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x5In A Recipe Rut? Get Cooking Inspired!

Estee Kafra, bestselling author of Spice it Right! and Cooking with Color, has done it again!

Food websites have become favorite destinations for home cooks to review and share recipes and cooking tips. Kosher recipes are especially popular, and one of the fastest-growing kosher websites is Wanting to make cooking easier and more creative for home cooks, founder Estee Kafra has put together a collection of the best recipes from the site.

Cooking Inspired, published this past September by Feldheim, is a sampling of the creative and reliable recipes that the site has become known for, which will inspire home cooks to let loose their culinary creativity. More than 200 recipes have been beautifully photographed, creating a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

Estee has written and compiled hundreds of recipes that will not only enhance your table, but transform your outlook on cooking. Using ingredients creatively, with a fresh and healthy spin, is what KosherScoop calls “inspired,” and what you will call “just plain smart.”

Authors represented in this book include many of the “Who’s Who” of kosher recipe writing, such as Norene Gilletz, Paula Shoyer, Daphna Rabinovitch, and Levanah Kirschenbaum. Included as well are cooking tips, and many brand-new recipes, exclusive to this book. All recipes that are gluten-free (more than 100!) and Passover-friendly are clearly marked.

Books may be ordered from‑inspired.html. v

OU Presentation At ‘Kosher Made Easy’ Show,

January 22

OU Kosher rabbinical coordinators Rabbi David Jenkins and Rabbi Eli Eleff will represent the Orthodox Union when the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Culinary Arts present the seminar “Kosher Made Easy” for business owners in the borough seeking to enter the kosher marketplace. It will be held on Wednesday, January 22, 8:30-10:30 a.m., at Industry City, 237 37th Street in Sunset Park. The rabbis will provide a basic primer on kosher practice and how kosher certification works.

“OU Kosher is pleased to send two representatives to the ‘Kosher Made Easy’ seminar,” said Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher. “The appearance by Rabbis Jenkins and Eleff is part of the educational effort maintained by OU Kosher to inform the trade about kosher certification, as well as to educate the consumer about kosher products. I am certain their presentation will enlighten all who are present, whether they currently are kosher certified or are considering certification for the future.” v

Dr. Erica Weissman

Dr. Erica Weissman

Touro Appoints Director Of Student Mental-Health Services

The Touro College and University System is pleased to announce the appointment of Erica Weissman, J.D., Psy.D., as director of student mental-health services.

In this newly created position, Dr. Weissman will be coordinating student mental-health services at all Touro schools and sites in the New York City area. She will work with academic and administrative leadership, as well as staff and students, to assess existing services, identify student mental-health concerns, provide options for intervention, mitigate risk, and ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. Under her guidance, Touro will develop additional policies and procedures for crisis intervention and mental-health counseling, implement new mental-health services, and provide training and resources for faculty, staff, and students. She also has an academic appointment as associate professor in the Graduate School of Psychology.

Dr. Weissman is a New York State licensed psychologist who brings to Touro a wealth of experience working in a variety of settings. As a clinician and clinical administrator in the New York City public health system, she has provided inpatient and outpatient treatment to clients with a range of mental illnesses, performed numerous forensic evaluations, supervised staff clinicians and advanced trainees, conducted seminars for psychology interns and medical residents, and made presentations on multiple topics in psychology and performance improvement. She has also taught in academic graduate programs and maintains a private practice in clinical and forensic psychology. Before earning her doctorate in psychology, Dr. Weissman was a practicing attorney specializing in intellectual property matters.

Prior to joining Touro, Dr. Weissman was the director of quality improvement for the department of psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital Center and a clinical assistant professor in the psychiatry department of the New York University School of Medicine. Previously, at Bellevue, she was the clinical director of the forensic psychiatry division and the director of forensic psychology. She came to Bellevue from Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, New York, where she was the unit chief and clinical service coordinator of the forensic psychiatry service. Dr. Weissman has also taught on the graduate level at CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology.

Dr. Weissman attended the University of Pennsylvania (B.A.), New York University School of Law (J.D.), Yeshiva University (Psy.D.), and the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She has published and presented research on such topics as adolescents, incarcerated women, treatment of sex offenders and trauma victims, and competency to stand trial. v

Rabbi Josh Kohl Appointed NCSY NY Regional Director

When Rabbi Josh Kohl accepted the position of New York NCSY Regional Director, it was more than just a job for him. For Rabbi Kohl—a veteran kiruv educator—working for NCSY was a dream fulfilled.

Growing up in Santa Barbara, CA, Rabbi Kohl had little to do with his Jewish heritage. “We lit the Chanukah candles and that was about it,” he explained. Even a brief foray into a religious Jewish school did little for him.

