Love, Israeli Breakfast Style

Posted on December 16th, 2011 by

A blog post by Education and Program Director Ilene Dackman-Alon.

I can honestly say that no two weeks are ever the same at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.  Each week I am usually consumed with planning meetings and group visits, so I usually jump at the chance to do something different and last Sunday was one of those occasions to do something a little different.

A few days after Thanksgiving, the Executive Director of the JMM asked me if my family and I would be willing to participate in a photo-shoot for the Museum in connection with our current exhibition, Chosen Food: Cuisine, Culture and American Jewish Identity.  My first instinct was to ask- why my family and exactly what would we be doing… The answer… . Having an Israeli breakfast at home with family and friends….  With an offer like this- how could I refuse?

There are many things that I love about Israel-(besides my husband, Shay who LOVES to cook) and one of them is the very extravagant Israeli breakfast.   In the United States, a traditional breakfast is, bagel, lox, cream cheese, a slice of tomato and some cucumbers, or eggs served with breakfast meat and hash browns.  This is NOT the traditional breakfast fare that we served at our house this past Sunday………

Photo by Elena Rosemond-Hoerr

There was not a bagel in sight- just a few loaves of earthy, crusty bread.  Lots of veggies, sliced tomatoes, onions, cukes, red peppers on a platter in addition to Israeli salad with tomatoes, cucumbers onions and lettuce slices in very small pieces drizzled with olive oil, lemon and salt and pepper.

We served homemade burekas (that my friend Ayela taught me how to make almost 20 years ago).  Burekas are small puffed pastries that can be filled with anything that you like, sweet or savory.  I made cheese burekas and added some garlic to the cheese and we also served potato burekas.

Eggs came in a lot of varieties at our breakfast.  First, Shay made haveeta (omelette) with lots and lots of parsley and feta cheese.  It was cooked to perfection with such a beautiful green color.

We served hard boiled eggs that are traditionally served with burekas. In addition, Shay made shakshooka –a Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, and lots of cumin.  It is believed to have Algerian and Tunisian origins.  It was yummy and pretty as a picture.

We served jachnun – a traditional Yemenite Jewish dish prepared from rolled dough  which is baked on very low heat for about ten hours. The dough is rolled out thinly, brushed with shortening  and rolled up, similar to puff pastry.  It turns a dark amber color and has a slightly sweet taste. It is traditionally served with a crushed/grated tomato dip, hard boiled eggs and schkrug, a hot sauce.

We celebrated the morning with mimosas.  We drank Turkish coffee and finished the meal with fruit salad, coffee cake and rugelach. A perfect way to start our Sunday with family and friends!  -Israeli Breakfast Style!

Above photos by Will Kirk.



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Standing in Hurva Square, in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, we learned about the Hurva Synagogue.

Posted on February 23rd, 2011 by

The Hurva, whose name means “ruin,” was initially built in the 18th century.  It was destroyed shortly thereafter and then rebuilt in the mid 19th century.  It became Jerusalem’s main Ashkenazi synagogue but was destroyed again in 1948 by the Jordan Legion a few days before the fall of the Jewish Quarter in the War of Independence.

Its reconstruction was completed in 2010.  It has been rebuilt in the same Neo-Byzantine style as the original.

Hurva Synagogue, 89 ha-Yehudim Street Old City of Jerusalem

The stained glass windows, although different, reminded me the ones in the Lloyd Street Synagogue and B’nai Israel Congregation.

Stained glass window at the Hurva Synagogue.

One of the stained glass windows of the Lloyd Street Synagogue, IA 1.187

Stained glass window in B'nai Israel Synagogue, pre-restoration, IA 2.66

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MS 21 League Chapter of Labor Zionist Organization of America (LZOA)

Posted on January 6th, 2011 by

This collection while one of our earlier manuscript collections, was not fully processed until recently.  Past archivists had placed the papers into the requisite pH neutral folders and boxes and removed the staples and paperclips.  Someone had also handwritten an inventory of the folders, but no one had written up a finding aid, which provides the basic historical and content information that helps researches find the materials they need.  This collection also came with several objects pictured below.

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Stamp used by the LZOA, 2007.48.2

 League Chapter of Labor Zionist Organization of America (LZOA) Records, 1945-1991

 MS 21

 The Jewish Museum of Maryland


 The League Chapter of Labor Zionist Organization of American Records was found in the collection (FIC) of the Jewish Museum of Maryland. The Manuscript Collection was given the accession number 2007.048 in 2007. The collection was processed by Jen Pollack in August 2007.

Access to the collection is unrestricted and is available to researchers at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.  Researchers must obtain the written permission of the Jewish Museum of Maryland before publishing quotations from materials in the collection.  Papers may be copied in accordance with the library’s usual procedures.


 The Labor Zionist Organization of America-Poale Zion (LZOA) was founded in 1905 and held its first convention in Baltimore.  The national mission of the organization was to support the establishment of Israel.  Once Israel became a county in 1948, the LZOA became active in continuing to support the growth of Israel.  One of the main campaigns that came out of Labor Zionism in America was the Histadrut campaign, which sent money to border settlements in Israel, assisted new immigrants, and financed the development of Israel.  As well as helping to support Israel, this Zionist movement supported the labor movement from the belief in economic and social equality in Israel, America and the world.  It was active in funding and establishing of kibbutzim.

In the early 1970s the Labor Zionist Organization of America-Poale Zion merged with two other labor Zionist organizations – Farband, a labor Zionist fraternal order, and the American Habonim Association, a labor Zionist youth organization.  These three groups became known as the Labor Zionist Alliance.  The newly formed Alliance continued to work for progress in Israel and in 2004 changed its name to Ameinu.

The League Chapter (the Baltimore chapter) of the Labor Zionist Organization of America began in 1945.  When formed, the group called itself the Zionist Guild, but by the end of 1946 its name was changed to League Chapter of the LZOA. While the chapter itself did not begin until 1946, labor Zionist activities had begun much earlier.  The founder of the national organization, Dr. Herman Seidel, a Baltimorean, worked to spread the Labor Zionist viewpoint in Baltimore and throughout the United States. In 1934 Jacob Janofsky allowed labor Zionists to use his land as a training farm so that young people could learn agricultural skills to take with them to Israel.  Camp Gordonia, which was also a labor Zionist camp, was formed in 1935 but soon merged with Habonim in 1938.  All of these activities predated the League Chapter’s official founding date of 1945.

In the mid 1950s, the League Chapter changed its name to League for Israel.  The Labor Zionist Alliance, and now Ameinu, maintains an office in the city of Baltimore.


The League Chapter of Labor Zionist Organization of America (LZOA) Collection contains materials relating to their organizational structure. The collection contains meeting minutes, the constitution and by laws for the organization, event programs and promotional materials, and campaign materials. These records span between the Organization’s founding in 1945 and end in 1991.

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This pin came in with the LZOA collection, 2007.48.1


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