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Cantor Deborrah Cannizzaro

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Cheese burekas on a white plate with a blue tablecloth underneath

I adore the age in which we live! Yes, I know, the world is a mess, no one agrees about government, and the weather is bizarre. Nonetheless, we have the internet and that means access to endless recipes – except the one for Grandma’s mushroom barley soup with flanken, which she didn’t write down before she died many years ago.

Recently, during one of my recipe-search binges, I came across this list of 25 Classic Jewish Foods Everyone Should Learn to Cook. Always on the lookout for new dishes, I’ve decided to try these three (and perhaps some other) recipes in the New Year.

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Woman playing the cello

For most North American Jews, Kol Nidrei surely is the single piece of liturgy that best represents Yom Kippur. This haunting melody, often played by a cellist then chanted by the cantor and choir in front of the open ark, causes all who are present to delve deeply into their heart and soul, looking for forgiveness. Indeed, the Kol Nidrei liturgy has become so intensely associated with Yom Kippur that the service itself is known throughout our Reform community as “Kol Nidrei.”

The phrase Kol Nidrei comes from Aramaic and means far more than its literal translation, “All Vows.”  In...

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People around a table eating

I recently taught a cooking class for a Sisterhood event at my temple. Certainly, how to teach such a class was not something I learned in cantorial school, and in fact, many of the activities I participate in at Congregation Schaarai Zedek in Tampa, FL, are not expressly musical.

However, the Sisterhood asked me to lead this class after I taught an Israeli cooking class last May. I had based that class on one I attended in Jerusalem during a congregational trip to Israel two years ago. Such classes are popular among visitors, and based on the many positive online reviews, I...

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close-up of latkes

Latkes (potato pancakes) are the quintessential culinary treat of Hanukkah. While sufganiyot (fried jelly donuts) are the Hanukkah treat of choice in Israel, here in North America, latkes reign supreme. Why do Jews stuff themselves with these fried potato pancakes every winter season?

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the victory of Judah Maccabee and his followers – the Hasmoneans – over the army of the Syrian Greek king, Antiochus IV. As the story goes, when the Jews recaptured the Temple in Jerusalem, they found it to be defiled and all the oil pots for lighting the...

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Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) begins tomorrow night at sundown. The full name of the day is Yom HaShoah v’Hag’vurah (Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and the Heroism) and is observed each year on 27 Nisan, a date selected by the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), which created the day of remembrance on April 12, 1951.

In North America, Holocaust remembrance services and programs often include special musical selections in memory of people lost during the war and in honor of those who fought against the Nazis. Such music is profound and varied, and often was used as a...

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