Tag archive for "Religion and Spirituality"

Enjoy Aunt Linda’s Beautiful Shavuot Lunch Table!

at home, holiday table settings, shavuot recipes and ideas, shavuot table settings

Enjoy Aunt Linda’s Beautiful Shavuot Lunch Table!

1 Comment 16 April 2015

Thank you cousin Robin Antar for sending in Aunt Linda’s traditional Shavuot table. Aunt Linda and Uncle Leon are known for their warmth, grace and great style. Their Shavuot table is a perfect reflection of their wonderful hobby of collecting unique and beautiful dishes and glassware, so that they can continually gather their family around their inviting table.

This Shavuot table gave me a great excuse to call Aunt Linda. Always happy to answer my questions, whether it be about her parent’s history coming from Syria, or to tell me about her elegant Shavuot table, its always fun, and a pleasure to speak to her.

The crystal goblets are from aunt Linda’s antique collection of Heisey crystal, the lace tablecloth is a purchase from a vacation to St. Thomas, the silver flatware is Christofle, and her dishes were a post wedding purchase from an English china company.

On the menu was, Koosa B’jiben (squash quiche mixed with cheese and eggs), an assorted cheese platter arranged by her grandaughter Marjorie, avocado salad with lemon and cumin, sliced tomato, basil and cheese platter, and much, much more!

By the way, Aunt Linda and Uncle Leon are very proud of their daughter Robin Antar, who is a famous sculptor, and who has a 6,000 pound sculpture of a bag of potato chips that is sitting in her garage at the time of this posting… Robin’ pieces are in some of the most prestigious corporate headquarters in the world.  Doc Martin’s, Chateau Haut Brion Wines, Sketcher’s Boots and more. Check out Robin’s video HERE.

Robin’s work is also includes a beautiful collection of Torah cases and Judaica that are featured in OUR ART, a 400 page coffee table book collection of 300 artists of the Sephardic Community.

I also want to say that I really admire Aunt Linda and Uncle Leon for supporting their daughter’s artistic passion!!!

Enjoy! Marlene





































Enhanced by Zemanta
A Mediterranean Style Bar Mitzvah Table Display with a Golden Touch

bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah parties, kosher recipes, parties, Table-Set-Go in Deal, New Jersey

A Mediterranean Style Bar Mitzvah Table Display with a Golden Touch

6 Comments 03 May 2013

Don’t miss a single recipe or gorgeous table setting idea! 

Click and Subscribe Now for weekly free recipes to your inbox!


This past summer, the Morris I Franco Cancer Center sponsored their annual spectacular women’s table decor fundraiser at the home of Millo and Sam Haddad. Several teams of talented women volunteered their time and efforts to create spectacular table setting themes that wowed the hundreds of women who attended the seaside event. One of the incredible tables was set by Diane Azrak Massry, Cheryl Azrak, Annie Azrak and Frieda Azrak. Starting off with a siddur and a bar-mitzvah tallit  that was handcrafted in Israel, the women chose a Bar Mitzvah table theme for their table setting decor display. This Bar Mitzvah table showcased a blend of our mid eastern Jewish tradition with a modern American flair . Homemade  Syrian pastries such as ras-ib-adjweh (date-filled pastry) and graybeh(buttery cookie topped with a pistachio),  reminiscent of a “zeeyada” or festive occasion celebrated in a Syrian Jewish home, were placed delicately atop a golden tray, while mid-eastern patterned gilt   dinnerware and goblets added to the ambiance of the setting. The gold rimmed colored glass liquor cups are antique finds, and the Moroccan style hurricane lamp was borrowed from Parci Parla Home. The final sweet touch was the triple set of  bar-mitzvah teffilin, torah, and tallit cakes cakes that were artfully baked by Violet Fallas. One of the most exciting parts of the day was having Amy Atlas of Amy Atlas Events come judge the table settings of the day. Stay tuned for the rest of the team’s photos! Here is the Chanel themed table that was posted previously, and  click here for the link to Table Set Go from the summer of 2011.

Photos by Morris Gindi Photography.



