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December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘South America’

Israeli Scientist Wins World Food Prize for Drip Irrigation

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

An 81 year old Israeli scientist whose revolutionary irrigation methods have saved and improved the lives of millions of people throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South America, has received the prestigious World Food Prize, according to an announcement made by the foundation on Tuesday.

Daniel Hillel, Los Angeles native and father of Israel’s famous drip micro-irrigation method to conserve water while nourishing growing fruits and vegetables in the world’s most arid climates, was named the winner of this year’s $250,000 prize in a ceremony in Washington.  US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered the key note speech.  Hillel will be celebrated in an official ceremony at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa on October 18.

World Food Prize Foundation President Kenneth Quinn praised Hillel, not just for his system which carries water through narrow plastic tubing to drip sparingly above the roots of the growing plants, but for his contribution to bridging divides between diverse peoples.  Over  the past half century, Hillel has taken his agricultural know-how to over 30 countries around the world, including Jordan and Egypt.  Hillel has also shared his knowledge with leaders in Palestinian agriculture.  Quinn noted that several letters of support for Hillel came from institutions in Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates.

“He’s able to reach across the intercultural gap with this agricultural achievement in order to address that problem that they have in common about how to lift people out of poverty and reduce hunger by working together,” Quinn told the Associated Press. “In an area of the world and in lands where the divides — whether they be ethnic, political, religious, or diplomatic — seem so great, here is a man who by devoting his life to this peaceful development has sought to bridge those gaps.”

Hillel was born in Los Angeles, but moved in 1931 at the age of 1 to Palestine after his father died.

At age 9, Hillel was sent to live on a kibbutz, where he learned about agriculture and preserving resources in the difficult pre-state period.

Hillel returned to the United States for high school and university, and came back to Israel in 1951, at which time he joined the Ministry of Agriculture, mapping the new country’s soil and water resources. In 1952, Hillel joined a group of pioneers who developed a viable agricultural community in the Negev – the new community of Sde Boker – by fashioning small holes in cheap, small plastic piping readily available after World War II, and running water and fertilizer through them directly to plants.  The town so impressed Israel’s Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, that he made it his home.

The World Food Prize, honoring people engaged in fighting world hunger, was created by Iowa native Norman Borlaug, the winner of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in developing hybrid crops in order to increase food production in emerging nations.  He died in 2009.

Thumbing its Nose at SWIFT Ban, Iran Relies on Alternative Methods to Continue its International Banking

Friday, March 16th, 2012

On Sunday, May 27, 2012, Iran announced that they have successfully bypassed the SWIFT ban, and have an alternative financial network setup.

On March 16, 2012, JewishPress.com described the system that Iran had set up in anticipation of the SWIFT ban in the article below.

 

Five years ago, the SWIFT clearing system ban on Iranian banks, which goes into effect Saturday, would have yielded satisfactory results. But nowadays Iran is relying on rogue financial systems created by South-American countries, and on its trade with India, China, Russia, Brazil and Turkey, to maintain the flow of money, goods and services for which it continues to pay with oil.

The Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, a clearing system used by the world’s major banks, announced Thursday that as of Saturday it will obey the European Union’s ban on blacklisted Iranian financial firms, including some 40 Iranian banks.

The SWIFT ban is an inconvenience

But an article by Otto Reich and Ezequiel Vazquez Ger in the Miami Herald suggests the SWIFT ban will present nothing more than an inconvenience for Iran, because the latter has prepared for just this occasion, utilizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to set up reliable alternative connections for money transfers by Iranian financial institutions.

Essentially, Iran will continue to trade internationally, with the support of ALBA (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América – Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas) countries: Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.

The ALBA countries have created SUCRE (Sistema Único de Compensación Regional – Unique System of Regional Compensation), which is a virtual currency unit which makes it possible for ALBA members to bypass foreign banks’ supervision.

Ahmadinejad has been preparing for this scenario for years

This system has been used effectively by the belligerent Iran, practically since its inception. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been a frequent traveler to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador, making more than half a dozen trips to the region since his election in 2005.

Reich and Vazquez Ger cite confidential bank reports dating back to November 2008, which suggest that the Central Bank of Ecuador authorized the establishment of “a mechanism for deposits and payments to facilitate foreign trade” with Iran. The two authors say that the Central Bank of Ecuador approved in closed sessions a system that would allow the confirmation and payment of letters of credit for foreign trade transactions between it, the Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI) and the International Development Bank in Caracas, Venezuela (BID).

