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Quarantine Kitchen:Yvonne Maffei’s Dates With Cream and Chopped Pistachios

03/01/2021 11:19:35 AM


Jenni Dressler

Adapted from the New York Times.

Dates, almonds, and dairy are ancient staples of the Middle East. This recipe combines them into a luxurious dessert, with very little effort from the cook. This dessert makes an elegant addition to a buffet and also works well as a finger food passed on a tray.


  • 12 large medjool dates, cleaned and pitted
  • 24 whole almonds (preferably blanched)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons crème fraîche*
  • Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon or 1/2 orange (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1-2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios


Stuff each date with 1-2 whole almonds and lightly pinch closed. (The recipe can be made up to this point up to 2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container.)

When ready to serve, arrange dates cut sides up on a plate or platter. Drizzle on the crème fraîche, making a dollop on each date. Sprinkle on the citrus zest, then the chopped pistachios. Serve immediately.

* To make this recipe pareve, you can substitute the following for the crème fraiche: Full-fat coconut cream can be used as a substitute for crème fraîche, but it will add a different flavor. Alternatively, soy sour creams can also be used. A blend of vegan cream cheese with a small amount of soy milk, or another sort of vegan milk, and lemon juice will also make a crème fraîche substitute that is similar in taste to the original

Quarantine Kitchen: Amazing Passover Brownies

03/01/2021 11:14:21 AM


Dorothy Paler

Can easily be made Gluten-free


See below for frosting ingredients.

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons Matzah Cake Meal (or Gluten-free Matzah Cake Meal)
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  • Beat eggs and add sugar gradually.
  • Add melted butter and beat well.
  • Stir dry ingredients and add to mixture.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pour into greased 9x13 pan.
  • Bake 375° for 20-25 minutes.


  • Melt 4 Tablespoons butter and 2-4 ounces chocolate chips
  • Stir until smooth
  • Pour over warm brownies and chill until set.

Sanctuary Renovation Update: Pews Available

02/08/2021 10:07:01 AM


Stefanie Kushner

TBE has four 12-foot-long pews from our sanctuary available for a suggested donation of $36 each. A 12-foot trailer is needed for transport. UHaul has some available to rent for a modest fee if you have a vehicle with a hitch. One capable person with the ability to lift 75+ pounds will be needed to help Steven move the pew from the sanctuary. The pews will need to be fastened to the floor to be sat on. We've kept the floor hardware, but you'll likely want to supply your own. 

Longer 16- to 18-foot pews are also available but are heavier and more difficult to move. 

Please contact Steven Gregorius at for more information or to arrange pickup details.

Quarantine Kitchen: Vashtini for Purim

02/01/2021 11:25:25 AM


Ellie Silver

  • Add the following to a shaker and shake: 
    • 1 oz Vodak
    • 1 oz Grenadine 
    • Ice
  • Pour into a martini glass 
  • Top with 1 oz of Pink Moscato Champaign 
  • Drop in a cherry.

It is a girl-power, pink drink that is fun and bubbly like the parties Queen Vashti throws at the beginning of the story; and strong like Queen Vashti when she sticks up for her morals and virtues.

COVID-19 Resources

01/31/2021 12:24:19 PM


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the news changes quickly from good news about the vaccine to concern over variants. Below are links that may help you stay up to date on the latest information. For personal health advice concerning COVID-19, please see your physician.

COVID-19 Information

Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19 Information

Public Health Madison & Dane County COVID-19 Dashboard

Public Health Madison & Dane County COVID-19 Testing Information

CDC Information about COVID-19 Variants

Public Health Madison & Dane County Current Emergency Order Information


Vaccine Information

 PHMDC Vaccine Phone Line

If someone is 65+, doesn’t have a local healthcare provider, and doesn’t have internet access or email, they can call Public Health Madison & Dane County at 608-242-6328 to get on the list to be matched with a vaccinator for the COVID-19 vaccine. If they are able to sign up online at please use that method instead.

We have Spanish speaking staff available at that number and can use the language line as well.  

Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19 Vaccine Data

Public Health Madison & Dane County COVID-19 Vaccine Information

CDC COVID-19 Vaccination FAQ Page

UnityPoint COVID-19 Vaccine Information

UW Health COVID-19 Vaccine Information

COVID-19 Vaccine at the VA

SSM Health COVID-19 Vaccine Information




Thank You for Contributing in Honor of Cantor Niemi’s Installation

01/27/2021 03:29:12 PM


Ilu finu malei shirah kayam—“Even if our mouths were as full of song as the sea”—we couldn’t express enough thanks for those who made such thoughtful contributions to the Music Fund in honor of Cantor Jacob Niemi’s installation. These funds will be used in a variety of ways to enhance the musical life of the TBE community, including assistance with musical programming beyond our normal worship needs, such as concerts and artist-in-residence programs, and support for music in our Religious School and youth programs. Many thanks to all those who have helped to support this sacred work! Together you donated $2,300 for the Music Fund.

Tzedakah Fund: Are You in Need? Can You Provide Assistance?

01/27/2021 03:24:17 PM


As the pandemic continues, so too do the needs of our own TBE community. Rabbi Biatch shared important messages about helping one another in his blog post "When Self-Sacrifice Meets Self-Preservation."