Table Decor Ideas, The jewish Hostess


Bar Mitzvah Table, The Jewish Hostess


jewish cake, bar mitzvah ideas, cake,



The women point out all of the details to judge- Amy Atlas

Diane Massry, Poopa Dweck


L to R- Annie Azrak, Amy Atlas, Diane Massry, Frieda Azrak, Cheryl Azrak,

Don’t miss a single recipe or gorgeous table setting idea! 

Click and Subscribe Now for weekly free recipes to your inbox!


Enhanced by Zemanta
A Personal Recipe for YOURSELF on Rosh Hashanah by Life Coach Alice Chera

rosh hashanah and sukkot recipes

A Personal Recipe for YOURSELF on Rosh Hashanah by Life Coach Alice Chera

1 Comment 14 September 2012


Thanks you Alice Chera for your calming words of wisdom during this rushed and hectic holiday whirlwind…

For many Jewish women September is an amalgam of moving trucks, school supplies, holiday menus, shopping lists, and back to school tears. But let’s face it; we women are incredibly energetic and creative. When it comes to whipping up a months worth of gourmet holiday meals we can conquer the kitchen like nobodies business. But oftentimes the essence of the holidays, especially Rosh Hashanah can be overshadowed by the quest for the right fall shoe to the yummy aromas wafting from our kitchen. The fact that another year has passed and a fresh new year awaits us can seem secondary to the myriad of responsibilities required to get our selves and our families “holiday-ready.” So as we think about setting our tables and tweaking our menus, take a moment to focus on yourself and the upcoming year. What do you want this year to look like?

Rosh Hashanah is a time for both gratitude and reflection, a time to take stock of the past year and set our intentions for the year to come. Now is the time to channel some of that wonderful creative energy and decide what you would like to serve up for yourself in this New Year. Close your eyes and take a moment to go into your “inner house.” Picture a large, glorious table, a table just for you. This is your table for the year to come. How do you want to set it? What will be on your menu? What will you do this year to nourish your body, mind and soul?

There are 2 ways that we walk through our lives, one is by “being” and the other is by “doing.” How we walk through this year and who we decide to be is just as important as what we choose to do. This holiday think about what attributes you want to cultivate and what pesky habits you want to release. Perhaps it’s time to let go of self-doubt and work on really appreciating who you are and all that you do. Or how about cranking up your Fun-meter and doing something out of the box at least once a month just for fun? Maybe you have been waiting to go back to school, take that class, or start that juicy project you keep putting off. This Rosh Hashanah, don’t forget one of the most important people to grace your table- that person is you! Create a recipe for yourself this year that spices up your fall, warms your winter and has you blossoming through Spring and Summer.”

Alice Chera, CPCC, ACC
AKC Life Coaching
(917) 692-4409



Enhanced by Zemanta
Sukkah by the Sea

at home, holiday table settings, sukkah and table decor, sukkot table settings

Sukkah by the Sea

No Comments 19 July 2012

Last year, our Sukkah experience was extra special dining in Hymie and Liza’s Spanish style beachside home in New Jersey . Wood sukkah poles were  embellished with magnolia branches from the flower district in Manhattan. Baby pumpkin and squash,  fastened by mini hooks, were hung by thin rope from the bamboo “sechach.”  A huge thanks to our special cousins for a delicious and unforgettable Sukkot lunch!

Share your Sukkah pics!  Send to marlene@thejewishhosess.com


Announcing The Winners of the  Shavuot 2011 Table Contest!

shavuot table settings

Announcing The Winners of the Shavuot 2011 Table Contest!

1 Comment 19 February 2012

Announcing the winners of our 2011 Shavuot Table Contest!

Winner for FIRST PRIZE wins $200. gift certificate to PARCI PARLA!

This a just one of Parci Parla’s gorgeous table settings! Parci Parla has tons of gift and table ware for your home! Email Irene for more info!

SECOND PRIZE - $100 to Josh and Co. Florist

THIRD PRIZE -$75 to Josh and Co.


Winner #1 with the most Facebook likes, comments, and emailed votes sent in to me is Karen Tawil! Check out her beautiful tables HERE!!!

Winner #2 with the most Facebook likes, comments, emailed votes sent in to me AND most inspiring Holocaust survival story is Felicia Bryn, from Sunny Isles Florida. Check out Mrs. Bryn’s table settingHERE.

