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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: Shakshuka with Feta

11/09/2020 09:03:15 PM


Marta Karlov

4 to 6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with their juices, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 5 ounces feta, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 6 large eggs
  • Chopped cilantro, for serving
  • Hot sauce, for serving


Step 1

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes and season with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in crumbled feta.

Step 2

Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with hot sauce.

Quarantine Kitchen: Comfort Food Edition: Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

10/30/2020 08:06:54 AM


Dorothy, Maggie & Lucy Paler


  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Heath bar milk chocolate English toffee bits, plus 1/4 cup for the topping, separated
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Kitchen Supplies:

  • 2 baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • electric mixer (hand mixer is fine)
  • large mixing bowl
  • rubber spatula
  • tablespoon measuring spoon 
  • spatula
  • wire cooling rack


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper
  2. Cream together butter and sugars with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes
  3. Add egg, vanilla, lemon juice, and then mix on low speed for 30 seconds until incorporated. Mix on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed
  4. Add flour, outs, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, then mix on low speed until just combined. Be sure not to overmix the dough!
  5. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chips, toffee and nuts.
  6. Scoop out 8 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll it into a ball. Repeat until you have 12. Place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes.  The cookies don't always brown a lot, so don't be afraid to take them out even if they aren't totally golden brown.They will continue to make on the cookie sheet when they are removed from the oven.
  8. Remove from oven and leave them sit on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Quarantine Kitchen: Comfort Food Edition: Food-A-Rama Matzah Ball Soup

10/27/2020 08:46:58 AM


Alayne Gardner-Carimi


  • Eggs
  • Matzoh meal
  • Club soda
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Roasted chicken or prepared chicken stock


(makes 8 small or 4 large)


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TBSP grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp salt (if desired)
  • 1/2 cup matzoh meal
  • 2 TBSP club soda 

The matzoh batter can be made a day in advance.


  1. Beat eggs until fluffy (1 min in mixer) using whip attachment.
  2. Add grapeseed oil and mix for 30 seconds
  3. Add salt and matzoh meal, mix for 30 seconds
  4. Add club soda and mix lightly for 15 seconds, remove from mixer and finish mixing gently (don’t want to beat the bubbles out of the club soda)
  5. Refrigerate batter for 3 hours or more.

SOUP: Easy Version


  • 2    carrots
  • 2    celery ribs
  • 1/4    onion diced
  • 1T    chicken fat or grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 c  fresh chopped parsley
  • 8 c   prepared chicken stock (boxed or using soup base such as Better than Bullion)
  • Salt/Pepper to taste


  1. Chop veggies, sauté onion in chicken fat or grapeseed oil.  When the onion becomes translucent, add carrots and celery, mix veggies together and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add chicken stock and bring to a roaring boil.  
  2. Reduce heat slightly to gentle boil.  Add parsley (save a few pinches for garnish). 
  3. Scoop matzoh balls from chilled batter (a 2 TBSP scoop makes 8 small matzoh balls) into broth. Cover pot with lid. 
  4. Let matzoh balls cook at a gentle boil for 30 minutes (small) or 40 min for larger (3-4 TBSP scoop) balls

SOUP: Carimi NFL version (enough for 4 batches of matzoh balls)


  • 1 roasted chicken
  • 8  carrots
  • 8  celery ribs
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 c  fresh chopped parsley
  • 2T  chicken fat or grapeseed oil
  •  Salt/Pepper to taste


Homemade chicken stock:

  1. Remove skin and bones from roasted chicken, dice chicken and set aside in refrigerator.  
  2. Place bones and skin in cheese cloth.  
  3. Place into large stock pot, add water (4 quarts), and bring to boil (remember to add juices from the cooked chicken into the pot, too!).  
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for several hours.  
  5. Remove cheesecloth (and contents) from pot.  Add salt/pepper to taste. Use this as your chicken stock for the soup.

Faster version:

  1. Chop veggies, sauté onion in chicken fat or grapeseed oil.  
  2. When the onion becomes translucent, add carrots and celery, mix veggies together and sauté for 5 minutes.  
  3. Add water and chicken bones/skin (in cheese cloth) and bring to a boil.  
  4. Let simmer for an hour (or more).  
  5. Remove cheese cloth (and contents) and bring broth to a gentle boil.  
  6. Add parsley (save a few pinches for garnish if you like).  Add salt/pepper to taste.
  7. Scoop matzoh balls from chilled batter (a 2 TBSP scoop makes 8 small matzoh balls) into broth. Cover pot with lid.
  8. Let matzoh balls cook at a gentle boil for 30 minutes (small) or 40 min for larger (3-4 TBSP scoop) balls. 