Both the EBDI and the BID are on the U.S. Treasury’s blacklist of companies doing business with Iran’s military, but the Central Bank of Ecuador chose to ignore this fact when jumping into bed with Iran and Venezuela. Immediately after signing the agreement, the Iranian bank opened up for BID a lavish credit line of $40 million for “importation of Iranian goods and services to Ecuador.”

Reich and Vazquez Ger point out that the fact that Ecuador uses the US dollar as its currency means that once Iranian money gets into the country it is automatically injected into the economy.

But some believe that in the end the ban may work

But a high-placed Israeli financial officer told the Jewish Press Friday that any country that chooses to cooperate with Iran would be blocked sooner or later, as the need for trade with the West inevitably arises. This means that the rate of flow of Iranian money out of Iran will remain limited, despite Iran’s publicized South American rogue connection. “Any country that wants to avoid a direct confrontation with the US would opt out of a cooperation deal with Iran, including even Venezuela. Should the US at some point threaten Venezuela, it, too, would drop Iran like a hot potato.”

India-Iran avoid the dollar for rupees

Another venue for uninterrupted Iranian trade has been cultivated over the past few years with the government of India. Earlier in March the semi-official Mehr news agency reported that Tehran and New Delhi have announced that they are planning to hit $25 billion in annual bilateral trade over the next four years, with payments for Iranian oil made in rupees.

J.E. Dyer, a retired US Naval Intelligence officer who served around the world, afloat and ashore, from 1983 to 2004, told the Jewish Press in an email:

“I have been watching this for a while. India and Iran have arranged to increase trade, including Iranian oil, outside of SWIFT. They are dealing in rupees, but the point for Iran is that she can buy things she needs with her rupees. Long-term value isn’t the issue right now. China and Russia dropped the US dollar as their trading currency a while back, and China in particular has been essentially importing Iranian oil on a barter basis, for goods. No need for SWIFT.

“The Latin American countries have been helping Iran evade US/EU sanctions for a while, and so has Turkey.

The SWIFT ban may backfire by causing economic realignments

“I predicted weeks ago that excluding Iran from SWIFT wouldn’t bring Iran to her knees. Instead, it will give a world in flux new reasons to coalesce differently for power and influence. I don’t think North America and the EU have the economic power now to make Iran holler Uncle! What we can do is force a realignment that has a strong probability of rebounding to our disadvantage.

One – Skillet Suppers

Friday, November 25th, 2011

The all-purpose stovetop to oven skillet is a kitchen essential. Mine works overtime and never lets me down. My skillet and a pair of tongs turn out delicious dinners for my family. Here are three special skillet suppers:

 

Chicken Thighs with Roasted Winter Fruit The wonderful thing about skillet chicken is the crisp golden brown skin you get when searing for about 8-10 minutes on each side and then finishing off in the oven. Searing also lock in those juices so you have nice, moist, flavorful chicken.

Your best friend and must-have-on-hand ingredient for skillet chicken is broth. I use boxed broth and always have extra in my pantry. This recipe comes alive with sweetness from apples, pears and grapes. A combo of mustard powder, cinnamon, garlic and thyme round out the flavors of this dish.

 

Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 45 minutes; Ready time: 55 minutes; Serves 4

 

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

4 bone in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2-pounds)

2 tart apples such as pink lady or granny smith, cored & cut into ½-inch thick slices

2 ripe but firm pears, cored and cut into ½-inch thick slices

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon mustard powder

½ to ¾ cup chicken stock

1 cup red grapes

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

 

Directions

Heat oil over medium high heat in a 12-inch or larger oven-proof skillet. Add chicken and brown for 8 to 10 minutes per side until nicely golden brown. Remove and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400° F. If there is more than 2 tablespoons of grease in the skillet, drain excess grease. Add apples and pears and sauté for 4 to 6 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Add garlic, salt, cinnamon and mustard powder and sauté 1 minute more. Add chicken thighs back to the pan with ½ cup chicken stock and bring to a boil. Transfer to preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Add grapes and ¼ cup more chicken stock if liquid has reduced too much and return to the oven for 15 minutes.

Garnish with balsamic vinegar and thyme and serve each chicken thigh with about 1 cup roasted fruits.

 

Steak with Red Wine Glazed Carrots, Parsnips & Mushrooms Skirt steak is a boneless, relatively inexpensive cut prized more for its flavor than tenderness. To minimize toughness, it can be marinated and/or grilled, or pan seared very quickly (think stir-fry) or braised very slowly. Slice thinly against the grain to maximize tenderness.

