March 23, 2005

3/23/05 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

This update/Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) Online Newsletter has the following items:

1. JVNA Under Attack/Please Join the Debate

2. Update on Rabbi Dovid Sears’ Book “The Vision of Eden: Animal Welfare and Vegetarianism in Jewish Law and Mysticism”

3. Myth of Hitler Being a Vegetarian Refuted in the New York Times

4. Helping Animals 101 Conferences Scheduled

5. Global Warming Threatens World Economies

6. JVNA Advisor’s Thoughtful Message on Tsanumis

7. More on GARC Major Animal Rights Conference

8. Reform Temple Holds Brisket Competition

9. Day Set Aside To Improve Conditions for Chickens

10. Correction

11. Vegan Hamentashen Recipe

12. Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center Employment Positions Available

Some material has been deferred to a later update/newsletter to keep this one from being even longer.

[Materials in brackets like this [] within an article or forwarded message are my editorial notes/comments.]

Opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the JVNA, unless otherwise indicated, but may be presented to increase awareness and/or to encourage respectful dialogue. Also, information re conferences, retreats, forums, trips, and other events does not necessarily imply endorsements by JVNA, but may be presented for informational purposes. Please use e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and web sites to get further information about any event that you are interested in.

As always, your comments and suggestions are very welcome.

Happy Purim everyone (it starts Thursday evening at sundown),


1. JVNA Under Attack/Please Join the Debate

For a long time, we have promoted starting a respectful dialogue in the Jewish community on the many moral issues related to typical American (and other primarily animal-based) diets. Unfortunately, we have had very little success, primarily, I believe, because our case is so strong. Now, at the web site, a site that has been very critical of practices at the Postville glatt kosher slaughterhouse, there have been some very disrespectful attacks on the JVNA and some of our leaders. I have made several respectful responses, and have been supported by JVNA coordinator Noam Mohr and JVNA advisor John Diamond. This has enabled us to get our arguments out, but this has not stopped disrespectful attacks.

Please take a look at the web sites indicated below, and please consider responding respectfully. Comments/suggestions welcome, as always, especially re how we can get similar arguments to broader audiences. Thanks.

2. Update on Rabbi Dovid Sears’ Book “The Vision of Eden: Animal Welfare and Vegetarianism in Jewish Law and Mysticism”

Dovid Sears' book can now be ordered on the Internet from Amazon or Barnes and Noble:

Amazon link

Barnes and Noble link

Please let others know about this positive development. This book is a very comprehensive, thoroughly researched, very well written discussion of all aspects of Jewish teachings on animals. It is a must read for anyone interested in the issues.

I have posted very positive reviews at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I urge everyone to get the book, read it, make others aware of it, and post a review at the above web sites.

3. Myth of Hitler Being a Vegetarian Refuted in the New York Times

The following press release was sent to the Jewish media, animal rights and vegetarian publications and groups, and other sources. Please help spread the word so that the pernicious myth of Hitler’s vegetarianism will be smashed forever. Special thanks to author, scholar, and JVNA advisor Lewis Regenstein for his diligent efforts that led to the NY Times making the correction. Thanks.

New York Times Corrects Article on Hitler:
Refutes Longstanding Myth that Hitler was a Vegetarian

For Immediate Release:
March 18, 2005
Lewis Regenstein, author of “Replenish the Earth” Phone: (404) 814-1371
Richard H. Schwartz, President of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) Phone: (718) 761-5876

The March 15 New York Times "Corrections" box included the following important item on page 2:

"A film review about 'Downfall,' which looks at Hitler's final days, referred incorrectly to his diet. Although the movie portrays him as vegetarian, he did eat at least some meat."

While small in size, the correction represents a major victory for truth, since the myth of Hitler’s alleged vegetarianism has long been used to try to discredit vegetarians. If this inaccuracy is repeated in the future, as it likely will be, one can now refer to the nation’s "Newspaper of Record" to set the record straight.

As documented below, numerous published accounts and first hand sources have confirmed that Hitler's diet included meat. At times Hitler evidently refrained from eating meat (and using alcohol and tobacco), as a response to his many health problems, but his normal diet, and the food served at his retreats and residences, included poultry and meat, most often Bavarian sausages, ham, liver, and pigeons.

