Posted Lior Haykeen, TRIBE intern
In the spirit of Tu B’shvat, the Jewish celebration of nature and abundance, the students of Conejo Hebrew High School in Agoura Hills invited their families and other community members to a one-night dining experience Jan. 19 at their own makeshift Israeli restaurant, which they named “Jew’d Ranch.” After a semester of studying conversational Hebrew and Israeli modern culture, the students, who took orders in Hebrew only, used this project to apply their skills to real life. The profits from the evening were donated to their school.
“We thought it would be great to apply the language and the culture they learn about in school to practice, outside of the classroom setting,” explained Rabbi Sapochkinsky, director of the school, otherwise known as Rabbi Sapo amongst the students. “Judaism teaches us that in order to appreciate something, we must make it a part of ourselves,” he said, “and there’s no better way to make something a part of ourselves than to eat it.”
The high school students created a Jew’d Ranch menu inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine, with a gentle hint for customers: “How can you not tip your waiter? He’s so cute!”
They arrived early to decorate the room with colorful nature-related accessories, and the tables with festive tablecloths and branches of almond trees, as well as to prepare the food for the evening.
The tables quickly filled up with family members showing their support. The customers were encouraged to use only Hebrew in their conversations with the waiters, and they did so enthusiastically. Cheat sheets on the back of the menus – for those whose Hebrew was rusty— included the translation of many terms and phrases needed to communicate with the waiter. Before long, the students had to set up extra tables for the overflow of customers.
“This night has been lots of fun!” said Ari Gootnick, a 16-year-old student who was running between the kitchen and the tables all night long.
As the night came to an end, guests and students were invited to enjoy an all you can eat buffet of fruit desserts made by the high school girls.
The evening was a delightful lesson for everyone involved.
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January 11, 2011 | 4:30 pm
Posted by Dikla Kadosh
It’s ironic. The easier it becomes to communicate with people around the world, via Facebook, Skype and email, the more accessible foreign products become through online retailers and a fluid global economy, and the faster information is available about events happening across the globe, the more it seems people crave a connection to their immediate surroundings. In a time where the whole world is literally at your fingertips, there is nothing we value more than community – a sense of belonging, a sense of place, of shared values and interests, and beliefs.
TRIBE magazine is your community hub. In our physical as well as web pages, you will discover a delicious Israeli bakery 10 minutes from your house; you’ll learn about the mensches in your neighborhood who are doing incredible and inspiring things to better our world; you’ll accumulate fabulous recipes to wow your guests on special occasions; you’ll even gain some insight into your teen’s peculiar behavior or your toddler’s development.
This blog is an extension of TRIBE, and more: it’s a communal discussion board, an ongoing conversation, a place to share news, upcoming events, cool discoveries around town and thoughts about what it means to be Jewish on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
I welcome your input, thoughts, community news and suggestions on articles for TRIBE magazine. And if you really have a lot to say and would like to share it with everyone on your very own blog, please email me!
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