience more “colorful” by alternating a glass of Merlot with Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé and sparkling Moscato. There are so many Kosher for Passover wine options, why limit yourself to one variety!

  2. Encourage guests to share their thoughts about what it means to have “ enough”  before singing “Dayenu,”  Invite them to also comment on the “blessings” they have experienced during the year or are experiencing at the seder.

  3. Remember someone you love who isn’t at your seder by calling them (or even doing a Facetime call). Put them on speaker so they can participate by reading a passage from the Haggadah ( which you can email them a few days prior) or have them listen to their favorite part of the seder.

  4. Encourage guests (especially kids and grandkids) to ask questions about the holiday. They’ll get into the spirit when they see you’ll throw small chocolates or mini-marshmallows for their participation. Think not only of Passover trivia, but other discussion topics that will resonate with all generations such as standing up to bullying and oppression, or qualities that make a good leader/teacher. Remember that everyone enjoys being hit in the head with a mini-marshmallow!!

  5.  For your creative guests, ask them in advance to prepare a presentation in the form of a skit, song or game show take-off on some aspect of the seder ceremony. It will be a home run for fun and good memories.

  6. Are you inviting guests who speak multiple languages? Go around the table and see how many different languages you can recite the Four Questions. (Note: Use the internet to seek out help if you're not bilingual and want to give it a try!)

  7. Having family fun is serious business at the seder table. The seder is not meant to be dull. It should be relaxed (since we’re supposed to recline), so have guests kick off their shoes and sing favorite Passover parody songs not found in the Haggadah. Channel your inner Julie Andrews with these lyrics to  “ My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music.


Cleaning and cooking and so many dishes
Out with the hametz, no pasta, no knishes
Fish that’s gefillted, horseradish that stings
These are a few of our Passover things.

 Matzoh and karpas and chopped up haroset
Shank bones and kiddish and Yiddish neuroses
Tante who kvetches and uncle who sings
These are a few of our Passover things.

 
Motzi and maror and trouble with Pharaohs
and locusts and slaves with wheelbarrows
Matzah balls floating and eggshells that cling
These are a few of our Passover things.
 
When the plagues strike
When the lice bite
When we’re feeling sad
We simply remember our Passover things
And then we don’t feel so bad.
 

Chag Sameach and  A Zissen Pesach to All from CBI!
 


If you find the above pictures appealing to your finer Passover pallet, feel free to click on each photo and it will direct you to each recipe.

One is a no-bake 7-layer chocolate Matzah cake--Delish! The other is seven different Charoset recipes from around the world. Also delish!

Post-Purim Wrap-Up



After 2 years without having Purim festivities in our sanctuary, this year's Megillah reading was extra full with in-person attendees, who were really feeling the Purim spirit! (Those joining via Zoom were pretty joyful, too!).

Rabbi Abe, adorning a “hipster construction-worker” costume, shared many Maker’s Mark bourbon l’chaim’s with daring congregation members including Luis Robayo, Abe Sabas, and Roberta Bouer. Everyone was feeling good in no time!

The sanctuary was alive with chatter, laughter, and good cheer during the post-Megillah-reading sit-down while enjoying hamantashen and other goodies. 

On a related note, this year’s Purim Shalach Manot Basket fundraiser was a great success! Basket recipients received attractive packages (photo above) that were lovingly created and delivered by Judi Slatsky, Laura Levy, Marion Salomon, and Roberta Bouer.

You won’t want to miss out on this mitzvah next year!