Indeed, the Nazis banned vegetarian organizations in Germany and the lands they invaded and occupied.

The JVNA thanks the Times, especially its public editor Daniel Okrent and his associate Arthur Bovino, for their great public service of helping to put to rest this pernicious myth. This effort involved many hours of research, copying, and sending information to the Times, primarily by Atlanta writer Lewis Regenstein, president of The Interfaith Council for the Protection of Animals and Nature, with help from JVNA president Richard Schwartz, Micah Books publisher Roberta Kalechofsky, and author Rynn Berry.

The JVNA also expresses the hope that other writers who have recently circulated the myth of Hitler’s vegetarianism, including columnist David Shaw of the Los Angeles Times, and writer/commentator Ben Stein, will also issue corrections.
Material sent to the NY times to influence their decision included the following:

Robert Payne's authoritative "The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler" (Prager, 1973) states on page 346: "Hitler's asceticism played an important role in the image he projected over Germany. According to the widely believed legend, he neither smoked not drank, nor did he eat meat...Only the first was true. He drank beer and diluted wine frequently, had a special fondness for Bavarian sausages...

His asceticism was a fiction, invented by Goebbels to emphasize his total dedication, his self control...He could claim that he was dedicated to the service of his people.

In fact, he was remarkably self indulgent... Although Hitler had no fondness for meat except in the form of sausages and never ate fish, he enjoyed caviar..."
Armaments Minister Albert Speer's autobiography, "Inside the Third Reich," (Macmillan, 1970) indicates that meat was served, in substantial amounts, at Hitler's meals.

Page 89, in the chapter "Obersalzberg," describing Speer's move to the mountain, states that "Hitler usually appeared in the lower rooms late in the morning...The day actually began with prolonged afternoon dinner. The Food was simple and substantial: soup, a meat course, dessert..."

Page 119 of the chapter "A day in the Chancellery" states, "Such was the 'Merry Chancellor's Restaurant', as Hitler often called it...The food was emphatically simple. A soup, no appetizer, meat with vegetables and potatoes, a sweet.....Hitler was served his vegetarian food...and those of his guests who wished could imitate him. But few did... It was Hitler himself who insisted on this simplicity. He could count on its being talked about in Germany,"

p. 128 describes how Hitler enjoyed gorging on caviar, eating it by the spoonful: "For a few weeks, Hitler actually ate caviar by the spoonful with gusto, and praised the taste, which was new to him. But then he asked Kannenberg [the house steward] about the price, was horrified, and gave strict orders against having that again. Thereupon, the cheaper red caviar was served him. But that too was rejected as an extravagance....the idea of a caviar-eating Leader was incompatible with Hitler's conception of himself."
No real vegetarian would eat caviar, given the wasteful & cruel way in which it is produced -- by ripping or cutting open the belly of a female sturgeon full of eggs (roe), thus killing a mother sturgeon and thousands of potential offspring. (As a result of over-harvesting, the source of the world's best caviar, the sturgeon in the Caspian Sea, are now considered threatened with extinction.)

The references above, plus writings by Dione Lucas, Hitler's chef, clearly document that while Hitler in his later years sometimes posed as a non-meat eater, he was not a real vegetarian, and did frequently or at least occasionally eat meat, fowl, and other animals products (eggs, caviar) & always served them to his guests.
Rynn Berry points out in his recent book, "Hitler: Neither Vegetarian nor Animal Lover,“ that the woman chef who was his personal cook in Hamburg during the late 1930s was Dione Lucas. In her "Gourmet Cooking School Cookbook," she records that his favorite dish - the one that he customarily requested - was stuffed squab (pigeon). "I do not mean to spoil your appetite for stuffed squab, but you might be interested to know that it was a great favorite with Mr. Hitler, who dined in the hotel often."

4. Helping Animals 101 Conferences Scheduled

Forwarded message from PETA

[This is not an endorsement of PETA, but of efforts to train people who will more effectively promote an end to the many examples of the mistreatment of animals. If you attend, I urge you to challenge PETA to give much consideration to the possible consequences of their positions and actions. I also recommend that you point out the importance of showing that a switch toward vegetarianism is not only essential to reduce animal suffering, but that it is also both a societal imperative and a religious imperative, and that they should work cooperatively with environmental, religious, and other groups in spreading this message.]

