Food for the Soul

At Central Synagogue

Featured RecipeChocolate-Nut Zucchini Bread
Chocolate-Nut Zucchini Bread

Recipe submitted by Maryellen, owner of Free Bird Farm

All summer long, we will be sharing fruit and vegetable recipes inspired by our summer-long partnership with Free Bird Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). We welcome your submissions.

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It’s an increasingly popular way to get unbeatably fresh produce and other farm products on a weekly basis. Members sign up and pay in advance of the growing season—securing their “share.” This enables the farmers to plan their season’s crops efficiently—planting a diversity of vegetables and harvesting without waste. CSA also incorporates tzedakah and food justice by supporting local, family-scale, and sustainable food production.

Central Synagogue’s B’tayavon CSA includes a vegetable share raised exclusively on certified organic fields, plus an egg share and a fruit share, sourced from other area farms as well as from Free Bird Farm in upstate New York. Loosely translated, B’tayavon means Bon Appetit.

Free Bird Farm is a certified organic, family farm located in the Upstate New York’s Mohawk Valley. They grow more than 50 varieties of organic vegetables and herbs and raise all of their laying hens and chickens on pasture without hormones or antibiotics.

What are the chief advantages of joining a CSA?

  • Unbeatable freshness—tender baby salad greens that hold up all week, bell peppers with unsurpassed sweetness, eggs laid within days of distribution, fruits that are sweet and delectable. All of them are organic and chemical-free.
  • Abundance—a generous variety of certified organic produce at a price that is less than if purchased at a store or farmers’ market
  • Relationship—knowing where and how your food is grown and who is growing it
  • Health—a steady of supply of fresh vegetables and fruits means you’ll be cooking healthier, snacking healthier, feeling healthier.

What happens if there is food left over, or I am not in town to claim my share?

Central Synagogue’s leftover produce is regularly given to a nearby soup kitchen to be shared with those less fortunate. This is another way CSA encourages tzedakah.

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About Food for the Soul

Welcome! It is our hope that congregants will use this page to both submit and make recipes that are part of our Jewish experience, family history or prepared during holidays and life cycle events throughout the year.

Jewish cooking has simmered in every corner of the world since the Diaspora many centuries ago. Congregant-submitted recipes will likely represent the cultural diversity in our community and can be a common bond among members of Central Synagogue, as well as the community beyond our own Synagogue “walls”.

We anticipate the Food for the Soul initiative will enhance:

  • interactions between new and old members and might even lead to cooking classes, dining events, lectures and more
  • the Jewish experience for converting or newly converted Jews who are interested in learning about the traditions in Jewish cooking
  • religious school education by teaching our students about Jewish diversity and how food is connected to ritual and biblical events
  • our experience with the CSA program many of us access during the summer months
  • inter-generational activities through the use of preparing these recipes and providing an opportunity for bonding, learning and a Jewish experience among all generations of our community
  • our outreach beyond Central Synagogue by allowing Jews and non-Jews in the larger community to participate with us in this initiative.

Submitting and Making Recipes

We welcome our congregants to submit recipes (yes, even more than one!) to this webpage by accessing and completing the Recipe Submission Form (on this website). We will be featuring one recipe at a time but all recipes will be archived and remain available to you on the webpage.

We encourage you to submit favorite family recipes, especially those you cherish making for Jewish holidays, life cycle events or those that bring back fond memories of growing up in a Jewish home.

The recipes will not be “tested” in our kitchen so please be as accurate as possible when submitting them. It is also our understanding that submitted recipes are original or otherwise in the public domain.

Central Synagogue cannot be responsible for any adverse events as a result of making or eating these foods. Please avoid eating any ingredients that might cause known allergic reactions.

So, let’s begin!!