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Post-Yom Kippur meals usher in Jewish new year

Friday, September 25, 2009 | 10:20 a.m. CDT; updated 10:29 a.m. CDT, Friday, September 25, 2009

COLUMBIA — Many Jewish families will enjoy "breakfast for dinner" on Monday. This post-Yom Kippur meal provides a festive event for ushering in the Jewish new year.

Yom Kippur, the holiest Jewish holiday, includes a 25-hour fast from food and beverage. After a day of fasting and prayer, many Jewish people gather for a communal culinary experience.

Yom Kippur Services and Events

Congregation Beth Shalom

Sunday: Kol Nidrei Yom Kippur services at 5:45 (brief service) and 7:30 p.m.

Monday: Services at 9 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.; Yizkor (memorial service) at 5:45 p.m., followed by Neilah concluding service

Mizzou Hillel

Sunday: Kol Nidre service at 7:30 p.m.

Monday: Services at 9:30 a.m., 5 p.m. (Yizkor memorial service), 5:30 p.m. and break fast at sundown.

Tuesday: Interfaith break fast meal at 7:30 p.m., with the MU Muslim Student Organization, 109 Guinn Hall.



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At Congregation Beth Shalom, light snacks will be provided after the Monday evening service. This will help tide people over until they get home for a full post-fast meal. This week, during the High Holy Days, Mizzou Hillel has provided lunch for students, offering an opportunity for fellowship over a meal.

"Everyone looks forward to the bagels and lox at my house," said Debbie Kaplan, director of religious school and youth programs at Congregation Beth Shalom.

Kaplan, who has lived in Columbia for 11 years, said her former synagogue in North Carolina used to host a potluck break fast meal, which included tuna and kugel, a traditional Jewish noodle dish.

Kaplan said "breakfast for dinner" works well for her because it's quick and easy to prepare. After being at the synagogue all day, she says it's nice to satisfy everyone's hunger as quickly as possible.

In the days before Yom Kippur, Kaplan often makes chicken soup and tzimmes, a traditional Jewish dish made with a variety of sweet potatoes, carrots, meat, prunes, honey and cinnamon.

A handful of MU students enjoyed lunch at Hillel on Thursday as they talked about their goings-on for the week. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, and the food was nontraditional: salad, macaroni and cheese, Japanese noodles and brownies.

"Whatever you want to eat is what you'll get," Tracy Fisher, an MU freshman, said of her family's post-fast food items. Unlike Passover, the days before and after Yom Kippur have no prescribed menu, although Jewish gatherings often include lots of carbohydrates and kugel.

The student gathering was a part of week of lunches provided by Mizzou Hillel. Normally, the meals are offered during Passover, MU Hillel executive director Kerry Hollander said. In 2010, Passover coincides with the university's spring break, so the Jewish student organization is offering them during the High Holy Days instead.

Leah Cohn, a member of Congregation Beth Shalom, said she serves creamed herring and bagels and lox for her family's post-fast meal. She likes to break the fast with a sweet kugel, which she makes with noodles, applesauce and cottage cheese.

Kugel is sort of like the "Yiddish word for casserole," Cohn said. The dish is usually made with egg noodles and a variety of other ingredients depending on whether it is a savory or sweet kugel.

No matter the menu item, food is definitely an important part of the Jewish community, especially after Yom Kippur. Whether families dine on brisket and schnitzel or macaroni and cheese, gathering for a post-fast meal is a satisfying way to kick off the Jewish new year.


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