Winner #3 with the most Facebook likes, comments, emailed votes sent in to me is Lorene Sasson! Lorene’s two table top displays were a big hit! Click HERE to check it out!

A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Linda and Emile Haddad, Susan Lerner, Aunt Linda Betesh, Claudia Bldirici, Rachel Dweck,  and Allison Srour for sharing your GORGEOUS holiday tables with us!!!!

Click on each of their names above to see their beautiful Shavuot tables!

To check out ALL of the magnificent tables shared by our Jewish Hostesses please click HERE ! You are all such an inspiration to me and thousands of Jewish women all over the world! Marlene

Enhanced by Zemanta
The Prettiest Sukkah Decor Ever! A Breathtaking View of Jerusalem, Israel!!

holiday table settings, sukkah and table decor, sukkot table settings

The Prettiest Sukkah Decor Ever! A Breathtaking View of Jerusalem, Israel!!

1 Comment 19 September 2011

Thank you Naomi for sharing this breathtaking view of Jerusalem from your Sukkah 2011!!!  You are absolutely right!!! This is the best decoration yet!! If we can’t all travel to Israel this year for Sukkot, then let’s enjoy Naomi’s view!!!  

By the way, Naomi- LOVE the dishes, wine cup, challah cover, and your baby pomegranates!!!

Jewish Hostesses-please comment below!

What do you think of  this view of Jerusalem for Sukkot???


“Hi Marlene,

This view is the best sukkah decoration. It is taken from my terrace in Jerusalem.

Sushi gefilte and chopsticks as well as Algerian lamb.
Naomi Sutton Neustadter”

Enhanced by Zemanta
Shavuot Table Contest!! Win a $200 Gift Certificate to Parci Parla, and $100 to Josh and Co. Florist!!!

at home, holiday table settings, shavuot table settings

Shavuot Table Contest!! Win a $200 Gift Certificate to Parci Parla, and $100 to Josh and Co. Florist!!!

7 Comments 01 June 2011

Since so many of you sent in such gorgeous seder table pics for our Passover Seder Table Contest, (CLICK HERE ), I decided see what all of my Jewish Hostesses have up their sleeves for Shavuot. Whether you dig up some tabletop surprises in Target and Home Goods, or use your finest delicate china dinner plates, I REALLY WANT TO SEE YOUR SHAVUOT TABLES!! Just be creative and have fun! Its my goal for us all to be able to take a peek into each other’s dining rooms to gain inspiration and learn from each other’s individual talents!!!.


On a similar note, I’d like to bring up the concept of “Hiddur Mitzvah”. Simply put, when we are faced with a simple mitzvah of putting out a holiday table for our family, one in which many berachot are said, and  in which holiday memories will be embedded in our children’s minds for years to come, the concept of beautifying that mitzvah is a huge one.  You’ve probably made the good deed of “Hiddur Mitzvah” without even realizing it. Beautiful sterling kiddush cups,  stunning menorahs and shabbat candles are a prime example.

(Read more about “Hiddur Mitzvah” HERE)

Lets beautify our tables this Shavuot and share in our individuality- send in your Shavuot table pics to marlene(AT)thejewishhostess.com (use an @).

First Prize: will receive an amazing $200 gift certificate to: Parci Parla Home Accessories

Parci Parla: Home Accessories, Table Top, Kim Seybert, Exclusive Ralph Lauren Tabletop, Exclusive Allesi Tabletop, Decorative Pillows and Vases, Trays, Personalized decorating service for your home.

Two locations:

1-4904 13th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11219 (718) 686 – 6858

2-508 Kings Hwy # 10,Brooklyn, NY 11223

Second Prize: $75 to Josh and Co. Florist.

