February 19, 2018

Tisha B’Av, 2012 Events and Videos

Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, by Francesco Hayez

Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation

The Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation’s 2012 Worldwide Tisha B’Av Event, “The True View, How seeing the good in others will help rebuild the Bais Hamikdash” will be presented in 700 venues in hundreds of cities throughout the world. This year’s event consists of two programs around ‘The True View’ theme:  Program A featuring Rabbi Paysach Krohn and Rabbi Ephrayim Eliyahu Shapiro and Program B featuring Rabbi Jonathan Rietti, Rabbi Zelig Pliskin and Rabbi Dov Brezak with special guest speaker HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlita.

The films’ theme is to discover how to see past the negativity that divides us, straight through to the innate goodness that makes each of us a beloved child in Hashem’s “eyes.”

To find a list of viewing site near you, visit the Chofetz Chaim website here where you will find a listing of locations that are screening the films in most US states and cities.  You will have to check your local Jewish Newspaper or call the location to find the exact time the films will be showing in each location.

Project Inspired’s Tisha B’Av 2012 Film

You can watch Project Inspired’s 2012 film, Journey To Jerusalem online from their website on the day of Tisha B’Av here.  You can also find a listing of locations screening the film here.

 More Tisha B’Av Videos

Since Tisha B’Av is a day of collective mourning (see below) and fasting, a lot of people watch sad historical videos to help get them into the mood.  You can find appropriate videos to watch here from my post on Holocaust Memorial Day as well.  Aish.com also has a series of Tisha B’Av videos such as “Tisha B’Av The Root Of Destruction, the meaning behind the tears” that you can view here.

When is Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av, 5772 will be commemorated this year beginning Saturday night, July 28 and ending Sunday night July 29, 2012.

What is Tisha B’Av

“Tisha B’Av: תשעה באב‎ or ט׳ באב, “the Ninth of Av,” is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day (Tisha) of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. The fast commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date. Although primarily meant to commemorate the destruction of the Temples, it is also considered appropriate to commemorate other Jewish tragedies that occurred on this day, most notably the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.m Accordingly, the day has been called the “saddest day in Jewish history”.”   Wikipedia


The Best Mother’s Day Gifts

The Best Mother’s Day Gifts

In my family we don’t necessarily give each other gifts on time.  We kind of just get gifts as they are needed and attribute them to the nearest gift giving date.  That being said, I will share with you some of my favorite gifts of the year – which you can choose to use for Mother’s Day or simply buy and attribute to Mother’s Day (like us).

1. A Professional Cappuccino Maker

I received our Cappuccino Maker about a month ago so we call it an early Mother’s Day gift.  I was able to justify the hefty price when I figured out how much I was spending going to my local kosher Dunkin Donuts once (and sometimes twice) a day for a Cappuccino.  Figure $3 a day times 300 days a year (I don’t buy any on Shabbos) comes out to $900 a year on Cappuccino.  Our machine cost around $800 and came with the first few pounds of coffee beans.  For some reason, I can’t tolerate the caffeine in regular coffee and with 4 young kids in the house, my Cappuccino addiction is justified.  I can’t begin to tell you how much we are enjoying this Cappuccino machine.  Aside from my morning fix, I make sure to make one right before my kids come home from school and wow – I can almost keep up with them!

Amazon is the best place to buy a machine like this (Amazon is the best place to buy most things these days).  We bought the DeLonghi Compact Automatic Cappuccino, Latte and Espresso Machine from Amazon for $799 which was and still is $200 off its regular price.  This machine is computerized and grinds the coffee beans fresh and makes the espresso automatically and has a steam/frothing mechanism.  But Amazon carries a full range of manual and automatic machines ranging from under $100 to over $1000 so you can truly find a machine to fit any budget.  You can view Amazon’s full line of Espresso/Cappucino machines here.

