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April 10, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 10, 2009

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 10, 2009 Hold the matzah ball soup By Randi Sherman New York Jewish Week It was a seder with no matzah ball soup and no brisket, no women running frantically back and forth from the kitchen and with a few men among 89 women. There was an orange on the table along with a solitary chicken wing and a heaping plate of whole, raw scal- lions. The table had been set for Long Island's first Sephardic-style women's seder, at Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation on Thursday, April 10. 2008. Combining the tradi- tions of a women's seder with customs of Sephardic communities from Turkey to Afghanistan. the eve- ning featured readings in Hebrew, Aramaic. English and Ladino. from various colorful handouts and the Ma'yan Passover Haggadah, the quihtessential women's seder guide. Sponsored by the Sid Jacobson JCC of East Hills and the Sisterhood of the Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation. the seder gave Sephardic women the opportunity to enjoy their own traditions while shar- ing them with Ashkenazi friends. Before the seder began. Rabbi Michael Stanger of Old Westbury recited She- chechiyanu in honor of his first women's seder. "[Before coming here] I turned to my wife and asked 'Should l be insulted, I'm barely speaking?'" Rabbi Stanger related. "My wife said, 'Hello, it's a women's seder.'" He then discussed the importance of women to the Jewish tradition, most notably women's reluctance to worship the golden calf in the desert. Cantor Marcey Wagner of the Jewish Congrega- tion of Brookville presided over much of the seder, along with Tobi Innerfield. Old Westbury's director of education, and Estee Kri- heli. who contributed her Georgian Jewish family's customs to the meal. Sephardic traditions were interwoven throughout. Kriheli stood up to explain the Georgian custom of us- ing a chicken wing on the seder plate in lieu of a shank bone due to availability and a literal reading of God's leading the Israelites out of Egypt "with an outstretched arm." After yachatz, the break- ing the middle matzah for afikomen, it was explained that many Sephardic house- holds place the afikomen in a sack. which all guests sling over their shoulder as a symbol of the burdens carried upon the Exodus from Egypt. Some families even stand up and carry the bag around the table. Ha Lachma Anya, the reading after yachatz, was recited in Aramaic and Ladino. In ad- dition to the traditional four questions, sung by three preteen volunteers and accompanied by tambou- rines distributed to guests, were this Haggadah's four women's questions. While reciting the 10 plagues, it is a Sephardic custom fo" the leader of the seder to pour wine into a large bowl while the woman of the house adds a small splash of water for each plague. Lillian Krasner and Esta Czik, both ofwhom have Turkish Jewish ances- try, demonstrated. Cantor Wagner urged the partici- pants to be quiet, as is the custom, while Czik took the bowl from the synagogue and poured out the liquid, signifying the return of the plagues to the earth. Walk- ing back in. she broke the silence by wishing the room "Anos muchos y buenos," Ladino for "May you have many healthy good years." One custom enjoyed by all in attendance was the singing of Dayenu, which in accordance with Afghani tradition includes hitting the people to your right and left with a scallion. representing a whip and emphasizing that we've had enough of the persecution and abuse faced in Egypt. The tambourines came out again as most of the par- ticipants rose to their feet to dance during Miriam's song, performed by Cantor Wagner. Women snaked through the tables, plucking friends from their seats as they made their way around the room. From the wine, the danc- ing and the scallion wars, a few traditions needed to be skipped to placate a starving crowd. While some partici- pants dashed to the buffet of Sephardic foods, others stayed in their seats to engage in another custom, in which each guest gets a hard-b0iled egg and hits it against that of her neighbor. The egg that doesn't break is the winner and the win- ners at each table compete until only one egg is left intact. The ultimate winner is blessed with good luck. The catered meal included many traditional Sephardic foods such as saffron roast chicken, green basmati rice, okra in garlic and tomato sauce, Persian red lamb stew, a polenta-like dish and fasoulya, a bean and beef dish. While waiting in line. empty plate in hand. Innerfield planned how to bring some of what she learned into her family's celebrahon. "I will definitely incor- porate some of these tradi- tions into my family's seder, especially the scallions