Synagogue Shabbaton

September 23-25, 2016

Save the Date!! The congregational retreat is a time for us to bond as a community through prayer, music, learning, lots of play and great food.  A congregational retreat is a huge undertaking.  If you are interested in participating next fall, please email RaeAnn Brechner.  Please also let us know if you are happy with the rustic ambiance of Camp Miriam or if you would prefer a different venue.

Shabbat Club for Tots

From February 26

Join Rabbi Harry and Gan Shalom for
a Tot Shabbat experience on Friday mornings at 10:45 at
Congregation Emanu-El/Gan Shalom.

All children under five accompanied
by an adult/parent are welcome.

Join us for a fabulous Oneg Shabbat
(Shabbat celebration) with music, dance and movement, Torah stories and
ruaḥ-spirit!  Did we mention homemade

This new Jewish enrichment programme begins February 26.

Shabbat Shebang

Come join Hebrew School families, Hillel Students, Rabbi Harry, RaeAnn, Nejama and friends for a spirited joy filled Shabbat experience—Friday, December 5 at 6:00pm at Congregation Emanu-El

We start with Happy Hour, followed by Shabbat Dinner.  Dinner is a modified eco-kosher potluck.  The synagogue takes care of Shabbat accoutrement wine, ḥallah….Rabbi Harry and some volunteers will prepare our main course—a down home Cajun Tuna Riverboat Gumbo File.  

You supply your own plates, utensils, bowls, napkins etc…  You also bring a dairy or vegetarian side dish to add to the potluck.  (If you do not have a kitchen and do not have utensils—not to worry, we will have an assortment of compostable disposals and there is always enough food) 

After Dinner we will have a soulful, spirited Kabbalat Shabbat experience led by our very own Nejama and RaeAnn.  Services will be led in a camp-song leading style and accompanied by guitar and percussion. Expect dancing.   Rabbi Harry will do some kid friendly teaching/story telling.

After Kabbalat Shabbat we will return to the social hall for ice cream sundaes followed by Birkat HaMazon (grace after meals) 

Why:  Shabbat is a time for expansive joy.

Who:  Everyone is welcome we ask that folk make a minimum donation of five dollars per person to cover some of our costs.  This is a pilot program- let’s make it a huge success!

Sent from my iPad

Catch the Spirit at Shabbat Shebang

Friday evening, September 19, 7:30pm

join friends for a joyful family style and playful Kabbalat Shabbat experience at Emanu-El the synagogue that could.  Experience shabbat joy through music, dance, storytelling and lots of ruaḥ with Nejama, RaeAnn and Rabbi Harry. 

Happy Hour begins a 7:30, a rocking Friday night service at 7:45 followed by an ice cream sundae kiddush.  (please note that this is an apres dinner experience)  

Vegetarian Cholent

by David Bodrug
Many a winter’s Shabbat was graced with this cholent recipe, a vegetarian modification of a meat-based recipe from Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen’s What’s Cooking Jewish (Parragon Publishing UK).  You’ll find that in time, you’ll find your own intuitive balance of spicing – and feel free to experiment with this as an “Al Dafina” Sephardi version using North African spicing.  Crockpots can be of different sizes, so if you think there’s too many ingredients, omit a couple of potatoes or a half-cup of the navy beans.  You can also make this recipe in the oven in a heavy pot (the ceramic flameproof casserole ones are best), cooking it at 225°F.
Prepare in advance:
  • 2 cups white navy beans (I use dry beans soaked overnight)
  • 4 onions, diced and/or sliced
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, chopped small
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 package of veggie sausages
  • ½ cup short grain brown rice
  • 6-10 potatoes
  • 1-2 large yam(s)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1-2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 6-8 tbsp water
  • 1 28oz can of diced canned tomatoes (unseasoned, low sodium if possible) 
  • pepper to taste
If you like it hot, you can add ½ tsp of cayenne, or 1 tbsp of Sambel Olek sauce.
I usually put 2 tbsp of olive oil in the bottom of the slow cooker and spread it around the bottom and sides with paper towel.
In a large frying pan, saute the onions on medium heat until golden brown, and then add the garlic for the last 30-60 seconds.  Remove onions and garlic to the slow cooker, and saute the veggie sausages so they soak up the onion and garlic flavour and carmelize a little.  When they’re finished, layer on top of the onions.
I usually put the navy beans as the next layer and dust them with thyme and cumin.   Nestle the bay leaves amongst the beans.  Potatoes are next, with paprika (in recent months I’ve taken to covering the potatoes with a dusting of paprika before putting them in). Then yams with cumin. Then the rice and kidney beans with chili powder.  Then the canned tomatoes.  I usually add the salt and pepper here.
It all melds in the end, but I think the above combo layers melds particular spices with particular items in a way that does make a subtle difference.  You can also repeat layers if you have a bigger crock pot.
Once the layers are set up, I clean the pan used for the onions and garlic.  I put it on medium-high heat and put the brown sugar in.  Pour about 2 tbsp of water over the sugar and let it bubble and carmelize – stirring gently.  Have the remaining 4-6 tbsp water in a glass ready to pour in before the sugar carmelizes.  Once carmelized, I slowly pour the rest of the water in and swirl it around as I transit the pan from the stovetop to above the slow cooker.  Pour the contents of the pan over the contents of the slow cooker as you would salad dressing.  Then pour water to cover all the contents of the cholent pot.
Make sure you have enough room to get enough water that it won’t dry out, but you should also aim to have a good half-inch between the water covering the cholent and the top of the crockpot – or else if may bubble up and overflow when the rise and beans expand.  You’ll find the right balance of ingredients to the size of your crockpot in time.  Also check your crockpot before starting to cook.  Some crockpots will turn themselves off after 12 hours, which won’t help in the winter months when you’re setting up a cholent at 3 in the afternoon to be eaten for the next days lunch!
I hope this recipe brings you as much nachas and simcha as it did for me in making it for the Emanu-El kehillah over the years.  If you find improvements on the recipe through your own experimentation, please send them to me!  I’m still in the directory.
Enjoy and Shabbat Shalom!

[Find this and other recipes in the forthcoming Sefer Emanu-El book in honour of the congregation’s Sesquicentennial]