2. Apple iPad Tablet

I also received the Apple iPad 2 a few months ago, we’ll call it a late Anniversary gift (our anniversary is in December).  Its probably the only thing I love more than my Cappuccino machine.   As I often meet clients and do a lot of my work at Starbucks or in kosher restaurants, I wasn’t so comfortable lugging my laptop around with me everywhere I went.  Yet, since I have a Dell Laptop to manage most of my professional documents and files on, I didn’t need all the fancy new features of the iPad 3 (retina display, faster processor, 4G Internet).  So, we opted for  the older model, the iPad 2 and saved a few hundred dollars.  Between the iCloud and simple FREE apps like DropBox, all of the documents I need are easily up to date and accessible whether I’m away from my office using my iPad or at my home office using my Laptop.  Even if you don’t need it for work, welcoming someone to the world of  Tablets and Apps is a pretty awesome gift that says, ‘I love you’.  I LOVE MY iPAD.  This gift will surely make the ‘mom’ in your life very happy.  You can find Apple iPad 2 on Amazon for $389 (16GB memory) and the iPad 3 for $565 (16GB).

3 & 4. Tablet Accessories

In my opinion, an iPad Tablet is a necessary office supply today for most professionals -whether you’re a blogger, entrepreneur or business executive.  I often recommend that clients buy a soupped up iPad 3 instead of a new laptop, saving a lot of money and offering  the same features plus a lot more features (Apps anyone?) than a laptop today.   So for the mom who already has an iPad, or to bundle with the new iPad you’re getting her, here are my two favorite accessories.  I personally have the Snugg, iPad case which is very functional and nice for $29 .  I am in love with the Kore Tech (TM) Leather Folio Case (Purple) with Flip Stand for Apple iPad 2/iPad 3/**The New iPad**(Built-in magnet for Apple Smart Cover’s sleep & awake) + (USB Sync/Charging Cable for iPad/iPhone/iPod) – SPECIAL PROMO SALE for only $16.21 in purple.  How gorgeous is this!

I also really love my messenger bag/purse/handbag, whichever you call it, that fits the iPad along with my wallet, keys and other necessities.  I AM SO IN LOVE WITH MY BAG.  I slip my iPad into it and go out to a meeting and my virtual office is with me – i’m organized and professional and barely carrying a thingThis Coach messanger/crossbody bag om brown is really beautiful, fits the iPad and will be adored by whoever owns it.

5.  Bling

Bling is very in right now – the bigger the better.  A nice watch is a classic gift for mom’s and you know that because Amazon has some of them at 80% off for Mother’s Day.  You can find copies of high end designer watches for as low as $43 like this Sartego Women’s SRFK11 Click Interchangeable Bands Watchwhich is a nice replica of this TechnoMarine Women’s 208020 MoonSun Ceramic Mini Gold-Plated White Watch that sells for over $1,000.

Other great gift ideas can be found in some of the products I’ve reviewed like ShopYourCloset, Not2Shabbey and M&MDesigns.

What is Mother’s Day?

Mother’s Day 2012 will be this coming Sunday, May 13.  Mother’s Day is traditionallay observed on the second Sunday of May and celebrates the important roles that mothers serve in society.  The holiday was started by Anna Jarvis in 1908 to pay tribute to mothers and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson made the holiday official by signing it into law.

Mother’s Day is one of the most commercialized  holidays in the United States, and sales for gifts peak during the days preceding Mother’s Day. It is common for children to buy gifts, flowers, and  cards for their mothers on Mother’s Day.  England also has an equivalent  holiday to Mother’s Day called “Mothering Day” that is celebrated on  the fourth Sunday during the month of Lent.

What To Do For Chol HaMoed

Pesach is a great time to enjoy with family and friends and to get out of the house and take part in the many wonderful activities available from New York to Israel.  Here is a list of some free or low cost activities that can make your Passover a tremendous success!

New York Area

For those with little ones, here’s a list of the Uncle Moishy Concerts this week.  They’ll be at the Atrium in Monsey first day Chol HaMoed and then Brooklyn, Lakewood & Far Rockaway.

NCSY is hosting their annual Six Flags Great Adventure days on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday – the park is rented out and there should be Kosher food available to purchase.  Tuesday at 3:00pm there will be an additional NY Boys Choir concert at the park.

If you are in the NY area, take advantage of the gorgeous weather and take a FREE ferry to Governor’s Island, Ikea or Staten Island, go bike riding, shopping and have a picnic.

