Sisterhood Blast Av 5780

Sisterhood Blast!

Rosh Hodesh Av 5780 – July 22, 2020

Although the last few months have been challenging, Sisterhood has continued to provide engaging programs that entertain and educate. As we begin a new Sisterhood year, we reflect on where we’ve been and what we’ve done while we plan for the future. Please plan to be with us in the months ahead. Also, check out the “year that was” that follows after this month’s recipes.  

Upcoming Activities 

The Art of the Jewish Family – Tuesday, July 28 8 pm – Join us for a conversation with Laura Arnold Leibman about her fascinating new book and the important role objects and material culture play in preserving the stories of women.

When Jews Fought for Suffrage August 18 8 pm – We originally planned this presentation as a FHJC event to celebrate the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, but BQLI Region has asked us to share it with all members of the region. We hope that you will join us in recognizing this milestone, which is even more important this year. Watch for Zoom information or contact

Woolgatherers – Tuesdays 2:00 pm – Back by popular demand, Woolgatherers aka Yarn Crew is back as a Zoom group.  Get together with other crafters to schmooze, share your current project, get advice on technique, or get inspiration for a new project. For information, contact

Daytime Readers Group August 13 1:30 pm Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano, about a 12-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a plane crash that kills all of the other 191 passengers, including the protagonist’s family. Then on September 24, we will discuss American Dirt by Jeanine Cummings. If you love to read, we invite you to join this informal gathering and to suggest titles for future meetings- RSVP:

Transition House We are working on a back-to-school drive with curbside drop off. Stay tuned for more information. 

Calendar Diaries – Now is the time to reserve your Women’s League Calendar Diary. Beautifully illustrated, the annual pocket size calendar lists holidays, candle-lighting times, Birkat HaMazon, and other information. It has space for notes and appointments, and a plastic cover is included. $12 each, check made payable to Forest Hills Jewish Center with Sisterhood Calendar on the memo line. To order yours, email, or contact Shirley Rossman Zucker

Recipes of the Month

According to Carrie Leifer, who contributed this recipe for Gazpacho, this recipe comes “from a cooking class many years ago at Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School. My instructor worked as a personal chef for Calvin and Kelly Klein, and was asked to make this for them at their home in the Hamptons quite frequently.

It tastes best when vegetables are chopped by hand; I strongly recommend against using a food processor.” Ed note: Calvin Klein reportedly lived at the Andrew Jackson on Yellowstone Blvd. at one time.

Cold Gazpacho Soup (serves 6)

  • 1 lb ripe tomatoes, finely chopped (about 2 large or 3 medium-sized)
    1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
    1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T good olive oil
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 t salt
  • pepper, freshly ground
  • mint, marjoram, or parsley, freshly minced
  • 1 C iced water

Optional: Freshly made croutons, slices of hard-cooked egg, 12 pitted black olives (not the California, canned, variety), additional minced cucumber, onion. Sometimes minced cucumber, onion or tomato is served in separate bowls as an additional garnish for the soup.

1 – Prepare all of the above ingredients up to the water and mix together in a bowl. Add the water and stir again; keep very cold until it is time to serve.

2 – Thin the mixture with 1-2 C iced water, if needed. Add a few of the optional items, and, if you wish, some crushed ice.

Overnight Broccoli Salad Dorrie Berkowitz

  • 2 heads broccoli*
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cashew nuts (optional)
  1. Cut broccoli into small florets and coarse-chop the stems. Place in a large bowl. Chop the onion and mix with the broccoli.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar until very well blended and smooth.
  3. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the vegetables. Cover and chill overnight. Stir, and serve cold or at room temperature. Add the cashew nuts right before serving.

*If you don’t love raw broccoli, you can separate the heads into large sections, then blanch and shock it before you cut it into the smaller florets.

Salmon Pasta Salad Dorrie Berkowitz

  • 1 lb rotelle or other shaped pasta
  • 1 15-oz can of salmon, drained and cleaned
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped fine
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs mayonnaise

Cook pasta; drain and place in a large bowl. Flake the cleaned salmon and mix into the pasta.
In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients, reserving 1 tbs of the dill. Pour over the pasta-salmon mixture and stir until thoroughly blended. Chill well. Before serving, sprinkle on the remaining 1 tbs chopped dill. May be made one day in advance.


    • You may use 1 lb of poached fresh salmon in lieu of canned salmon.
    • Reduced-fat sour cream works well, but do not use fat-free sour cream.
    • If Greek yogurt is used, you may need to add a bit more milk.
    • Skim milk is fine to use, but whole milk adds a richer flavor.
  • If you use gluten-free pasta, plan to serve it the same day, otherwise the pasta gets very hard.

The Year in Review 

Seltzertopia – We enjoyed egg creams while listening to Barry Joseph, a Forest Hills resident, and author of Seltzertopia: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary Drink

Challah-Baking Once again, by popular demand, Sisterhood and United Parents brought back “Chana the Challah Girl” for a challah-making evening in time for Rosh Hashanah. 

Evening Book Discussions – On a stormy evening in August, we had a lively discussion of A Guide for the Perplexed by Dara Horn, an engrossing adventure that intertwines stories from Genesis, medieval philosophy, and the digital frontier. Thank you to Gail Port for leading the discussion.

In November, we read Memento Park by Mark Sarvas about an American man who learns of a painting stolen from his family during World War II. When he sets out to recover it, he must reunite with his estranged father. Thank you to Robin Skolnik for facilitating our discussion in honor of Jewish Book Month.

Sukkah Decorating – Once again, we joined with United Parents and Men’s Club. Thank you to all who participated. 

Cho-Sen Luncheon – We enjoyed our second annual Fall Luncheon at Cho-Sen Garden, with good food, good friends and raffles.  Thanks to Barbara Klibanoff and Lee Lampert for chairing the event and all who solicited raffles.

Baubles, Bangles, and Beads We celebrated Matilda Schechter’s birthday with a party and costume jewelry fair. Any jewelry not claimed at the end of the evening was donated to Transition House, and monetary proceeds went to Torah Fund.

Caregiving Panel Discussion Jointly sponsored by Sisterhood and Men’s Club – Mindy Weinblatt and Beverly Silver led a discussion on caring for a parent, spouse, partner or child who is aged, ill or otherwise incapacitated.. 

Torah StudyIn preparation for Sisterhood Shabbat, we participated in a study session with Rabbi Skolnik on Parashat Trumah. 

Sisterhood Shabbat Thank you to all who led davening and read Torah or Haftorah. Also, thank you to Debra Weil for her timely d’var torah. Thanks to Bonnie Dassa and Anne Frankel for our tasty luncheon.

FHJC Annual Dinner Dance and Journal — Thanks to Judy Gostl for spearheading Sisterhood’s campaign, including our ads in honor of Heidi Chain and Heidi and Allan Rolnick. Thanks, also, to all who contributed. 

Connect and Learn– We enjoyed in person and Zoom events with Jessica Braginsky, FHJC Director of Education and Engagement. These included discussions on how to engage with people with whom we disagree, a writing exercise, and lively games of Jewpardy and Name That Tune.

Ongoing activities

Transition House Drives – Back-to-School and Holiday Gifts for Teens (and others) — Thank you to all who contributed. Special shout-out to Diana Walcott, a one-woman supply chain.