Quarantine Kitchen: Comfort Food Edition: Gwen's Special Zero Alarm Chili

10/21/2020 08:25:06 AM


Gwen Jacobsohn

Makes ~10 bowl-sized servings.
Easy to make in large batches. Freezes well.


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup green and red peppers (sweet), diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • ¼ cup carrots, diced
  • 1-2 Tbsp garlic, crushed & chopped
  • 1 cup corn kernels (canned or frozen)
  • 1 cup zucchini or yellow summer squash, diced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced (if canned, choose plain, fire-roasted, or with green chilies)
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • 1 Tbsp or more of your favorite chili powder (I recommend ones from Penzy’s)
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ancho chili powder (optional, but adds a great smoky flavor)
  • 8-10 dashes Tabasco (or your favorite hot sauce… this is where you can raise the heat!)
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or veggie)
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch + 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 cans of black, pinto, or great northern beans—rinsed 
  • 2 cans of kidney beans in mild chili sauce
    • 1 lb. ground beef, turkey, chicken, or meat-substitute
    • Jalapeno peppers, diced
    • Cooked pasta (your choice of style)
    • Shredded cheese
    • Corn chips (e.g. Fritos)
    • Raw diced onions/scallions
    • Sour cream


  • In a large saucepan (at least 4 quarts), heat olive oil on medium. Add peppers, celery, onions, carrots, and garlic. Sauté until tender. 
  • If you are adding ground meat, add to pan and sauté until thoroughly cooked. Stir periodically to make sure meat doesn’t burn or stick to bottom of pan. If using very lean meat, you may need to add a little more oil.
  • Add corn, zucchini, tomatoes, and black olives and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add all spices and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste, chicken broth, and jalapeños (optional). Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly to avoid burning. 
  • Mix corn starch mixed with 2 Tb of water and add to pan. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, until thickened. Then add beans and simmer on low until heated all the way through. 
  • Taste it!!!! Add more seasonings to your taste level, as well as additional salt and pepper if desired.
  • Serve it in big bowls with room for pasta and/or as many toppings as you want!!! Bonus points if you make cornbread too!

Your $1 means $2 for the TBE High Holy Day Food Drive! 

10/15/2020 10:41:19 AM


As Jews, we have always been concerned about the needs of the larger Madison community. Those needs have never been greater than they are right now! We are very close to meeting our High Holy Day Food Drive goal of $15,000. To help us reach that goal, a generous donor has offered to match up to $1,500 of new food drive donations received by the start of Shabbat on Friday, October 23.

Your donation will be doubled, so now is the time to donate again or donate for the first time. We are eager to meet this goal as soon as possible, so please make your donation before the match expires. You can donate online at and choose High Holy Day Food Drive as the payment type, or mail a check to Temple Beth El with "food drive" on the memo line.

Thank you for your support of our Madison community members in need.

Volunteer Opportunities

10/12/2020 05:54:06 PM


Cooking, painting, packing food-here are wasy to help people in our community. One just involves eating breakfast!

by Pam Robbins
The Porchlight shelter continues to operate at Warner Park Rec Center. They do nightly COVID screening and monthly COVID testing, and they have flu shot and voter registration opportunities. The shelter served 98 men last night and has capacity for 190 if needed. They are bringing bunk beds from the shelter at Grace Episcopal Church to Warner Park in two weeks to help with capacity. Check out their wish list of hygiene supplies, household items, and cleaning supplies:

The city continues to look for a permanent shelter space; there are no updates yet. The shelter plans to be at Warner Park through year end. The new site might have an on-site kitchen. We are staying in touch with Porchlight to hear about meal service opportunities as they arise. Porchlight has current volunteer opportunities for individuals or small or large groups at Porchlight, including landscaping, painting, cleaning, and more. Please contact Jessica Mathis for more information.