JDeal has some great deals right now including discounted tickets for a NY Sky Ride, NY Science Museaum, and bike rentals near Central Park.

While in Manhattan, take advantage of the newly Kosher for Pesach kitchen at My Most Favorite Food and treat you family to lunch or dinner out!


If you are fortunate enough to be in Israel for Pesach, here is a list of some wonderful FREE  and low cost activities all around Israel for Chol HaMoed including free museums, concerts & kids activities.

Outside of Israel & New York?  Please share with us in the comments section some of your great Chol HaMoed activities.

Wishing you a Chag Sameach!

All About Purim, 2012

The very festive Jewish holiday of Purim starts at sundown on March 7th, 2012 and is celebrated all day Thursday March 8, 2012.  On Purim it is customary to listen to the Megillah, give money to the needy, send food baskets/Mishloach Manot to friends, eat Hamantashen and dress up in costumes.

What is Purim?

Here are some of the top resources where you can find the best information about Purim.

For more information about exactly what Purim is and how to celebrate it visit the NJOP website or Chabad website.

Check out Rabbi Avroham Goldhar’s Crash Course on Purim Video

Here’s Shalom Sesame’s take on Purim to enjoy with your kids!

Here’s a really delicious Hamantashen with pecan-fig filling recipe for your enjoyment as well.

Where To Buy Ready-Made Mishloach Manot Food Baskets

Here are some helpful resources where you can find a wide variety of Mishloach Manot at varying prices online, some of them with delivery services to many cities around the world.  Some of these websites are also charity non-profit organizations while some aren’t.

Designer Cookies*** (I first saw these as a fundraiser for the awesome women’s learning center The JRC, The Jewish Renaissance Center in NYC. 

Amazon (Amazon has just about everything!)


AllergyFreeKosher (gluten-free, nut-free, allergy-free options)

Keren Ayneim (procedes go to charity)



puriminabasket.com (ship to US, Canada & Israel)

Yossi’s sweethouse.com

Oh Nuts


Bonei Olam (5×7 Gift Cards proceeds go to this charity)

Gifts By Occassions

KitchenArtCanada.com (to order and send gifts to Canada)

Michel Cluizel designer chocolates (the actual “basket” is made of chocolate and inside the basket will be several
assorted kosher truffles and three hamantaschen).

***These Designer cookies can be ordered from minibitescookies.com or Greenfield in NY or Bracha Rappaport in Lakewood.


Kosher Food & Wine Experience, 2012 – Sold Out to over 1,000 Consumers

Welcome to the 6th Annual Kosher Food and Wine Experience, well vicariously, at least!

Kosher wines & culinary treats from all over the world were showcased at the KFWE2012.  It boasts the most comprehensive tasting of Kosher wines in north America with more than 200 wines from 40 wine producers as well as an extensive selection of kosher liquors.

Sponsored by Royal Wine Corp, the KFWE 2012 was sold out with close to 1,000 paying consumers who got to sample from the vast portfolio of Royal Wine Corp wines, featuring as well the best selection of Kosher food, liquors and wines in the world.

At the afternoon tasting, open only to trade professionals and press (me!) I was able to taste some of the newest wine & liquor products on the market like Morad Winery Danue Passion Fruit wine made from Passion Fruits (not grapes), rendering them a ‘shehakol’ wine was one of my favorites.  Tart and fruity it tasted like an exotic vodka mixed drink.  Its definitely going to grace my Purim table and make it into some of my upcoming Purim Mishloach Manot packages as well.  Speaking of Vodka, Distillery no 9 introduced its brand new Kosher for Passover and all year round Vodka today at the show as well. They kindly mixed it with some grapefruit juice for my late morning breakfast treat!   That’s me holding both the vodka & my drink at 12 noon today!

