Tag archive for "Sephardi Jews"

Table-Set-Go Rosh Hashanah Table – Be Inspired!

holiday table settings, rosh hashanah table setting ideas, rosh hashanah table settings, Table-Set-Go in Deal, New Jersey

Table-Set-Go Rosh Hashanah Table – Be Inspired!

6 Comments 20 January 2013

On Tuesday July 11, the fabulously talented women of the Sephardic community in Deal, New Jersey unleashed their creative table setting talents to amaze hundreds of Jewish women who arrived to support the Morris I. Franco Community Cancer Center. This event, staged on the spacious summer porch of the home of our gracious hosts,Charles and Ariella Ben Dayan, was a competition that consisted of eight teams of 1-5 women per team. Each team was given a random holiday theme, in which they created a unique table setting. The basic rule was that they must use a 48 inch round table that was supplied to them, and from there on in, the sky was the limit.  An impressive lunch, chinese auction gifts, and demonstrations were also featured during the day. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so go on and feast your eyes!!!!

Rosh Hashanah

Table by:

Marcy Smeke, Pauline Assa, Michal Gindi, Grace Chehebar, Tunee Missry

This  Rosh Hashanah table is truly a work of art and imagination. The table was lined with a vintage table cloth. Next, the girls layered the table with bamboo place mats, a gold woven place mat, green glass charger, gold dish, a hand painted gold leaf salad plate, embroidered leaves napkin and gold flatware. Note the symbolic silver apple that tops off the whole place setting. Of course we “dip the apple in the honey” to symbolize the hopefully sweet upcoming New Year.

Are you starting to get a little anxious about when is Rosh Hashanah this year of 2011? Well, mark your calendars and get back on the beach! You’ve got till Sept 28 at sundown to start dipping those apples…..


Above: Note the LIVE FISH swimming in the elongated green vases. A genius idea!!! Of course the fish are a perfect symbol of The Jewish New Year, as many people serve the head of the fish on the Rosh Hashanah table to symbolize the fact that we should be the “Rosh”  (the head)and not the ” Zanav”(the tail).

The fish also symbolize our custom of “Tashlich” in which we throw our sins into a live body of water that contains fish.

The photo above was taken by Norma Cohen just seconds before an ocean breeze sent one of the vases toppling over. Thankfully Grace Chehebar saved the day and scooped  all of the flopping fish off of the porch and flung them into the second vase.

Note the Shofar candlesticks above!!!

Above :I LOVE the silver apple casually placed in to the bowl of green apples!!!

Below: Don’t miss the fresh honey oozing out of the honey combs! (The girls whispered to me that  the honey combs can be bought HERE .)

In my opinion, the real hit of the whole table was the apple that doubled as a honey jar. Pauline Assa explained her unique Rosh Hashanah invention to me in 4 easy steps:

  1.  Take an apple and slightly slice off the bottom so that it sits upright.(leave a flat bottom so the the honey doesn’t leak out)
  2. Scoop with a melon baller
  3. Swish some lemon juice around the apple sides and top (this may be done the night before the holiday).
  4. Fill with honey.
  5. HOW COOL????
  6. Stay tuned to The Jewish Hostess for more of the fabulous Table Settings displayed by the Jewish women who came together for the Morris I. Franco Community Cancer Center on July 12 2011!!! (Coming up…… Sukkot, Shabbat, Chanuka, A Garden Party, Shavuot, and Passover……..)

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Sephardic Rice and Peas with Shredded London Broil

kosher main dish recipes, kosher meat recipes, kosher recipes, kosher rice and pasta recipes, kosher thanksgiving recipes, rosh hashanah and sukkot recipes, shabbat recipes

Sephardic Rice and Peas with Shredded London Broil

2 Comments 20 November 2012

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

Another recipe from an Instagram fan!

Many Sephardic recipes contain allspice, which possesses the delicious flavor of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg ground into one. It’s a great accent to meats, rices, side dishes, and salads. In this recipe, Laura uses cinnamon, allspice, pistachios and nuts. All of these ingredients punctuate the aromatic flavors of the Sephardic household duringShabbat and holidays.