  • If you need financial assistance for food, medicine, or other essential items, please reach out to him at
  • You can also find other community resources here.
  • If you are in a position to help, please consider donating to the Tzedakah Fund.

Thank you to those who have reached out for help and to those who have helped by donating to the Tzedakah Fund. Temple Beth El’s Tzedakah Fund provides funds for charitable purposes at the rabbi’s discretion. We received almost $1,000 in donations, which Rabbi Biatch is able to use for those in need.

Membership Renewals

01/27/2021 03:18:48 PM


Our new Temple Community Contribution program has been in place for several months and has been successful on many levels. We are especially gratified to observe these benchmarks in our membership renewals for 2021:

  • We received 17% more renewals by December 31, 2020, than we did by December 31, 2019.
  • Net membership contributions from those who renewed by December 31 increased 15% over the previous year.
  • Donations to the three funds listed on the membership renewal cards increased over last year. 
  • The positive feedback we received about the Temple Community Contribution program included many comments that the program reflects our values and our goals. Longtime member and TBE musician Mike Ross wrote: “TBE’s new Temple Community Contribution program is a welcome change. It is transparent and inclusive. It clearly demonstrates TBE’s need for funding and honors our shared values. My family, for one, responded by increasing our membership contribution, and we hope others will consider doing the same.”

The Temple Community Contribution program, introduced in 2020, encourages TBE members to reflect on our shared values when determining your annual membership contribution. To help guide decisions on giving, we shared clear and accessible information about TBE’s programs and finances, and we remain committed to transparency. If you have any questions about the Temple Community Contribution program or Temple’s finances, please feel free to contact Stefanie Kushner.

Volunteer opportunities 

01/25/2021 06:57:09 PM


Looking to volunteer? Need a b’nai mitzvah project? Here are ways to help people in our community.

New JSS Refugee Mentorship Program
Jewish Social Services is launching its new refugee mentorship program, Aljirani Madison, and is now seeking volunteers! From the Swahili jirani and Arabic aljar—both meaning “neighbor”—Aljirani Madison is a six-month volunteering program that partners community volunteers with a local refugee individual or family to provide a warm welcome, companionship, and practical help. See here for a full description of the program. For further information, contact Sam Van Akkeren. Please note: partnerships will meet digitally for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19.

Healing House Meals at End of February
Healing House serves individuals without homes as they recuperate from surgery, illness, or childbirth. TBE cooks meals for the residents and staff on a quarterly basis. Our next week will be February 28–March 6, 2021. If you are interested in preparing food at home for delivery to Healing House, please use this signup link. Contact Cathy Rotter if you have questions or would like to be on the volunteer mailing list.

Meals for Catholic Multicultural Center
The Catholic Multicultural Center (CMC) meal program provides grab-and-go meals from the CMC parking lot. Our volunteers drop off food every other Wednesday to meet the growing need. We cook for 80+ people by sharing recipes and dividing up the work. If you are interested in preparing food at home for delivery to CMC, please use this signup link. Contact Sue Levy you have any questions.

Porchlight Wish List and Volunteer Opportunities
The Porchlight shelter continues to operate at Warner Park Recreation Center. They do nightly COVID-19 screening and monthly COVID-19 testing, and they offer flu shots. As the men’s shelter moves from Warner Park to the city’s former Fleet Services Building on First Street, meals will be continued to be catered. Porchlight is always in need of ground coffee (like Folgers), winter gloves and hats, hotel-size toiletries, deodorant, and toothbrushes. Items can be dropped off at 306 N. Brooks Street for Porchlight to deliver to the shelter. See here for a list of items needed, or contact Pam Robbins for more information.

Emerson Elementary PTO Equity Fund
Emerson Elementary School serves approximately 60% low-income students and families. The school’s Parent Teacher Organization has set up an equity fund to support low-income families with the greatest needs. These funds help with families’ basic needs in difficult financial or emergency situations. Funds typically go toward purchasing grocery, gas, or bus cards, which the school social worker distributes based on awareness of family need. On occasion, funds may be used to help pay for larger, unpreventable emergency expenses related to transitional housing, moving expenses, family death, natural disasters, etc. Last year 29 families received support. For more information, please contact Marcia Vandercook. You can donate directly to the fund here.

Food Boxes for Madison School Families
The Thoreau Weekend Food Bag Program is part of the wider Madison West High Area Collaborative, delivering 250 boxes of food each week to Madison school children from the 14 elementary schools in the West High area. On Tuesday mornings, volunteers are needed to unload shelf-stable food and stock the pantry. On Friday mornings, volunteers pack large boxes of food and household goods for that day’s delivery. Masks and social distancing are maintained. This would make a great b’nai mitzvah project for a young person able to work in company with others.

There are also no-contact volunteer opportunities for drivers on Friday mornings to pick up supplies and deliver food boxes to families’ doorsteps throughout the west side of Madison. People with larger vehicles and those who are comfortable carrying moderately heavy boxes are encouraged. Volunteers can sign up on the United Way’s website. At present no other registrations or background checks are necessary. Contact Vic Levy if you have any questions.