After all the alcohol, I found my way to Pomegranate.  Actually, they found me since their waiters were walking around with their delicious offerings.  I took pictures of as many trays as I could manage while still eating and drinking.  Pomegranate showed off their creative and award winning chefs with their home-made Corned Beef (I could use some more right now, please), signature dip bar and butcher block.  Some of the exclusive delights they were passing around featured some of the tastiest dishes I’ve ever had: Prosciutto, Tongue Polonaise, Wasabi Coconut Lamb Quenelles.  All from a grocery store!  One that is setting a new standard in the kosher market.  And lets not forget the marketing standard they set with their brilliant Yalili music video as well! Remember that?  I’m a fan of everything Pomegranate and will be giving myself a break this Passover when I order their Corned Beef, Tongue Polonaise and Wasabi Coconut Lamb Quenelles instead of attempting to cook anything nearly as good myself!  Hey, Ari, maybe you’ll send a few pound of these my way for the shout-out  :  )

There was a vast array of other culinary options that I was unable to sample since I came to the afternoon event (who could I possibly find to put 4 toddlers to bed for me so I could stay on…?).  But here are some of the delights the lucky 1,000 consumers and additional press & trade folks got to sample.  A selection of homemade Sushi from AviGlatt.com, Short Rib Sliders from Bistro 1310 of Borough Park, Barbecue Oxtail from etc. steakhouse of Teaneck, New Jersey (they are the one’s who won the KosherFest Cook-off a few months back), Jack’s Gourmet Mexican Style Chorizo sausages, JoBurg Dried Beef (Biltong) Carving Station, Le Marais Smoke Duck Breast,  Meat Me’s Peking Duck, Silverleaf Caterers Tiramisu Cake-Up, Sushein of Lower Manhattan’s Crispy Cake with kani & fresh tuna, The Reserve of Lakewood’s Seared Prime Beef.  Drooling yet?

Back to the wines.  Royal Wine Corp announced the first two wines from their newest kosher winery in the Pacific Northwest: Oregon Pinot Noir and a Washington Meritage.  Bartenura celebrated New York’s Big Blue superbowl win with a, you got it,  Big Blue Bottle of Bartenura Sparkling Moscato, all of course, featured at the KFWE.  And the nicest news, for sustainability enthusiasts and our environment is that Royal Wine Corp has gone “Green” with their newest solar power system on the roof of their New Jersey headquarters.   What’s not to like about this company!?

See you all next year at KFWE2013 – I’ve already booked my babysitter!

Check out my Facebook Page to see my live coverage of the event and in case you missed it, make sure you read my review of this past years’ KosherFest, 2011 as well.

Man-o-Manischewitz 2012 Cookoff: Win $25,000 In Prizes (& get a coupon!)

Man-o-Manischewitz 2012 Cook-off: Win $25,000 in Prizes (& get a coupon!)

Which of us ‘professional’ mommy chefs doesn’t dream of entering a Food Network style cooking competition like the one Paula Shoyer of The Kosher Baker was just in on Sweet Genius last week?  I know that my family members are often impressed enough with my culinary talents to tell me often to quit my day job and open a restaruant or write a cookbook.  Who here doesn’t have similar dreams?

Well, Manischewitz is offering us a chance to make this dream come true.  You do not have to be a professional chef to enter their 2012 Man-o-Manischewitz Cook-off.  Its a culinary competition for the layman, the non-professional chef.  In fact, you don’t have to be a mommy to enter either.  Last’s year’s winner was none other than a man, Stuart Davis, 45, from Cherry Hill, NJ with his Chicken and Egg Donburi.  This winning recipe and many others can be found on the Manischewitz website.

The Cook-Off

To enter the Man-o-Manischewitz contest all you have to do is visit the Manischewitz website and create a wonderful original recipe using Manischewitz Ready To Serve Broth and one other Manischewitz product for a chance to win $25,000 in prizes, including Maytag® Appliances and the opportunity to fly to the New York finals to compete in front of Celebrity Chef Claire Robinson. Top entries will be judged in the Manischewitz test kitchen and then you, America, will vote in the 5th and final contest.

Plus you can print a $1.00 off Manischewitz broth coupon (to use as you test your recipe) right here.  You din’t think I’d leave you without a coupon, did you?

I’ve got my recipe all ready to enter.  I think I stand a good chance to win!  I’ll be sure to post my winning recipe here once the competition ends.

Let us know in the comments section below, will you be entering the competition?