This steak (much like brisket and London broil) has long fibers running through it. You will see these distinct lines in the meat.  Cutting against means don’t slice parallel to those lines, but rather across those lines, ideally at a 45 degree angle. You’re cutting those long fibers into short ones to make it easier to chew. By the way, you can slice these meats before or after cooking, but if you cut after cooking, let the meat rest a bit. Everything behaves better when it’s rested.

 

Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 33 minutes; Ready time: 43 minutes; Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound skirt steak

2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch sticks

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch sticks

½ cup mushrooms, quartered

½ cup chicken stock

½ cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. Add steak and sear until nicely browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove and let rest. Add parsnips and carrots and sauté 6 to 8 minutes or until slightly browned and beginning to soften. Add mushrooms and sauté 2 minutes. Add stock and wine and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and sauce is reduced and thickened. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Thinly slice steak against the grain and return to pan for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through and coated in sauce. Divide between 4 shallow bowls.

 

Asian Vegetables with Quinoa Last, but certainly not least is a skillet meal featuring quinoa.  Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah or kee-no-uh) is from South America and it’s a species of goosefoot, a “grain-like” crop. It is packed with calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, and has a high protein content to boot. Unlike wheat and rice (but similar to oats) it contains a balanced set of amino acids, making it a complete protein source. It’s high in fiber, gluten-free and easy to digest. It’s so nutritious that NASA is considering it as a crop for their Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned space flights. It’s kinda like rice or couscous. Has a nice, nutty flavor too.

Title: Not Just Another Scenario 2

Thursday, May 19th, 2011


Title: Not Just Another Scenario 2


Author: Rabbi Pinchas Winston


Publisher: Thirtysix.org


 


 


   Holy emunah, Not Just Another Scenario 2 is a riveting read. Rabbi Pinchas Winston’s revised Not Just Another Scenario holds a plot, corroborated by recent headlines, underscoring ancient prophecies coming true in one hugely happy ending.

 

   Some of the fun of in reading Not Just Another Scenario 2 is recalling what you know of Chumash and Navi, or learning bits of those texts for the first time. Today’s headlines, and the outcomes of individual choices, were predicted by those resources long ago. Mainstream media are playing re-runs of that as the Arab world plays its part in world destiny.

 

   While the 21st century’s increasingly Muslim-influenced populations limit human rights and behavior in the EU, North and South America, Asia and elsewhere, Not Just Another Scenario 2 portrays the unfolding dramas without MSM’s commercial breaks. The message from our universal Sponsor, however, comes through loud and clear.

 

   The point of Scenario 2 is this: Jews around the world are living the “Cook the Frog Slowly” fable, living among increasingly hostile populations eager to end their lives. The same scenario happened in pre- and post-Babylonian exile, pre- and post-auto-da-fe Spain, and then in pre- and post-Holocaust Germany and Poland. Futile denials of reality from Jewish mouths died with those decimated Jewish populations. But there’s a small window of time to make a happier ending with today’s chapter of Jewish history.

 

   Surprises for readers abound in Scenario 2, Chapter 14′s “In the Blink of an Eye” among them. The story’s hero wonders why he is in the midst of rapid-fire developments when a newscast numbs his mind and heart. Like many of us in this confusing world, he wonders, “What does Hashem want of me?” right through Chapter 16′s “Of Miracle Workers.” Hold that thought, because the answer to his everyman question appears in Chapter 17.

 

   Chapter 17′s “Wondrous in Our Eyes” will surely appeal to readers naming the role models (UN and White House members included) for Scenario 2 characters cooperating with Hashem’s plans for the geula. The part that the story’s hero plays throughout the book is not a surprise to be ruined in this review. Suffice it to say that anyone who ever sacrificed his or her own personal interests for kedusha will probably root for and identify with him.

 

   A heads-up for mainstream and other media executives in Chapter 18′s “Battle Lines are Drawn”and Chapter 26′s“It just Gets Better and Better” is an inside joke religious Jews can appreciate. Journalism bosses would do well to read Zechariah 14:1-3 to better plan their two future broadcasts of broadcasts (film at eleven). Reporters and Scenario 2 readers can also ponder page 220′s eternal moral lesson: “Maybe we mistook Divine Patience for Divine Absence ” with Chapter 25′s observation that “History has run its course ” The end of the novel outdoes any solar eclipse in history, closing the covers of soon-to-be irrelevant history and science books worldwide. Students of all ages can celebrate with teachers clever enough to add Not Just Another Scenario 2 to the curriculum.