The Road Home and Healing House
by Cathy Rotter
The Road Home is having their annual breakfast virtually this year. Table captains will host a Zoom meeting on Thursday, October 22 at 8:00 am to share a prerecorded video that The Road Home made specifically for the event. My husband Ron and I are hosting a "table," so if you would like to be our guest, please RSVP to me. There is no limit to the number of people and there is no obligation to give, although there will be an ask. If anyone is interested in being a table captain, please contact Peggy Halloran at The Road Home. Here is a short informative video about The Road Home. 

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. We covered three weeks in 2020 and it was very much appreciated, but the program is very popular and we were unable to sign up for a fourth week. We will sign up for more weeks in 2021. 

In the meantime, financial donations can be made to help provide breakfast and lunch items for families. Donations can be mailed directy to The Road Home Dane County with "Healing House meals" in the memo so that the funds go to support this much needed recuperative shelter in our community.  

Food Boxes for Madison School Families
by Vic Levy
In March, as the COVID-19 virus closed Madison schools, the Thoreau Weekend Food Bag Program (was put on hold, and efforts shifted to becoming part of the wider Madison West High Area Collaborative Volunteers are needed to help the weekly efforts of the Collaborative to deliver food to Madison schoolchildren. Working out of Westminster Presbyterian Church (at 4100 Nakoma Road, Madison ), the Collaborative stores, packs, and delivers food boxes to families with children in all 14 of the elementary schools in the West High area. Recently, between 250 and 270 boxes were distributed weekly! See the new Collaborative website:

Volunteers for the Collaborative perform a wide variety of tasks and come from schools, congregations, and social groups throughout Madison. 

  • In-person volunteer opportunities: Each Tuesday morning, several volunteers are needed at Westminster Presbyterian Church to unload shelf-stable food and stock the pantry. On Friday morning, volunteers are needed to pack large boxes of food and household goods for that day’s delivery. Masks and social distancing will be maintained. This would make a great b’nai mitzvah project for a teen who is comfortable working in person with social distancing. 
  • No-contact volunteer opportunities: On Friday mornings, volunteers are needed to pick up milk and produce at Second Harvest Foodbank. Volunteers must have cars or vans with lots of space, and drivers must be comfortable carrying heavy boxes. Later on Friday, usually between 10:30 am and 1:00 pm, drivers are needed to deliver food boxes to families’ doorsteps throughout the west side of Madison. Again, larger vehicles and those who are comfortable carrying moderately heavy boxes are encouraged.

Because of the number and diversity of volunteers needed, we are encouraging TBE members to sign up to support this initiative whenever they are available. Once COVID eases and children return to schools, the Thoreau Weekend Food Bag Program will resume as before. Right now, Temple Beth El is scheduled to help in late December 2020 and in January 2021. We will provide an update if that becomes a reality.

Volunteers can sign up on the United Way’s website
At present no other registrations or background checks are necessary. After you sign up, each Sunday you will receive information about how you can choose to help at Westminster Presbyterian Church during the coming week. 

Other Volunteer opportunities
Meals for Catholic Multicultural Center 
Thanksgiving Food Collection 

Thanksgiving Baskets for Goodman Community Center

10/12/2020 05:44:01 PM


Each fall our Religious School families have collected cans and boxes of food for the Goodman Community Center, helping to fill baskets with all the ingredients needed for a Thanksgiving meal. We set up a friendly competition: each grade brings in its assigned item, such as cans of cranberry sauce or green beans, and the grade that collects the most items wins a prize. The items pile up in the cloakroom in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, and parents rush in at the last minute with cases from Costco to see if they can put their child's grade over the top. The Kindergartners are the defending champs.

This year, of course, it will be different. The Goodman Community Center expects to see an all-time high demand for baskets and has set a goal of 4,000 baskets (500 more than last year) serving 22,000 individuals. Second Harvest Foodbank is predicted a 60% increase in food insecurity nationwide. Families of all income levels are getting hit hard because of this pandemic, and we want to do our part to help! 

Various congregants have volunteered their porches as collection sites, so you can drop off items to any of these locations:

  • Sauer: 926 Sauk Ridge Trail, Madison WI 53717
  • Riley: 1 Ramsgate Circle, Madison, WI 53717
  • Staresinic: 6733 Gaylord Nelson Rd., Middleton WI 53562
  • Paler: 9409 Eagle Nest Lane, Middleton WI 53562
  • Swedarsky (East side): 1819 Rutledge Street, Madison WI 53704
  • Robbins/Friedman: 18 Chippewa Court, Madison WI 53711
  • Kassel: 2023 Range Trail, Verona, WI 53593

Alternatively, you can make a monetary donation online at On the donation form, enter Temple Beth El in answer to the question “This gift is part of the Food Drive organized by:”. Just $70 will provide a full meal for one family. Monetary donations also help purchase perishable items such as turkeys. 