1965 McDonald Avenue Between Kings Highway and Quentin Road. Call (917)-520 6446

Third Prize: $50 to Josh and Co. Florist

I love this photo decorated by Irene Kassin and Rachel Benun of Parci Parla at


Some of Parci Parla’s tablesettings:
Josh and Co. Florist:
Brand New Loation! 1965 McDonald Avenue Between Kings Highway and Quentin Road. Check out some of his gorgeous creations:

Enhanced by Zemanta
How to Transform  Holiday Centerpiece Snapshots Into Art

at home, kosher recipes, parties, rosh hashanah table setting ideas

How to Transform Holiday Centerpiece Snapshots Into Art

4 Comments 31 May 2011

Did you ever wish you could capture all of those gorgeous memories of your centerpieces during holidays past? Consider photographing them using interesting camera angles. Besides having a tangible visual reference that you can refer to, you may surprise yourself and create a work of art worthy to be enlarged and printed on plexi-glassto be hung on your walls.

During Passover, I hired Bettie Esses to create my flower arrangements. They were absolutely gorgeous and a few days later, I took the opportunity to practice my photography skills on these organic floral spring centerpieces.

Below are the centerpieces that were in the center of each square table. Simple trapezoid vases held orchid buds resting on a bed of colored rocks and stones. In trapezoid  vase # 1, I  arranged them in a row and photographed the vases in an angle to practice an interesting depth of field using a small aperture. For point and shoot users, the portrait setting may help create a similar affect of gradual blurring in the background. I photographed trapezoid vase # 2 from above using a small aperture. Again, point and shoot cameras on the portrait setting may give you that blurring effect.


Trapezoid vase photo #1 (above)




Trapezoid vase photo #2

Cylinder  photo # 3 is a simple photograph of what the two main centerpieces on my dining room table looked like. Each two foot long cylinder vase held a lone orchid stem completely immersed in water.  I took the photograph up a notch by standing on a chair to capture the circular shape of the mouth of the vase for an interesting perspective (cylinder photo # 2). Cylinder photo # 1 shows a closer perspective of the buds inside the vases.

Cylinder photo # 1 (above)

Simply shifting your position and photographing your centerpieces from different perspectives  may wow you with an image your certainly proud of . Plus, don’t forget to play with your camera settings (like portrait setting or smaller apertures) for added interest.

Cylinder vase photo #2

(above) Cylinder  Phot0 # 3

Gladys Hedaya loves to capture the extraordinary details in the everyday, awesome vacations, and special moments, through writing, photography and digital coffee table book creations.

Gladys graduated NYU and majored in English with a minor in fiction writing.
She taught scrapbook lessons for about four years and creates premium coffee table books and family legacy books.

Gladys currently contributes to the crafting section of the Alphabet Kids monthly newsletter.

Photos were taken with a Canon 5D Mark II, SLR camera, and 50 mm 1.4 lens.


Seder in Style

at home, kosher passover recipes,seder table Ideas

Seder in Style

4 Comments 30 March 2011

There is perhaps no more traditionally Jewish night than Seder night, and there is no reason that your Seder table has to be as stale as the Matzah you are serving!

These modern takes on the traditional Seder plate will add that Dash Of Panache to your traditional Seder.

Here are our picks for best  modern Seder plates of 2011:

1.Elegant Ceramic Seder plate engraved by hand, this Bernardaud “Louvre Judaica” Seder Plate is the perfect Passover gift for your favorite Jewish Hostess.  At Bloomingdales $220.


2. This contemporary  sterling silver seder plate is a stunning piece. Famed designer LellaVignelli brings her strong architectural vision to a limited collection of Judaica commissioned by The Jewish Museum. Of course its my favorite one and at $1875.00 its the most expensive!!!

3. This Spode designed seder plate is based on historic Judaic manuscripts from the 1880’s, influenced by early ceramic tile motifs,and features the traditional Judaic colors of blue and white. $103.00 available HERE.

4. A celebration of spring’s arrival, this handcrafted seder plate by American artist Melanie Dankowitz is lasercut from stainless steel. This is my second choice for prettiest seder plate, much more affordable at $254, HERE.

5. Laura Cowan makes a line of Judaica that is space-age minimalist.  We love it.  This seder plate design is inspired by the craters on the moon’s surface and is crafted out of polished aluminum. $199.00 available HERE.

6. Designer Ann Morhauser created this elegantseder plate featuring 24kt gold lettering and trim on a glass platter. $225 available HERE.

7. Designer Jonathan Adler brings us this modern seder plate for Passover.   The seder plate is crafted in glazed porcelain with real gold accents and is sure to be smashing on your holiday table. $150.00 available HERE.

