Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Newsletter of JIMENA (Jews indigenous to Middle East & North Africa) Passover recipes


Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 
Nissan 12, 5772 
JIMENA's April Calendar of Events 

UC Berkeley Israeli Film Festival
Strangers No More
Tuesday, April 10th
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
2121 Allston Way 
Berkeley, CA 

In the heart of Tel Aviv, there is an exceptional school where children from forty-eight different countries and diverse backgrounds come together to learn.  Strangers No More follows several students' struggle to acclimate to life in a new land while slowly opening up to share their stories of hardship and tragedy. 

The Lives and Recipes of Spain's Secret Jews

Thursday, April 5, 2012
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
JCC East Bay 
Berkeley Branch 
1414 Walnut Street

$6 Seniors, Students, and
JCC Members 
$8 General 

Scholar-authors Prof. David Gitlitz and Prof. Linda Davidson recount their journey from the archive to the kitchen in their award-winning cookbook, A Drizzle of Honey. Recipes in the book derive from foods eaten by crypt-Jews taken from Spanish Inquisition testimonies and other sources. 

For more information and to RSVP contact Andrew Gordon-Kirsch at 510-848-0237 x138. 

From Tehran to Los Angeles: A Personal Account by Tabby Davoodi

Monday, April 9th
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
160 Dwinelle Hall 
UC Berkeley Campus
Berkeley, CA 

Tabby Davoodi was born in the Islamic Republic of Iran shortly after the Iranian revolution. Her personal stories, photographs and reflections will shed light on one of the most important countries in the world today, revealing why events in Iran are important to the life of each American.

Co-sponsored by StandWithUS and Tikvah Students for Israel.

Celebrate Mimouna with JIMENA

Mimouna Late Shabbat 
Friday, April 13th
7:30PM - 10:00PM
Congregation Emanu-El
2 Lake Street
San Francisco, CA  

Back by popular demand for a 3rd year, you're invited to join us and Temple Emanu-El's Late Shabbat for the celebration of Mimouna! Traditionally held the day after Pesach ends, the Moroccan tradition of Mimouna is widely celebrated in Israel and marks the start of Spring, the joys of community, good faith in luck and fortune, and the birthday of the Rambam (Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon). Come hear traditional Moroccan chanting, garb yourself in North African costumes, meet Mizrahi Jews, eat sweet Muflettas, and get a good-luck henna!  

Young Adult Mimouna at Hillel at Stanford 
Saturday, April 21st
Hillel of Stanford - Koret Pavillion
565 Mayfield Avenue 
Stanford, CA 94305 
Ages 21 +

JIMENA is thrilled to bring Mimouna to Stanford! If you are 21+, please join us in welcoming the start of Spring with this incredibly unique Jewish celebration. Our Hafla (party) at Stanford will include fresh muflettas, live music, hookahs, good-luck hennas, Mizrahi singing, and general info on this lesser-known, but incredibly vibrant Jewish holiday. 

Co-sponsored with JIMENA, Hillel at Stanford, and Moishe House Palo Alto.

Discussion with Author, Michael David Lukas
The Oracle of Stamboul

Asal Headshot 

Tuesday, April 17th
7:00 PM
Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center of Silicon Valley 
14855 Oka Road
Los Gatos, CA 

Set in the heart of the Ottoman Empire during the first years of its chaotic decline, Michael David Lukas' elegantly crafted, utterly enchanting debut novel follows a gifted young Jewish girl who dares to charm a sultan and change the course of history, for the empire and the world. 

For more information, contact Jenessa at 408-357-7411 or email

Last Jews of Yemen Photo Exhibit
Oshman Family JCC 

By Journalists Rachael Strecher & Josh Berer  
On Display at 
Koch Gallery 
April 20th - June 28th  
Oshmann Family JCC 
3921 Fabian Way 
Palo Alto, CA 94303   

Compelled by the opportunity to document the last indigenous Jewish community of the Middle East before it vanishes, journalists Rachael Strecher and Josh Berer spent several months living in Sana, Yemen. The result is a unique collection of photos and journal entries documenting an ancient Jewish community on the brink of exodus as a result of civil war, cultural isolation and violent anti-Semitism.

Forgotten Refugees Film Screening & Presentation with JIMENA Speaker & Board Member, Joseph Samuels 

Thursday, April 19th
7:00 PM
USC Campus
Los Angeles, CA

Join the USC Community for the screening of the film Forgotten Refugees followed by a discussion led by JIMENA Speaker, Joe Samuels, who will share his experiences of life in and escape from Iraq. 

For more information on this program, please contact JIMENA Student Intern Asal at

Co-sponsored by USC Chabad

Yom Ha'atzmaut Community Wide Celebrations with JIMENA 

Palo Alto Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration
Thursday, April 26th
4:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Oshman Family JCC
3921 Fabian Way
Palo Alto, CA 94303 (Map) 
Join JIMENA and various Jewish organizations in our Bay Area community in celebrating Israel's rich cultural mix: Moroccan, Russian, Armenian, Polish, Yemeni, Persian, Ethiopian and more. An event for the entire family! The family-fun event will feature delicious ethnic food, Israeli folk dancing, a fashion showand a carnival. Read more...  