Porchlight Moves to Larger Building

01/25/2021 06:49:05 PM


Since late March when COVID-19 struck, men supported by the Porchlight shelter program have been sleeping at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center on the North Side. Before then, Porchlight guests were sheltered in three church basements downtown, where TBE volunteers provided evening meals for many years. Now the city has opened a new temporary shelter at the city's former Fleet Services Building at 200 N. 1st Street. The new space has a much larger capacity, which will be important as the pandemic drags on. You can read more about it this article from the Wisconsin State Journal. 

Meals are currently being provided by the city through a contract with local restaurants. When a permanent location is selected, Potchlight will let us know if our famous chicken rice casserole will still be required. In the meantime, we are using that same recipe in smaller batches to feed families at the Catholic Multicultural Center. Sign up here is you would like to cook it again ( or for the first time)!

Civic Engagement Plans for 2021

01/25/2021 06:46:29 PM


by Rabbi Bonnie Margulis

The events of January 6 have shown us in a profound and deeply disturbing way how fragile democracy is and how hard we must fight to protect it. Our prayers go out to the families of those who lost their lives in the violent attempt to take over our government. Thankfully, that attempt failed. Let us all pray for a smooth transition to the new administration and for the safety of our elected officials.

The Wisconsin Interfaith Voter Engagement Campaign would like to express our thanks and gratitude to our partners at Temple Beth El for all your work and efforts over the past year to get out the vote. Of all the responses we received to our volunteer survey, TBE took the prize for the most volunteers from one congregation and the congregation’s reported total of 1,055.5 hours worked! We appreciate all your ongoing involvement and support.

The work did not stop on Election Day. Our campaign has now pivoted to the vital work of protecting and defending our democratic institutions, to fighting against misinformation and disinformation, and to promoting the fact that this was “the most secure election in American history.” We will continue to speak out against white supremacists and extremists who seek to destroy our democracy.

Despite recent events, we have cause for optimism. After a historic runoff election in Georgia, Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of the church where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King served, will be the first African American senator from Georgia. He is joined by Jon Ossoff, the first Jewish senator from that state. And while the recent violence has been chilling and deeply disturbing, we know that history and demographics are on our side.

Now that we have a new administration, a new Congress, and new people in our state legislature, we must hold them accountable to address the vital issues facing our country, including the pandemic and its economic fallout, immigration, climate change, voter suppression, the need for fair and nonpartisan redistricting, and the need to end the devastating inequities and entrenched racism in our society. Whether you voted for them or not, they are now our representatives in the halls of our local, state, and federal government, and we must ensure that they truly represent us.

Mark your calendars for the elections coming up on February 16 (primary) and April 6. The races include state superintendent of education, alders, county boards, and school boards. These positions have a great impact on our daily lives and are an important opportunity to affect public policy.

We are excited for what 2021 will bring and look forward to continuing the journey with you all.

Immigration and Refugee Policy Changes under Biden: Implications for Action

01/25/2021 06:43:51 PM


By Erica Serlin, Lynn Silverman, and Marta Karlov, co-chairs of the Immigrant Rights Action Team

During the Trump administration, over 400 changes in immigration and refugee policy were implemented. A few examples include a ban on travel from Muslim countries, family separations at the border, increased ICE enforcement, the rescission of DACA, the requirement for asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while awaiting hearings, and the reduction of the refugee admission ceiling from 85,000 in 2016 to 18,000 last year. There was also a tremendous increase in civil immigration detention and countless documented violations against those in detention.

On Sunday, February 21, 7:00–8:30 pm, Professor Erin Barbato, director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at the UW Law School, will talk with us about her work providing legal representation to people facing deportation or seeking asylum. She will address the major changes affecting immigrants and refugees implemented during the Trump administration and the policy reforms promised by President Biden.

Following a question-and-answer session, we will brainstorm possible next steps for congregational education and advocacy, including suggestions from the Dane Sanctuary Coalition. With the election behind us, we hope to refocus our attention on immigration and refugee reform. We need your input as we decide how to hold the Biden-Harris administration accountable and how best to support urgently needed changes. We’re looking forward to an informative and inspiring program and hope you’ll join us. Sign up here to receive the Zoom link.

Upcoming Racial Justice Activities

01/25/2021 06:30:23 PM


Seven Guided Conversations About Race: Wherever you are on your racial justice journey, you can benefit from these conversations. Self-assessment and sharing in a safe setting will help you see the world with a racial lens, learn and grow, and engage in conversations about race more effectively. Groups will be held on Tuesday nights (group 1) or Thursday mornings (group 2) during February and March. Group leaders will be Erica Serlin and Lynn Silverman.
Before each group meeting, there will be 10–30 minutes of individual pre-work as a foundation for the week’s conversation. The seven conversations cover topics such as what race is, the privilege of whiteness, racial representation, understanding stereotypes and biases, the N-word, language, and code-switching. Space is limited, so register now. We’ll start a waiting list for those interested once space fills up.