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Yeshivah Bakers Jewish Holiday Cupcake Wars, 2011- Re-Cap!

hanukka recipes and tablesettings, holiday table settings, kosher recipes, purim recipes, baskets, and decor, rosh hashanah and sukkot recipes, rosh hashanah table setting ideas

Yeshivah Bakers Jewish Holiday Cupcake Wars, 2011- Re-Cap!

4 Comments 31 October 2012

Welcome to The Jewish Hostess!   Click HERE  and Subscribe Now for free table setting ideas and a chance to win the cookbook of the month!

Yeshivah Bakers Jewish Holiday Cupcake Wars, 2011- Re-Cap!

On Wednesday, November 16,  the Sephardic Community Center hosted hundreds of community women to gather and soak up  the talents of the celebrity bakers that reside within the Syrian Jewish community. Never before have all of our expert “Jewish Hostesses” mommy bakers gathered  in one place for a friendly fundraising competition.

This day of unity featured the creative baking expertise of six teams consisting of 2-3 yeshiva moms, each team representing a different community school.

Each team was given a Jewish holiday theme (which was chosen at random), in which they had to create a cupcake from scratch that represented that theme. I was lucky enough to be chosen as a one of the judges (I think I gained about 3 pounds that day- but it was SO worth it!!!!) for the competition, along with Claudia Bildiricci (of the famous “LOTTIE BISCOTTI”) and Katy Zanville of Sprinkles Cupcakes, NYC.

The clock struck at 12:15, and  the girls  flurried about in organized precision, rolling, baking, fitting, topping, and assembling their cupcake themed displays.As their masterpieces began to take shape, you could hear the “oohs and aahhs” among the crowd of amazed women. In 90 minutes they would  be judged by their creativity, adherance to the theme of the holiday, and deliciousness of their cupcakes.

While the bakers were hard at work, the hungry audience was ushered into a fabulous lunch bar that was catered by A Kosher Affair. A gorgeous turquoise themed chinese auction full of tempting gifts for every Jewish Hostess had tons of  tickets stuffed into each box, each one awaiting a lucky winner.

Though these events seemingly fall into place SO easily, we all know that it takes women like  Lisa Elo and Linda Sasson who can defy the conventional. and pull a monumental gathering like this  together.  Another thanks to our MCs for the day- Gail Mizrahi, Lynda Levy, and Linda Sasson.

Please comment below and mention everyone that I may have forgotten to thank!

So now, the moment you’ve been waiting for!!!! First of all, let me introduce you to some real Jewish Hostesses in every sense of the word!

The Barkai Team

Susie Sorscher, Margalit Dweck, Melissa Soffer

The Hillel Team

Sari Rishty,  Alexis Cohen

The Yeshivah of Flatbush Team

Jamie Bailey, Sarah Dweck, Jennifer Terzi

The Shaare Torah Team

Sharon Haber, Mary Sutton, Tunee Mizrahi


Tha Magen David Yeshivah Team

Esther Barnathan, Esther Chrem,  Sarine Segal

The Yeshivaht Derech Eretz

Frieda Cohen Fortune Nakash,  Fortune Farca

Sherri Gindi, GLadys Haddad, Linda Sasson, Lisa Elo


Judges Katy Zanville, Claudia Bildiricci, and Me

MCs Gail Mizrahi, Lynda Levy

Racing against the clock…

I wish that I could have uploaded ALL  of the gorgeous pictures taken by Mark Greenberg that day but the pics below were the best ones!

And NOW……. for the CUPCAKES!!!!!

Passover By Hillel Yeshivah bakers was displayed as a petite seder plate atop a silver star shaped dish. The girls created their very own mini gold pillow, wine cup, celery dipped in salt water and charoset out of home-made modeling chocolate. The cupcake was a unique fleur de sel “red”  velvet (representing the river of blood on Passover!) cupcake with yummy coconut cream cheese frosting (get it? Cream cheese on matzo….) Great Job, Girls!!!!

Barkaii Yeshivah bakers displayed a fabulous Achashverosh Crown shaped vanilla vodka (for the liquor on Purim….) flavored cupcake. The filling had a tinge of whiskey flavor which added to the authenticity of this delicious Purim dessert. The clever use of the upside down champagne glass, the mask, and fondant megillah really amazed the crowd!