Dear Friend,

If you're like most of us, you're aware of the animal suffering all around you but you're not sure what to do about it. PETA would like to help you feel powerful, not frustrated!

Advance registration is now open for five Helping Animals 101 2005 conferences-this is a conference created with you in mind!

In two days, you'll get practical, powerful, immediately applicable tools and skills to become amazing animal advocates in your community.

At the conference, you will join members from all over your community to hear presentations on topics such as how to improve your local animal shelter, speaking out for animals, and starting your own group. Every attendee will also receive a goody bag stuffed full of our favorite cruelty-free products, and Saturday night will be a night to relax with the new people you're meeting and have dinner with PETA staffers.

Cost is only $129 per person-and that includes all the great stuff listed above, as well as breakfast and lunch each day! Students pay $35 (yes, you read that right), and groups of five or more pay $99 per person.

2005 HA101 SCHEDULE:

- Tempe, Arizona: April 9 and 10, 2005
- Register online March 21-25 and you can bring a friend for free!

- Chicago, Illinois: May 14 and 15, 2005
Register online by March 31 and bring a friend for half-price!

- Toronto, Ontario, Canada: October 8 and 9, 2005
*This is a NEW date for Toronto! Please note!*
Register online up to 90 days in advance and you can bring a friend for free.
Register online up to 60 days in advance and you can bring a friend for half-price.

- Miami, Florida: October 22 and 23, 2005
Register online up to 90 days in advance and you can bring a friend for free.
Register online up to 60 days in advance and you can bring a friend for half-price.

- Houston, Texas: November 5 and 6, 2005 (Ingrid Newkirk will be joining us)
Register online up to 90 days in advance and you can bring a friend for free.
Register online up to 60 days in advance and you can bring a friend for half-price.

For more information, registration, prices, conference details, places to stay, and-most importantly-reviews from past participants, please go to

Remember ... don't be late for the first breakfast on Saturday morning (Breakfast McMuffins). Come hungry!

Thank you for your compassion, and please forward this e-mail to everyone you know. See you at the conference!


Alex Bury
HA101 Conference Coordinator
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
501 Front St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

P.S. If you represent a local, grassroots animal group from any of the above cities, please contact me about having a complimentary table at the conference.

Recommendations from former attendees:
’These are wonderful. ... I finally felt that I did something, and it won't end there! That conference and demo have changed my life forever. ... It was awesome!
Vicky, San Francisco

’Thank you, thank you, thank you to you and the entire staff of PETA, last weekend was the most motivating experience of my life! Thank you so much for devoting your life to such an important cause.
Lynn H., San Francisco

’The conference was very heartbreaking, inspiring, motivating, life changing and I thank everyone at PETA for voicing for animals.
Kona, Detroit

’Your workshop and your compassion have, I think, changed my life forever. Thank you for letting me know I am on the right planet.
Kim, Washington D.C.

5. Global Warming Threatens World Economies

March 16, 2005
Climate Change Is Called Economic Threat at Talks

LONDON, March 15 - The British government gathered together environment and energy officials from 20 countries on Tuesday to discuss climate change, which Britain has declared a top issue as it takes the leadership of the Group of 8 industrialized nations.

Britain's finance minister, Gordon Brown, told the delegates here at the opening of the meetings that the changing climate could no longer be considered just an environmental issue, but a real threat to economic activity.

"We have sufficient evidence that human-made climate change is the most far-reaching and almost certainly the most threatening of all the environmental challenges facing us," Mr. Brown said. Problems from soil erosion to the depletion of marine stocks "threaten future economic activity and growth" around the world, he said.

Mr. Brown called on wealthy nations to solve these problems, both because they had caused them, he said, and because less developed nations will feel their effects more keenly. "Climate change is an issue of justice as much of economic development," he said.

The British government and the Bush administration differ over the importance of greenhouse gases, mostly notably in the Kyoto agreement on limiting emissions that went into effect last month without the backing of the United States.

The same day that Mr. Brown talked about cutting emissions, an American delegate, James L. Connaughton, chairman of the United States Council on Environmental Quality, told the BBC in an interview that the science was still contested. "We are still working on the issue of causation, the extent to which humans are a factor" in global warming, he said. He added, though, that they might well be a factor.

