30-minute sukkah and more

Build a sukkah in 30 minutes

Are you short on time this year when it comes to building your sukkah? Last year, architect Tom Norris spoke with us about building a sukkah in 30 minutes. To find out how to get your sukkah ready for the holiday – which starts this Sunday night – check out his guide on how to build an 8’x8′ sukkah, complete with diagrams.

Eat in a sukkah wherever you go

If you’re traveling this Sukkot and are looking for a sukkah near wherever you are, the Worldwide Sukkah Directory may be able to help you. The directory started in 1994 in Melbourne, Australia and was designed to help people who needed to find a place to eat in a sukkah near their office. Arizona sukkot on the list are the Phoenix Communty Kollel and Chabad at Congregation Young Israel in Tucson. In 2011, there were 434 sukkahs listed in 26 countries. Last year the organizers of the directory also released an app that is compatiable with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, as well as an Android app.

For a list of various Sukkot activities and programs – and meals under the stars – visit the calendar at jewishaz.com. Scroll down to the bottom for Sukkot listings.

Chag Sameach!

Need schach for your sukkah?

The City of Phoenix will provide free schach for your sukkah at Encanto Park this Thursday and Friday.

At noon on Thursday, Sept. 27, and at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 28. The schach will be in the parking lot East of 15th Ave (on the North side of Encanto Blvd.)
(Thanks to Ahavas Torah and Ohr Hatorah for sharing this information and thanks to the City of Phoenix for helping cover our sukkot!).

This Weekend: Kever Avot, Kosher housewares, Jewish Olympics

Here are some programs/events happening this weekend.

Kever Avot services: Sunday, Sept. 23

It it is customary to visit the graves of loved ones between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. For a list of services at cemeteries throughout the Valley, see this Valley View listing from our Sept. 14 issue.

Kosher housewares sale: Sunday, Sept. 23

10 a.m.- 1 p.m. at Ohr Hatorah Congregation. The sale will offer a variety of items designed specifically for the kosher cook, with nothing costing more than $20. The sale is sponsored by the PTO of Torah Day School of Phoenix, TheKosherCook.com and Center of Town in Lakewood, N.J. All proceeds will go toward building the library at Torah Day School of Phoenix.

Jewish Olympic Odyssey : Sunday, Sept. 23

Herb Weinberg of Colorado gives a presentation about Jewish Olympic history starting with the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896. Before his retirement, Weinberg covered 14 Olympic games, both summer and winter, for several publications, starting in 1972 in Munich.

The free event is sponsored by the Jerry and Harryette David Foundation and is presented by the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center’s Koach Maccabi Club. The event features popcorn and refreshments and an introduction of former JCC Maccabi players.

The program is 1-3 p.m. at the Valley of the Sun JCC. To register, call 480-483-7121.

Yoga and Teshuvah : Sunday, Sept. 23

In this pre-Yom Kippur workshop, yoga instructor Marjorie Abramson and Rabbi Elana Kanter weave together Jewish text study and yoga practice on the theme of teshuva, heightening one’s awareness in order to grow and change. The event, co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Association, will be held at 1 p.m. at the Valley of the Sun JCC. Cost is $10. Register here.

Candlelighting is at 6:08 p.m.

Shabbat Shalom!

Reasons to love our job, part 1

One of the coolest things about working at a newspaper is you never know who will call. Late this week, it was jazz vocalist Ben Sidran calling out of the blue because he has a gig coming up at the Musical Instrument Museum.

First of all, it’s very surprising to hear of someone as accomplished as Sidran handling his own promotional work. And second of all, he clearly didn’t expect me to know who he was. Well, I happen to listen to a lot of jazz and found his “Dylan Different” album a sort of revelation. I mean, who expects to hear Bob Dylan in a jazz context. I remember Carlos Santana sneering to me about Dylan being a hillbilly.

But Sidran’s mind is clearly open, as is very evident just in reading the opening chapter of his book: “There Was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream,” which arrived Friday at the office. In the opening chapter, he makes a case for King David as the first singer-songwriter rock star, with his excessive appetites (Bathsheba) and impressive body of hit songs (the psalms). “The salient fact here is that the Jewish narrative, from the beginning, was meant to be sung, to come alive in the raising of the communal voice. Music and meaning go together, and they are revealed through a community coming to an emotional consensus in song. This is exactly what a ‘hit song’ is. If we each knew what a hit song was, we’d all write them; only the community knows, and even then it doesn’t know until it hears one,” Sidran writes.

The book serves as the basis for his Oct. 13 concert at the MIM. For more details, click here: http://mimmusictheater.themim.org/ben-sidran.

Online cooking shows with Rosh Hashana recipes

Have you already tried the Rosh Hashana recipes from the Jewish News High Holiday Planner and need more? Check out the online New Jewish Cuisine cooking shows  on jewishtvnetwork.com.

For those of you who now have 20 pounds of frozen brisket in your freezer from this week’s delivery from the KC Kosher Co-op, there’s even a recipe for Sephardic brisket (by Chef Jeff Nathan).

Red Hot Chili Peppers rock Tel Aviv, remember late guitarist

Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Sept. 9, 2012.
Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/JTA


The “Red Hot Chili Peppers” performed in Tel Aviv on Monday night, a decade after they canceled their show due to security issues. It was the group’s first visit to Israel, and to make the most of it, the members went to the Western Wall in Jerusalem straight from the airport. The band talked about Hillel Slovak, one of their founding members, who died from a drug overdose in the early 1990s.

“Hillel Slovak forever!” band leader Anthony Kiedis shouted on stage, adding, “I must say, Hillel had his own brand of Israeli funk, pretty sure he invented it. That Israeli funkinstein.” Guitarist Flea added, “He went out to a trip in Israel, and he came back and he was so lit up and so excited and so full of love, and to come here today and think of him it’s truly a dream.” The band dedicated the song “Other Side” to the city of Haifa, where Slovak was born.

Slovak is not the only Jewish connection of the Peppers. Current guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is Jewish, and is related to Leon Klinghoffer, the elderly man in a wheelchair who was murdered by terrorists aboard the Achille Lauro in 1985.

Pro-Palestinian groups in Lebanon, where the band performed just a few nights before, were outraged about the Peppers’ decision to perform in Israel, and even threatened the opening acts in Beirut to not perform, causing one of the bands to cancel. Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith tweeted earlier this week: “In any city of any country we play … Our sole purpose is to uplift people thru our music. Nothing more. Nothing less … that’s it.”