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March 21, 2013 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-03-21

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in association with the

invites you to join us for the annual

Isaac Mayer Wise Shabbat Service

Friday, March 29 at 7:30N



Newsweek has referred to Rabbi David Saperstein

as the most influential rabbi in the country and a
Washington Post profile as the "quintessential
religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill," in his role over
30 years, representing the Reform Jewish Move-
ment to Congress and the Administration as the
Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform
Judaism (RAC). Under Rabbi Saperstein, writes J.J.
Goldberg in his book Jewish Power, the Religious
Action Center "has become one of the most power-
ful Jewish bodies in Washington, second only to
In addition to its advocating on a broad range of social justice issues, the
RAC provides extensive legislative and programmatic materials to syna-
gogues nationwide and coordinates social action education programs that
train nearly 3,000 Jewish adults, youth, rabbinic and lay leaders each year.

A prolific writer and speaker, Rabbi Saperstein has appeared on a number
of television news and talk shows including Oprah, Nightline, Lehrer
News Hour, ABC's Sunday Morning, Crossfire, Hardball — and the
O'Reilly Factor. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the
New York Times and the Harvard Law Review. His latest book is Jewish

Dimensions of Social Justice: Tough Moral Choices of Our Time.

RSVP TO DAVE HENIG at dahenig@comcast.net or 248.682.4992

Tis event is free and open to the public. T_iere will be an oneg after services.

80-VER AN/V/,


Est. 1988

design courtesy of:




March 21 • 2013


The Family from page 45

out-of-the-house schedule addition. A
block of her pre-Passover time is spent
at model seders and holiday school
programs involving grandchildren and
great-grandchildren. She has attended
at least 100 through the years, some-
times two on the same day!
Insisting that she be in charge of the
cooking, one of the very few chores
my mom actually delegates is some of
the shopping, but only on her terms.
She never merely says please get
salad greens or ingredients for a cake.
She will say, "Go to Kroger where 10
dozen eggs are on sale for $10" or to
One Stop in Oak Park for a specific
romaine lettuce in a specific-sized
My assignment has long been to
purchase the soft drinks, although
most years the request will come
with the tagline, "But it was on sale at
Meijer, so I already bought a couple of
dozen bottles:'
Invariably, each time I shop, other
customers will stare into my carts
filled with several hundred liters of
Coke and ask, "Oh, is it on sale?" or
say, "You must really like pop" or the
most common question that comes
with a silly laugh: "Where's the party?"
Most years, we revisit the story
of how my car broke down on
Northwestern while transporting the
drinks to my parents' home and how
the tow truck driver helped catch the
bottles that rolled onto the road while
we transferred them into my daugh-
ter's car.

go One Goes Hungry
A traditional pre-Passover sight at my
parents' home is my dad at the kitchen
table, slicing roast beef or rolling
meatballs — this year there are 134
— and placing them on tray after tray
after tray.
And my mother is no ordinary cook,
with her multitude of stored recipes
accumulated from cooking classes,
cookbooks and those shared by others,
most of which have her added per-
sonal touch. The typical Passover meal
includes an appetizer like beef-stuffed
onions, one of various homemade
soups, often two entrees with sides,
and desserts like a family favorite, a
mousse-filled chocolate delicacy called
"Elegant Passover Dessert:'
Everything is created with peerless
quality, but also in unnatural quan-
tity. This year's holiday preparations
included the purchase of 20 dozen
eggs and the cooking of six gallons of
chicken soup and nearly 100 popovers,
with more food cooked as the holiday
Passover at my parents' home is
really just an elaborate, chametz-free
extension of their year-round hospital-

Ceil Liebman mixes matzah meal for
popovers for a 1986 Passover meal.

ity. The usual Passover crowd is four
generations and extends to siblings,
aunts, uncles, cousins, children,
grandchildren, great-grandchildren
and in-laws. The seders are the one
time each year when everyone is
together; no "other sides:'
No one seems to care that this is
the holiday of little sleep, with seders
that end near 1 a.m., the sounds of
the women meeting for cake and tea
at 3 in the morning, the early rising of
eight young children and the fact that
all the Passover Coke is caffeinated.
It's hectic, continual and seem-
ingly never-ending, but even when
it is finally over we all meet again, in
my parents' kitchen. We help pack up
the Passover dishes, my dad sorts the
silverware into its divided organizers,
and everything is transported to the
basement and garage, and the year-
round replacements return to their
normal posts.
After our "jobs" are done, we all
gather for our final family Passover
tradition: the post-holiday meal. At
a table highlighted by a late-night
Jerusalem Pizza dinner, we review
our week, laugh at remembered sto-
ries and make a Diet Coke toast of
gratitude, love and appreciation to the
planner, preparer, organizer.
Hiding what must be utter exhaus-
tion, my mom always says she's sorry
it's over, calls the months of prepara-
tion a "labor of love" and sincerely
invites us all to come back again next
year. Although sometimes she uses
a line from the Haggadah and sug-
gests, with a smile, maybe it would be
a lot easier if we met, "Next year in

For Ceil Liebman's recipes, visit www.

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