On Fridays, the children would line up, all glittery pink shoes and Ninja Turtle T-shirts, and hike up a steep driveway from the preschool yard to the temple sanctuary. They walked single file or in pairs, one teacher in the lead and another bringing up the rear, each holding one end of a rope. The kids, 3 and 4 years old, gripped the length of the rope with their little hands stained with watercolor paint and Play-Doh dye. You could hear them singing Shabbat songs as they walked, and later, as they poured into the aisles and climbed onto the chairs in the temple and tried to sit still for a whole 20 minutes. By noon, when parents went to take them home, they were spent and tousled, excited but worn out by the morning's exploits. In their backpacks, they carried small challahs they had baked for that evening's dinner.
Dipping freshly baked challah in honey is a tradition observed during the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This act combines the Shabbat bread with hopes for a sweet New Year.
One of the great rituals of Jewish life: The sukkah.
Sarah Leiber Church and Laura Podolsky were part of a protest march that took place along Century Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport aimed at hotels that allegedly have been preventing employees from unionizing.
"I think of Pompeii," wrote Anne Brener in a September article for The Jewish Journal. "New Orleans was so beautiful."
For the past 50 years, I have given cooking classes that include recipes for contemporary and traditional dishes, as well as menus for all the Jewish holidays.
"Danny Siegel's Bar and Bat Mitzvah Book: A Practical Guide for Changing the World Through Your Simcha," by Danny Siegel (The Town House Press, $12). This is a book that we have long needed.
As most people know, challah is the braided egg-rich loaf of bread that we traditionally eat on the Sabbath and holidays -- two loaves of challah at each of the three Shabbat meals.
The most exciting weeknight in our house is Thursday; our family eats a hasty dinner and I rush off, two or three children in tow, to Tomchei Shabbos.
Next week is Rosh Hashana, the Birthday of the World. Soon you get to eat apples and honey.
When Kim Herzog dips apples and challah in honey this Rosh Hashana, she says she will be reaching extra deep to get some sweetness, because after six months in Israel, she and the country need it more than ever.
Visiting Anne Stern at her modest one-bedroom West Hollywood apartment, you quickly learn that she is very proud of her artwork. On the walls of her apartment hang her creative accomplishments - a prize-winning collage, an oil landscape, tiny acrylic still lifes of a covered challah and flower bouquets - all of which she is eager to talk about in her charming British lilt, a vestige of her Wembly upbringing.
What Stern, in her mid-80's, might not tell you up front is that she has spent many years living alone on a fixed income, and is a recipient of Jewish Family Service's (JFS) Home Delivered Meals, a quarter-century-old program that delivers seven balanced entrees a week to homebound seniors. Last week, with the help of Israel Humanitarian Foundation (IHF), JFS greatly modernized its program by purchasing a supply of microwaves that will be given to more than 300 senior citizens in the program.
At first glance, the round challahs of the High Holidays mightseem to be no more than the ritualized version of a GeneralMills-like strategy. How could a bread that is braided 11 months ofthe year suddenly taste different the month it is made round? Eggsare eggs, flour is flour, yeast is yeast, etc., right? But, somehow,the challahs of the High Holidays -- domed crowns of golden dough,studded with raisins, sitting atop a holiday table like a princess'pillow -- do taste different.