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Hands Across the JCC

Hands Across the JCC

Stand in solidarity with the Buffalo Jewish Community Center

Join us THIS Sunday!

In the wake of bomb threats and the increase in anti-Semitic incidents across the country, the Jewish community has been heartened by the way our partners and friends in other communities have reached out in support and solidarity.

We know that these attacks are meant to intimidate, threaten, and divide us from our allies. We also know that the people of Buffalo will not accept or tolerate attacks of fear and intimidation.

We invite everyone to come together to help us show what strength in community looks like during our Hands Across the JCC event, this Sunday, March 5, 2:00pm at the JCC at 787 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo.

Now is the time to add your voice as we share a common goal! – #istandwiththejcc

Let’s work together to inspire and motivate through kindness.

Hands Across the JCC

Hey, but I raised YOU!

It’s the high holiday season, a time for personal introspection, humility, self-improvement and reparations with family, friends and acquaintances. What better way to prepare than to host your grown children for an extended weekend to have all your foibles exposed and laid before you for inspection. Your flaws may be as innocuous as having cooked scrambled eggs in a frying pan rather than a saucepan where they turn out to be fluffy wonders. The driving techniques which you have used for the past 47 years are probably wrong, you need to take the curves slower and stop sooner, behind the stop sign. What was politically correct terminology 20 years ago is probably racist, sexist, ageist or just plain insensitive, these days. Just ask your kids or better yet, utter a few sentences and ask for their scrutiny.

Those deeply-held religious beliefs which have guided your life for the past six decades—FORGET IT! Truths you have understood about career paths, higher education or dating advice—ALL NONSENSE! The pants you bought last season, the shirts from Nordstrom’s Rack—SERIOUSLY? The food you eat—YOU’RE KILLING YOURSELF!

But this season of reflection and self-improvement can help you modify your racist, uninformed, anachronistic, malnourished self. Very possibly you could refashion yourself as a reinvented 60-something millennial; ready to save the world (don’t say “tikkun-olam which is ethno-centric). In short order you’ll be blue-toothing your way to politically correct behavior that offends no one and transcends ethnic and religious distinctions.

So as you chill in synagogue or in church, remember—WE CAN ALL GET IT RIGHT! And when you are finished renewing yourself with prayer and introspection you can get back to work on refreshing and improving your physical status with a visit to the JCC. The highly-qualified staff at either of our buildings can help you determine an appropriate plan of action for improvement, relaxation, strength-training or balance. Visit with new and old friends as you swim, train or relax. Your guest is always welcome, and a free, first-time pass is available on this website. Think 21st century: Engage, Actualize and Grow. And do it at the JCC.

Oven-Baked Barbecued Brisket

It’s not always about the veggies!

At the “J” we don’t often focus on carnivorous meals.  Our attention is usually paid to culture, wellness, education, recreation and fitness. But we understand that you only live once.

Here’s a great, and I mean great, recipe for oven-baked, barbecued brisket that is healthier than the ones made with ketchup which contains lots of artificial flavor, salt and sugar.  I made 15 pounds of it and changed the recipe by eliminating the added salt, which you don’t need with kosher brisket and using canned San Marzano tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes.  I cook it a little less than they recommend so that it can be sliced more neatly and then gently warm it for more time than usual to finish cooking the meat until it is beautifully tender but not falling apart.  Also helping to make this a little more healthy is to use a gravy separator to skim the fat.  After it chills the day before serving, I skim the hard fat from the top of the sauce which covers the meat and trim fat from the meat before reheating.

Oven BBQ Brisket

A relatively inexpensive cut of meat, a brisket needs to tenderize overnight before it’s baked. Here we use a full-flavored, smoky barbecue dry rub, then it’s slowly baked and basted. Brisket cuts are notoriously fatty, but the flat “first-cut” section is a far better choice for healthy eating than the fattier “point cut.” It may be worth calling ahead to make sure your supermarket or butcher has one on hand.
2 medium shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons chili powder
4 teaspoons smoked paprika or Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 pounds first-cut brisket or flat-cut, trimmed of fat
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 14-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1: Combine shallots, garlic, chili powder, paprika, cinnamon, oregano and salt in a small bowl. Rub into both sides of meat. Set the meat in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
2: Pour Worcestershire sauce over the meat. Cover pan with foil and set aside at room temperature while the oven heats to 350°F.
3: Bake the brisket, covered, for 2 hours. Meanwhile, blend tomatoes, brown sugar & vinegar in a large blender or food processor until smooth.
4: After 2 hours, pour the tomato mixture over the meat; continue baking, covered, until fork-tender, basting with pan juices every 30 minutes, for about 1 1/2 hours more.
5: Remove the meat from the sauce. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice against the grain. Skim the fat from the sauce in the pan; pour the sauce over the meat and serve (or follow make-ahead instructions).

Make Ahead Tip: Bake, let the sliced brisket cool in the sauce for 1 hour, cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat, covered, in a preheated 350°F oven for 40 minutes; if frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

If your butcher asks how many people you’ll be serving you’ll need to exaggerate by about 25% because everyone will want seconds and thirds.

B’tai Avon (Have a healthy appetite),