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  • Cheese Wrapped in Tradition: Blintzes Are Worth It for Shavuot

    More than 50 years ago my grandmother took me to a friend’s apartment. “Bertha turns out blintzes by the dozen,” Granny explained. “Even if there’s no company expected, she makes them and stocks her freezer.” I stood on a stool and watched melting butter turn frothy before meeting a smooth batter. The combination filled Bertha’s… More ▸

  • Shavuot Lesson: Jews Must Champion Cause of Strangers in a Strange Land

    As Shavuot approaches, Congress again seems poised to take up the question of immigration reform. Frustrated by last year’s stalemate on the subject, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid earlier this month announced his intention to bypass the normal Judiciary Committee process and take an immigration bill that the Senate passed last year straight to the… More ▸

  • Shavuot Feature Since 1800s, Confirmation Ceremony Guides Jewish Teens to Commitment

    Confirmation — n. English. A group ceremony, held on Shavuot, that recognizes high-school students who are completing a religious curriculum. When Reform Jews in Germany introduced the confirmation ceremony in the early 19th century, they planned to replace the bar mitzvah. They were guided by a belief that a 13-year-old is not mature enough to… More ▸

  • Shavuot is a Harvest Festival: Use Fresh, Seasonal Ingredients

    Phyllis Glazer recalls a morning in the 1970s when she, her mother and three sisters packed a picnic lunch and drove to a kibbutz in an old Citroen. “It was one of those beautiful sunlit spring days in the hills of Menashe, in the Galilee,” says Glazer, author of “The Essential Book of Jewish Festival… More ▸

  • Shavuot Feature Shavuot May Not Be Passover, but It’s Become a Little Bit Hip

    Shavuot, which begins June 12, may be one of Judaism’s three major festivals, but it’s never caught on in America like its more popular cousins, Passover and Sukkot. The Orthodox have kept the tradition of tikkun leil Shavuot, the all-night study session that precedes the commemoration of God’s giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai…. More ▸

  • Shavuot Feature Bean Soup and Rice Pudding to Help You Celebrate Shavuot

    There are at least six ways to celebrate Shavuot, according to Rabbi Gil Marks. Decking out: At Shavuot, people traditionally adorn their synagogues and homes with greens and flowers.”Bring greenery into your house,” Marks says. “We don’t need to be cut off from nature any more.” Plant sod in oblong containers for table centerpieces. Flood… More ▸

  • Shavuot Feature Synagogues Try to Reverse Trend of the Post-bar Mitzvah Dropout

    Afternoons this past school year often found teenager Ross Weissman tutoring sixth-graders in Hebrew or leading third-graders in prayer. Weissman, 18, and many of his friends became mentors for younger children at Congregation Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley, Pa., a Conservative synagogue whose religious school allows teens from eighth to 12th grades to earn… More ▸