 

   Author Pinchas Winston’s North American speaking tour is planned for May 12-30. He can be reached at thirtysixorg@mac.com.

 

 

   Yocheved Golani is the author of E-book “It’s MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge” (www.booklocker.com/books/4244.html).

The Chabad Cookbook – The Most Prized in My Collection

Friday, December 19th, 2008

I collect cookbooks the way other people collect coins, shot glasses, or miniature teaspoons. I began my cookbook collection a few weeks before our wedding, and today, I know it intimately. I know in which book to find which recipe, which book has the best pictures, and even which one lays flat when opened, making it easier to read while cooking.


I can also tell you which book is my favorite, which was my first purchase, and which I use most often. My Spice and Sprit; the Complete Kosher Jewish Cookbook by the ladies of the Lubavitch community, probably known better by its semi-official title, “The Purple Book”, holds pride of place in my collection. Not only was it my first cookbook, but it is also highly esteemed, because its older, yellow version was my mother’s first cookbook. The yellow cookbook kept my mother’s already kosher kitchen “heimische” no matter where in the world we were living.


The book has accompanied me on a veritable cooking odyssey, from spicy cheese lasagne to summer fruit soup. At other times, it has led me through the details of rolling knish dough and kneading challah. I have traveled to China with lemon chicken and South America with empanadas. I once asked my mother if the Lubavitch women had collected their recipes from all the different Chabad houses around the globe. My mom said she wouldn’t have been surprised, though she couldn’t possibly imagine which national cuisine had spawned “beer-batter-covered deep fried meatballs.” The Purple cookbook is a highly recommended addition to any cook’s reference library, from novice to Michelin-starred chef.


My early childhood was spent in Caracas. The Chabad House in Caracas was like a second home to me. It was a fun-filled place to go on a Sunday morning. My mother would teach arts and crafts in the back room, my brothers would run in and out of rooms teasing each other and anyone else who came past them. While the younger kids were busy making cardboard marionettes or yarn pompoms, the older ones played educational games or learned Torah with the Chabad emissaries. On one memorable rainy Sunday, a young Chabad emissary taught us South American kids how to play his new American game, “Twister”. I can still remember us as young kids, hopelessly tangled, with the young Chabadnik laughing along with us.


The summers in Caracas were spent traveling back and forth on the school bus to Chabad Camp. At camp, my brothers were three-star generals and I was a cadet. These were our ranks in the Tzivos Hashem or “G-d’s Army” (please don’t think for a second that there were any militant over- or undertones to any of this). Our ranks were determined by how many good deeds we had done.


On one memorable outing, my brothers made up a song concerning me, and to this day – 30 years later − anyone on the bus that day can remember the Ilana song, word for word. Let me just say that Ilana and banana rhyme perfectly in any language. I believe that for creating that song alone, they should have been stripped of their stars.


A few years later, my parents took the show on the road again; this time to Hong Kong, where the Chabad emissaries made every Jew who came to town – whether transient or permanent – feel welcome. In this outpost, so far from the communities in which most of us grew up, the welcome was a wonderful surprise. Lubavitch in the Far East (“LIFE”) made Judaism as accessible to the traveler or resident as chopsticks in a Chinese restaurant. Yet again, the tremendous energy that the Chabad emissaries bring to their jobs has never failed to impress me.


The loss of any life is to be mourned; yet, G-d is kind to us. He lets us feel only the closest of deaths with heartbreak, with complete sadness. But a death within the Chabad community, a community that for years has seen their charter as offering Judaism in every corner of the globe, affects us all. Orthodox or secular, traveler or resident, the Chabad representatives who venture out into the world are not missionaries. They are emissaries.


A missionary is a persuader. His job is to convince you that his way is correct, and that what you have been doing until now is incorrect. An emissary is an ambassador whose job is to represent his boss; be it a country, an organization or a religion. With diplomacy, he offers another point of view. Chabad’s job is to teach that Judaism is not only possible wherever you may find yourself − it is desirable.


