Gefilte Fish Out of Water

Guess Who’s Coming to (Shabbat) Dinner ?
April 4, 2009, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Friends
My friend (and volunteer at my job) Jean invited me to attend my first Shabbat Dinner at her friend Elaine’s place.  I happily accepted and picked Jean up around 6:15 p.m.  After kibbitzing a spell @ Jean’s apartment and admiring her newly tuned piano, we walked over to Elaine’s, which was just a few blocks away.

Elaine couldn’t have been nicer.  Ditto for her boyfriend Davey.  Elaine splits her time b/t NYC and Tel Aviv, and Davey was visiting from Northern Ireland.  Interesting story: Davey was here to do some pretty cool volunteer work, which Jean and Elaine have also done (and how he met Elaine), called Sar-El, the National Project for Volunteers for Israel.  Elaine described it as “Overnight Camp for Adults.”  You have a bunch of non-Israelis, bunking in a barracks for 1-3 weeks, doing volunteer work on an IDF army base – maybe working in a warehouse, for example.  They said it’s a totally fun bonding experience for all the volunteers, and the soldiers are super appreciative. 

Davey isn’t even Jewish, BTW; he is just a strong supporter and lover of Israel.  I think this is awesome, and I have met a few other people here (gentiles), who love Israel so much that they visit or even live here.  I plan on doing the Sar-El service at some point.  Especially since I am too old to have been conscripted (or even accepted?) by the IDF as part of my citizenship.  I’d like to show some appreciation to Israel and do some service for her.


Elaine served a wonderful challah, stir-fry broccoli and mushrooms, brown rice w/ cumin and carrots, and lusciously moist chicken.  I brought some stinky Shabbat wine that turned out to be too sweet (sorry, everyone!).

We had sorbet and fresh strawberries for dessert, but the best part was really the two hours of conversation on the couches that followed after.  From the Sar-El service, to why I made Aliyah, to Hebrew vs. English names, to the quirks of learning foreign languages, it was just so stimulating, friendly and fun.

I see how Shabbat Dinners can be a very worthy tradition.  Breaking bread with friends at the end of a long week, and then kibbitzing with a full belly makes for a really lovely time.  Thanks to my friend Jean and super hosts & new friends Elaine & Davey!  Shabbat Shalom, y’all.

Jean and I, pretty in pink

Jean and I, pretty in pink

Our hosts, Davey & Elaine

Our hosts, Davey & Elaine


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[…] Jean, Elaine & Davey near finish […]

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