Zebra Hamentaschen

Categories: B-shul, Religious School
 

The Story of Purim is recorded in the Book of Esther.   When Mordechai, a Jewish member of the king’s court and relative of the Queen refused to bow down to Haman, the Grand Vizier to King Ahasuerus of Persia, he planned to kill all the Jews in the empire by hanging. Haman’s plans were foiled by…

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Seeking Sephardic Recipes

Categories: B-shul, Religious School
 

Rabbi Amy and I have been working to introduce “Diversity of Judaism” into the Bshul curriculum.  Jews certainly don’t all look the same and depending on where we come from there are differences to our cooking ingredients and recipes.  This year in Bshul we have mostly focused on Ashkenazi (European decent) & Israeli recipes.  With my…

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Bshul Bake Sale

Categories: B-shul, Food for Thought, Religious School, Social Action
 

“Tikkun Olam” (“world repair”) in Judaism has come to connote social action.  The phrase is found in the Mishnah, a body of classical rabbinic teachings.   This concept is defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair the world.  Bshul is partnering with Beth El’s “Food for Thought” social action committee.  This group is working…

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Tuna Casserole Tikun Olam Dinner

Categories: B-shul, Food for Thought, Religious School, Social Action
 

Religious School Zayin and Chavarim students are teaming up to prepare and serve dinner to Family Promise of Southwestern Pennsylvania (FPSWPA).  FPSWA brings the community together in a local partnership to help families experiencing homelessness.  Families receive evening meals and overnight accommodations from local churches and spend daytime hours in Day Centers as they work…

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Tu BiShvat Fruit Pizzas

Categories: B-shul, Religious School
 

Tu BiShvat is a minor Jewish Holiday occuring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, which in 2016 coincides with January 25th.   In Pittsburgh the cold abounds, but in Israel it is the season when the earliest blooming trees begin a new fruit bearing cycle. This holiday is also called “Rosh Hashanah La…

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Rugelach Recipe

Categories: B-shul, Religious School
 

This past fall, the Zayin class baked rugelach for their Tikun Olam project, which involves preparing and serving dinner to Family Promise (a local shelter.)  Rugelach is a Jewish pastry of Ashkenazic origin.  Traditional rugelach are made in the form of a crescent by rolling a triangle of dough around a filling.  We used this recipe…

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Pretzels–Mogan David style

Categories: B-shul, Religious School
 

Hot pretzels are a favorite food of many people, and our Beth El Religious school students are no different.  To add a Jewish component to this popular snack, the STEAM Team rolled their pretzel dough into the shape of Mogan David before baking!  The dairy recipe (below) is adapted from the New Jewish Cookbook and…

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Oven Fried Potato Latkes

Categories: B-shul, Religious School
 

Need to cook A LOT of latkes?  Want to actually eat latkes with your guests?  Try this tested and delicious oven method to fry your latkes. Prepare your latkes (I use Deb Moidel’s winning Latke Throwdown recipe) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Place 1/2 cup of oil on a cookie sheet with a lip.…

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Sufganiyot

Categories: B-shul, Beth El Cookbook, Religious School
 

Sufganiyah (plural Sufganiyot) is a round jelly doughnut eaten in Israel and around the world on the Jewish Festival of Hanukkah. Jews have adopted the custom of eating fried foods to remember the miracle associated with the Temple oil.  After the army of Antiochus IV  had been driven from the Temple, the Maccabees discovered that almost…

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Hanukkah Happiness

Categories: B-shul, Religious School
 

With Hanukkah right around the corner I am sharing some of my holiday home decor, which creates a festive ambiance for the Festival of Lights. A fun tablecloth or silver table runner with themed centerpiece can get you started. Create a centerpiece by  fill a vase or hurricane glass with candy gelt or dreidles &…

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Recent blog posts

A Day in the Life of a Religious School Student at Beth El

My name is Shayna Bennett and I’m a student teacher at Beth El. I have grown up at Beth El and have been able to call this amazing synagogue my home away from home. And now as a teenager I have the privilege of sharing my love of this place with the next generation of…

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Blessings and Milkshakes

Blessings are like a stop sign to remind us to slow down and thank God.  Throughout the year in Bshul (cooking class) students have learned the blessings for every food group.  I introduced the hand-washing blessing, Yadiim, and repeat it at the beginning of every cooking lesson.  This keeps us holy and sanitary! For Shabbat…

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Jenna’s Squad Gets Crafty

Jenna’s Squad got crafty this month!  First they decorated triangle-shaped Rice Krispie Treats for a gluten-free mishloach manot treat (see directions below.)  Then they decorated masks with feathers and gems.   This 7th grade group of girls is all ready for Purim! Ingredients Homemade Rice Krispie Treats cut into triangles Lollipop sticks 15 oz bar of…

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