April 10, 2014 |
If you're the kind of person who likes to cozy up to the sedate, traditional Passover seders led by the family patriarch, a recent evening at the Gershman Y in Philadelphia might have thrown you for a loop. Tap dancer Germaine Ingram was executing a soulful routine as violinist Diane Monroe accompanied her, expressing the doubt and hope of American slaves upon learning that slavery was abolished. Not a Jewish reference specifically, but surely one to which Jewish history could relate.
March 25, 2013 |
There is a certain happy chaos to life these days at the Moorestown home of Meredith and Seth Broder. As Passover arrives Monday night at sundown, the Broders and their children, Eliza, 11, and Zachary, 10, and family and friends will mark the ancient ritual that celebrates Jewish freedom from Egyptian slavery. They will do it in a home Meredith and Seth designed for just such occasions, where they can enjoy a deep love of family and heritage in a setting where informality reigns.
March 22, 2013
Scottish eyes will be smiling April 2, as Bruce Williams, owner of Williams Brothers Brewery, in Alloa, Scotland, drops by Devil's Den (1148 S. 11th St., 215-339-0855, devilsdenphilly.com ) to discuss the family biz. Among the brews he'll bring along are a hand-pumped firkin of Grozet, brewed with gooseberries, plus bottles of Fraoch Heather Ale, whose recipe dates back to 2000 B.C. Scottish food will supplement the menu for the evening, which begins at 7 p.m. Tickets go on sale Friday for the Do AC Boardwalk Wine Promenade, an outdoor wine festival featuring 150 wines presented at seven destinations along the Boardwalk, May 4-5. $75. doatlanticcity.com , 800-736-1420.
March 22, 2013 |
Every culture has culinary rituals to herald the arrival of spring and celebrate the abundance and renewal of the season. For Jews that is the holiday of Passover, also known as the festival of spring, which begins each year with a festive meal on the first full moon following the vernal equinox - March 25 this year. Family and friends gather to read, sing, and eat traditional and symbolic foods to recount the exodus from Egypt, the move from slavery to freedom.
April 6, 2012 |
Two days before the festival that celebrates the Jews' freedom from slavery, a class at Mishkan Shalom synagogue in Philadelphia burned pieces of paper that symbolized their liberation from another kind of bondage. They were private confessions, written on notes of paper. Rabbi Yael Levy set the fire to mark each person's transformation to a new place that would start during Passover, which begins at sundown Friday. The group was preparing for a ritual called Counting the Omer, a practice that begins on the second day of Passover and continues for 49 days.
April 6, 2012 |
Today is both Good Friday and the start of Passover. For Christians, the day recalls the crucifixion of Jesus on a hill outside Jerusalem's walls. Catholics, Episcopalians and some Lutherans mark the day with solemn observances, including the Stations of the Cross, which traced Jesus's journey from when he was condemned to death to his quick burial in tomb; and Tenebrae, a service during which candles are gradually extinguished while a series of readings and psalms are said or chanted.
April 5, 2012 |
I grew up in a rural town where there were only two Jewish families and, although one of the boys was a close friend in high school, I never thought to ask him what he was eating instead of the tuna noodle casserole and other standbys we Catholics were consuming. With age came diverse neighbors and brazen mooching at their tables, especially on holidays. I've now been to a multitude of Passover seders and have heard for two types of food-related conversations there: ones about heirloom Jewish family recipes that commemorate the ancient Israelites' hasty flight from slavery in Egypt; and spirited debates about what is acceptable to eat on the holiday, which this year begins at sunset on Friday with the ritual seder dinner and continues for seven days.
April 5, 2012 |
Parchment paper or vegetable cooking spray, for the baking sheet ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter or nondairy margarine, at room temperature 2 cups sugar 6 large eggs, at room temperature 1 teaspoon kosher-for-Passover vanilla 2½ cups matzoh cake meal ¾ cup potato starch 4 cups (two 12-ounce bags) semisweet chocolate chips 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
March 22, 2012 |
What a divine season it is for Jesus on Broadway. On one stage, nuns make a joyful noise in Sister Act. On another, he figures highly in The Book of Mormon . Yet another has him as the central figure in Godspell . And he is now in revival - here, we're talking Broadway more than theology - in an effusive Jesus Christ Superstar , the Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that opened Thursday. It's full of powerful, melodic '70s-tinged music - the show premiered in 1971 and "I Don't Know How to Love Him" broke out to become a hit. The score, with Rice's clever lyrics and Lloyd Webbers many fanfare songs, is great fun to hear again, or probably also for the first time.
November 4, 2011 |
It was a dark and stormy night. No, really. So dark and so stormy in the play The Whipping Man , or maybe just in Arden Theatre Company's production of it, that The Constant Metaphor blasts you from the first crash of thunder to the last flash of lightning, when mist and fog are rolling in through a door and rain pours through the show's sound design. I was ducking by then, sure that the Arden stage crew would run through the aisles with buckets to drench us just in case anybody missed the point.