New American Haggadah by
Jonathan Safran Foer and
the phrase 'We have to write it down' has
become a Milgrom mantra:'
— Marianne Bloomberg,
Federation, Women's Philanthropy
Don't Forget The Fish!
"A favorite memory of seder in my house
growing up: My mother made gefilte fish
from scratch — everyone wanted some
(even those people that normally won't eat
fish). A new seder tradition now with my
in-laws: individual seder plates set at each
— Estie Gomez, Federation
Elijah, Was That You?
Community professionals share their favorite family traditions.
Special to the Jewish News
eyond the Four Questions and
Chad Gadya, every family brings
to the seder table something
special and uniquely theirs for Passover.
It could be a cherished family recipe, a
song that never fails to make everyone
laugh, that old Maxwell House Haggadah,
the seder plate the kids made years ago
in Sunday School or the place to hide the
What makes your seder night differ-
ent from all other nights? We asked a few
friends of Federation how their favorite
Passover traditions are made. Read on and,
if you care to share, join the discussion
now on Federation's Facebook page.
Gluten - free
At our table, we make sure to have many
varieties of matzah for any dietary need
and taste preference. We always include
whole wheat matzah that is higher in
dietary fiber, organic matzah from Aviv
and gluten-free matzah from Yehuda. We
love, love, love coconut — so naturally,
macaroons are a Passover favorite:'
— Stacy Goldberg, Savorfull
Friendly Kitchen Fire
"My dear friend, Tammy Betel, loves to
cook for the holidays. She takes on most of
the menu with her killer chicken soup, her
amazing brisket, most of the sides and des-
serts, too. She invites guests to fill in with
homemade dishes of their own. One recipe
I suggested last year got some pushback.
"I admit it; we have this competition
going in the kitchen. We both have win-
ners. But bring up the subject of chopped
liver, and watch out!
"Last Passover, I offered to bring
chopped liver, which I always make with
chicken livers,the way I learned from Flora,
my 'second mom in Dallas, who gave me
a meat grinder 29 years ago as a wedding
46 April 10 • 2014
shower present just so I can keep up the
tradition. Tammy, however, prefers mak-
ing hers with beef liver. Hence, the conflict:
`smooth and creamy vs. dry and crumbly'
She tells me it's OK to bring mine to her
seder, but she's still making hers, too. So,
not to rile the hostess, I bring something
neutral — like roasted veggies.
"This year, with no intention whatsoever
of bringing chopped liver, I broach the
subject again with Tammy, just to see her
cringe. Fact is, I'll make my version for the
second seder at my house. She'll bring her
leftover chopped liver so she has some to
eat. Fine by me.
"It's a good thing Tammy and I love each
other, but don't get us started on whose
apple cake is better:'
— Keri Guten Cohen,
Detroit Jewish News
Passover Wine Cake
"It's a Fleischman Residence tradition — a
must-have for dessert at the two seders
to be held the first and second nights
of Passover. The recipe comes from the
Fleischman Residence/Blumberg Plaza
cookbook, From Our Mother's Table, thanks
to Barbara Giles' grandma, Syl Tunick:'
— Beth Tryon, Jewish Senior Life
Follow The Leader
"Passover is my favorite holiday. In large
part because of Barry V Levine, my father-
in-law and a true educator at heart. Every
year, he neatly arranges his stacks of
papers on a TV tray next to the seder
table. Periodically, he'll pause in his flaw-
less and musical recitation to read a short
article he found that relates to the Passover
story — usually something that sparks a
spirited debate. Or, he will pass around a
piece he's written and have us take turns
reading stanzas aloud.
"My favorite is his poem 'The Ten
Plagues: What Really Happened: which
makes everyone smile. It starts off: 'With
some blood, and some frogs, and some
vermin, God made bad old Pharoah start
— Jennifer Levine, Federation,
Matzah Balls Like Bubbe's
"My maternal grandmother, and later my
mother, used a recipe for Passover matzah
balls that I have had difficulty finding
since they passed on. The balls were hard
and crispy on the outside, so I believe they
were first formed and partially cooked
in boiling water, then removed from the
water, placed on a greased pan, brushed
with oil and then baked. The result was
sort of a cross between a matzah ball and a
"Any recipes out there?"
— Allan Gale,
Jewish Community Relations Council
Remembering The Plagues
"In the Yaker family, grandchildren range
from age 22 to 5 (10 boys and one girl).
Our seder is one of the few times a year
all of the children are together in the same
place! My mother-in-law, Elaine, brings out
her box of plagues and everyone chooses
their plague to hold up. All of the kids have
blindfolds with their names on it (for dark-
ness) and all the kids of all ages spend a
few minutes playing at the table together:'
— Julie Yaker, Federation, JBaby
Remembering The Words
"Best memory: At the end of the Milgrom
family seder, my grandfather, Meyer
Cooper, would lead my dad, aunt and
uncle in a rousing rendition of 'Chad
Gadya' in Yiddish! Because no one had a
song sheet or knew the words in Yiddish,
the four of them would go through the
song and each correct each other on what
"Every year we'd say 'We have to write
it down' but, alas, it never happened. Now
that my grandfather and aunt have passed
away, and my dad and uncle are getting
older — the singing is getting to be a bit of
a memory. Like 'Next year in Jerusalem,'
"One year we opened the door for Elijah
the prophet and our cat walked in (like
royalty no less). It was so funny. I think we
mention it every year:'
— Amy Newman,
Federation's Alliance for Jewish Education
Adopting Families In The D
"We're from Ohio. If we can't get back to
Cleveland to be with family, then we stay
in the D. Since we don't have family here,
we invite friends over and 'adopt' families
for our seder.
"Best memory: My great-grandmother's
wood bowl and chopper was the only bowl
we used to make charoset every Passover.
Done by hand each year, growing up, it
was my job to make it while singing the
charoset song. My kids and I now make it
together, while singing that song:'
— Lisa Soble Siegmann,
Federation's Alliance for Jewish Education
As It Is Written
"The first tradition is that my husband's
family uses the Maxwell House Haggadah
and, every year, with nearly 30 people at
the table, everyone strategically ensures
that my sister-in-law has to read the fol-
lowing line: "The mountains skipped like
rams, The hills like lambs. What ails thee, 0
sea, that thou didst flee." As she attempts to
get through it, we all laugh!"
— Megan Topper,
And Really As It Is Written
"There are so many distractions in our
daily lives. Being instructed by the Torah
to observe one night every year in order to
transmit to our children the story of our
exodus from Egypt — for the purpose of
going to Mount Sinai to accept the Torah
— is very meaningful. This once-a-year
mitzvah serves an essential role in preserv-
ing our Jewish identity."
— Yehuda Amsel,
Yeshivas Darchei Torah
Vivian Henoch is editor of Federation's
myjewishdetroit.com. Some of her Passover
recipes are listed at Food52.com: tzimmes
(http://bit.ly/llyw3DG), gefilte fish (http://
bit.ly/lkjZsgV) and Chocolate Coconut Matzo