I can’t comment on global terrorism, or the age-old question of why good people suffer. I don’t know how the Lubavitch community will deal with the tremendous loss their family; their community has suffered in the last week. For my part I’ll bake. It’s the only way I know how to deal with any crisis. Whether stressed or sad, I have one surefire coping mechanism. The more I “potchker” with my food, the more time I spend on a particular recipe, the closer I feel to G-d – as if by creating puff pastry from scratch, I can hold on, even for a millisecond, to some ever-fleeting godliness.


This week, you can be sure that I will be using my Chabad cookbook for inspiration. Perhaps the baking will help me find the strength to cross the chasm of despair into faith. When we lose something, we each find a way to make it better in our own minds.


This coming week, find a way to commune with G-d. Light Shabbat candles, do good deeds, put on tefillin. That is what the people in Chabad recommend. For my part, I will bake.


May we only hear good tidings about our families and brethren around the world. May God comfort you among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.


Cauliflower Kugel – Adapted from
Spice and Sprit, The complete kosher Jewish cookbook:


In recent years kugels have gone the way of the Crepes Suzette, and Cornish hens. I would like to make the case for this kugel; it is not only low in fat, it is jam packed with vegetables. The original recipe calls for a corn flake crumb crust I prefer a little Mediterranean touch with the pine nuts, but that is totally your call.


2 small heads cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large onion chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium leeks, whites and light green parts, thinly sliced (about three cups)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons finely ground almonds (or matzah meal)
½ cup toasted pine nuts


Pre heat oven to 350 F.
In a large pot of salted water, cook the cauliflower until soft when tested with a fork. Drain the cauliflower and return to pot using a potato masher, break up the cauliflower into very small pieces.


While the cauliflower is cooking, warm the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and leek and sauté, stirring once in a while until the leek has lost its shape and the onion begins to brown slightly.


Add the sautéed leeks to the cauliflower, mix well and add seasoning to taste; I like a hefty amount of pepper. Once the seasoning is adjusted, add the eggs and ground almonds.


Place the mixture in a 9×13 ovenproof dish, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, cook uncovered for about 50 minutes until center is set and top is golden.

Manna From Heaven… Almost!

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008


In the course of researching this article, I found out two truths about myself. One: I am not a rabbi, and two: thankfully I have no intentions of becoming one.


By now most of us have heard about, seen or tasted quinoa. Pronounced “keen-WAH”, this minute vegetable looks like couscous in size but has the stamp of G-d’s wonder and creation all over it. It cooks like rice, and can take on almost any flavor addition like rice and pasta, but it feels and tastes a lot like a carbohydrate side dish.

 

Here’s where the rabbis come in. Being a leaf and not a grain, and armed with the fervent hope that “pasta-like” quinoa may actually be kosher for Pesach, I was all aquiver. I called a few local and not-so-local rabbis, and they all said the same thing: “Ask your local rabbi.” It turns out that getting an “OK” for quinoa use on Pesach is only slightly less elusive than sharing a single malt with Loch Ness monster.

 

My Local Rabbi said, “it’s a go” with some restrictions on how and when it is checked, but as I said, I’m no rabbi, nor do I take responsibility for anyone’s action before, during or even after Pesach.

 

Quinoa actually has more to do with Pesach than just its “eat or don’t eat” status. Quinoa is one of G-d’s many miracles and relates beautifully to the Pesach story. The quinoa leaf, which has grown in the Andes for the last 4,000 to 5,000 years, can grow in the harshest of climates and poorest of soils. It thrives in the freezing cold nights and boiling days that make the peaks of the Andes a strictly non-tourist zone. Soil only needs minimal moisture and quinoa can grow at the highest elevations. Its nutritional value is also staggering. Quinoa has got it all; I mean it has the full package. Another disclaimer: I’m not a nutritionist, but considering that NASA is looking into quinoa’s ability to sustain astronauts in space over long periods of time, it’s got to be good!

 

Prior to the advent of the Spanish conquistadors, the people of the Upper Andes were hardy and healthy. Within ten years of the conquistadors landing on the west coast of South America, the native population had lost a third of its number and the infant mortality rate had doubled. What happened? Upon arriving in South America, the conquistadors found a culture that not only subsisted on quinoa, but also worshiped it. After harvest, there would be celebrations, followed by sacrifices.

 

The conquistadors recognized that it was a pagan culture when they saw them. Christianity was enforced and quinoa was out. They “religiously” replaced the Andeans’ quinoa, which had been a food staple and a remedy to treat almost everything from a sore toe to bronchitis, with the potato, and the natives began succumbing to disease. But at the very top of the Andes where quinoa grew wild, the grain remained happily feeding a few, until the late 1970s when two Americans studying in South America heard about the miracle, grain-leaf and imported it. It has taken close to 30 years, but today quinoa has become mainstream.

