Jewish Friendship Group

Marsha Foresman

February was another month of activities and good times for the Jewish Friendship Group (JFG). Thanks to Sandy Basker for hosting February’s Book Club session and Marilyn Anthony for leading the informative discussion. We all seemed in awe and proud of the people who led the Red Sea Spies missions to rescue the Jewish people of Ethiopia. For many at the meeting, it reaffirmed the power of one—a dedicated person who never backed down in the face of adversity nor allowed obstacles to overcome imagination, hard work, and a collaborative effort. It was an uplifting and inspiring book and discussion.

Our March book was Shadows of Berlin, by David R. Gillham. It is a novel with dual timelines about a Berlin girl on the run from the guilt of her past during the Holocaust and coping with her present married life. Set in Berlin and New York City, this is not an easy journey or easy read, but it is compelling. Alan Levenson hosted the Book Club on March 9, and Sandy Epstein led the discussion.

The JFG Potluck was held in the SaddleBrooke One Activity Center the evening before Valentine’s Day. The potluck was coordinated by Hara Lipman. It was cold and rainy outside but warm and inviting in the room, with many longtime and new members in attendance. The JFG Potluck is a tradition in SaddleBrooke, and on this occasion, as in prior years, a good time was had by all. We enjoyed fellowship and conversation while feasting on a wide array of fabulous foods, including appetizers, home-baked bread and rolls, salads, sides, entrées, and desserts. The highlight of the meal was the delicious brisket cooked by four of our very talented JFG chefs, Sandy Rosen, Sherry Marmorstein, Sharon Hoff, and Eileen Zelmanow.

Hamantaschen is the pastry served on Purim, which celebrates the courage and conviction of the beautiful Queen Esther who saved the Jewish people from extinction in the land of Persia in the 5th century BCE. The JFG celebrates this festive occasion with a gathering of friends and “noshing” on (eating) Hamantaschen. In preparation for this event, 10 women gathered in a warm kitchen to enjoy a hamantaschen-making class under the direction of Mushkie Zimmerman of Oro Valley Chabad. Mushkie has done a number of these classes for us in SaddleBrooke and is always most welcome. For this event, she brought her two young assistants, Hana (age 11) and Dvorah (age 12), both of whom were familiar with making hamantaschen.

Most of the ladies in attendance had never made this Purim confection, but all of us learned something new and had a wonderful time making the dough. Many fillings were discussed, and then the art of folding the triangle—in two different ways—was demonstrated. Those attending made the pastries for the Purim spiel on March 6 at the SaddleBrooke One Activity Center.

The Jewish Friendship Group welcomes anyone interested in identifying with the Jewish community here in SaddleBrooke. If you are interested in joining our group, please email Sandy Rosen at san[email protected] or Eileen Zelmanow at [email protected].