8. Designer Michael Aram created this seder plate inspired by the form of pomegranates, a symbol of eternity, fertility, and plenty.  It is an age old image which crosses cultures and transcends time and one of the seven species of Israel.  Weaving modern thought with tradition, Aram included seven spaces rather than six, so the seder plate can hold both the six symbolic seder foods and an orange, which honors the contributions of women. $225.00 Available HERE.

9. The designers at Israel Giftware Designs is affordable and and chic. $29.99 available at Amazon.com



10. This artfully designed porcelain Seder plate has the elegance of a Michael Aram’s style and the price of
Crate and Barrel at $85.
How to Make Shavuot Special for Kids

kids, shavuot recipes and ideas

How to Make Shavuot Special for Kids

No Comments 01 January 2011

By Carol Ungar

1. The counting of the Omer is exciting for kids especially if they’ve counted the whole way through at home or at school. Emphasize this.

2. It’s customary to decorate the home and synagogue with greenery because  on the day that  the Torah was given Mt. Sinai was full of flowers . Send your kids out into the garden to clip flowers and shrubs. Better yet, go out there with them.

3.Kids usually love the Shavuot dairy menu. In addition to blintzes think lasagna, quiche and yogurt soups.

4. Tell the story of Mount Sinai with great  drama. Hachai Press has a wonderful kids book about called  “When the World Was Quiet”  which describes that very special day

5. Talk about what it means to recieve the Torah.

6. Go to the synagogue to hear the Ten Commandments.

Click below for a great assortment of books for kids bedtime. A great holiday present!

Enhanced by Zemanta
20+ Great Kosher Cookbooks

gourmet kosher cookbooks, kosher recipes, SHOP HERE

20+ Great Kosher Cookbooks

2 Comments 23 October 2010

Check out this hot selection of gourmet kosher cookbooks. Perfect kosher recipes for your favorite Jewish Hostess on Hanuka. Choose from your favorite Sephardic Jewish cook’s recipes in Brooklyn and Deal, N.J. , or scroll down and order from Amazon’s bestsellers by Susie Fishbein, Jamie Geller, Paula Shoyer, and more! Whatever you choose, your gifts will be treasured in the kosher kitchen for years to come.

Magen David Yeshivah's Brand New Gourmet Cookbook

to order Chef at Home contact Yvonne Franco.


available at www.deal delights.com. Proceeds are donated to Hillel Yeshivah.


available at www.deal delights.com. Proceeds are donated to Hillel Yeshivah.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Rosh Hashanah This Year-Is it Early or On Time?

healthy mind

Rosh Hashanah This Year-Is it Early or On Time?

No Comments 01 September 2010

by Linda Dayan

Most of us are still enjoying the summer vacation. We are away from the daily routine, which keeps us busy during the year at home. The kids may be in camp and few parents have any thoughts about school supplies!

However, I’m sure that you have heard (even if you claim to have forgotten every now and then)… the Holidays are “early this year!”

As I once heard from Rabbi David Orlovsky: “Did you ever notice that the High Holidays are either early or late? How come they are never ON TIME?”

We have entered the Jewish month of Elul, which tells us that Rosh HaShana is less than a month away. This statement is not meant to pressure anyone. It is your friendly reminder that we have some work to do; not only for our freezer, but also for ourselves.

The days of Elul are imbued with H-Shem coming closer to the Jewish people. During this period, He is more intensely accessible, with His good will and forgiving “disposition.” We don’t want to miss this opportunity!


Yetzer HaRa (the evil inclination) knows just how to trap us, especially when we are trying to improve. We have to be conscious of how to send him packing. Here are some of his tactics that he may throw your way (so watch out!):

“So what if you talk some lashon hara now and then? It’s not so bad; besides you have to be sociable.”

“You were born with lots of anger; that’s how you’ve always been and no one expects you to change – especially at your age!”

“I know it’s important for you to dress more modestly, but come on… you’re not that religious. Besides, if you can’t do it perfectly, then why try at all?”

So let’s use these days of Elul to make baby steps in the right direction.

No, your speech will not change overnight. But you can learn 2 halachot a day with a friend (not more, or you may give up). It can take about five minutes on the phone and make a difference in your day.