The United States rejected the Kyoto treaty, an international pledge to cut carbon emissions that went into effect last month, because the quotas assigned to the country were "unreasonable," Mr. Connaughton said. Instead, the United States government plans to focus on technology, he said.

At the meeting, a Chinese delegate, Liu Jiang, vice chairman of the country's National Development and Reform Commission, emphasized the country's willingness to work on controlling greenhouse gas emissions even as its rapid economic expansion continued.

6. JVNA Advisor’s Thoughtful Message on Tsunamis

Thanks to author, activist, and JVNA advisor Dan Brook for the following thoughtful article. As with other articles in JVNA newsletters, the views are not necessarily those of the JVNA, but are included to further reflection and thoughtful dialogue.

Dan Brook
Political Affairs

Tsunamis come in many forms.

The tsunami that erupted in the Indian Ocean from the massive 9.0 earthquake on 26 December 2004 was incredibly powerful, immensely destructive, and very deadly, perhaps killing a quarter of a million people or more. I felt—and continue to feel—the pain of this event not just as a fellow human being but also as a person who has been to a few of the places now devastated. In fact, I spent my first wedding anniversary on the beautiful beaches of Krabi in Thailand, while teaching English in that country.

Though it was a natural disaster, the consequences were unnatural and not entirely random. Generally, the areas with the most destruction, with the possible exception of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, near the epicenter, were the areas where there had been the most economic growth, the most capitalist development, and therefore the most environmental degradation, e.g., primarily tourist infrastructure and shrimp farming that, among other things, destroyed the mangrove forests and coral reefs that serve as rich ecosystems and natural barriers against tidal waves.

My 8 year old son asked if the people affected by the tsunami were/are so poor, why didn’t we help them before the tsunami? A very good question indeed.

Poverty is a chronic tsunami and the big wave of malnutrition, hunger, and starvation are ever present. With about a billion people—approximately 1,000,000,000 people!—with insecure and irregular access to enough food and clean water, millions of poor people die each year, tens of thousands of poor people each day, another poor person every few seconds of every day of every year. It boggles my mind and pains my heart.

Food and water are the most basic necessities for all sentient beings, whether people, other animals, or plants. Yet, in most places of the world, food is a commodity for sale, a product in search of private profit, a privilege for those who can afford to pay the parasitic price. As basic and existential and material and requisite as it is, food is purposely withheld from those with physical need for those with economic demand. Sometimes food is freely given to those in desperate need; mostly it isn’t.

It is wonderful that we have scientists and others researching and working on treatments and cures for various ailments and diseases. That should certainly continue. But we should also work on the treatments and cures for hunger, dysentery, gastroenteritis, and other very well-known, very easily-treated causes of suffering and mass death. Treatment involves taking proper care of suffering people; cures imply removing, reforming, or revolutionizing the structures and systems that result in such massive yet unnecessary tragedies. It may be complex, but it is not complicated. Food must be an absolute right, not a privilege.

Tsunamis come in many forms. Global warming is a slow tsunami. We are overheating the Earth, cooking the planet, slowly boiling ourselves and all other forms of life to death. We already know what happens when we overheat a car; when we overcook a meal; when we overheat our bodies; we can surmise what will happen if we continue to overheat the Earth. It isn’t pretty and it will get much uglier.

Tepidly called global warming, some such as Rabbi Arthur Waskow call this type of climate change “global scorching”. Regardless, global warming is a global warning. Apparently, reports for and from groups as disparate as the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, Greenpeace, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Oxfam, the Pentagon, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the World Bank, the World Meteorological Organization, and a vast number of other scientists, political economic analysts, and environmentalists agree. The Pentago Report, for example, states that global warming “should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern”, higher even than terrorism, warning of riots and declaring that “future wars will be fought over the issue of survival rather than religion, ideology, or national honor”.

The signs of an overheating Earth are clear and the evidence is rushing in and rising: hotter weather in many places, though also colder weather in some places; more frequent and violent storms; mass species extinctions; eco-spasms; melting glaciers and polar ice caps; earlier springs; rising water temperatures; rising ocean levels; acidification of the oceans; disturbed Atlantic Conveyor and Gulf Stream systems; submerged islands; and the threat of submerged cities such as New York, Miami, New Orleans, Bangkok, Dhaka, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, and many, many other coastal cities.

