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April 21, 1995 - Image 74

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-04-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

JERUSALEM page 73

eesi
Tbrouob
centuries of
jewisb bistoq
will five again.

Polo0

Al,
LOT

had survived the Nazi roundup
recall the fate of their fellow-
Jews. More than 200 of them
were swept up, including Chief
Rabbi Adolfo Ottolenghi, who re-
fused to abandon his congregants
even though he had had an op-
portunity to escape the trap.
All 200 were lined up against
the wall just to the left of the
Casa dsi Riposo and marched
down the narrow main street of
the ghetto, back over the Ponte
delle Guglia and on to the main
railroad station just beyond.
There, freight cars were waiting
to transport them to Auschwitz.
That seder in the Venice ghet-
to was an occasion for sad mem-
ories as we sat around the long
table dipping our bitter herbs, but
it was also one of joyous feasting,
particularly for us, experiencing
for the first time the Passover
cuisine of Italian Jewry.
The `minestra per Pesach,' for
example, was not the chicken
soup we knew; it contained `riso'
(rice) — a grain that would be
`chometz' for Ashkenazi cele-
brants — and the matzah balls
were made of ground chicken
breasts blended with matzah
meal.
The matzah itself was hand-
made, oval in shape and much
thicker and more heavily textured
than the square, unleavened,
store-bought matzot we are used
to. Tiny holes, like eyelets, are
punched into the surface of the
matzot, giving each piece the de-
tailed appearance of an etching.
The main course was not lamb,
beef or chicken but `caprette —
baby goat — a favorite Pssover
delicacy. And the accompanying
vegetable was that classic dish of
Italian kosher cuisine, `carciofi

alla giuda' — artichokes, Jewish
style — a culinary masterpiece
created by the Jews of Rome
2,000 years ago.
The Casa di Riposo is at Ghet-
to Nuovo 2874; tel., 716-002. Ear-
ly booking for kosher lunches
open to the public are advised.
The remembrance of things
past was less unhappy and the
menu more familiar (to Ashke-
nazi palates, anyway) at a seder
at the old people's home in
Helsinki, when (even in April) the
Gulf of Finland was still an un-
broken mass of ice.
We heard the Haggadah read
in Hebrew, with interpolations
in Yiddish and Finnish, by a
plump, white-bearded little rab-
bi who might well have doubled
for Santa Claus.
The elderly participants in that
Finnish seder had lived in Helsin-
ki through the years of World
War II, when their native coun-
try was allied with Hitler. Fight-
ing specifically against the
Russians, who had annexed a
large piece of Finland two years
before, Field Marshal Manner-
heim, commander of the Finnish
army, had his own agenda in the
war.
That agenda did not include
persecution of Finnish Jews; de-
spite the demands of his German
allies, Mannerheim refused to
surrender even one Finnish Jew
for deportation.
A bust of Mannerheim and a
wreath memorializing the 23
Finnish Jewish soldiers who died
in the Finnish-Soviet War of
1939-40 are displayed in the lob-
by of the old people's home. It is
located at Malminkatu 26, ad-
joining the Helsinki synagogue;
tel., 692-1297, 694-1302.



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H

ow can it be done?
Impeccably maintaining
kashruth at sea, thou-
sands of miles from the
nearest synagogue or kosher
butcher, posed no great difficul-
ties for the two observant couples
who sailed with us aboard the
Orient Line's MV Marco Polo on
a recent 23-day cruise across the
Indian Ocean, from Cape Town
to Singapore.
Mervyn and Elaine Jacobs of
Boca Raton, Fla., and Lee and
Gloria Schreiber of Valley
Stream, N.Y., are experienced
travelers who have journeyed to
such remote places as Antarcti-
ca (aboard a then-Soviet ship)
and Bolivia — always carrying
with them suitcases filled with
canned tuna and sardines;
cheeses, james and peanut but-

ter; soda crackers and matzot;
cookies and Elite chocolates from
Israel and sundry other co-
mestibles — not to mention
sealed packages of paper plates
and plastic cutlery — of whose
kosher integrity they were cer-
tain.
All four, each of them carrying
30 pounds of food, were similar-
ly prepared for the long voyage
across the Indian Ocean. Before
departure, they had been assured
by Deborah Nathansohn, the Ori-
ent Line's vice president for mar-
keting, who had herself been
raised in an Orthodox home, that
the Marco Polo would, indeed, be
prepared to meet their dietary re-
quirements.
However, the Jacobs and the
Schreibers had flown to Cape
Town, the port of embarcation,

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