Anger, or any mida (personality trait) can take years to work on. NOW is the best time to start. No one said you have to finish! Perfection is another one of the Yetzer HaRa’s tricks to get you to despair. How about aiming to keep your voice down for a specific one or two hours a day.

If you want to be more modest, pick some area that is not too difficult for you. If you have a friend for support, that always helps. But don’t think that a baby step in the right direction is not considered growth. No matter how tiny, YOU have made a STEP. And H-Shem values that!

So know that H-Shem loves us and is closer this time of year. Take advantage of His kindness to us by looking for small meaningful steps to enter this New Year as a person who is trying.

Do your best and let H-Shem do the rest.

Wishing all the Jewish Hostess readers a healthy, happy and sweet year; one in which we feel fulfilled, accomplished and having more self-respect because of our efforts to progress.

CLICK and Sign up for our free newsletter!
Be in the know with our fresh recipes, elegant table settings, chic click-to gifts, holiday e-cards, fitness  fashion tips, kids crafts, discounts to our favorite shops, and so much more!

Enhanced by Zemanta
A Parasha Ponder…Parashat Chukat

kosher recipes

A Parasha Ponder…Parashat Chukat

No Comments 17 June 2010

In this week’s Torah portion, Hashem instructs Moshe to speak to the rock to bring forth water for the people. Instead of following these exact instructions, Moshe is flustered by the congregation’s nagging and hits the rock. Furthermore he calls the people “you rebels.” Moshe’s reaction does not please G-d, and Moshe is consequently punished.

Luckily for us, the bible is not filled with perfected angels treading on clouds, but rather with actual people living on the rough terrain of life, providing stories we can learn from.

How Moshe reacted makes me think about what regular people do in frustration. Most of us (not me,) raise our voices and find some way to bully our viewpoints through. Who of us can say (maybe me) that we have not once used name-calling to try to inspire someone to improve?

Parents, teachers, and spouses especially hold very close mirrors that can reflect a lasting picture. Calling a person lazy, stubborn, dumb, sickly or annoying is like placing a permanent and damaging brand on his or her self-image. While it is better to say: You are acting lazy, dumb, sickly, and/or annoying, it is still better is to say: You are helping me so much, I love what you are saying, you look better today, thanks for being so kind, showing such patience…

And when loved ones just don’t inspire these words, I say, hold your tongue and look harder.

My Caleb Can-do Attitude

kosher recipes

My Caleb Can-do Attitude

2 Comments 02 June 2010

A Parasha Ponder by Renee Beyda

I recently attended  a graphic arts class, and on my first day, I was impressed with the many glossy pictures of computer rendered apples that were displayed along the walls. When the professor informed the class that by the end of the program, our apples would replace the others, I began to panic. These “Galas” were terrific! The shapes were perfectly smooth, the depth on each was tangible, and the colors were vibrant and well placed.

My sister-in-law heard my fear and encouraged me with a clear and simple line. “If people less able than you can do it, you can do it!” I repeated this phrase to myself over and over again, wearing it like a shield against the self-doubt and discouragement I naturally felt throughout that challenging course. Now, I don’t mean to brag, but honest to G-d, after lots of hard work, I can proudly say, that in the end, my apple was the finest in my class! This inspiring motto proved to be an effective tool for success, a necessary engine in an intimidating world.

The account in this week’s upcoming Parasha, Parasha Shelah, reminded me of this lesson. Moshe sent men to scout out the land of Israel and they returned with a defeated attitude, announcing that the people dwelling on the land were too strong for the children of Israel to conquer. One of the scouts, Caleb, tried to counter the negativity. He said, “We can indeed go up and take possession of it, for we are truly able to do so.” But the other men continued their pessimism and a great fuss arose amongst the masses.  Hashem got angry at the people for not trusting Him and declared that of the scouts, only Caleb, who had a different attitude, will enter and inherit the land.

Perhaps the Bible is trying to tell us that not only is faith in Hashem an important tool for success, but being positive is as well. I believe the Torah is trying to convey that if we gird ourselves with a Caleb can-do attitude and perhaps use talking tools that move us over obstacles, we and our families can conquer giants wherever they may be.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Hats Off To Life!

kosher recipes

Hats Off To Life!