Passover Trivia

Question: For how long is Passover observed?
Answer: Eight days

Question: What did Hebrews put on their doorposts to prevent the deaths of their firstborn sons?
Answer: Lamb’s blood

Question: How do you say “Passover” in Hebrew?
Answer: Pesach

Question: Maot Chitim involves the gathering of what to give to the poor?
Answer: Wheat for matzo

Question: The retelling of what Biblical story takes place at a Seder?
Answer: The Exodus

Question: The final day of Passover celebrates what?
Answer: The arrival to and parting of the Red Sea

Question: The retelling of the Exodus is called what?
Answer: Maggid

Question: All people must observe what tradition on Passover?
Answer: Eating matzoh

Question: Moses led the Hebrews to which “promised land?”
Answer: Canaan

Question: Leavened foods are called what?
Answer: Chametz

Question: The last Sabbath before Passover is called what?
Answer: Shabbat HaGadol

Question: For whom is a seat typically saved at a seder?
Answer: Elijah

Question: Who is the most important figure in Passover history?
Answer: Moses

Question: Passover takes place on what date in the Hebrew calendar?
Answer: The 15th of Nisan

Question: Where was the earliest record of The Four Questions found?
Answer: The Talmud

Question: If you can’t celebrate Passover, when is Second Passover in the Hebrew calendar?
Answer: The 14th of Iyar

Question: What is commonly used as maror and served with meat?
Answer: Horseradish

Question: Who asks the questions at a Seder?
Answer: The youngest person present

Question: How many questions are asked at a Seder?
Answer: Four

Question: The Tefillat Tal is a prayer for what?
Answer: Dew

Question: Which U.S. President was the first to host a Passover Seder at the White House?
Answer: Barack Obama

Question: Bitter herbs on a Seder plate represent what?
Answer: Life as a slave

Question: The sweet apple mixture on a Passover Seder plate is called what?
Answer: Charoset

Question: The middle days of Passover are called what?
Answer: Hol Hamoed

Question: Vegetarians often use what in place of a lamb bone on their Seder plate?
Answer: Beet

Question: A sandwich made of matzo, maror, and charoset is called what?
Answer: Hillel sandwich

Question: How many ceremonial handwashings are there at a Seder?
Answer: Two

Question: The celebration held the night and day Passover ends is called what?
Answer: Maimouna

Question: Kids hunt for what after Seder?
Answer: Afikoman (dessert)

Question: How many plagues were there in Egypt?
Answer: 10

Question: Some feminist and LGBTQ+ Seders place what on their Seder plates?
Answer: An orange

Question: What animals got sick during the Egyptian plagues?
Answer: Cattle

Question: What is customarily said at the end of a Seder?
Answer: “Next year in Jerusalem!”

Question: In 1970, Arthur Waskow introduced a Freedom Seder in honor of whom?
Answer: Martin Luther King Jr.

Question: What were the names of Moses’ birth parents?
Answer: Amram and Yocheved

Question: How long does the counting of the Omer last?
Answer: 49 days

Question: “Seder” means what in Hebrew?
Answer: Order or ritual

Question: In what river was Moses found as a baby?
Answer: The Nile River

Question: God appeared to Moses as what for the first time?
Answer: A burning bush

Question: What is the Hebrew name for Egypt?
Answer: Mitzraim

Question: What three items are used to search for chametz?
Answer: A feather, candle, and spoon

Question: The Israelites are believed to have been enslaved for how long?
Answer: 400 years

Question: Which American President died during Passover?
Answer: Abraham Lincoln

Question: In past times, which animal was sacrificed for Passover?
Answer: Lamb

Question: Those who can’t drink wine sip what at a Seder?
Answer: Grape juice

Question: To date, the world’s largest matzo ball was made where?
Answer: Tucson, Arizona

Question: Every year, which city hosts the largest Passover Seder?
Answer: Kathmandu

Question: How many glasses of wine are drunk at a Seder per adult?
Answer: Four

Question: Which of the four cups of wine symbolizes Kiddush?
Answer: The first

Question: What does Kiddush mean?
Answer: Sanctification

 
(from Parade Magazine)





 


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The Rabbi Speaks

Dear congregants and friends,

We are in the season of redemption, coming from Purim and going to Pesach—aka Passover. These are supposed to be the most enriching times in Judaism, a month bookended by holidays of redemption, the source of much happiness, and searing childhood memories for many of us. 