We are collecting these items until noon on Sunday, November 22:

  • Boxes of macaroni and Cheese (4K & Kindergarten)
  • Boxes of stuffing (1st grade)
  • Aluminum roaster pans (2rd grade)
  • Cans of fruit (3rd grade)
  • Cans of vegetables (4th grade)
  • Broth, any kind (5th grade)
  • Cans of cranberry sauce (6th grade)
  • Gravy (7th grade)

Last year, we collected 452 items and monetary donations to help Goodman Community Center reach their goal of 3,500 baskets. With a larger goal this year, we hope we can increase our contribution as well.

Thanks for giving so many grateful families a holiday meal to enjoy together!

Still Cooking: Members Provide Meals for the Catholic Multicultural Center

10/12/2020 05:37:15 PM


by Sue Levy

One of the greatest antidotes to my pandemic blues is knowing what a committed and giving community Temple Beth El is. Since April, in just one of our several food programs, TBE volunteers have helped the Catholic Multicultural Center provide nearly 1,000 meals to individuals on Madison’s south side who are in need or experiencing homelessness. More than 20 different individuals have stepped forward at different times to cook a meal, and some are cooking meals regularly twice a month. Whether you have the time and resources to cook every month or simply want to contribute as you can, your help is welcome! 

Each TBE volunteer cooks a hot dish of about 20 servings at home, using a recipe for that week. The recipe takes 1.5–2.5 hours to prepare (depending on which recipe we use) and costs about $20–$40 (depending on the recipe and where you shop). A volunteer collects all the cooked food from various front steps in a ”no contact” exchange and takes it to the Catholic Multicultural Center on Beld Street. The center staff then package the meals into takeout containers and hand it out to 80–100 hungry folks. The food can be prepared on Tuesday and refrigerated or can be cooked Wednesday morning.

Please join us in this effort to feed people in need during this crisis. Sign up for one or more meals on Signup GeniusWe will send a recipe to each cook at least a week prior to the delivery date. If you have any questions, please contact Sue Levy at 608-273-4527.

Upcoming Events for Dane Sanctuary Coalition

10/12/2020 05:29:53 PM


Keep up to date on immigration issues at these events sponsored by Dance Sanctuary Coalition. 

On October 15, Aissa Olivarez, Managing Attorney at the Community Immigration Law Clinic, will bring us up to date on current immigration law, the sisuation at the border, and what is happening in detention centers right here in Wisconsin. Join us live on the Dane Sanctuary Coalition Facebook page or register here to get the Zoom link. 

On October 21, you can meet leaders in the immigration rights community in Dane County, hear about their work, and learn how you can volunteer on behalf of our immigrant families in our community. Confirmed speakers include Aissa Olivarez, Community Immigration Law Center; Karen Menendez Coller, Centro Hispano; Fabiola Hamdan, Dane County Immigration Specialist; Laura Stalder and Dan Zimmerman, Dane Sanctuary Coalition; and Janice Beers, immigration attorney, Catholic Multicultural Center. Join us live on the Dane Sanctuary Coalition Facebook page, or click here to register and receive the Zoom link.

And, on November 16, save the date to join Dane Sanctuary Coalition for a post-election debrief. Check the Dane Sanctuary Coalition Facebook page for signup information. 

Voting Rights and Voter Suppression Presentations Inspire Action

10/12/2020 05:18:29 PM


TBE members recently helped organize two presentations on voting rights, with a strong focus on voter suppression tactics and what we can do about them. Members left the presentations inspired to work to make sure everyone can vote this fall. 

At the Social Action Shabbat on August 28, our speaker was Ryeshia Farmer, coordinator of the "Rights for All" campaign of the ACLU of Wisconsin. Ms. Farmer presented information about registration, voter identification, early voting, and absentee ballots. She concluded by offering concrete actions we can take to protect and expand the right to vote for every American. 