That all changed in his senior year of high school. A promising athlete and a dedicated student, Rabbi Kohl had his life planned out. Several schools had offered him scholarships and an acceptance letter from an Ivy League school was already in his hand but then, by chance, he met Rabbi Ben Jacoby of West Coast NCSY. Rabbi Kohl recalled, “He asked me to put together a camping trip for kids from L.A. and San Diego and, for some crazy reason, I agreed.”

Soon after, Rabbi Kohl decided he wanted to put together an NCSY chapter in Santa Barbara. “Next thing I knew, I started wearing my kippah to school and keeping kosher,” he said. “Halfway through the year, I started keeping Shabbat.” At graduation, he decided to put his college plans on hold and go to Israel for the year.

At the time, 1989, there weren’t many yeshivas for dedicated ba’alei teshuvah who didn’t know that much about learning. He ended up at a small yeshiva and eventually returned back to America after several years to launch an outreach kollel on the West Coast. Afterwards, he worked for Gateways and Aish HaTorah, but NCSY was always in his sights.

“I had NCSY in my blood,” he said. “I had a vision of wanting to give back to NCSY for all that it had given to me.”

His enthusiasm for the position was evident from his first interview.

“After spending five minutes with Rabbi Kohl, it was obvious to us that he was a perfect fit,” said Kenneth Sicklick, chairman of the board for New York NCSY. “His educational and kiruv background, as well as his enthusiasm and innovative spirit for this type of work, will help continue the tradition that has made NCSY so successful around the world.”

Rabbi Kohl takes over a thriving region that serves hundreds of Jewish teenagers in the greater New York area. Among their most recent campaigns are NCSY Sweepstakes 2014 and Super Bowl XLVIII raffles. Each campaign endeavors to raise scholarship funds for area public-school teens to attend NCSY Shabbatons, post-high school Israel programs, and, for some, to make the big switch from public school to Yeshiva day school. These exciting raffles offer prizes such as jewelry, cars, vacation packages, and $25,000, as well as two prime seats to this year’s Super Bowl.

New York NCSY also launched the Jerusalem Journey Ambassador summer program that takes public school teens to Israel for the summer, and the nationwide JUMP competition, where day school teens from across the nation compete in a variety of social-action challenges in an Apprentice-style competition.

Rabbi Kohl has many plans for the region, including broadening New York NCSY’s reach to new public high schools, but he says his focus is mainly twofold: “I hope to expand what we’re doing in many different geographic areas and deepen what we’re doing,” he said. “I want to make sure we’re not just going through a process of moving teens through clubs and programs, but really reaching them, inspiring them, and helping them navigate through their Jewish journeys.”

With a Winter Regional Shabbaton on the horizon, the New York region hopes to host close to 300 teens and supporters on an inspiring weekend retreat complete with an authentic Shabbos experience, singing, dancing, inspiring Torah learning, and intriguing courses given by world-renowned rebbeim and teachers from around the country. “We often find that once a teen has kept his or her first true Shabbos with NCSY, they become motivated in a particular area of Judaism and take the first step towards Judaism,” related Rabbi Kohl.

To this day, he still wonders exactly what it was that the regional director offered him that pulled him out of his spiritual slumber; however, he says, he has attempted to use some combination of that magic in his own outreach work. “I think the most significant thing that made a difference for me was the personal relationship with Rabbi Jacoby and the care I received from him,” Rabbi Kohl says. “To this day, we’re still in touch. Ultimately, teaching Torah is an extension of that care; the more we care for an individual and his personal needs, the more of an impact we’ll have on his life.” v

Ohel Trivia Evening For Siblings Across The Tri-State Area

While having a sibling with a disability can be a rewarding and gratifying experience, with many lessons to be learned, it can also be isolating. People may treat one differently, and one is often put in situations not many people can understand or relate to.

Over the past few years, the Family Services Division of Ohel Bais Ezra has developed their incredible Sibshops program, for children who have a sibling with a developmental disability. This past November, at Ohel’s 44th Annual Gala, Ohel debuted their sibling video, and the overwhelmingly positive response gave insight into the needs of adult siblings. Ohel is now excited to be planning a groundbreaking event for these individuals and, on Saturday night, February 8, Ohel Bais Ezra will be hosting an evening of trivia, fun, and friendships for adult siblings of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Ohel does not only help individuals with special needs, but focuses on the unique needs of their siblings as well. Ohel’s evening of trivia will give these siblings of individuals with special needs a night to hang out, bond, and to enjoy the company of friends.

Alyse Applebaum, an Ohel Bais Ezra area coordinator involved in the upcoming event, said, “Our hope is to develop a strong and meaningful relationship with the siblings, and for them to build relationships with each other in a relaxing environment. We hope that this upcoming trivia night is the first of many adult sibling events.”

For more information about the event, please contact Azriel Steiner at 718-686-3492, or e-mail v

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Posted by on January 18, 2014. Filed under In This Week's Edition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.