While the world has chosen to take gradual steps to reduce climate change with the Kyoto Protocol, which went into effect on 16 February 2005, the US government has chosen to bury its bi-partisan head in the sand. It may be searching for oil or whatever else under the sand, but it may eventually find rising and polluted water there.

Thankfully, many individuals, organizations, and localities are taking action and taking the lead from the grassroots. Reducing consumption, reducing waste and emissions, recycling and using recycled goods, using renewable energies instead of fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal, protecting and replanting forests, reducing or eliminating meat consumption, and reducing or eliminating smoking are some of things that are being done. While we do these things, we also need to pressure our governments to do much more.

Tsunamis come in many forms. I mourn for those killed by the Indian Ocean tsunami. I mourn for those killed each day by the chronic tsunami of poverty. I mourn for the current and future generations who will suffer from the slow tsunami of global warming. We need to stop the tsunamis before they reach land and affect us with disastrous results. We can do it, but we need to be alert and aware, and we need to take immediate action.

© Dan Brook, Ph.D., teaches sociology at San Jose State University and can be contacted via

7. More on the Major GARC (Grass Roots Animal Rights Conference)

Forwarded message:

Don't miss the GARC conference
(Grass Roots Animal Rights Conference)
Mar. 31 - Apr. 3

Holyrood Episcopal Church
179th St and Fort Washington Ave.
New York City

Contact Adam Weisman: (201)968-0595

New York City will be the host of a NATIONAL ANIMAL RIGHTS CONFERENCE at the end of this month.

With almost 80 confirmed speakers (view the list at, four days of thought-provoking workshops and panels, an amazingly low admission price, FREE VEGAN FOOD, and a focus on building a more skilled and strategic movement, the Grassroots Animal Rights Conference promises to be the most exciting animal rights event New York City has seen in years!

This conference is for the animal rights activist who already knows the abuses against animals and now wants to learn how to be effective in fighting for on their behalf. Learn how to develop winning campaigns, defend your civil liberties as an activist, communicate a powerful message, create effective actions, advocate for animals in the courts and legislatures, government and corporations, spread the animal rights message to the next generation, chart strategies for the future of our movement, and so much more! The conference will also explore the connections between animal abuse and other forms of oppression, build alliances with other movements for social change, and address issues of human oppression within the movement that serve as barriers to empowering all animal advocates.

For this event, New Yorkers need to make the city as welcoming as possible to out-of-towners. They, especially, need to ensure that the conference has all the resources it needs to produce an rewarding experience for everyone and to publicize the conference around town, particularly to mobilize New Yorkers themselves.


1) REGISTER TO ATTEND GARC. Even if you usually skip out on conferences this is one you won't want to miss and you can afford. GARC guarantees that you will leave the conference a more effective, better trained advocate for animals. You can register online at Standard admission is $20, with a $10 discount for students and activists on limited income. For those who are able, GARC strongly recommends that you register at the $40 sponsoring rate, to cover the admission costs for others less able to pay.

2) VOLUNTEER DURING THE CONFERENCE Volunteers will be needed during the conference to staff registration, set up booths, manage A/V equipment, serve food, clean up, and much more. If you would like to volunteer during the conference, please call Adam at (201)968-0595 or email

3) HOUSE OUT-OF-TOWN ACTIVISTS. With over 200 expected participants, GARC needs the locals to provide places for out-of-towners to sleep and stow their luggage. These people won't have to feed their guests, as meals will be provided at the conference. GARC can match you with people who meet special requests (e.g. non-smoker, vegan, etc.) If you'd like to offer housing, post what you can provide to Alternatively you can call Nina at (614) 886.5289 or email

4) LOAN A/V EQUIPMENT. GARC needs your whiteboards, easels, large pads (the kind speakers use to write notes in presentations), TVs, VCRs, slide projectors, slide projector screens screens, overhead projectors, LCD laptop projectors, laptops, still cameras, tape recorders, and video cameras to allow speakers to make their presentations as compelling as possible and to record GARC so that activists can still learn from it in the future. GARC also needs donations of audio and videotapes. To loan or donate A/V, contact Adam at (201) 968-0595 or email