On September 13, Matt Rothschild of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign discussed the history and current practice of voter suppression in America and in Wisconsin. He made it clear that voter suppression is not a thing of the past; it is still very much at play in the present election. He presented a list of readings and resources to help combat voter suppression and support a healthy democracy. This program was sponsored by the Wisconsin Interfaith Voter Engagement Campaign and by Jewish Congregations for Social Justice, a collaborative effort of the social action committees of Temple Beth El, Beth Israel Center, and Congregation Shaarei Shamayim. 

If you're interested in learning more, we recommend that you watch the short 38-minute documentary “Suppressed: The Fight to Vote.” This online video is both engaging and enraging!

TBE Members Reach 1,800 Voters through Postcards

10/12/2020 05:14:54 PM


by Erica Serlin

On August 4, the Temple Beth El Civic Engagement Action Team held a postcard writing event to help combat voter suppression in six targeted states. This initiative was part of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s partnership with the Center for Common Ground for their nonpartisan Reclaim Our Vote campaign, a highly successful strategy to get unregistered and deregistered voters back on the voting rolls and able to cast their ballots.

More than 30 members convened on Zoom to learn more about the campaign and then broke into smaller groups to hand-write and decorate postcard messages to disenfranchised voters of color. Participants were asked to share personal stories and objects related to voting, and some fascinating narratives and objects emerged. Several congregants talked about memories of their own initial voting experiences or of accompanying parents to the polls. One participant recalled registering first-time student voters and needing to wait while at least one new voter called his mother to retrieve his social security number! Another congregant was able to persuade an African American young man that indeed his voice was important and that his vote should be cast and counted. Another member shared a touching story of her immigrant mother voting for the first time following her naturalization in 1949, and she displayed her deceased mother’s proudly preserved certificate of citizenship!

At least 60 kits of 30 postcards each were ordered from the RAC as part of this project, and more kits were ordered and completed independently by TBE congregants and friends. That means TBE alone reached more than 1800 potential voters! Our thanks to Jane Taves, Nancy Brower, and Erica Serlin for organizing this great event.

Voter Engagement Activities in High Gear This Month

10/12/2020 05:08:18 PM


TBE formed a Civic Engagement Action Team this year and joined the URJ “Every Voice, Every Vote” campaign to promote nonpartisan voter registration and education activities throughout 2020. Those activities are reaching their peak this month as we work to get out the vote in Wisconsin and elsewhere. We work to support Jewish values in public life and to ensure that people who are often disenfranchised can make their voices heard as well.

It is not too late to join us. Every week we send out many opportunities to help. We make calls, send texts, register voters, put up yard signs for nonpartisan voter assistance organizations, do outreach to people living in apartment buildings and trailer parks, and more. Many of our activities can be done from home. There are also in-person registration activities for those who feel comfortable doing them. Madison has enough poll workers, but other cities are still in need. In particular, we encourage you to sign up to be a nonpartisan poll observer if you can.

To be added to our mailing lists, contact Marcia Vandercook, for the TBE Civic Engagement Action Team, or Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, for the Interfaith Civic Engagement Project co-sponsored by Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice and the Wisconsin Council of Churches. The two campaigns have been working together collaboratively and will continue to get out the vote before the November election.

Do you need your ballot witnessed? Two TBE members, Robin Sweet and John Grande, will come to the house of any voter who needs to get their absentee ballot witnessed in a socially distanced manner. You can contact them to set up a time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact Robin or call at 608-469-7469.

TBE Racial Justice Initiatives: How Do You Want to Be Involved?

10/12/2020 05:03:56 PM


On erev Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Biatch gave a moving sermon on the Jewish call to racial justice. This sermon followed a series of Temple-wide conversations this summer, when more than 70 Temple Beth El members joined in a virtual conversation to talk about what Temple Beth El can do to address the changes needed in our society. (This sermon is available on our Members Only page, around 1:07:10 in the Erev Rosh Hasanah recording). 

For the last few weeks, the Weekly Happenings email has included an invitation to answer a survey developed by the TBE Racial Justice Action Team. If you have not already filled it out, please take a few minutes to answer the survey here.