Racial Justice Big Read: For our first TBE Racial Justice Big Read, we’ll be discussing the book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” as part of our ongoing effort to better understand the history of systemic racism and inequality in our country. Written by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson, the book “examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.”
An all-Temple discussion (including the Sisterhood book club and members of the Adult Education Committee) will be held on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, 7:00–8:30 pm. The Men’s Club book group will hold a discussion on Thursday, February 18, 7:30–9:00 pm. To join the Men’s Club discussion, please contact Tom Krauskopf at If you don’t have time to read the book, check here for short videos and articles about it. We hope you’ll register and join us for a stimulating conversation even if you haven’t read it.

Blockstein Lecture: Building a Jewish Midwest Racial Justice Coalition: TBE and Jewish Social Services co-sponsor the annual Liesl M. Blockstein Memorial Lecture, featuring a woman who embodies Liesl’s commitment to social justice and Jewish life. This year’s lecture will be presented on Sunday, February 14, 10:00–11:30 am. You can sign up here.

This year’s lecture features Shahanna McKinney-Baldon, director of Edot Midwest Regional Jewish Diversity Collaborative. A seasoned educator and racial equity thought leader, Shahanna has been involved in Jewish racial justice work that centers Jews of Color and diverse Jewish families for over 25 years. Join us to learn about what this work means in this moment and how we can all play a part in a Midwest Jewish racial justice coalition.

Action of the Week: The Racial Justice Action Team has launched a regular feature in the weekly happenings email, offering suggestions for steps you can take to help bring racial equity to our greater community. The suggestions are built around categories recommended to us by leaders of Madison’s Black-led organizations: (1) educate: listen to a podcast, read an article, find a class; (2) participate: attend a community event, march, volunteer; (3) donate: buy supplies, cook a meal, support a community effort; and (4) advocate: write to representatives, testify, sign petitions. 

We know that the idea of addressing racial oppression can be overwhelming. Watch for these weekly action ideas for simple steps to start moving together in the right direction. 

Owning Our Racial Equity Work Ahead: Yolanda Savage-Nava, the Union for Reform Judaism's director of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion, called on each of us in the Jewish community to acknowledge that we have work to do, both as a Jewish community and as individuals. She asks us to recognize the diversity and racial inequities with our Jewish community; and both reflect inward and look outward to see what works remains to be done. You can see the URJ video message here

Are you interested in getting more involved with racial justice activities? Please contact Betsy Abramson or Lindsay Mindlin, co-chairs of the Racial Justice Action Team. 

Weekend Reflecting on the Work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

01/25/2021 06:18:09 PM


This year, instead of the annual retreat, Temple Beth El continued its focus on racial justice with a series of weekend events dedicated to the memory and message of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Friday night, January 15, the Shabbat service was steeped in history, reflection, and prayer. Cantor Jacob Niemi opened the service with “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” the beautiful song by Mahalia Jackson sung at Dr. King’s funeral. Les Goldsmith led us in touching songs and prayers including the important message of the old-time favorite “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Rabbi Jonathan Biatch spoke about how Dr. King never gave up hope of achieving equality and unarmed truth and looked to God to ask for strength to continue to lead. His message was that only light can drive out darkness and only love can drive out hate. We were reminded that the majority of Americans are diverse and tolerant, and systemic racism will only be stopped through the tireless efforts and work of good people, a need that calls us to action as a Temple Beth El community.

On Saturday, January 16, 25 congregants listened to a sermon by Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl entitled “We Are Family: Rethinking Race in the Jewish Community.” Many of us were surprised to learn that among American Jews, 12% to 15% are people of color. Although the idea that Jews are a race or a tribe is sometimes a source of Jewish identity, it has also been used as a way of excluding and endangering Jews, from the times of Pharaoh to the events in Charlottesville and beyond. Rabbi Buchdahl challenged us to think of ourselves as a family, to identify our common ground as Jews in a rapidly changing world. After the sermon, we broke into three groups to talk about the different kinds of people who may have a sense of “otherness” at TBE and what we might do to make our synagogue more welcoming to Jews of color.

On Sunday morning, January 17, a family educational program focused on Jewish participation in the civil rights movement and the role of music in building solidarity. Cantor Niemi and TBE song leader Les Goldsmith explored how protest songs crossed racial and religious boundaries to build community. The cantor noted that freedom songs were the soul of the civil rights movement, helping to internalize the values and ideals of racial justice, dissipate fear, and promote social cohesion and unity of purpose. Although meaningful, the songs were intentionally simple and easy to adapt to our own verses and circumstances. Members of the choir sang a moving rendition of We Shall Overcome. Erica Serlin led a discussion of our reaction as Jews to a letter from a Jewish freedom fighter and how it feels to be involved in racial justice advocacy.

Over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, the Temple Beth El community engaged in an enormous outpouring of generosity as members contributed to a supply drive organized by Nehemiah on behalf of the Allied Wellness Center. We provided supplies for babies and toddlers, including diapers, wipes, formula, and baby food. We answered a called for personal wellness supplies for teens, including body wash, shampoo, deodorant and lotion. TBE members helped collect, deliver and stock the shelves of the Allied Wellness Center. Members also made monetary gifts of over $2,000, which we used to purchase bus tickets and gas and grocery cards. Allied Wellness Center chaplain Gloria Farr said that these items were desperately needed, and we were thrilled to be able to respond. Nehemiah and the Allied Wellness Center have ongoing needs and ongoing volunteer opportunities. Contacts Betsy Abramson at or 608-332-7867 for more information. 