5) HELP SPREAD THE WORD! GARC needs volunteers who can post flyers at veggie restaurants, health food stores, bookstores, and pass out leaflets at meetings, protests, lectures, vegan dinners events. They also need volunteers who can call other animal advocates to let them know about GARC and to encourage them to register. The group has hundreds of interested people to call, so they can use lots of help! And please email everyone you know to encourage them to come out to this amazing conference! To find out how you can help, call Hillary at (781) 834-0696 or email

6) FEED THE ACTIVISTS! Conferencing is hungry work! The groups wants to make sure that GARC attendees are well fed and don't have to run across down or go broke to get a great meal. New York is a mecca of great vegan food, so now's the time to show it off! Acitivists, let's work on all those friendships we've made by fattening the wallets of the owners of our city's best vegan restaurants and health food stores and ask them to donate food for GARC. The groups can provide them a tax deduction and free publicity and good PR to our attendees. GARC also encourages activists to prepare and bring food to share at the event. After all, what's more grass-rootsy than a potluck? GARC will also be preparing food on-site and needs volunteers to do kitchen shifts during the conference. Loans or donations of cookware, Tupperware, and cutlery will be a great help in the GARC kitchen.

7) GARC is also looking for a loans or donations of pots, pans, serving trays, cutlery, plates, silverware, bowls, and mugs in substantial numbers, in order to minimize the use of disposables. To learn more about how you can help with food at GARC, contact Adam at (201) 968-0595 or email

8) GARC NEEDS FINANCIAL SUPPORT! This is a 100% volunteer effort. In fact, GARC organizers have committed thousands of dollars of their own money towards the event. With additional funds, they could create an even better conference, adding better A/V equipment, travel scholarships for activists from other parts of the country, and more publicity, which will mean more participants and a more effective conference. Your contributions will allow the volunteers to make GARC the great success that we all know it can be. You can conveniently pay online by clicking on the Paypal button on the upper left side of Alternatively, you can mail contributions to Grassroots Animal Rights Conference, P.O. Box 344, New York, NY 10108. Checks should be made out to Grassroots Animal Rights Conference. For details on how to make your contribution tax deductible, call Adam at (201) 968-0595 or email

8) DO YOU SPEAK SPANISH? Translators are needed to do a Spanish language edition of the GARC program. Interpreters are needed at the conference to allow non-English speakers to participate in conference sessions. GARC is being held in a heavily Spanish-speaking neighborhood, and it's organizers would like to encourage local residents to participate in the conference. If you speak other languages, let them know, and a GARC volunteer will contact you if they receive requests for interpreters. To volunteer, contact Adam at (201) 968-0595 or email

10) MAKE COPIES. GARC is going to need to print lots of flyers, programs, and handouts for the conference. Do you have access to a copy machine? Can you donate copying for the conference? If so, call Aryenish at (785) 760-2935 or email

11) SPECIAL TO NEW YORKERS: Let's prove what a great animal activist community we are here in NYC by making GARC THE BEST ANIMAL RIGHTS CONFERENCE EVER!

If you have any questions, call Adam at (201) 968-0595 or email

8. Reform Temple Holds Brisket Competition

[Here is another example of how the consumption of meat is taken for granted in American Jewish life today, and how far we still have to go to get vegetarianism to even be considered in the Jewish community.]

Such a Cook-Off

In Alexandria, the Best Briskets and Kugels Bring Out A Crowd That Understands Jewish Comfort Food
By Bonnie S. Benwick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 16, 2005; Page F01

Starting from the far left sat 20 long-braised briskets. Working back from the right, 23 kinds of sweet or savory kugel. Behind each entry stood contestants with scouring pad corsages and disposable aprons, egging on the tasters:
Here! Have some more.

Together, the homemade beef dishes and baked puddings with Eastern European roots are not ordinarily the stuff of formal competition. But almost four dozen local cooks signed up to bring their best to Alexandria's Temple Beth El on Saturday in the Reform congregation's first foray into that great American sport, the cook-off. Not all of them were members, and not all of them were Jewish.