The survey asks how TBE members want to become involved, through education, service, advocacy, and relationship building. It asks you think about what strengths and expertise you might want to share. It looks at possible sets of actions we might pursue, such as these:

  1. Internal TBE: Look inward to become more welcoming to Jews of color and communities of color, and to be clear that we are an actively anti-racist community. 
  2. Education: Gain a deeper understanding og systemic racism and examine our own experiences and attitudes. 
  3. Taking action: As we hear about community events and calls for support, select one or two specific action items each week and publicize them to the congregation. 
  4. Civic engagement: Promote voting, oppose voter suppression, and work to get out the vote. 
  5. Criminal justice reform: Respond to how people of color are affected by the criminal justice system. 
  6. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend: In place of the congregational retreat, this year we have the opportunity to participate in community activities and plan a racial justice weekend. 
  7. Support Black or Latinx community groups: In addition to supporting MLK weekend events, participate in community-led events and provide volunteer support. 
  8. Support the Boys & Girls Club internship program: This established program offers internships for Black teens and young adults to work in businesses and nonprofit organizations. 
  9. Personal connections: Create opportunities for TBE members to have meaningful relationships with individuals from the Black community. 

Please let us know which directions are most meaningful to you. Click on the survey to start. 

High Holy Day Food Drive Contributions are Trickling in—Don’t Forget Yours

10/12/2020 04:59:50 PM


Thank you to all who have donated to the High Holy Day Food Drive. In your worship service program for the High Holy Days, you received the familiar food drive envelope. If you can still find it, please return it with a check payable to Temple Beth El with “food drive” on the memo line. If you can’t find it, no worries: make your contribution online here and choose “High Holy Day Food Drive” as the donation type.

Currently we are on 70% toward our goal. Last year we raised over $14,000, and with a greater need this year, we want to raise over $15,000 to help Second Harvest Foodbank and our other partners.

Most of the funds we receive go to Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. They have come to depend on our contribution each year, and we hate to fall short.

After the pandemic began, we made additional donations to support a variety of food pantries and emergency relief programs reaching different segments of the community: the Dane Sanctuary Coalition emergency food fund, the Latinx Consortium for Action Emergency Relief Fund, the Mount Zion Baptist Church food pantry, the Catholic Multicultural Center food pantry, and grocery boxes for Madison school families. These programs are still very much needed, and if we can we will support them as well.

So please give as generously as you can; any amount is greatly appreciated.

High Holy Days 5781 - Mapping Our Journey Toward Transformation - Step 8: Celebration

10/08/2020 10:01:12 AM


Quarantine Kitchen Comfort Food: Macaroni & Cheese

10/07/2020 11:23:20 AM


Kendra Sager

Macaroni & Cheese 





  • 16 oz box of large macaroni noodles
  • 2 cans of Campbells cheddar cheese soup
  • 16 oz of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of milk (doesn't matter, skim or whole)
  • 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce (give or take)


  1. bring noodles to a boil, cook a little beyond the recommended time so noodles are soft
  2. drain the noodles and return them to the pot
  3. stir in cheese soup, cheddar cheese, milk and Worcestershire sauce and mix thoroughly
  4. pour contents into glass oven safe dish
  5. cover with tin foil and bake at 350 for at least 30 min or until cheese begins to bubble

Quarantine Kitchen: Sukkah Sipper

10/01/2020 05:49:19 PM


Ellie Silver

Download as a festive printable PDF.

Shopping List

  • Gin
  • Tonic Water 
  • Mint Leaves
  • Green Cocktail Olives
  • Lemon


  • Pour 1oz of gin over ice in a shaker. 
  • Add mint leaves and a lemon slice to the shaker.
  • Face east and shake; in all directions, north, east, south, west, above, and below (just like the Lulav and Etrog).
  • Pour gin into glass over ice. Top with 2oz of tonic water and garnish with a lemon slice, mint leaves, and olives.
  • Sip and share in the Sukkah.

High Holy Days 5781 - Mapping Our Journey Toward Transformation - Step 7: Dedication

09/29/2020 10:01:28 AM


A Safe and Healthy Building 

09/23/2020 02:17:15 PM


We look forward to the day when we can come together into the sanctuary for worship. To be ready for that, we are making improvements to enhance our experience and create a healthy and safe space. The Development Committee has been having valuable conversations with members of our community to secure the initial funding for this important project, which includes:

  • Replacing our pews with chairs that can be arranged to create adequate spacing and give us flexibility to welcome various audience sizes, allowing our clergy to be creative with worship space.
  • Replacing the carpeting after removal of pews.
  • Upgrading audio and visual equipment so that all TBE members can continue to worship remotely as needed or desired, with improved access and interaction.
  • Installing an ADA-compliant automatic door opener for the unisex restroom on the main floor.

