Mix and mingle, discuss your passions, eat to your heart’s delight, and make lasting connections at your next Friday night dinner with Shalom al Lechem. On December 9th, Emily & Adam Odesser paired up with Alon Kuperberg for a meal full of laughs, political heat, and plenty of wine.
Tell me a bit about yourselves!
Emily: I am 25 years old from Potomac, Maryland. I studied at the University of Michigan for my undergraduate degree, and received a masters in social work there as well. I was instilled with a love for Israel at an early age, specifically from my experiences at Camp Ramah. It was always a place that I know I would love to live in.
Adam: I was born and raised here in Jerusalem. I am 25 years old, and I am a 2nd year student at the Hebrew University, studying business and political science.
What brought you to Jerusalem?
Emily: I ended up meeting my husband at camp; he was an Israeli in the delegation that came each summer. We got married in April and I moved to Jerusalem in May. Jerusalem is a metropolitan city but has so much history and culture. It excites me to walk on the grounds that the Jews of the past walked on.
Adam: I love the atmosphere of Jerusalem. During the week, I can walk around and hear so many different languages and see so many different people. On shabbat, there is a tangible calmness; it doesn’t matter if you are religious, or secular. Everyone knows that on shabbat it is time to relax, and it is easy to do here.
What interested you about Shalom al Lechem?
Emily: My husband and I are starting a new life in Jerusalem. We wanted to meet new people and what better way than doing it while celebrating Shabbat?
Adam: Shalom al Lechem is the connector between people from different backgrounds and cultures. People who would not necessarily meet otherwise are connected by this project. It’s amazing.
Emily: Working out, netflix, and eating!
Adam: Cooking. Being with my wife.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
I am 26 years old, and originally from Northern Israel. I am studying Judaism and education for my 2nd year at Hebrew University.
What do you like about Jerusalem?
Alon: The atmosphere– both spiritual and physical/ There is such a diversity of people, there is depth in the people and the places. I love to just walk around and admire the beautiful scenery of our city.
Why Shalom al Lechem?
Alon: It’s fun to meet new people! I have a particular interest in meeting Americans– I spent a lot of summers working at Jewish summer camps in America. I also love to host!
What are some of your interests and hobbies?
Alon: Playing music, traveling, riding my dirt bike.
Hosting tip #1:
If you expect to have a LOT of leftovers after the meal, encourage your guests to bring their own tupperware. That way, your guests can enjoy the amazing food for days to follow!
Hosting tip #2:
Nothing makes a Shabbat table more festive than fresh flowers! Head over to the shuk, where you can a beautiful bundle for as low as 10 NIS.
Vera’s Potato Kugel Recipe
Emily chose to bring this unique recipe to the table (literally!) Emily has been using this recipe for her entire life; it has always been a staple at her Shabbat and holiday meals. Growing up with older siblings, Emily spent many years as the only child living in the house. The kugel was made when everyone was home! It is the family’s festive dish, and it is also Kosher for Pesach!
Put 1/2 cup oil in 8 1/2 x 11 aluminum pan or glass pyrex in 350 degree oven..
Peel 6 Idaho or russet potatoes and put in cold water so they don’t turn black. 6 potatoes = about 2.5 pounds potatoes (I double the recipe using a 5 pound bag of potatoes).
In food processor with grating blade, grate potatoes and 1 large onion.
Transfer potatoes to bowl (do not drain liquid) and pour 1/2 cup hot water over potatoes.
Whip 4 large eggs in mixer and add to potatoe
Add about 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper .
Take out hot oil from oven and raise temperature to 400 degrees
Wait a couple of minutes. Pour oil slowly to mixture (not right on eggs) and mix.
Bake uncovered 1 1/2 – 2 hours until golden brown.