"No one even had to say it. The unspoken message here was 'Eat, eat!" said emcee Marc Silverstein, the Food Network celebrity who served up one-liners like a Catskills comedian. "I used to be a consumer reporter. Now I consume.
. . . It's a marathon, not a sprint. . . . "

Certainly none of the 200-strong crowd left hungry. On the way out, trays of cookies and pastries looked untouched. Even for a synagogue event, there was a lot of Jewish food in one room. The aromas were alluring enough to send people back for second and third helpings.

The majority of the evening's kugels were noodly and cinnamon-sweet, with raisins or applesauce or pineapple or apricot accents, while the briskets had been treated with tomato-y sauces, onions, herbs, beer, wine and, unapologetically, soup -- Campbell's or Knorr or Lipton.

Brisket and kugel are the cultural equivalents of fried chicken and biscuits. For those unfamiliar with Jewish cooking, the meat and starch perform a kind of Gene Kelly-Debbie Reynolds routine. They belong together. Done right, brisket glides from muscled customer to tender fellow, while kugel serves as dependable and versatile sidekick. The dishes have become a little heavy to eat often, by today's standards. But they continue to grace Sabbath and holiday platters. The leftovers are to die for.

And the winning recipes, ladies and gentlemen, were sweet and simple. The panel of six judges agreed unanimously.

Top entries in the best-tasting category both had generous helpings of
sugar and uncomplicated directions. (See recipes, at right.) Brisket honors went to lawyer David Barsky of Arlington, whose samples were among the first to disappear. Sandi Rothman and Laura Naide, who happened to use varying amounts of the same ingredients, shared first place for best-tasting kugel. Neither of their recipes contained raisins, and certainly neither of the kugels would normally be served with a meat meal in a kosher home, since they are made with dairy products.

As small paper plates with samples were handed over, so were stories of ancestors and recipe fine-tuning:

"I developed my own recipe because my mother overcooked everything," confided contestant No. 7, Lynne Somoroff of Burke, while she spread portions of her onion, mushroom and chili-sauced brisket on pieces of seedless rye. She gave the recipe to her 88-year-old mother.


The evening's original purpose was to attract new members to the 700-family congregation. A respectable number of people responded, but a weekend snow canceled the event first planned for January. That allowed enough additional time for a blizzard of interest to develop, and 47 contestants signed up.


© 2005 The Washington Post Company

9. Day Set Aside To Improve Conditions for Chickens

Forwarded message:

United Poultry Concerns Proudly Announces International Respect for Chickens Day

Wednesday May 4, 2005

"They would rather die for their chicks than seek safety in flight . . ."
Aldrovandi - 16th century

Chickens are cheerful, intelligent birds. The mother hen tenderly cares
for her chicks, and roosters protect their families and flocks.

Please do an ACTION for chickens on May 4. Show the world that chickens are people too! [While Judaism teaches that God is concerned about all animals, it also teaches that only people are created in God’s image. Being created in God’s image should mean that each person imitates God’s positive attributes of compassion, justice, and concern.]


* Write a letter/op-ed to the editor
* Get on a radio talk show
* Table at your local mall
* Arrange a library display/video presentation
* Have a Respect for Chickens Day celebration at your school
* Leaflet at a busy street corner/ your local university
* Have a We-Don’t-Eat-Our-Feathered-Friends Vegan Party!
* Show Chicken Run!!!

Contact UPC for posters, brochures, videos.

United Poultry Concerns, PO Box 150, Machipongo, VA 23405

International Respect for Chickens Day May 4, 2005
A day to celebrate chickens throughout the world.
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.

10. Correction

forwarded message:


And thank you for posting our inn on your site. (with info from the
Washington Post article)
I just wanted your members to know that we are completely vegan (not pescatarian). Thanks!

The White Pig B&B (5120 Irish Rd., Schuyler, Va., 434-831-1416, is run by a vegan couple and is home to 13 pigs – that you can pet, not eat. The three rooms run $150 to $230 per night and include a vegan breakfast and afternoon treats, such as vegan brownies.