The revelry of Purim, the costumes, the fun, and the community-like atmosphere are something that many of us grew up with and that we still take much pleasure in. And, thankfully, we were able to join up in person this year for that special holiday, after not being able to last year (Purim was also the last holiday we did celebrate as a community in person before Covid-19 reared its ugly head in 2020). The bourbon flowed, the jokes were made, and the fun was had. Purim was as it should be.

And Passover, well, we all know the power of Passover. If there’s any holiday that Jews the world over celebrate, Passover is it. It has everything in it. Intellectual stimulation, spiritual guidance, good storytelling, and good food with a leavenless twist. My wish and prayer is that Passover of 2022 should be meaningful and, well, normal--just like in the past before 2020, when we actually spent time together without having to think about how many people were in our home for the Seder, who was vaccinated, and before we knew of Zoom.

And, yet, despite the mood and spirit of redemption, we still don’t fully feel like we are in a redemptive mode.

Covid-19 seems to be leaving us, but we still need to remain vigilant. And the war that I wrote about here in the last issue of the Scoop—which was just beginning then—is still raging, with Russia and its megalomaniac leader still attempting to pummel Ukraine and its people into submission. Now the threat of chemical and nuclear weapons is being thrown around, and we can only hope that this will end sooner than we think it will, and the world nations will figure out a way to end this.

In other words, the world needs a big redemption, and this is the time for it to happen.

Let us hope that by the time next month’s Scoop comes around, the world will be in a much better place, and let us all hope that the redemptive spirit of Pesach is an inspiration to the world at large.

This year, let it be the people of Ukraine who have redemption—and let there be peace on earth. 

I look forward to seeing you in person on Passover, as well as every Shabbat.

Wishing you and your family a very happy Passover.

Rabbi Abe


April Birthdays   
April Anniversaries
  • Lynn Sevan
  • Linda Bindler
  • Leslie Rosen
  • Rita Bouer
  • Terry Goldsmith
  • Nancy Goldsmith
  • Ilene Rothschild
  • Alexander Susnovski
  • Marion Salomon
  • Frieda Brodsky

 

 
  • Christin & Jay Steinger
  • Dana & Kevin Brandes
  • Suellen & Barry Agulnick
        
April Yahrzeits

Rose Skulsky                           4-03                
Julian Levi                               4-04            
H. Robert Levine                     4-06        
Samy Baruch                           4-07        
Solomon Janvey                      4-07    
Sender Levine                         4-07
Seymour Weitz                        4-07  
Martha Levy                             4-08    
Irene Weisman                        4-08   
Martin Rubin                            4-10   
Ira  Soblick                              4-10   
Lena Soblick                           4 -12 

Jack Schnuer                                    4-13
Yetta Levine                                      4-14    
Lawrence Rothschild                        4-14    
Bessie Rutzisky                                4-16    
Yetta Abo                                          4-18    
Essie  Cohn                                      4-19   
Dave Lovinger                                  4-19  
Jack Rubin                                       4-20
Bette Weitzman                               4-22    
Max Kleine                                       4-25    
Ethel Cohn                                       4-28



 

Contributions

In Memoriam & Yahrzeits
General
Donations

Muriel Levine: (for the yahrzeits of Yetta and Sender Levine)
Robin and Richard Krauss: (in memory of Ruth Goldberg, former Sisterhood President and esteemed member)
Ilene and Robert Rothschild: (at the yahrzeits of Joseph Brass and Siegfield Rothschild)
Lois Glanzer: (in memory of Nat Levine's sister-in-law)
Marsha Mandell: (at the yahrzeit of Isaac Rosenkranz)

Dana and Kevin Brandes, Marianne Baker, Alan M. Mantis: (to thank the committee for the beautiful Purim baskets)
Lois Glanzer: (in honor of Richard Krauss' special day)
Lois Glanzer:  (Rabbi's Discretionary Fund)
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