President's Monthly Message

A message from our president, Cindy Wetter

President's Message February 2017

Part of the president's job at Beth Hatikvah is a weekly meeting with Rabbi. Imagine our surprise at a recent meeting when we realized that both of us were planning to write Tikvah Talk columns about attending b'nai mitzvah services!

Everyone is welcome. The services are community events. And they're lovely! Think of some of the things you enjoy about High Holiday services at CBH -- they're warm and haimish (which translates as "homey"); you find friendly, familiar faces; Rabbi sprinkles in thoughtful bits of learning and explanation; and there are tunes you know and love.

All of these things hold true for b'nai mitzvah services.

Truth be told, there are always some congregants at each of our b'nai mitzvah services, but congregants are usually outnumbered by invited family and friends of the family. Often those guests aren't familiar with our service or our melodies, so they sit ever so quietly.

How wonderful and supporting it is for the bar or bat mitzvah to look out on smiling, familiar faces from our congregation, and to hear folks singing along with our familiar tunes! And it's not just the newly-minted young Jewish adult (and his or her family) who benefits from that support. Our rabbi, our lay cantor, our gabbai, the singers -- indeed all the congregants there -- love to hear our voices joined together. It's generous for us to reflect back to them the energy and enthusiasm they bring to their roles at the service, and it's good to be reminded why we are all part of a Jewish synagogue community.

If you read my first President's Message last month, you know that I'm including a recipe each time, and drawing some sort of parallel to congregational life. So how does the recipe below tie in? Well, if you haven't been in the habit of attending our b'nai mitzvah services, because you feel doing so would be unusual for you and you think you may not enjoy it, I hope after reading our columns this month you'll give it a try. This apple-butternut squash soup has some unusual spices, and you may not think at first glance that you'll enjoy the flavor, but give it a try. You just might like these services AND this soup!

Come Be Happy at b'nai mitzvah services.



¼ cup peanut oil

4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cubed

2 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored & cut into 2-inch pieces (approximately 2 cups)

1 large onion, peeled & coarsely chopped (approximately 1 cup)

¾ teaspoon Penzey's curry powder (I divided this into half sweet and half hot)

¾ teaspoon ground mace

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

1 cup apple cider

1 quart non-tomato-y vegetable stock (Imagine brand works well, or make your own)

½ cup half-and-half

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

finely minced scallions (include green tops) for garnish


Heat oil in large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add squash, apples & onion. Stir to coat with oil and sauté, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes, or until onion is transparent. Stir in mace, curry powder & cardamom and continue cooking until onion begins to brown. Add cider. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat and cook for three minutes. Add vegetable stock, lower heat and simmer, covered, another 35 minutes or until squash is tender. Transfer mixture to blender and process until smooth, then return to stockpot. Stir in the half-and-half, salt & pepper, and warm through over low heat. Pour into bowls and sprinkle with scallions, if desired.



Wed, 22 February 2017 26 Shevat 5777