or my children." she said. There were even more traditions that weren't high- lighted during the event. "There are variations even from house to house," said Kriheli. "Georgians, we use romaine lettuce instead of horseradish, since horserad- ish isn't as readily available there as romaine." Kriheli's friend, Sue L{ppe, who is Ashkenazi, was pleased to explore these foreign practices. "It's very interesting to learn new customs to incorporate into the sedeC' she said. "Ours is boring by comparison .... After awhile, itbecomesjust about the food. You have to bring in little things to make things interesting.". The evening ended with more dancing and tam- bourines, as Old Westbury Cantor Yossi Karavani sang a medley of Dayenu, Hava Nag- ila and other songs. Krasner brought her voice back in with Chad Gadya in Ladino. The women danced around the room. like Miriam and the Israelite women with their timbrels, spinning and smiling, a final Celebration of a tradition all their own. Reprinted by permission of the New York Jewish Week. BGU researchers help obese women reduce pregnancy problems BEERSHEVA, Israel-- Women who undergo bariat- ric surgery to treat obesity will reduce the risk of medi- cal and obstetric complica- tions when they become pregnant, according to a study by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's Faculty of Health Sciences. The study was recently published in the Interna- tional Journal of Gynecol- ogy and Obstetrics by BGU "Professor Eyal Sheiner and Dr. Adi Weintraub. also of the Department of Obstetrics ABRAHAM KESSLER Abraham Kessler of St. Cloud, Fla.. died Sunday, March 29, 2009. He was 89 years old. Mr. Kessler, who was born in the Bronx, N.Y., on May 15, 1919 to the late Philip and Pauline Sher Kessler, worked for many years as an electrical mechanic. He and his wife, Solange, who survives him recently movd to St. Cloud to be near her daughter. In addition to his wife, Mr. Kessler is survived by a son, Manuel (Teresa) Badillo of Boca Raton, Fla.; daughters and Gynecology at Soroka University Medical Center. Between 1988 and 2006. 176women had 301 (0.17 per- cent) deliveries that occurred before bariatri'c surgery and 354 women had 507 (0.28 percent) deliveries that oc- curred after bariatric surgery. The study indicated that the risk of gestational diabe- tes alone drops by 60 percent when an obese woman has bariatric surgery before get- ting pregnant. There were significantly lower rates of hypertensive disorders in general and severe pre- Doris Snow of Pennsylvania and Mildred (Hector) Lallave of St. Cloud; brothers Nathan. Ike and Milton Kessler; one granddaughter and one great- grandson. He was predeceased by his son, Norman Kes- sler; step-son Mario Badillo; brother Bernard Kessler and sister Mildred Kessler. Graveside services were held on March 31 at Congre- gation of Reform Judaism Cemetery with Rabbi Arnold Siegel officiating. Services were entrusted to Beth Shalom Memorial Chapel, Orlando. eclampsia in particular, as well as lower rates of diabetes mellitus and anemia (defined as maternal hemoglobin less than 10 g/dL) following bar- iatric surgery. The study did show, how- ever, a significantly higher rate of cesarean births in women who had undergone bariatric surgery. The prevalence of people who are overweight or obese has increased dramatically in high-income countries over the past 20 years. In the United States, for example, figures for 1999 through 2002 showed that some two-thirds (65.1 percent) of Americans aged 20 years or older had a body mass index (BMI. calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared)greater than 25 and were considered overweight: one-third (30.4 percent) were considered obese (BMI greater than 30), and 4.9 percent were mor- bidly obese (BMI greater than 40). Between 1999 and 2002, close to one-third of women of childbearing age (20-39 years) in the United States were classified as obese. About Ben-Gurion Uni- versity of the Negev and American Associates: Ben- Gurion University of the Negev is a world-renowned institute of research and higher learning with 18.000 students on campuses in Beersheva, Sede Boker and Eilat in Israel's southern desert. It is "a university with a conscience, where the high- est academic standards are integrated with community involvement, committed to sustainable development of the Negev." Founded in 1972, American Associates. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev plays a vital role in helping the University fulfill its unique responsibility to develop the Negev. reach out to its local community and its Arab neighbors, and share its expertise with the world. For more information, visit www. Up for the challenge During the month of March, nearly 5,400 pounds of food has been donated to the Jew- ish Family Services' Pearlman Pantry. The Feinstein Chal- lenge continues until April 30. If you are interested in helping with a food drive, please con- tact Jewish Family Services at 407-644-7593. PAGE 7A Central Florida Synagogue Service Schedule and Directory Celebration Jewish Congregation (R), Services and Holiday schedules shown at; 407-566-9792. Chabad of South Orlando (O), 7504 Universal Blvd., Orlando, 407- 354-.3660; Shabbat Services Friday 7 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. Monday and Thursday 8 a.m. Chabad of the Space, & Treasure Coasts (O), 1190 Highway A1A, Satellite Beach. 321-777-2770. Congregation Ahavas Yisrael/Chabad (O), 708 Lake Howell Rd.. Maitland. 407-644-2500; Services: Sunday, 8 a.m.. Mon-Fri. 7:30 a.m.. Fri 6:30 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. Family Service 4th Friday of the month. Congregation Bet Chaim (R), 426 Lakeport Cove, Casselberry, 407- 830-7211: Shabbat service. 7:30 p.m. on third Friday of the Month. Congregation Beth Am (C), 3899 Sand Lake Road. Longwood. 407- 862-3505: Shabbat service, 8:00 p.m. (7 p.m. on Fourth Friday of the month); Saturday: 10 a.m. Congregation Beth El (C), 2185 Meadowlane Ave.. West Melbourne, 321-779-0740; Services, 8 p.m. 1st & 3rd Fridays; 9:30 a.m. 2nd & 4th Saturdays. Congregation Beth Emeth (R), 220&Blue Sapphire Circle, Orlando, 407-855-0772; Services once a month, 8 p.m. Congregation Beth Sholom (R-C), 315 North 13th St., Leesburg, 352- 326-3692;; schedule of services on website. Congregation Beth Shalom of Orange City (Progressive Conservative), services at Our Lady of Lakes Church, 1310 Maximillian St., Deltona 386-804-8283; Services Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. Congregation B'nal Torah (C), 403 N. Nova Rd., Ormond Beach, 32174, 386-672-1174; Services Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. Congregation Chabad Lubavitch of Greater Daytona (O), 1079 W. Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach, 386-672-9300; Shabbat services Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. Congregation of Reform Judaism (R), 928 Malone Dr., Orlando, 407-645-0444; Shabbat service, 7 p.m. 1st Friday; 8 p.m. 2nd and 3rd Fridays; 6 p.m. 4th and 5th Fridays. Saturday: 10 a.m. Congregation Mateh Chaim (R), P.O. Box 060847, Palm Bay, 32906, 321-768-6722. Congregation Ohev Shalom (C), 5015 Goddard Ave., Orlando, 407- 298-4650; Shabbat service, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m.; Junior Cong., I0:00 a.m. Congregation Shalom Aleichem (R), 3501 Oak Pointe Blvd., Kis- simmee, 407-935-0064; Shabbat service, 8 p.m., 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month. CongregationofShaareiYerushalyim(O),9869KilgoreRd.,Orlando, 407-928-8972; Services: Monday- Friday, 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., Friday Minha 7:30 p.m.; Kabbalat Shabbat 8 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. Congregation Sinai (C), Jenkins Auditorium, West Montrose and 7th St., Clermont: Services on second and last Friday of the month at 8 p.m. 352-243-5353. New Jewish Congregation (R), 13563 Country Road 101. Oxford. 352- 748-1800; Shabbat Services every Friday of the Month: 7:30 p.m. Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation/Ohalei Rivka (C), 11200 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd.. Orlando. 407-239-5444; Shabbat service. 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. Temple Beth El (R), 579 N. Nova Rd., Ormond Beach, 386-677-2484. Temple Beth Shalom (R), P.O. Box 031233, Winter Haven, 813- 324-2882. Temple Beth Shalom (C), 40 Wellington Drive, Palm Coast, 386-445- 3006; Shabbat service, 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. Temple Beth Sholom (C), 5995 N. Wickham Rd. Melbourne, 321-254- 6333: Shabbat Services 6 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m Temple B'nai Darom (R), 49 Banyan Course, Ocala, 352-624-0380;_ Friday Services 8 p.m. Temple Israel (C), 50 S. Moss Rd., Winter Springs. 407-647-3055; Shabbat service: 7 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. Temple Israd (R), 7350 Lake Andrew Drive, Melbourne, 321-631-9494. Temple Israel (C), 1400 S. Peninsula Ave., Daytona Beach, 386-252- 3097; Shabbat service, 8 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. Temple Israel ofDeLand (R), 1001 E. New York Ave DeLand, 386- 736-1646; Social Hour, 6 p.m.; Shabbat service, 7 p.m. Temple Shalom of Deltona (R/C), 1785 Elkcam Blvd., Deltona, 386- 789-2202; Shabbat service; 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. Temple Shir Shalom of Oviedo (R); Shabbat service, 7:30 p.m. Most Fridays at Carillon Elementary School, 3200 Lockwood Blvd., Oviedo. Call 407-366-3556 for information. (Check with individual synagogues for the dates and times of services if not listed) (R) Reform (C) Conservative (0) Orthodox (Rec) Reconstructionist