The Sephardic Jews of Rhodes greet the New Year with sweet tasting food, auguring a joyful year. The Rosh Hashanah festive table is laden with an abundance of symbolic foods prepared for the ancient Yehi Ratson blessing. Plump sweet dates, representing the hope of protection, are one of the foods.
I have updated my mother’s date and walnut cake, which has become a firm favorite amongst my family and friends. This moist, not overly sweet cake makes an irresistible finale at a Rosh Hashanah dinner. I like to serve it with a warm caramel sauce and tahini ice cream or a dollop of freshly whipped cream. For the cake: 175G (6oz) medjool pitted dates, chopped or other fresh soft dates 75g (3o
Synagogue and cemetery have been the two principle symbols of the Spanish-Portuguese community of the Netherlands since the Second World War. With the already small community decimated by the Holocaust, the stately Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam (affectionately called the snoge), which survived the war, became its principal physical representative. The Beth Haim of Oudekerk aan de Amstel, the historic community cemetery outside of Amsterdam, was the other marker of the community’s history and traditions. My father-in-law, Lex Vega, was born in the Netherlands before the war, which he and his entire immediate family survived. His father was both the secretary of the community and