1 Comment 25 May 2010

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”-Eleanor Roosevelt

There are life events that change us forever.

Using all of her inner resources, Margie Bijou was able to transform heart wrenching grief  into a positive energy that has added  to the  joy and glamour of hundreds of weddings and Bar-Mitzvahs.

In her own words, this is Margie’s story:

Chapter One: Ezra Abraham:

“My Mom called me one day and told me that my 16 year old cousin Eddie  was going in for a biopsy of a cyst on his knee. It wasn’t a big deal but she was just wanted to make me aware. (Ironically on ER that week, there was a girl who was a soccer star who came into the ER with a sprained knee and walked out with an amputation due to a tumor in her lower leg.) So I told my mom that she shouldn’t ever assume anything.I repeated the epsiode details and she shouted some line in arabic which meant “HOW DARE YOU EVEN BREATHE such negativity!!!!!!!

I still remember the email my dad had printed for us that told us Eddie had at the most 3 months to live. He was 16.
We weren’t the closest of cousins. My uncle had moved his family to New Jersey and as hard as it is to be close with my family that lives a block away, its is 4 billion times harder when they live in another state.
I only got to know Eddie because of his illness..

Chapter Two:  Sherri
My cousin was having a Bar Mitzvah for her son and needed a hat to complete her outfit. Of course, none were to be found across the entire tri-state area, so I decided to search the net. I got hooked on Ebay and started buying every vintage hat that  I could find. Federal Express showed up at my door every day for 2 months and the hat boxes started to stack up underneath the baby grand  piano…..About 200 hats later I finally found something in the same vicinity of the green we needed. A veil arrived. I sewed it and made it to fit…..Ah finally the outfit was complete.

A week later I received a frantic phonecall from  Sherri whose son’s bar-mitzvah was in three days. “Margie- my dog Othello jumped onto the dining room table and chewed my hat up into a thousand little pieces!!”

Two minutes later, Sherri showed up at my door with the chewed up remains of two months of searching hours online and a over a thousand dollars in useless old hats.
It was a catastrophe!!
The next day an idea popped into my head. I ran out and bought a green kippah and sewed it back together.I still remember sitting at the dining room table pushing the needle throught the suede and into my fingers…
After 4 hrs I had reconstructed it to what it looked like before (except for a few teeth marks).
Othello was sent to live with a very nice family in the country and Sherri looked like a supermodel!

About a year later I moved into a new house and the hats were packed into bins and stuffed into a closet way up on the 3rd floor.

Chapter Three: Fate

One week after mothers day in 2005 , my mothers only sister, my aunt Merle died of melanoma on her lung. She had been only just diagnosed 6 months before. That same October of that year,  2 days before Yom Kippur, my fathers mother, grandma Margie died.

Two days after that,my cousin Eddie succumbed to a 7 year battle with rhabdomyocarcessarcoma.

Not something you see every day. My uncle Irwin sat shiva for his mother and son in the same week.

What a crazy year.

These tragedies inspired me to want to make every day of my life meaningful and not to waste one moment of the precious time that we have.

When Eddie passed away, my Aunt Susan gave me his hats that he wore during his illness to add my collection. It was then that the idea to lend out the hats to raise money for his foundation came to me. He motivated me to want to give back to others.”

Chapter Four: Hats Off To Life

A room in my home has been converted into a “Hat Room” where many Jewish women of all ages try on gorgeous hats  and have a great time till they find just the right one!

The majority of the women that come in, are ones I have never even met or seen before, yet we bond as we try on dozens of hats…of course they bring over their  possible choices of outfits, shoes, and accessories, and  together we assemble their beautiful look for their momentous day.

Through out the last few years  I have accumulated many many stories some funny, some sad…and some just out of control!  Some days I seriously feel like a bartender and and not only  do I decorate ladie’s heads ,but  I also listen to what’s in their hearts as well…

Our hats are part of a private collection that consists of mostly vintage dress hats.Many of the hats have also been donated by people that don’t have a need for them anymore.

People are sharing! Women are calling other women to borrow hats. Designers are  calling me to donate their hats.

People are giving more than just money, they are giving of themselves.