The Yeshivah Derech Eretz yeshivah bakers really captured the spirit of Simchat Torah by using fun filled ingredients like home made caramel, a peanut butter frosting, chocolate, M and Ms and nuts. Hand made steps leading up to a torah  hid their surprise candy cupcake. Thank you girls for sharing your  wonderful talents with us!

Magen David Yeshivah’s glamourous hand made menorah and fondant candles spread Happy Hanukah vibes throughout the crowd. Gleaming handpainted chocolates and fondant soufganiyot graced the mirrored tray and  looked too good to eat!  The “present themed” cupcake was actually a scrumptious jelly doughnut cupcake- I hope that the  Magen David bakers will share this Hanukah cupcake  recipe with us! Thank You, girls!!!


And now for the talented  Shaare Torah Sukkot bakers! This unique vanilla date cupcake (dates representing the lulav, which grows on the date tree) was filled with a citrus curd flavored with etrog zest and etrog liquor . The topping was a light meringue frosting that symbolized the clouds that Hashem protected us with in the desert (WOW!). The whole intensely flavored cupcake was enclosed in a star (that we see through the bamboo sechach) cutout cupcake holder and sat atop a mini  bamboo Sukkah.

Candied tangy etrog peel dipped in chocolate sat aside a shot of fizzy etrog liquor. (as a judge, I admit to drinking a shot in the middle of the day. For those of you who know me, they will tell you that I wasn’t that much more fun…) The whole modern Sukkot ensemble was so enjoyable to view as well as to eat…. Thank you girls for all your hard work!

This jewel toned  Rosh Hashanah ensemble was cleverly designed with several rounds of tree bark that were layered atop each other for a three dimensional , natural look. Apples, flowers and hand rolled and painted bumble bees really evoked that festive Rosh Hashanah holiday season. Apple cinnamon cupcakes filled with a cozy apple pie filling was topped off with cinnamon honey filled cream puffs and drizzled with caramel. Served with vanilla ice cream, this dessert really took the cake and was voted as the winner of $2600 for The Yeshivah of Flatbush! Mabrook to all the girls for a job very well done!!!

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Two Glamourous Shabbat Table Settings from Brooklyn, N.Y.

holiday table settings, shabbat table settings

Two Glamourous Shabbat Table Settings from Brooklyn, N.Y.

2 Comments 07 August 2011

One of my favorite neighbors (who wishes to remain anonymous) amazingly transforms her Shabbat table with renewed style each week. Details such as linen napkins and place card holders are  never displayed in the same spot. Her napkins are always folded differently, and candles and flowers are  a weekly surprise.

Enjoy the pics below- and see if you can pick out the details an differences in these two glamourous tables!!

If you are enjoying The Jewish Hostess- please forward to your friends all over the world! Lets unite through our holiday table pics!!!! Thanks so much! Marlene 





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Table-Set-Go!!!  An Ocean Blue Shabbat Table by Eva Ben Dayan

holiday table settings, kosher recipes, shabbat table settings, Table-Set-Go in Deal, New Jersey

Table-Set-Go!!! An Ocean Blue Shabbat Table by Eva Ben Dayan

3 Comments 25 July 2011



On Tuesday July 11, the fabulously talented women of the Sephardic community in Deal, New Jersey unleashed their creative table setting talents to amaze hundreds of Jewish women who arrived to support the Morris I. Franco Community Cancer Center. This event, staged on the spacious summer porch of the home of our gracious hosts, Charles and Ariella Ben Dayan, was a competition that consisted of eight teams of 1-5 women per team. Each team was given a random holiday theme, in which they created a unique table setting. The basic rule was that they must use a 48 inch round table that was supplied to them, and from there on in, the sky was the limit.  An impressive lunch, chinese auction gifts, and demonstrations were also featured during the day.

Your Shabbat meal will never be the same after you view this elegant Shabbat table that was displayed  by Eva Ben Dayan. It  definitely put us all into a tranquil Shabbat mood with its aqua blue and silver themed tableware. White coral Kim Seybert chargers set the scene for this stunning table. The napkins and napkin rings, also by Kim Seybert were also a magnificent addition. Ava chose modern sterling silver Shabbat candlesticks, and kiddush and netilat yadayim cup for a glamorous sparkle.

