MAYWOOD, N.J., October 20, 2010 – Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel (RTBI) will host a medieval Spanish feast on Sunday, November 14, 2010 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The program, which is open to the public, will be held at 34 West Magnolia Avenue in Maywood, and will include a study of Jewish life in the time of “La Convivencia,” a time of coexistence between Jews, Muslims and Christians in Iberia. Menu selections will include a variety of dishes from Castile and Catalonia and reflect typical Jewish and Spanish cooking of the time. The cost is $35 for adults, $10 for children ages 5 to13, and free for children under age 5. The study session begins at 3:30 p.m. and the dinner will be served at 4:30 p.m. Seating is limited and advance reservations are required by November 10.
La Convivencia, or The Coexistence, refers to the period of time in Spanish history to describe Christians, Jews and Muslims living together in medieval Christian Spain. The phrase often refers to the interplay of cultural ideas between the three groups, and ideas of religious tolerance, pertaining especially to the Jewish-Muslim relationship.
The historical study of medieval Jewish life and Spanish cuisine will continue during the meal, which will be divided into three courses, each with several Iberian dishes that date back many centuries. First course selections will include stewed figs in the French style (in wine), soft cheese, vermillioned eggs, and mustard sauce with red grapes; second course dishes are chickpeas with onion and honey, spinach “de nola” with cheese and almond milk, rice, and a savory salmon casserole with pine nuts and herbs. Desserts include quince paste, sweet ricotta cheese, and pizzelles (wafer cookies); beverages include lemon syrup and spiced honey drinks. A simple noodle dish for children will be available.
The medieval Spanish feast is one of many educational programs RTBI offers its members and the public about Jewish cultural, historical, and religious life. For more information or to purchase tickets for the feast, call RTBI at (201) 845-7550, ext. 1 or contact coordinator Jenne Heise by email at [email protected]; payment must be received no later than November 10. Checks are payable to Temple Beth Israel; please note a portion of ticket price is tax-deductible.
Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel (RTBI) is the only Reconstructionist synagogue in Bergen and Rockland counties. It serves members from over twenty communities and is the intimate spiritual home to approximately 60 households. RTBI offers a contemporary look at tradition through its Sabbath and holiday services, engaging adult education courses, religious school and family-friendly events throughout the year. As a Reconstructionist temple, RTBI is an open and inclusive congregation that welcomes Jews from all walks of life, and embraces diversity. RTBI is located at 34 West Magnolia Avenue in Maywood. For more information about the temple or Reconstructionist Judaism, please call 201-845-7550, or go to www.rtbi-online.org. RTBI is affiliated with the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation (www.jrf.org).