Jewish Friendship Group News

Marsha Foresman

The Jewish Friendship Group (JFG) celebrated the onset of spring with many activities.

The JFG Book Club in April enjoyed our meeting at Linda Merritt’s home where Sherry Kaplan led us in a discussion about The Forest of Vanishing Stars, by Kristin Harmel. We all agreed that it took great faith and skill to flee into the forest for survival. Thanks to Linda and Sherry for keeping us on track with treats and thematic discussions.

Our last title for this round of the JFG Book Club was People Love Dead Jews, by Dara Horn. This is a collection of essays that can be illuminating, tragic, ironic, even a bit comical, but always heartfelt, and well-reasoned and researched. Through her unique vision, Horn gives depth to currents of anti-Semitism: how the past bleeds through to the present and how it is used to shape and mischaracterize events, venerate the past over the present, and threaten the future. The challenge for the reader is how to respond and react to these ongoing problems.

Loraine Stillman was the discussion leader and our host for our meeting on May 11.

On March 22 more than 20 ladies braved the cold and rain to come together at the home of Sandy Basker to enjoy a Ladies’ Coffee. Everyone was warmed by the coffee and camaraderie. Many thanks to Sandy, our gracious hostess!

The April members’ Coffee on April 27 was hosted by Melanie Einbund and Yvette Sabulsky at Melanie’s home.

On April 6, the second night of Passover, Susan Kravitz led the musical Seder for JFG members and their guests. Seder means “Order,” and we use a book called Haggadah, which contains the story of the Exodus from Egypt to retell the adventure and remind all of us to put ourselves into this story so that we never forget our servitude and redemption by God.

Many members participated in the Seder. We enjoyed sweet haroset (a mixture of apples, nuts, and sweet wine symbolizing the bricks and mortar that the Israelites used to build Egyptian buildings and shrines) and hot horseradish (symbolizing the tears and sadness of years of servitude to the Egyptians) and glasses of wine (symbolizing the joy of redemption and freedom with the Exodus). Then everyone enjoyed a very traditional meal of gefilte fish, chicken matzah ball soup, and a generous portion of either brisket or fish. Of course, we had yummy macaroons for dessert, as during Passover, we refrain from eating anything that is made with leavening.

Our meal could not end without finding the hidden afikoman (a wrapped piece of Matzo). This is usually a children’s game where the Matzo is ransomed by the children to the person conducting the Seder so that the meal can end. Thanks to everyone helping find the afikomen. Young Marilyn Anthony was able to find the afikoman and brought a meaningful evening to its end.

Our lovely Seder would never have happened without the very hard work of many people. We wish to thank Sharon Hoff, Eileen Zelmamow, Susan Kravitz, our very own Tambourine Lady Carol Gordon, Laurie Colen, Esta Goldstein, Sharon and Art Triester, Rhoda Kaplan, and Barbara Dever who all made it a very special evening.