Quarantine Kitchen: Momo (Nepalese Potsticker) & Hot & Spicy Chutney

01/19/2021 11:40:45 AM


Susan Golden

Momo Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 Tblsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 Tblsp light soy sauce
  • ¾ cup cabbage, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup onion, finely chopped
  • heaping tsp of ginger & garlic paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (cayenne powder)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 Tblsp meat masala
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 pkgs of gyoza wrappers

Momo Directions:

  1. Mix all the filling ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Put about 1 tablespoon of meat mixture into each wrapper (do not overfill) and form into the potstickers. Place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet until ready to cook.
  3. Steam for 18 to 20 minutes
  4. Any uncooked potstickers can be frozen and saved for another meal! Freeze on the baking sheet for about an hour and once frozen solid can be placed in a ziplock freezer bag.
  5. Serve with Hot & Spicy Chutney

Hot & Spicy Chutney for Momo


  • 3-1/2 Tblsp oil
  • 8 Tblsp sesame seeds
  • 40 szechuan peppercorns
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 Thai green or red chillies
  • salt to taste


  1. Add oil to hot pan.
  2. Add sesame seeds in the pan and let cook until it gets golden in color..
  3. Add szechuan peppercorns
  4. Add chopped tomatoes
  5. Add green chillies, turmeric and salt to taste
  6. Stir well and let it cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Then, blend well with an immersion blender.

Quarantine Kitchen: Flaming Baked Alaska

01/19/2021 09:56:34 AM


Linda Berman


  • 1 Cake – 2 layers (Can use cupcakes and split in half) Freeze after baking
  • 1 layer ice cream (2 pints) Freeze in shape of cake pan
  • 12 oz. jam (strawberry or raspberry)
  • Meringue (recipe and directions below)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons cognac


  • 8 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar

Meringue directions

  1. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy.
  2. Beat in brown sugar by tablespoonful.
  3. Beat until stiff peaks and glossy.


  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees
  2. Take cake layer and ice cream out of freezer.
  3. On a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper, place I layer of cake.
  4. Spread jam over the layer.
  5. Place ice cream on the cake layer.
  6. Spread more jam on the ice cream.
  7. Place top layer of cake on the ice cream layer.
  8. Cover cake with meringue and seal the edges of the parchment paper or foil.
  9. Freeze until ready to bake/flame/serve.
  10. Bake on lowest rack at 500 degrees for 2--5 minutes until light brown.
  11. Heat cognac in small pan on stovetop.
  12. Light pan with cognac (with match or flame from gas stove) and pour over meringue on cake and flame!
  13. Use a sturdy long knife to cut Baked Alaska in slices. ENJOY!!
  14. Store remaining Baked Alaska in freezer.

Quarantine Kitchen: One Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

01/14/2021 08:24:41 AM


Tiz Ihnchak


  • 2 (32 oz) cartons chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 lb boneless chicken (breast, thighs or tenderloins)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups egg noodles uncooked
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. In a large stock pot, pour in chicken stock, seasonings (poultry seasoning, garlic and onion powders) and chicken. 
  2. Give it all a good stir.
  3. Cover and cook on medium-high heat for about 20-25 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through).
  4. This is a good time to chop your veggies!
  5. Once chicken is cooked, using tongs, take chicken out of pot and shred it using two forks (be careful, the chicken will be very hot). We use the hand mixer.
  6. Pop the shredded chicken back into your stock pot.
  7. Then add chopped veggies and cream of chicken soup and stir.
  8. Add water and noodles.
  9. Stir well.
  10. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 15-20 more minutes until veggies are tender and noodles are soft.
  11. Give it a taste test. I usually find I need to add salt and pepper. I usually add 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt and a teaspoon of fresh black pepper.

Quarantine Kitchen: Garlicky Chicken With Lemon-Anchovy Sauce

01/14/2021 08:15:13 AM


Susanna Goldberg

A NY Times recipe by Melissa Clark

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless,
  • skinless chicken thighs (4 to
  • 5 thighs)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher
  • salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed and
  • peeled
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tablespoons drained
  • capers, patted dry
  • 1 large pinch chile flakes
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for
  • serving


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and let rest while you prepare the anchovy-garlic oil. Mince one of the garlic cloves and set it aside for later. In a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the 5 smashed whole garlic cloves, the anchovies, capers and chile. Let cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the anchovies, until the garlic browns around the edges and the anchovies dissolve, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken thighs and cook until nicely browned on one side, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the thighs, place the pan in the oven and cook another 5 to 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. When chicken is done, transfer thighs to a plate (be careful, as the pan handle will be hot). Place skillet back on the heat and add minced garlic and the juice of one lemon half. Cook for about 30 seconds, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.Return chicken to the pan and cook it in the sauce for another 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Transfer everything to a serving platter. Squeeze the remaining lemon half over the chicken and garnish with chopped parsley.
  5. Serve.