For more information, contact ICC (Israeli Cultural Connection) at (650) 223-8608 or email

Los Angeles's Celebrate Israel Festival
Sunday, April 29th
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Cheviot Hills Recreation Center
Rancho Park
2551 Motor Ave  
Los Angeles, CA 90064

For the first time ever, JIMENA is excited to join Los Angeles's Jewish community in celebrating Israel's 64th birthday. This year's festival will feature Israel's famed Mizrahi singer, Eyal Golan. We are currently seeking volunteers to help us man a JIMENA booth, so if you are interested in receiving a free ticket and representing Jews from Arab countries and this large festival, please email the office ( 

Prepaid online: $15 adult, $9 child, and family packages available. Day-of tickets: $19 adult, $12 child
cash only

For more information, visit.

 SF Jazz presents the Israeli Jazz Festival
Israel's profile on the international jazz scene has exploded in recent years. Join us for a remarkable weekend of music, celebrating many of the world-class artists at the heart of the Israeli jazz revolution.

Third World Love   
Saturday, April 28th 
8:00 PM
Featuring a pre-concert Talk with Anat Cohen

Eli Degibri & Kevin Hays
Sunday, April 29th 
3:00 PM

Gilad Hekselman Trio
Sunday, April 29th 
7:00 PM

All concerts will be taking place at the SFJCC
3200 California St
San Francisco, CA (map)   

For additional information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Co-sponsored byThe Consulate Israel General for the Pacific Northwest, Koret Foundation, Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Israel Cultural Foundation, J Weekly of Northern California, JIMENA

Calling all Airline Miles!

JIMENA's Speakers Bureau program unites speakers with audiences all around the world. Donate your unused airline mileage to JIMENA and help us reach more people!

Preferred airlines include: American, Southwest, Jet Blue, United, Continental, Delta, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France and El Al.

Please contact Sarah Levin at or 415-626-5062 with questions.

  Find JIMENA Online

Follow us on Twitter
View our videos on YouTube


JIMENA Member's
Passover Recipes

Baghdadi Beet & Lamb Stew

Submitted by Pearl Sofaer, from her book Baghdad to Bombay: In the Kitchen of My Cousins  

  • 2 large, finely chopped red onions
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil 
  • 2-1/2 lbs. (1kg) boneless lamb cut into 1-1/2"(1-1/2cm) cubes
  • ¾ tsp. turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large tomato, parboiled, peeled and mashed
  • 4 medium beets peeled and cut into 1-1/2"(1-1/2cm) cubes
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Lightly brown the onions and garlic in oil. Add meat and brown while sprinkling with all the spices. Gradually add mashed tomato stirring constantly. Cover the pot and let simmer for 1 hour, occasionally sprinkling with water to avoid burning.

Cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours on low until lamb is tender. Add the beets and enough water to cover the meat and beets. Add the lemon juice. Cook on low-medium for ½ hour. Serve with boiled rice. 

Moroccan Potato-Leek Soup with Fava Beans

Submitted by JIMENA member, Therese Levy. Therese has experience catering dishes of her Moroccan Jewish heritage.

  • Bag of Red Potatoes
  • 2 leeks
  • Cilantro
  • Frozen green fava beans
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Chicken stock or bouillon cubes (optional)
  • Peel potatoes, place in pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.
  • Chop leeks into small pieces.
  • Add leaks, potatoes and boiled water in a food processor with cilantro, salt, black pepper and turmeric.
  • Return blended mixture to pot and cook. Add more cilantro and two handfuls of the frozen fava beans.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock or additional seasoning to taste (optional).

Huevos Haminados 
Sephardic Hard Boiled Eggs

Submitted by Ashley Medina 
"Sephardi Kitchen" Chef at

Every family or community has their own way of making these, but this is my favorite method. I have used them at our Seders for the past few years.  - Ashley
·  6 eggs
·  1/8 teaspoon pepper
·  1 teaspoon salt 
·  1/2 teaspoon ground coffee (optional) or 1/2 teaspoon tea leaves (optional)
·  3-4 yellow onion skins, the outer layers (the more, the better!)
·  1 -2 garlic clove , chopped (optional)
·  1 teaspoon vegetable oil
·  1 teaspoon vinegar  Read more: 

Mina de Espinaca
Turkish Spinach Pie 

Submitted by JIMENA Director, Sarah Levin

This is a traditional, crust-less Sephardic Turkish pie that my family incorporates as an appetizer in most Holiday meals. -Sarah

  • 4 packages of frozen organic spinach
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 small container of ricotta cheese
  • 1 container of feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup of matzo meal
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Defrost spinach and squeeze out all moisture
  • Beat the eggs
  • In a medium sized bowl mix all the ingredients and pour into a an oiled 8" inch baking dish
  • Let sit for a half an hour and warm oven to 350
  • Cook for a half hour or until the top layer browns
  • Eat hot or serve cold as a delicious leftover 