The treasure of the table was the hand embroidered Challah cover that Ava brought over from her native country of Columbia, and everyone was inquiring how they could purchase one for the upcoming Rosh Hashanah holidays.

I also fell in love with these dotted embroidered cotton tablecloths!!!  

After doing a bit of research I found out:

  1. The dots come in tons of gorgeous colors: fuchsia, lime green, persimmon, yellow, brown, beige, orange, white on white, dark green, kiwi, black, turquoise and red!
  2. You can purchase this design on napkins, coasters, and place mats.
  3. Table cloths can be made in custom sizes for your Shabbat and holiday meals.
  4. They are machine washable.
  5. Click here to  Contact Michele at Table Toppers for more info.

If you didn’t get to see the gorgeous Rosh Hashanah table that was featured at our event, then CLICK HERE to be SO INSPIRED for the Jewish New Year!!

Check back daily to see more table settings from the Morris I Franco Community Cancer Center Event.







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Fool-Proof “Guaranteed Hamotzei” Challah

kosher challah recipes, kosher recipes

Fool-Proof “Guaranteed Hamotzei” Challah

13 Comments 06 May 2011

Thank You Marni Levy for sending in this delicious challah recipe! Shabbat Shalom to all!

“Hi Marlene-

As we spoke about today, I wanted to share my concept for the  “ideal” challah . Unlike cooking, which is very subjective, baking is purely scientific. Recipes must be followed to guarantee consistent results. A challah recipe for a 5 lb bag of flour requires 6 cups of liquid-without exception! What’s considered liquid?-water obviously, oil & yes-eggs are counted among liquid ingredients. Each egg is considered 1/4 C of liquid.

My recipe is foolproof, delectable & most of all-HAMOTZI for Sepharadim. Its very easy to turn our delicious & sweet challot into cake-literally, if we’re not careful with our infredients.  Sepharadim have stringent rules about washing on Hamotzi bread & carefully avoiding a potential “Berachah Levatalah” (blessing made in vain).

My recipe is as follows:

  • 5lb bag of white Heckers Flour (yashan 12 mos a year!) (Can also use King Arthur blue bag!)
  • 1/4 C kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp yeast
  • 1 scant C sugar
  • 1 C veg oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/2 C very hot water

My FOOLPROOF method: (these instructions are specific to a Bosch mixer)

  1. In a 4 C measure-put 2 C of hot water, all the sugar & all the yeast-whisk til frothy & set aside.
  2. Open top lid of mixer & pour whole bag of flour, bury the salt in the flour (salt kills yeast so burying it in flour will help avoid their contact), add veg oil & both eggs.
  3. By this time-yeast should have proofed & you should see a rise of foam on top of frothy opaque mixture. Pour that entire mixture into machine & in same measuring cup-add 2 1/2 C more hot water to get all the sediment out of the cup.
  4. Turn the machine on Speed 1 for approx 30 seconds or until machine starts to “struggle”, then Speed 2 for the same-then onto Speed 3 for exactly 2 mins-THAT’S IT!
  5. Turn dough out into large greased bowl & cover w/ plastic wrap or tea towel until doubled in size.
  6. Make your berachah & weave as you normally do. Let rise again & pre-heat oven to 350 convect or 375 reg.
  7. Brush eggwash on top, seed as you like & Bake for 35 mins & remove to cool on rack.
  8. Enjoy!!!

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The Best Sephardic Charoset Recipe Ever

kosher passover recipes,seder table Ideas, Passover Recipes

The Best Sephardic Charoset Recipe Ever

6 Comments 16 March 2011

This Sephardic Charoset Recipe has been handed down for generations by my husband’s side of the family- the Shamah’s of Aleppo.

Medjool dates are used. Even though they are double the price, you will find that fresh medjool dates are juicy and extra delectable.

My Mother in law makes the best charoset  or haroset) of all time.  Of course although its a seder plate item, its’ sweet simplicity is just perfect every single morning of Passover as we slather it on (I love whole wheat) matzoh. Sitting down with a cup of coffee and the newspaper on Passover completes this delectable breakfast.