Thank you to our Development Committee and generous donors for adapting to Temple Beth El’s changing needs and for focusing on our long-range needs and goals.

Temple Community Contribution Program

09/23/2020 02:12:00 PM


Over the last few months, you have received information about the Temple Community Contribution program, which will be launched during our membership renewal period starting in late October. With this program, Temple Beth El moves away from a membership system based on a recommended percentage of household income, replacing it with one in which congregants choose an annual contribution amount reflecting our mutual shared values and responsibility to one another.

Your annual contribution will continue to fund our entire operating budget and will not be allocated to a specific area. The membership renewal packet will contain examples of costs in each of our foundational areas—beit knesset (house of community), beit t’filah (house of worship), beit midrash (house of study), and beit tzedek (house of justice)—as a representation of all that we do together as a community. This information can guide you when you are determining your 2021 contribution amount. Although your active involvement at TBE may focus on one or more of these areas, your financial contribution supports all of them, strengthening our entire community.

While the amount of your annual contribution might not change from your past contributions, we hope that the reasons for your financial support will align with the values most important to you. Your support provides a space, physically and spiritually, for Jewish life to thrive.

Look for your membership renewal packet to arrive in the mail at the end of October. Feel free to reach out to Stefanie Kushner, executive director, with any questions.

Join us for an information session about the Temple Community Contribution program on Wednesday, December 9 at 7:00 pm.

Register for the information session.

Take Action on National Voter Registration Day

09/22/2020 11:33:42 AM


Civic Engagement Action Team

I will vote graphic

This week we celebrate National Voter Registration Day. Now is the time to make sure you are registered to vote and that friends and family are registered too. Read on for more information, including Temple Beth El members who can come to your house to witness your absentee ballot. Volunteer with our TBE team to help register people and get out the vote!

Here’s what you can do this week:

  • Register to vote: Go to to make sure you’re registered at your current address. Reach out to your friends who are students, senior citizens, and people with health and transportation limitations to make sure they are registered and have a plan for voting. Wisconsin voters can register online or in person until October 14. You can also register at the polls, but don’t wait! In Madison, you can register to vote and drop off your absentee ballot in any city park on Saturday, September 26, and Saturday, October 3, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
  • Request an absentee ballot: You can use to request an absentee ballot from the clerk of your city or municipality. To avoid delay, request your ballot in September (again, don’t put it off!). You can return your ballot through the mail or drop it off at the polls on election day. Many cities have drop boxes and other collection options available. Check your city clerk’s website for additional options. For Madison voters, there is a wealth of information here.
  • Get your ballot witnessed: Two TBE members, Robin Sweet and John Grande, will come to the house of any voter who needs to get their absentee ballot witnessed in a socially distanced manner. You can contact them to set up a time at 608-469-7469 or
  • Learn what’s on your ballot: The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin has published its Fall Voter Guide at Voters visiting the site can type in their address and see information about the candidates that will be on their ballot and compare their answers to the League’s questions side by side. This year, VOTE411 provides voters information in English and in Spanish.
  • Begin early voting: Early voting in Wisconsin runs from October 20 to November 1. You can get your ballot and vote at the office of your city clerk during office hours. Many clerks offer additional options such as curbside voting, library voting, and special events. Find your city clerk on
  • Help get out the vote: Contact Aleeza Hoffert at to be added to the weekly emails for our Civic Engagement Action Team. Over the next six weeks, we will have many opportunities for you to help register voters, provide information, and encourage people to vote! For the next three Wednesdays, we will be phone banking and text banking with voters in Florida, Wisconsin, and Colorado. Come give us a hand!

High Holy Days 5781 - Mapping Our Journey Toward Transformation - Step 6: Renewal and Transformation

09/22/2020 10:00:37 AM


Quarantine Craft: Sukkah Decorations

09/21/2020 03:02:30 PM


Jennifer Szlasa

Decorate your sukkah, your home or bring decorations to the Temple Sukkah.