Homemade Matza 
Egyptian Recipe
Submitted by JIMENA Speaker, Remy Pessah at 

  • 3 cups Matza Meal     
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon Whole Coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt 
Note: Matza should be prepared and put in the oven within 10 minutes to make sure that dough does not rise. 
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Mix all the above ingredients and knead dough.
  • Spread on 2 cookie sheets (12 x 17).
  • Cut into 2 x 2 squares
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Haroset Recipes from the Middle East and North Africa


Libyan Haroset
Submitted by Gina Waldman

  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts (unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • Different sort of nuts are optional.
  • ½ cup blond raisins
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1-½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1-½ tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a food processor.  When you get a pasty consistency, make balls the size of golf balls and put them in a container in the fridge.  It is better to make them the day before you use them.

Persian Haroset 
Submitted by Jilla Lavian Ehsanipour

  • 1 unpeeled banana, finely chopped
  • 1 unpeeled apple, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1 cup chopped raisins
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • Sweet Wine (Maneshevitz) as desired
Combine banana, apple, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachio nuts, dates and raisins in a large bowl, and blend well (do not paste). Add cinnamon, ginger root, cider vinegar and enough wine to bind. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until served.

Shiela's Lebanese Haroset
Submitted by Patricia Malka

  • 15 oz box dark raisins
  • 1/2 lb pitted dates
  • 1/4 tsp each cinnamon, nutmet, cloves, cumin, and sugar
  • Soak the raisins overnight in enough water to cover them.
  • The next day, take raisins and water in a pot and add another inch of water.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Lower heat and cook until the water is gone and it becomes a brown mush.
  • Mash with potato masher.
  • Add the dates and mash until they disappear into the mixture. 
  • Add the spices.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings to taste, but do not add more sugar.  

Ninette's Sephardic Boumouelos & Harope
Fried Matz0 Balls with Raisin Syrup 
Submitted by Renee Salamon co-authored with Pauline Heffes on Ninette's Recipes


For the Boumouelos
  • 6 sheets of matzah
  • Enough water to cover the matzah
  • 2 eggs
  • Fine matzo meal
  • Pinch of salt
  • Oil for deep-frying
For the Harope
  • 500 g large black raisins (if short on time, raisin syrup can be replaced with store-bought date syrup)
Directions for Boumouelos
  • Soak the matzah in enough water to cover and leave until they are completely mushy.
  • Using your hands, squeeze out as much of the water as you can.
  • Beat the eggs into the matzah, with a pinch of salt.
  • Add enough matzo meal to bind the mixture. Set the mixture aside while the oil is heating.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. When it has almost reached smoking point, drop dessert spoons of the mixture using another spoon to push them off into the hot oil.
  • Cook a few at a time.
  • The boumouelos will rise to the surface and are cooked when they are golden brown.
  • Remove with slotted metal spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Keep hot in the oven until all the boumouelos are cooked.
  • Serve hot with cold harope syrup poured on top.

Directions for Harope
  • Put the raisins in a saucepan, cover with water and leave overnight.
  • Simmer on a low heat for a couple of hours.
  • Using a large nylon sieve, press the raisins through with the back of a spoon to extract as much juice as possible.
  • This will take several batches and may be messy.
  • Pour back in to the saucepan, then simmer again until thick and syrupy (it may take several hours).
  • Store in an airtight jar; lasts from year to year, bring to boil and cool before use.

  JIMENA On-Campus

JIMENA Speakers Want to Visit You! 

JIMENA's Speakers Bureau is composed of 30 trained public speakers who share their personal and familial stories of Jewish life and displacement from the Middle East and North Africa. If you would like to have a JIMENA speaker present at your school, organization, or group, we encourage you to contact us. JIMENA's skilled and accomplished speakers are available for engagements throughout North America and we would be happy to provide a program appropriate for your audience. 

Calling Spring and Summer Interns!  

JIMENA's Internship program is off and running with student interns at USC, Yale, and Berkeley. New student interns will be responsible for further delving into Mizrahi/Sephardic culture through the development and completion of an independent, academic project that incorporates JIMENA's mission and is aligned with their area of study. Interns will also share this rich culture with their campus communities through the implementation of a program, ideally one including a presentation by a JIMENA Speaker...Read More! 

Email Monique Arar for more information

JIMENA Advocacy Kit  

JIMENA's comprehensive Advocacy and Speakers Training kit offers students and adults useful advocacy tools to use when debating complex issues, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict. Each kit includes public speaking tips, 10 country biographies, bibliographies, ARM method of debate with JIMENA talking points, and JIMENA public speaking templates.  We have already circulated the kit to numerous Hillel Houses, Jewish organizations, and schools and would be happy to make it available to many you! If you would like a copy, please email

  JIMENA is Generously Supported by: 

Kanbar Charitable Trust
Benhamou Family Foundation

Francine Gani

Iriving and Varda Rabin Philanthropic Fund

Private donors and philanthropic funds

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