Quarantine Kitchen: Air Fried Bagels made with Greek yogurt

01/13/2021 08:19:46 AM


Stefanie Kushner


  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour, whole wheat or gluten-free mix, (5 oz in weight)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, make sure it's not expired or it won't rise
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, use less if using table salt
  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt, not regular yogurt, it will be too sticky (Stonyfield)
  • 1 egg white or whole egg, beaten
  • optional toppings: everything but the bagel seasoning, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic flakes, dried onion flakes


  1. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk well. Add the yogurt and mix with a fork or spatula until well combined, it will look like small crumbles.
  2. Lightly dust flour on a work surface and remove dough from the bowl, knead the dough a few times until dough is tacky, but not sticky, about 20 turns (it should not leave dough on your hand when you pull away).
  3. Divide into 4 equal balls. Roll each ball into 3/4-inch thick ropes and join the ends to form bagels.
  4. Top with egg wash and sprinkle both sides with seasoning of your choice.
  5. Turn on Air Fryer to 375 degrees. Spray air fryer with oil to avoid sticking. Transfer in batches without overcrowding and bake 15 to 16 minutes, or until golden. No need to turn. Let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting. You can make these in the oven by preheating oven to 375 degrees. Place bagel on parchment paper to avoid sticking.

Quarantine Kitchen: Yotam Ottolengui Mejadra (Jerusalem)

01/05/2021 06:16:02 PM


Marta Karlov


  • 1 1/4 cups/250 g green or brown lentils
  • 4 medium onions 
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • about 1 cup/250 ml sunflower oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 cup/200 g basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups/350 ml water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the lentils in a small saucepan, cover with plenty of water, bring to a boil, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the lentils have softened but still have a little bite. Drain and set aside.
  2. Peel the onions and slice thinly. Place on a large flat plate, sprinkle with the flour and 1 teaspoon salt, and mix well with your hands. Heat the sunflower oil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan placed over high heat. Make sure the oil is hot by throwing in a small piece of onion; it should sizzle vigorously. Reduce the heat to medium-high and carefully (it may spit!) add one-third of the sliced onion. Fry for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon, until the onion takes on a nice golden brown color and turns crispy (adjust the temperature so the onion doesn’t fry too quickly and burn). Use the spoon to transfer the onion to a colander lined with paper towels and sprinkle with a little more salt. Do the same with the other two batches of onion; add a little extra oil if needed.
  3. Wipe the saucepan in which you fried the onion clean and put in the cumin and coriander seeds. Place over medium heat and toast the seeds for a minute or two. Add the rice, olive oil, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and plenty of black pepper. Stir to coat the rice with the oil and then add the cooked lentils and the water. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat, lift off the lid, and quickly cover the pan with a clean tea towel. Seal tightly with the lid and set aside for 10 minutes.
  5. Finally, add half the fried onion to the rice and lentils and stir gently with a fork. Pile the mixture in a shallow serving bowl and top with the rest of the onion.

MLK Weekend January 15-18 and Beyond

12/29/2020 04:32:49 PM


Quarantine Kitchen: Pumpkin Bars

12/28/2020 12:20:59 PM


Ava Dori Greenberg

Ingredients for cake:

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 and 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Ava’s frosting:

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 to 1  1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • (It can vary to how sweet you like it)
  • 1/4 cup of salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk
  • (I always use 2 tablespoons of 2% milk or whole milk)

Directions for cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin in a bowl until well blended.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt using a fork or spoon.
  4. Little by little add in the dry mixture to the wet ingredients using the electric mixer. 
    • Tip: Don’t add a lot of flour in at one time, otherwise it will explode in your face and make a huge mess!
  5. Pour into a greased jelly roll pan/sheet pan. (15x10x1-in) 
    • Tip: If you prefer not to use butter, then you can just line it with parchment paper and it will still work fine. If you don’t mind using butter, then it is a good idea to put butter first then parchment paper then butter again for triple precaution to make sure that it won’t stick!
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. (My oven took 25 minutes but it depends on how fast your oven bakes.)
  7. After your cake is out of the oven, make sure to cool completely at room temperature and then transfer to fridge.
    • Tip: Do not put the cake right into the fridge after it is taken out of the oven, otherwise it will become crumbly. 

Ava’s Cream Cheese Frosting:


  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in a small bowl. (Make sure to scrape the sides every once in a while to make sure all of the ingredients are mixed in completely.)
  2. Add in the milk to reach your preferred spreading consistency.
  3. Spread the frosting over the sheet cake and put in the refrigerator. When they are cold, you can take them out and cut them into rectangles. Make sure to store them in the fridge when you’re not eating them! :)
  4. Enjoy!