Continue Reading

Shavuot- Everything You Always Wanted to Know

kosher recipes

Shavuot- Everything You Always Wanted to Know

No Comments 12 May 2010

Ever wanted to know Shavuot was all about, in your own terms? We found this tasty little Shavuot Digest from one of our favorite sites for fellow Jews-

Tablet.com.- A New Read on Jewish Life.

Its everything you wanted to know about our favorite holiday, from why we eat Cheesecake to the Book of Ruth’s juicy plot lines!



It’s the day the Israelites got the Torah. As you may recall, they left Egypt in a bit of a hurry, and therefore it took some weeks until they were ready to attend to the business of receiving the word of God and become the official Chosen People. How many weeks? Seven, the Hebrew word for which, sheva, shares a root with the word Shavuot, which means weeks. To mark the occasion of having received the divine laws, we do what Jewish mothers everywhere would have us do year-round: study all night long.

Together with Passover and Sukkot, the holiday is also one of the Three Pilgrimages (or shalosh regalim, if you want to rock the Hebrew), annual occasions for the ancient Israelites to bring their harvest and livestock over to the Temple in Jerusalem for festivities and ritualistic slaughter. And while the pilgrimage part was abandoned—you know, exile and all—we still mark these three major holidays with special recitations of the joyous Hallel prayer.


Surprisingly, none. It’s one of those Jewish holidays without an awesome villain. Which is also why it’s one of those Jewish holidays not yet turned into a major Hollywood motion picture.


Delicious dairy products. Cheesecakes are big. If your ancestors hail from the Tri-State area—Poland, Russia, Ukraine—so are blintzes.


The rational explanation is that the Torah was given on the Sabbath, and as no animals could be slaughtered to celebrate the happy occasion, the Israelites likely shrugged their shoulders and collectively agreed to nosh on some brie. More mystical Jews—you know, Madonna—believe that the numbers speak for themselves: Dairy in Hebrew is chalav, and if you sum up the numerical value of the three Hebrew letters that make up that word you get 40. Which is a number you’d remember if you had to wander in the desert for as many years.


First up, be happy. Why? It says so in Deuteronomy: “And you shall rejoice in your festival … and you shall only be happy.” Done rejoicing? Get ready for Yom Tov, which is a kind of Holiday Lite: You’re not allowed to work, use electrical appliances, handle money, or do any of the other stuff you can’t do on the Sabbath, but you are allowed to cook and bake, provided you use a pre-existing flame for lighting your fire and avoid that Kitchenaid. You can also carry stuff in public, another Sabbath no-no.

But Yom Tov’s less about the nays and more about the yays. Because we have to be happy, we’re obligated to prepare obscene amounts of food and invite the less fortunate to partake. Men are also expected to buy new clothes or jewelry for their wives, candy or toys for the wee ones, and flowers for the home, as Shavuot, celebrated in the spring, is also known as the Festival of Harvest.


You bet. Traditionally, we read the Book of Ruth on Shavuot. It’s like the Desperate Housewives of Canaan—Dead husbands! Levirate marriages! Sexy harvest scenes!—whose heroine is a Moabite who converts to Judaism and becomes the great-great-grandmother of King David (symbolism alert: Just as the Israelites accept the Torah and become Jews, Ruth embraces the Torah and becomes a Jew herself). King David, by the way, is said to have been born and died on Shavuot, which makes the book apropos, as do said harvest scenes.

And then, of course, there’s the matter of all-night learning. We weren’t kidding about that: It’s called a tikkun, Hebrew for correction, and tradition has it that since the Jews didn’t rise early enough to receive the Torah in Sinai—some accounts have God himself nudging them from their sleep, in what must have been the most terrifying wake-up call ever—they have resolved to stay up all night and study the Torah, commemorate the day it was given, and make up for the drowsiness of their ancestors. While religious Jews still adhere to Torah study, many less observant ones choose to spend the night studying anything from Jewish history, poetry, and art to contemporary Israeli television shows.

Reprinted from Tablet Magazine.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Personalize Your Party and Chic Gifts!



“Like” us on Facebook!

© 2016The Jewish Hostess - Kosher Recipes, Jewish Recipes, Gourmet Kosher Recipes®