Every year, about 2 weeks before the holiday, my mother in law drops off three medium size tupperwares full of her home made charoset . We put it in the freezer and defrost a container one or two days before enjoying it down to the last drop.

Im so glad that I finally asked her for the recipe and I’d love to share it with all of my Passover hostesses.


    1. 6 pounds of Medjool dates, sliced lengthwise, pit removed.
    2. Each date must be checked for worms or bugs. (you’d be surprised at what you may find lurking in there!)
    3. Soak the pitted and checked dates in water for 2 hours. Drain.
    4. Boil dates till soft. Cool and slip off the peel if you want a smoother Charoset consistency.
    5. Grind witha Cuisinart with a metal blade.
    6. When serving mix in 2 tbspoons sweet wine per  1 cup of charoset.
    7. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. The combo is an unforgettable, once a year treat!
    8. Thats it! Store in airtight containers and freeze if its more than three days before Passover. You can store it in pretty jars, wrap with a ribbon and give out as a made -with- love Passover gift.

Enjoy- Happy Holiday!

p.s.- please submit your passover  recipes! I would love to post them!

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How to Tie the Perfect Ribbon

at home, kosher recipes

How to Tie the Perfect Ribbon

2 Comments 30 January 2011

by Nina Dweck

Here’s an easy way to take gift wrapping to the next level when topped with a glamorous ribbon. Get creative - mix and match ribbons to coordinate with your event, or choose your recipients favorite color. Have fun by embellishing your bow with rhinestones, pom poms or even feathers!

Shown in the picture is a Sephardic bridal “Swanee“, in which the groom’s parents send over gifts for the Jewish bride.  Gifts usually include candlesticks for Shabbat, a tray, perfumes, and a purse with money enclosed for the bride to attend the mikveh. This swanee is “closed”, meaning that the gifts are wrapped and will be opened during a private time for the bride and her close friends and relatives.

For this project, you’ll need a  glue gun, scissors, and ribbon in your desired width and color. Keep in mind that a larger gift will look better with a wider ribbon, while a smaller one will look fine with a thinner one. It is very important that you use wire edged ribbon to make the bow. It will look stiffer and prettier. I buy my ribbon from Cosco- they sell beautiful wide wired edge ribbons in varying colors, and are very inexpensive. They especially have a wide selection around holiday time so stock up for future projects!

Not in the mood to go buy ribbon? Watch the video above and learn how to make a bow out of recycled wrapping paper or any paper that you have laying around the house. Its a great eco-friendly wrapping idea!

  1. Step one: lie your box or gift on a flat surface. Glue a piece of ribbon horizontally and then cross another piece of ribbon over vertically. Take care to place the vertical ribbon under the horizontal one to hide the seams for a more perfect finish. Use your hot glue gun to stick the pieces together.

2. Step two: Cut a long piece of ribbon for the bow. The longer the piece, the larger the bow will be.

3. Step three: Take one end of the ribbon and fold about an inch in, gluing to creating a small circle. You can place your index finger in the circle to make a rounder piece.

4. Step four: Fold another circle in, this one a bit larger than the first. Glue this one under to the left of the first small circle. Follow this step and make another circle on the right.

5. Step five: Continue, each set becoming larger than the last. Keep on going until you have the desired bow size. When your done, fold the edge of the remaining ribbon and cut on an angle across the closed side. This will create two triangle edges for a beautiful, professional finish.

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Sephardic Hagaddahs for Your Seder

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Sephardic Hagaddahs for Your Seder

1 Comment 20 March 2010

If you are a Sephardic Jew, or are attending a Sephardic Seder here is a great

selection of Sephardic Hagaddahs as well as other Passover items and gifts.

The top two images are content  images from the Sephardic Illuminated Hagaddah.They are designed, painted and handwritten in watercolor by Benjamin Hassan. The design are inspired by architectural details from synagogues around the world.Each copy is $500 and is a limited edition of 613 copies.

The Hagaddas pictured pictured below are much more affordable at prices ranging from $9.95 and up.

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