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An Evening with Yankees Pitcher Scott Effross

Having a space to openly talk about all things baseball, his Jewish identity, and mental health is a top priority for New York Yankees Pitcher, Scott Effross. Effross and his wife Brittany have chosen Pittsburgh as their home in the off season because they fell in love with its charm after she attended Duquesne University. Being a native of Twinsburg, Ohio, also meant the two would …

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It’s about the oil

I'd been making latkes for many years before I finally realized something about this food tradition: Chanukah is the oil holiday - a celebration of miraculous oil that lasted 8 days. For me, good latkes are a small miracle too. Over the years, I've learned a few tricks to making (what I think are) the best latkes. The recipe: Joan Nathan's from her classic book, The …

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8 Nights of Light: A Chanukah Menorah Infographic

The menorah is perhaps one of the most widely recognized symbols of Jewish culture and is the centerpiece of the Chanukah celebration. But how much do you really know about it? We’re sharing the fast facts you need to know about the Chanukkiah – from its history and meaning to the logistics of lighting yours – because it’s so much more than just a candelabra!

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Bake the Best Challah!

I contend that this recipe, shared many years ago at an NCJW meeting by Charlotte Sadofsky, is the best challah recipe, ever. It has all the eggs, oil, honey and sugar to make it the richest of all challahs. I add cinnamon for brightness and use lots of seeds - sesame and poppy - to coat. I usually stick to a simple 3-strand braid, but if …

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Fun Facts about the Jewish High Holidays

It's a special time of year, a time to "Start Fresh." To help you prepare, we put together an infographic -- kind of a "fresh" take with interesting facts and information. Wishing each and every one of you Shanah Tovah Umetukah, "A Good and Sweet Year."

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Father’s Day Pledge

While the punch line has changed over the years, the joke (and the underlying societal impression) is unfortunately still the same. While we were growing up, when we were asked what we would be getting Dad for Father’s Day, we always answered, “A tie.” Inevitably, that tie was either store bought with intentions of either meeting, stretching, or countering Dad’s fashion sense; or homemade out …

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Cheesecake – The Taste of Shavuot

Holidays, especially Jewish Holidays, are not the best time to enforce a weight loss diet. Take Shavuot, which this year begins on the eve of Saturday, June 4. For reasons that some attribute to parsing of Jewish law and others, to a tradition that evolved amongst Eastern European Jews, dairy - cheese and one of its sweetest uses, cheesecake - is a Shavuot treat. And so, a …

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Ready, Set, Vote!

    Even though our democracy is only 246 years old, we can look back in Jewish values from 2,000 years ago to guide our understanding of what so many of us understand as the ‘sacred right’ (or is it ‘sacred rite’; or both) to vote. Hillel, an early architect of rabbinic thinking who lived in the first century before the turn of the era commented "Al tifros …

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The Secret to a Sweet Passover: Matzo Brittle

I used to joke that I chose our synagogue because I liked the cookbook. There was some truth to that although as far as recipes go, the very best one was not in the book. Every year, some of us volunteered to do a mass bake of Matzo Brittle to sell to members, using a recipe that I believe was handed down from our rabbi's …

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“Borcas” — Grandma Cele’s Beet Preserves

Another Passover Recipe My husband's Grandma Cele often talked about making her Passover specialties for her sons - carrot candy and something she called "borcas." I did not grow up in a home with Old Country food traditions, so I had no idea what she was talking about. After she'd passed away and I wanted to continue the family tradition, I asked around to find a recipe …

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