 

Despite thousands of years of displacement, the Jews’ first journey as a people was through the desert, and G-d ensured our survival with manna. How similar was manna to quinoa? I think of quinoa as the Andean form of manna minus the overt miracle: a foodstuff that grows in the harshest conditions, where just a pound of seeds can harvest a whole acre, grow wild if not cultivated, and containing within it, all the nutrition necessary to survive. My only wonder was, when the Andean people complained that there was no meat, was it the llamas that were sent to pacify them?

 

This Pesach, while considering G-d’s miracles large and small, quinoa is one of the smallest, but its impact is tremendous.


 


Quinoa With Caramelized Onions And Pine Nuts


 


1 cup quinoa


2 cups water


3 large onions, thinly sliced


3 tbsp. olive oil


½ cup pine nuts


Salt and pepper to taste


2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped


 


Using a fine sieve, rinse quinoa under cold running water until the water runs clear.

 

In a medium saucepan, add rinsed quinoa and water.

 

Bring water to a boil, lower heat and simmer until quinoa is softened and translucent, about 15 minutes.

 

As the quinoa is cooking, prepare the onions: In a large frying pan, heat oil and add onions. Sauté over medium heat until onions start to turn golden.

 

In a separate frying pan toast the pine nuts. Be careful as they can burn easily.

 

Combine cooked quinoa, sautéed onions and toasted pine nuts. Season to taste and add chopped parsley just before serving.

World Society Of Czestochowa Jews And Their Descendants Meet In Poland

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

During Chol Hamoed Sukkot the sound of singing in a sukkah was heard in Czestochowa for the first time since the Shoah. The gathering was the byproduct of an exhibit remembering the Jewish community of Czestochowa, which has been traveling the world for the past two years.



The people came from 12 countries and totaled more then 200, the remnants of a community of more than 30,000. They came from the U.S. and Israel but also from South America and Australia and all over Europe. All have roots in the same fabled city of Czestochowa.


Survivors came with their children and grandchildren to remember the history of what was. They remembered the time before the Shoah, when Jews intermingled with their non-Jewish neighbors, and spoke of some of the illustrious as well as the colorful inhabitants of the prewar community. Many went to the city archives to try to find information about their families, and discovered details that had been lost to memory. Others searched and found ancestral homes, schools, places of business and other sites that remained in often-repressed memory.


 


Going over Szestochowa town records in the main archives.

The sukkah was built with the help of a local school of fine arts and decorated with materials sent by Jewish schools around the world, including New York’s Park East Day School and Solomon Schechter of Bergen County. The banquet meal in the sukkah was attended by the mayor of the city, Tadeus Wrona, Israeli Ambassador Shevach Weiss, Rabbi Michael Schudrich and many other dignitaries.


Sigmund Rolat, who organized the original exhibit, is also responsible for most of the work being done to preserve the memory of the Jewish heritage of Czestochowa. Mr. Rolat led the march of the survivors (second and third generation) from the place of “selection” to the recently discovered Umschlagplatz. At various points along the way, he stopped and described in great detail what took place in those terrible times 60 years ago.


At the Umschlagplatz, which today is only a cement platform surrounded by high weeds, he explained that this was the last place he saw his father before his father was sent to his death in Treblinka. He said there are plans to develop the site into one of honor and of memory.


At the cemetery there was a moving ceremony recalling the glory of the past and the horrific yet heroic times of the Shoah, in which 30,000 people from Czestochowa were killed.


Those who survived the Shoah in Czestochowa did so by working in the Hasag Arms Factory. During the group visit to the Hasag factory complex, Mr. Rolat and the other survivors described what life was like under those conditions and what each of the many buildings was used for. To a great extent, the buildings are the same as they were 60 years ago, though now some are being renovated. We saw the seamstress house where German uniforms were made, and the munitions plant. At another place stood the kitchen, where two second-generation members of the trip found each other’s parents’ best friend.


At the end of the three-day gathering, people promised to stay in touch with their old and new extended family. This will be made easier through the formation of the World Society of Czestochowa Jews and their descendents, led by its executive director, Lea Sigel Wolinetz.


For more information on the society contact czworldsociety@yahoo.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/world-society-of-czestochowa-jews-and-their-descendants-meet-in-poland/2006/10/18/

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