Quarantine Kitchen: New Years Hoppin’ John

12/28/2020 10:44:16 AM


Brad Kahn

Serves 4


  • 2 smoked turkey thighs
  • 4 c chicken stock
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 T)
  • 1 t dried thyme, or fresh if you have it
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper (hot!) or smoked paprika (not!)
  • To taste kosher salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 30 oz. can black-eyed peas
  • Fresh scallions, for garnish


  1. Warm the chicken stock in a saucepan with the turkey thighs. Simmer until the thighs soften, about 30-45 minutes; remove the turkey from the stock.
  2. When cool, pick the meat off the bones and shred or chop as desired.
  3. Heat oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high; add the meat and the bones and sauté for a minute or two.
  4. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, black pepper, cayenne (or smoked paprika). Salt to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, 5 minutes or so.
  5. Add stock and black-eyed peas and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10-15 minutes.
  6. Serve over rice, and with greens for extra luck. Sprinkle servings with sliced fresh scallions.

Quarantine Kitchen: Cleone’s Cornbread

12/28/2020 10:32:57 AM


Sharon and Brad Kahn


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup cornmeal (I like to use ¾ cup fine cornmeal + ¼ cup coarse cornmeal)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter


  1. Blend eggs and sugar until very clear. Combine dry ingredients and add to egg/sugar mix alternately with milk.
  2. Add melted butter.
  3. Spoon batter into either:
    • A greased and heated 10” cast iron pan
    • or a greased and floured (or lined) muffin cups or a 9”x9” pan.
  4. Bake at 350 until toothpick comes out clean (~25 minutes for the full pan, less for the individual muffins)


  •  ½ recipe works well in an 8” cast iron pan.

Celebrate Tu Bishvat with TBE!

12/21/2020 10:00:41 AM


When Self-Sacrifice Meets Self-Preservation

12/16/2020 03:03:23 PM


Rabbi Jonathan Biatch

The three bottom lines of this message are simple. All the rest is commentary. Come and learn:

1. If you—members of our TBE community—need financial support for food, medicine, housing, or any other necessities to keep you safe and alive, please contact me immediately by email at or by phone at 608-238-3123.

2. Our community has great resources available. If you need help identifying other resources available in this community, please contact me through the channels mentioned above.

3. If you are a TBE member who can support our fellow members through your financial beneficence, please consider making an immediate donation to the Tzedakah Fund for these purposes.

Why do I turn to my Temple community for help?

Jewish law mandates that we preserve our own lives in almost every circumstance; in Hebrew, this concept is called piku’ach nefesh, the “saving of life.” Although we Jews practice selflessness, we are also to ensure that we take care of our own and ourselves, for in Leviticus (19:16) we learn that “we shall not stand idly by while another member of our community bleeds.”

In this spirit, I hope that if you are in need, you will move beyond pride and let me know of your distress. We have some funds available to help, we know of community resources to meet other needs, and we are willing to help. Private or public suffering is something that we need not abide. As Hillel wrote in Pirkei Avot (1:14), “If I do not support myself, who will support me?” We need to be present for one another, so that no one is left behind, forgotten, or injured by conditions beyond their control.

Again, if you need food, medicine, housing assistance, or other necessities to keep you safe and alive, please contact me immediately at or 608-238-3123. We will not leave your side.

Quarantine Kitchen: Buddha’s Delight — Vegetable Feast

12/15/2020 07:57:09 AM


Isabel Coff

Serves 4



  • 1/3 cup vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Pinch white pepper

Vegetable Stir-Fry:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (14-ounce) package firm tofu, cut into large dice
  • 2 teaspoons thinly sliced ginger
  • 12 cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces canned sliced bamboo shoots
  • 6 canned water chestnuts, sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • ½ cup julienned carrots
  • 1 cup shredded Napa cabbage leaves
  • 2 ounces snow peas, trimmed


For the sauce: 

  • Stir together all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, making sure the cornstarch is dissolved well. Set aside.

For the stir-fry: 

  1. Heat a wok or a large skillet over medium-high to high heat. Swirl in 2 tablespoons of oil to the heated wok and coat the bottom.
  2. When you see wisps of white smoke, add the tofu, and stir-fry until light brown on the edges, about 2 minutes.
  3. Then add the ginger and stir-fry it until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add all the remaining vegetables and keep them moving while searing. Don’t be scared to scrape the pan and fold the vegetables over many times. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until the Napa cabbage gets bright green and starts to soften.
  5. Stir in the sauce, coat all the vegetables and tofu, and bring the sauce to a boil. The cornstarch will thicken into a glaze, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Pro tips: 

  • Cut all the larger vegetables into ¼-inch strips and keep smaller vegetables like snow peas and bean sprouts whole.
  • The best tofu for the wok is tofu that is vacuum packaged, not the tofu in water. This tofu has naturally formed a skin and will not stick in the wok or pan. It comes naturally white, fried or often coated in a soy sauce or five-spiced glaze. It is usually in the deli section of a well-stocked grocery store and sometimes next to the cheese and cold cuts. Tofu in water should only be used for wet applications like soups or braises.

From “101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die” by Jet Tila; Page Street Publishing Co.

Quarantine Kitchen: Vegetable Stir Fry + Movie Recomendations

12/15/2020 07:50:42 AM


Rabbi Jonathan Biatch

A wonderful film entitled “My Favorite Year” (an homage to the era of totally live television of the late 1940’s and 1950’s) contains a precious line: “Jews know two things: suffering, and where to get great Chinese food.” Stereotype or not, Jewish families have – on Christmas eve – have ordered Chinese food and gone to the movies: the theaters tended to stay open, and the only restaurants open were the Chinese ones. 