The White Pig Bed and Breakfast
at Briar Creek Farm
5120 Irish Road
Schuyler, Virginia 22969

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
Announcing Virginia's Premiere Vegan Bed & Breakfast located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The White Pig Bed & Breakfast at Briar Creek Farm. A Vegan Oasis in Central Virginia. Visit us on the web at

11. Vegan Hamentashen Recipe

Healtlhier Hamentashen
This recipe, created by Maida Waldner Genser (}, has no eggs and no trans-fats.

Dough (more may be needed, depending on how thick you like the hamentashen dough):

2 cups unbleached flour
3/ 4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs soy lecithin flakes*
1 Tbs Sucanat or other raw sugar
2/3 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (Spectrum brand is available in
health food stores)
1/ 2 cup chilled almond milk


1 cup poppyseeds
1/ 2 cup almond milk
1/ 4 cup agave syrup (low glycemic sweetener from cactus)
cup Sucanat
pinch of salt
1 Tbs ground flax seeds
3 Tbs water
2 tsp lemon juice
grated peel of 1 lemon

Other ingredients:

About a 1/3 cup of almond milk for brushing the cookies and sealing the edges. Flour for the surface where you roll out dough and for on the rolling pin. Spray oil or more shortening to grease the cookie sheets.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two cookie sheets with oil spray or a little of the shortening.

Put all filling ingredients in a food processor and blend. Pour into a sauce pan. Heat and stir until thick. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix flour, salt, Sucanat, and lecithin until evenly distributed. Add shortening and cut into flour mix with 2 knives. Add and mix in almond milk little by into the flour/shortening mix and combine thoroughly until all the dry mix is pulled into the ball of dough.

Roll out the dough on a floured board or on waxed paper. Cut circles of dough, eg. with the tops of coffee mugs. Cut out the circles and place on a the cookie sheets. Put about a tablespoon of the filling on each circle. (Here is where you have to decide whether to make more dough. If you made the dough circles thick, you will probably need more. The hamentashen can be made thick or thin.) Moisten your finger with somealmond milk and pinch three corners of a circle around the filling tomake a hamentashen triangle. Repeat for each cookie. Brush each cookie with almond milk.

Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes cookie is hardened and slightly browned.

12. Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center Employment Positions Available

Forwarded message from the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center:

If you are a dynamic, detail oriented, skilled, loving person devoted to a healthy and spiritual lifestyle, a fantastic job opportunity awaits you at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center. TOL is a busy holistic vegan health retreat led by Dr. Gabriel Cousens, author of Conscious Eating and Spiritual Nutrition. Working and living at TOL is an incredible lifestyle affirming opportunity for the right person. More Details of employment procedures, application forms, community guidelines can be found online at

Key Points: A TOL employee is:
- Dedicated to service
- Highly skilled in the position they apply for
- Open to new ways of being
- Vegetarian/ Vegan
- Willing to make a commitment for at least 1 year
- A US citizen or have work visa/ permit

*** Positions available (If interested, please contact the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center for more information)***

* RESERVATIONIST/ FRONT DESK (immediate opening)
Please e-mail cover letter, resume, and picture to Tel: 520 394 2520X206

Please e-mail cover letter, resume, and picture to Tel:520 394 2520X207

* HOUSEKEEPING (immediate opening)
Please e-mail cover letter, resume, and picture to Tel:520 394 2520X207


Please e-mail cover letter, resume, and picture to Tel:520 394 2520X207

* ACCOUNTING SPECIALIST (immediate opening)
Please e-mail cover letter, resume, and picture to Tel:520 394 2520X205

* MASSAGE THERAPIST - (open mid summer)
Please e-mail cover letter, resume, and picture to Tel:520 394 2520X212

* DISPENSARY (clinician)
Full time plus benefits. Please e-mail cover letter, resume, and picture to Tel:520 394 2520X212

P.S. Please forward this to those who may be interested.

Philip Madeley

Marketing & Education
Tree of Life Foundation
Attn: Philip Miller Madeley
686 Harshaw Road
HC2 Box 302
AZ 85624

PH: 520 394 2520 ext 215

Tree of Life Foundation College of Living Arts Culturing liberation through conscious education.

Spiritual Live Food Program
Conscious Eating Workshops
Masters in Vegan Live Food Nutrition


You must be the change you want to see in the world – Gandhi

“The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future---deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice,
the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease.”
Editors, World Watch, July/August 2004

Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

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