1. paper "stained glass" harvest themed decorations This can be made with:  

  • Construction Paper or craft foam sheets
  • Tissue paper
  • glue or stapler
  • scissors
  • string or wire
  • pencil/pen
  • optional: plastic page protector
  • White paper (printer/construction), 
  • oil pastel or crayon
  • baby oil/other light oil
  • string
  • optional: plastic page protector

2. Make fake fruit/veggies: 

  • various colors model magic or other easily molded clay
  • string or wire

3. Hanging actual or fake gourds

  • gourds of choice
  • string or wire

4. Paper chains

  • Construction paper or magazines, or advertisement papers, or craft foam
  • Scissors to cut paper into strips
  • fasteners: stapler (with staples) or tape or glue
  • Optional: write a wish or blessing on each strip

Quarantine Kitchen: Blueberry Buckle

09/21/2020 01:36:43 PM


Susan Golden

¾ cup sugar
¼ cup softened butter
1 egg

  • ½ cup milk or water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups blueberries


  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • ¼ cup softened butter


  • Beat the sugar and butter together. Add egg and beat. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the blueberries and mix until smooth. Fold in the blueberries.
  • Spray a 9" square pan with PAM and add the batter.
  • Mix all the topping ingredients together until crumbly and sprinkle the topping over the batter.
  • Bake at 375° for about 40–45 minutes.

High Holy Days 5781 - Mapping Our Journey Toward Transformation - Step 5: Forgiveness

09/15/2020 10:01:39 AM


High Holy Days 5781 - Mapping Our Journey Toward Transformation - Step 4: Rejection of Repeated Sin

09/10/2020 10:02:11 AM


Quarantine Kitchen: Apples and Honey

09/09/2020 10:56:53 AM


Steve Lipton


  • Apple (your favorite variety to eat)
  • Honey (local, Israeli, you chose)
  • Sweetness of life (for garnish)


  1. (Optional) Slice apples.
  2. Drizzle honey on apple or dip apple in honey
  3. Recite blessings 

  4. Enjoy with the sweetness of life

Quarantine Kitchen: Gefilte Fish

09/09/2020 09:42:26 AM


Ashley Gordon

Recipe from Joan Nathan as published in the New York Times


  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless salmon, whitefish or striped bass fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ pound boneless, skinless trout, pike or carp (or a mixture of two), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 10 chives
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, tarragon, dill and/or a combination
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons matzo meal
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 head radicchio or endive, or both, for serving
  • Prepared horseradish, for serving


  1. Fill a large, wide pot with 10 cups of water and place over high heat. While bringing to a boil, coarsely chop and add to the pot 1 onion, 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot and the fennel bulb. Add the peppercorns and 1 teaspoon salt. Once water is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, while preparing the fish.
  2. Coarsely chop the remaining onion, celery stalk and 1 carrot, then pulse in a food processor until finely chopped. Add fish, chives and 2 tablespoons parsley, tarragon and/or dill, and keep pulsing until fish is chopped but not mushy.
  3. Move the fish mixture to a medium bowl and add eggs, oil, matzo meal, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or more to taste) and the ground black pepper, and mix well with your hands.
  4. Put your hands in a bowl of cold water. Using your hands, mold the fish mixture into a 3- by 2-inch oval patty (about 2 ounces) and gently place on a platter. Repeat with the remaining fish mixture, dipping your hands in water as needed.   
  5. Pop the third carrot into the simmering broth and gently add the patties to the pot. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until patties are firm.
  6. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fish and carrot from the poaching liquid to cool on a plate. Slice the carrot diagonally into thin rounds.
  7. Place each patty on a leaf of radicchio or endive or both. Set the sliced carrot rounds on top of each patty. Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of fresh herbs and serve warm or at room temperature with horseradish, preferably homemade. If making a day ahead, refrigerate, covered, then return the patties to room temperature before serving.

Simchat Torah Dance Party

09/08/2020 11:47:49 AM


Hard times call for serious dancing! 

Be part of our virtual Simchat Torah Dance Party by sending in a 15-second-or-less video of you or your family dancing. We'll compile these to be shared online as part of our holiday celebration, including posting to our Facebook page. Have some type of Torah at home? Include it in your dancing to rejoice in completing another cycle of Torah reading and beginning again. Dance to whatever music you want, or none at all—we'll be adding a dance-party soundtrack to the compilation. Please film your 15 seconds or less of dancing in landscape orientation and submit it to by September 25.

Submit your video for our Simchat Torah Dance Party today! 

High Holy Days 5781 - Information Updates

09/06/2020 10:01:25 AM


January 24, 2021 11 Sh'vat 5781