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november notes (and some december, too), part II

11/24/2021 12:34:54 PM


Aileen Grossberg


Thanksgiving weekend is usually the lead in to a frenetic few weeks of shopping, entertaining and family.  With Hanukkah so closely following  turkey day this year, the days may be even more jam-packed than usual.

Here are some Hanukkah and other related links, activities, and a recipe for a different Hanukkah treat.

1. Israeli film and TV are internationally acclaimed. Asylum City has been making waves all over the entertainment press. Find out more on Tuesday, November 30, 12:00 pm.

Behind the  Scenes of Israeli Hit Show Asylum City” with actress Hani Furstenberg and co-creator Liad Shoham


Asylum City, the critically acclaimed and popular Israeli series starring Israeli-American actress Hani Furstenberg and nominated for six Israeli Academy Awards is set in the Tel Aviv underworld of refugees and asylum seekers. Based on the bestselling novel by Liad Shoham, it follows Anat,  young police officer who while investigating a murder exposes a complex web of political corruption, organized crime and exploitation. Furstenberg andShoham  will be in conversation with Moment editor Sarah Breger.

This special zoominar is sponsored by MomentLive! and ChaiFlicks: The Jewish Streaming Service.

Check out the novels  by Liad Shaham upon which the series is based.

2, Here’s something for families- a game for Hanukkah with a link to download . Have fun.

3. Like music- like Klezmer music? Listen in to this special Hanukkah program from the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. Here’s the program description:  NYTF dishes up an exciting new Chanukah event as part of our groundbreaking 107th season. ESN, a celebration of Jewish food through song and cooking demonstrations, comes to the virtual stage on November 28 through Monday, December 6 — the last night of Chanukah.

4. Monday, November 29 at 2 p.m. ET   Judith is an oft unknown Hanukkah heroine. My Jewish Learning will let you in on this heroine’s story in a program called Judith: Hanukkah Heroine Excluded from the Hebrew Bible

Get to know the story of Judith, the overlooked Hanukkah heroine. In this special Hanukkah class with My Jewish Learning, teacher and author Sandra E. Rapoport will present her original lecture, "Judith: Hanukkah Heroine Excluded from the Hebrew Bible." Who was Judith? Why is Judith's image carved into centuries of Chanukah menorahs, and also painted on the ceiling of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel? What did Judith do that was heroic, and why is her story excluded from the Hebrew Bible?

Scroll down to the program and on the way check out the wide variety of programs.

5. Books are always good gifts. The Association of Jewish Libraries always recommends the best.The Celebrate Picture Books blog features some AJL Hanukkah recommendations.

6. Sunday, Dec 5 | 12:30 PM ET  For those of you interested in both science and history this lecture should prove interesting.


Presented by Dr. Iris Idelson-Shein, Norbert Blechner and Friends Career Development Chair in East-European Jewish Culture, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

7. On Monday, December 6 at 12:30, the Association of Jewish Libraries presents: The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

Program description “Celebrate the last day of Hanukkah with a discussion of the fun new romance novel The Matzah Ball followed by a Q&A session with author Jean Meltzer. AJL members and enthusiastic romance readers Dina Herbert, Rachel Kamin, Rebecca Levitan, and Aviva Rosenberg will also share how the romance genre has evolved over time and provide other examples with Jewish content. Participants will have the opportunity to share their recommended reads that end HEA (happily ever after)! All are welcome whether you’ve read The Matzah Ball, have it on your TBR list, or just want to learn more.

This event is sponsored by AJL’s SSCPL Division and is open to members and nonmembers.”

Our library is a member of AJL

Register at

8. On December 8, The Chosen” writer and director Jeremy Kagan will join a conversation with executive editor Adam Langer to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary.

Maybe reread this book or any of Potok’s memorable novels.

If you are looking for a good, old-fashioned reading experience, stop in the library and check out a book. It’s easy. Any questions, contact the librarian

9. Finally, here’s a different kind of Hanukkah treat which demonstrates how Jewish cuisine has borrowed from the many countries in which Jews live.

Tostones for Hanukkah (from The Nosher  serves 4-6, recipe from Jennifer Stempel

The Nosher has presented a series of  Hanukkah cooking demonstrations. Check the website for recordings of the sessions for Hanukkah treats from various cultures. 

Cubans use plantain bananas the way Americans use potatoes, so swapping traditional potato latkes with savory tostones seemed like a natural choice.

This Hanukkah, if you’re looking for something outside the traditional latke box, take a cue from the Cuban cookbook, and serve tostones alongside your festive meal. If you don’t have a traditional tostenera to smash the plantains, you can achieve similar results with the bottom of a frying pan, a mug or small bowl.

As demonstrated by Jennifer Steeple, they are both simple to make and delicious.


Vegetable oil for frying

2 green (under ripe) plantain bananas

Kosher salt to taste


1. In a large frying pan, pour in enough vegetable oil to fill pan about halfway, and place over medium to high heat.

2. Remove the peel from the plantains, and discard. Chop the pulp into rounds of about 1-1½ inch thickness.

3.To test the oil temperature, carefully place a small piece of plantain into the oil. If the oil bubbles around the plantain, it is ready. If it doesn’t, continue heating the oil until it does.

4. Once the oil is ready, carefully drop the plantain rounds into the oil, and fry for two minutes before flipping and frying for two minutes on the other side.

5. Remove the plantains from the oil, and using either a tostonera or a frying pan and a flat surface, smash the rounds until they flatten.

6. Return the now-flattened plantain rounds to the oil, and fry until golden and crisp, about two more minutes.

7.Remove the plantains from the oil, and immediately place on a platter lined with paper towel to catch any unnecessary oil.

8.Sprinkle with kosher salt while the plantains are still hot, and serve.

Note: When properly fried, the tostones actually make an  audible crunch when you bite into them.

Flattening the plantains is a perfect task for kids.

Serve with avocados or guacamole. 

Thu, October 6 2022 11 Tishrei 5783