This year, as we face closed theaters, we still might want to eat Chinese food and watch a movie, but here is a suggestion to make our own and watch an old favorite film at the same time. 

So here is a recipe for your consideration, shown on the December 24 edition of Beth El’s Quarantine Kitchen, followed by a list of TBE Staff favorite films and snacks to eat after dinner. 

What can I say? Enjoy, enjoy! 


  • 1/2 c. low-sodium soy sauce 
  • 1/2  c. orange juice 
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable stock 
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch 
  • 2 tbsp. sriracha (more or less to taste) 
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger 
  • 2 tbsp. crushed garlic 
  • 3 tbsp. peanut or olive oil 
  • 1 whole white onion, cut into large chunks 
  • 1 whole red bell pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks 
  • 1 whole yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks 
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, sliced 
  • 2 whole medium zucchinis, cut into 1/4 inch slices 
  • 1 15-ounce can baby corn, drained and halved crosswise 
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into bite-size florets 
  • Cooked brown rice 
  • Sesame seeds and chopped green onion, for garnish 
  • OPTIONAL: animal or vegetable protein 


  1. Prepare brown rice per package instructions; usually 45 minutes are required for simmering. 
  2. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, orange juice, stock, cornstarch, sriracha, crushed garlic, and ginger. Set aside. 
  3. About twelve minutes before the rice is done: 
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and peppers, and stir, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute more, stirring continuously. Add the zucchini and stir it around, cooking it for 2 minutes more. Add the baby corn and broccoli and cook for a couple of minutes, then, after the broccoli has turned a brilliant green and while the veggies are still firm, pour the sauce into the vegetables. 
  5. Stir the veggies in the sauce, cooking for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until the sauce is very thick. If it needs to be a little saucier, pour in 1/4 to 1/2 cup hot water and splash in a little more soy sauce. Serve over noodles or brown rice, with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. 


  • Prepare the vegetables and make the sauce up to 24 hours ahead of time. Keep in separate containers in the refrigerator.
  • White rice, noodles of various kinds, and other starches can be used in place of brown rice depending upon your tastes.

Movies – TBE Staff Picks! 

The following movies are recommended for your holiday watching pleasure by members of the Temple Beth El staff. They may be streamable for free or for a small rental fee: 

  • August Rush – Amazon Prime 
  • Back to the Future (1985, plus sequels) – Netflix 
  • Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 
  • Dances with Wolves 
  • Few Good Men, A – Amazon Prime  
  • Fiddler on the Roof – Amazon Prime  
  • Gandhi 
  • Grease – Amazon Prime  
  • Happy Gilmore – Hulu and Amazon Prime 
  • In and Out – Amazon Prime 
  • Inherit the Wind (1960) – Amazon Prime 
  • It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – Amazon Prime 
  • Lawrence of Arabia – Amazon Prime, On Demand TCM 
  • Manchurian Candidate, The (1962) – Cinemax with Prime Video 
  • My Favorite Year – Amazon Prime 
  • Pretty Woman – Amazon Prime 
  • Pride and Prejudice – Netflix and Amazon 
  • Princess Bride, The – Amazon and Disney+ 
  • Right Stuff, The (1983) 
  • Tangled – Disney+ 
  • To Be or Not To Be (1983 or 1942) – Starz with Prime Video 
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 


Movie Snacks from the TBE Staff 

And here are some great movie snack suggestions for you. Enjoy this special holiday break! 

  • Assorted raw vegetables and yogurt dip (for those who are watching calories)  
  • Chex Mix variations 
  • Pistachios 
  • Plain M&M’s in different flavors 
  • Popcorn mixed with the different flavored M&M’s 
  • Popcorn with Parmesan Cheese 
  • Popcorn with Zaatar 
  • Twizzlers 

Quarantine Kitchen: Gimel Me Another Hanukkah Drink

12/15/2020 07:32:03 AM


Ellie Silver

Picture of the recipe and ingredientsIngredients:

  • Vodka
  • Kahlúa
  • Non-dairy creamer
  • Whipped cream
  • Blue sprinkles
  • Donut hole
  • Cherry
  • Gelt


1 part kahlúa

1 part vodka

1 part cream

  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice. Mix kahlúa, vodka, and cream.
  2. Top with whipped cream, sprinkle blue sprinkles. Skewer a donut hole and a cherry on a toothpick, and place in the glass.
  3. Get some gelt and add as a final garnish.

Renew Your Membership Now 

12/08/2020 09:46:10 AM


Your annual contribution ensures that Temple Beth El will thrive and grow in ways that reflect our foundational values. Please mail your membership renewal form or renew online now at Renewal

Our new Temple Community Contribution program encourages you to view your annual financial contribution in a new way. This new program honors the meaning of your contribution, rather than recommending a percentage of household income as in the past. The new contribution model is based on shared values and affirms our mutual responsibility to one another as we pursue meaningful Jewish experiences.

Please contact Stefanie Kushner at or 608-238-3123 if you have any questions or would like assistance in determining your membership contribution for 2021.

March 8, 2021 24 Adar 5781