Scroll down for zoom links, session descriptions, and grocery shopping lists

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Zoom Links

Password to all rooms is “shavuot”

Main Room – Click here to join on zoom

  • 7:30pm – minyan
  • 8:00pm – Welcome & d’var Torah
  • 8:30pm – SIGHT – Story of the Jewish People through Art (Leora Raikin)
  • 9:30pm – SIGHT – Seeing Sound: The Israelites as Synesthetes (persons who mix senses) (Rabbi Richard Camras)
  • 10:30pm – SIGHT – Tzitzit: The Obligation to See Them (Rabbi Stewart Vogel)
  • 11:30pm – Concluding Study Session

Breakout Room 1 – Click here to join on zoom

  • 8:30pm – HEARING – Shavuot Around the World (Cantor Jackie Rafii, Cantor Ron Snow, Hazzan Mike Stein, and Hazzan Mimi Haselkorn)
  • 9:30pm – TOUCH – Mindfulness Meditation Using Our Senses (Linda Feder)
  • 10:30pm – HEARING – Sinai: Songs of Change (Cantor Jackie Rafii, Cantor Ron Snow, Hazzan Mike Stein, and Hazzan Mimi Haselkorn)

Breakout Room 2 – Click here to join on zoom

  • 8:30pm – TASTE – Homemade Ricotta with Berries, Honey & Brioche (Beth Saltz)
  • 9:30pm – TASTE – Baked Brie Bites (Alicia Cohen-Kraus)
  • 10:30pm – TASTE – Shakshuka (Rabbi Hannah Estrin)

Breakout Session Descriptions


Shavuot Around the World (Cantor Jackie Rafii, Cantor Ron Snow, Hazzan Mike Stein, and Hazzan Mimi Haselkorn)
We all stood at Sinai as one Jewish family.  Now, as we are dispersed around the world with beautifully diverse cultures, let us come together to celebrate the global Jewish family by learning and singing Shavuot songs from different Jewish communities around the world. Led by our Cantors.

Sinai: Songs of Change (Cantor Jackie Rafii, Cantor Ron Snow, Hazzan Mike Stein, and Hazzan Mimi Haselkorn)
At Sinai, our acceptance of the Torah signaled the greatest change in social history. Our Cantors will explore how music can be a vehicle for social change, singing influential songs from throughout the decades.


Mindfulness Meditation Using Our Senses (Linda Feder)
We will explore how meditation can help us especially during these stressful times.  You will then be taken through a mindfulness meditation experience that you can practice easily at home on a daily basis.


Story of the Jewish People through Art (Leora Raikin)
From emotional and physical despair to spiritual and physical freedom- darkness and light, the story of the Jewish people through the art of Siberian prison camp survivor, David Labkovski – a visual and interactive presentation shared by his great niece, Leora Raikin, founder and executive director of the David Labkovski Project. www.davidlabkovskiproject.org

Seeing Sound: The Israelites as Synesthetes (persons who mix senses) (Rabbi Richard Camras)
Making Sense of the Experience of Sinai

Tzitzit: The Obligation to See Them (Rabbi Stewart Vogel)
Rabbi Vogel will look at the sources related to the obligation of seeing the tzitzit and how it relates to our actions towards others


Scroll down for shopping lists

Homemade Ricotta with Berries, Honey & Brioche (Beth Saltz)
Once I show you how to easily make ricotta, you’ll be converted for life!

Baked Brie Bites (Alicia Cohen-Kraus)
Treat your taste buds with a perfect sweet or savory appetizer!

Shakshuka (Rabbi Hannah Estrin)
This famous middle eastern breakfast is eaten all day long or as a midnight snack! So gather your ingredients, one big fry pan and let’s make some shakshuka!


Ingredient Lists for Taste/Smell Sessions

Homemade Ricotta

Special equipment:
cheesecloth and fine or medium mesh colander (Contact Beth Saltz at bethsaltzrd@gmail.com if you want to pick up some of her extra cheesecloth in advance.)

  • whole milk
  • heavy cream
  • kosher salt
  • white wine vinegar (not plain white vinegar)
  • butter
  • pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup–should have only one ingredient, which is maple syrup)
  • honey
  • vanilla extract
  • fresh berries
  • brioche or challah (I like the sliced French brioche from Trader Joe’s)
  • optional: blanched sliced almonds, fleur de sel


  • Tomatoes (crushed cubed, 1-2 large cans) (fresh 5-10, cut up into small pieces)
  • Tomato paste
  • Onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Garlic – the more the merrier!
  • Oil – I prefer olive oil but anything works
  • Sea Salt & Pepper
  • Paprika (I loved smoked)
  • Cumin
  • Heat – I use chipotle but red pepper flakes are traditional
  • Extras: Cilantro or Parsley, Feta, All those other vegetables in your fridge. **

* There are no measurements for this dish. It’s a ‘yeah, that looks good measurement.’ After all in Arabic it does mean ‘all mixed up.’
** One of the things I love about this dish is that it uses up all the vegetables in the fridge that are just about to go bad so dig through those drawers & see what is in there that you want to add.

Baked Brie Bites

  • Puff pastry or crescent roll dough
  • Brie
  • Choice of filling:  apricot (or other) jam/jelly, green apple, dried cranberries, mushrooms & garlic
  • (Coconut or Olive) Oil spray
  • Optional – Chopped pecans or walnuts Equipment: Baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper

If you’d like to continue studying after midnight, here are two options:



The commemoration of the giving of the Torah, and the end of the wheat harvest in Israel. Pronounced “Shah-voo-ot” (some say “Shav-oo-us” in Ashkenazi Hebrew.)


The Torah commands a 49-day counting period (Sefirat Ha-omer, the Counting of the Omer) beginning on the second day of Passover. This counting ends on the 50th day, Shavuot. Agriculturally, the barley harvest took place during Passover, and the wheat at Shavuot. Shavuot was the concluding festival of the grain harvest, the way the last day of Sukkot was the concluding festival of the fruit harvest. Shavuot also recalls the time when the first fruits were harvested and brought to the Temple. Historically, Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and is known as Zman Matan Torateinu (the Festival of the Giving of Our Torah). The Rabbis teach that the holiday is called the time of the giving of the Torah, rather than the time of the receiving of the Torah because we “receive” the Torah continually, but this was the only time it was “given.” Spiritually, there is a link between Passover and Shavuot: At Passover, we were freed from serving a human master, and at Shavuot we committed ourselves to serving God. The counting of the Omer period between the two festivals expresses a yearning (like a “count down or count up”) to the Giving of the Torah.


Although the Torah does not provide a date for Shavuot, the Rabbis determined that it falls on the 6th day of the Hebrew month of Sivan, which usually falls around late spring. In modern Israel and among Reform and Reconstructionist Jews, Shavuot is celebrated for one day. Outside Israel, the holiday is celebrated for two days by Orthodox and Conservative Jews.


The Torah, where it is listed as one of the three pilgrimage festivals (the other two are Sukkot and Pesach.) In Exodus 34:22 and Deuteronomy 16:10 it is called The Festival of Weeks (Hag Hashavuot); in Exodus 23:16 The Festival of Reaping (Hag Hakatzir); and in Numbers 28:26 The Day of First Fruits (Yom Ha-bikkurim.) The Mishnah and Talmud refer to Shavuot as Atzeret (a kind of stopping and a solemn assembly); since Shavuot occurs 50 days after Passover, Christians gave it the name Pentecost.


Like the other two pilgrimage festivals, we refrain from work, attend special prayer services and have holiday meals. Shavuot also has customs of its own: The Book of Ruth is read at services and Yizkor (memorial prayers) are recited and many people engage in all night Torah study called “Tikkun Leil Shavuot.” According to tradition the Israelites actually overslept on the morning of the giving of Torah and so to compensate, we stay awake the whole night now! The spiritual significance of the Tikkun is to prepare ourselves all night for the awesome moment when we receive Torah in the morning, and hear the Ten Commandments read. The Kabbalists would study all night on Shavuot, they believed that at midnight the heavens would open and receive the thoughts, study, and prayers of those who remain awake on the anniversary of the Revelation.


Because the Torah is likened to milk, and because of the special connection to the Land of Israel (“flowing with milk and honey”) it is a custom to eat dairy foods including cheese blintzes and cheesecake. A legend suggests that before the giving of the Torah the Jews did not keep kosher, so it was on this first Shavuot, finding themselves without kosher meats or utensils, the Israelites chose to eat only dairy.


“Chag Sameach” (“Happy Holiday!”)  – “Tekebel Hatorah im Simcha u’b’penimee’yoot” (I Bless you that you Should Receive The Torah with JOY , and in an a fashion that speaks to your innermost being.)

You too were at Mt. Sinai!

The midrash teaches that every Jewish soul that was alive at the time, and every Jewish soul that was yet to be born were present at the foot of Mt. Sinai while Moses was given the Torah. It was this moment of receiving Torah that transformed us into a holy people.

A Celebration of Milk and Honey

  • “Sweetness drops from your lips, O bride; honey and milk are under your tongue.” (Song of Songs 4:11) We learn in the Song of Songs that the words of Torah are like milk and honey.
  • Just as milk and dairy are nourishing to the body, we eat dairy products on Shavuot as a statement of how nourishing Torah is to the soul.
  • During Shavuot we read the Book of Ruth. Tradition has it that Ruth came to Israel around the time of Shavuot, and her acceptance into the Jewish faith was analogous of the acceptance of the Jewish people of God’s Torah.