Monday, November 2, 2020




A. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of proper cooking techniques by helping to prepare the chicken soup and by preparing the matzoh balls; thereby demonstrating that they know how to:

  1. Skim foam from chicken soup.
  2. Recognize and clean leeks for use in chicken soup.
  3. Recognize dill, parsley, parsley root, parsnips, turnips, celery and celeriac and their preparation for chicken soup.
  4. Form and boil matzoh balls and prepare them for freezing.
  5. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of Shabbat and some of the customs associated with the holiday by completing the final Sample Test.


1. The timing involved requires this particular class to be more of a demonstration-type class than most of the others, but if the below suggestions are followed, it can be one of the most popular and practical classes: (Simulating Friday evening should use about one-half the class time.)

    a. Prepare a batch of soup ahead of time.

    b. Arrange to have a long table and chairs set up in the kitchen or nearby.

    c. Set the table with white paper goods: tablecloth, napkins, soup bowls, soup spoons and small plastic wine glasses with a small amount of grape juice.

    d. Bring a pretty bunch of flowers in a vase, a nice kiddush cup, candelabra with candles, salt and pepper shakers, two challot, a challah cover, and a bread knife and set them on the table.

    e. As soon as all the students are present, hands washed, and seated, light and bless the candles, sing the Kiddush, and do the Motzi. The teacher may do all of these, or may select students to lead these blessings.

    f. Serve and eat the chicken soup with matzoh balls.

2. The students and teacher should move immediately after the above to the demonstration area.

3. As you introduce each ingredient that goes into the soup, it should be passed around so that the students can feel and smell and examine it so as to familiarize themselves with it if they are unfamiliar.

4. At the beginning of class, start the water boiling for the matzoh balls. The matzoh ball mixture should be made ahead of time. If time permits, the students can prepare a batch to see how it is done, which can be used at a later time. Demonstrate how to form a matzoh ball and let each student try to make a few.


1. Some of the ingredients mentioned in the recipe are difficult to obtain, but contribute greatly to the flavor of the soup if they can be found and provide a wonderful new experience for the students if they are unfamiliar with these ingredients.

2. The reason the matzoh ball mixture must be prepared several hours ahead is to give the matzoh meal time to absorb the liquid and thicken so that it can be formed into balls. Just adding more matzoh meal to thicken the dough will make the balls heavy and unpleasant. Also, keeping the dough very cold will make it easier to handle as it causes the margarine to solidify.

3. Wet hands are very important to handling and forming the matzoh balls, but it is common for people to drip into the dough unconsciously as they are working with it. This thins out the dough and makes it difficult to handle.

4. A steamer/strainer insert in the pot makes it possible to remove all the matzoh balls at once without wasting time trying to fish out each one. By adding a little more hot water and bringing the water back to a rolling boil, it is possible to make several batches without starting over.

5. Have a pan close by to stand the steamer/strainer insert in for just a few moments to let the balls stop dripping before emptying them out onto a baking pan. That way they won't drip on you when you remove them.

6. Matzoh balls sink to the bottom when first dropped into the boiling water, but then rise to the surface as they cook. Turning the heat down under the pot so that the water is not at a rolling boil will cause the floating matzoh balls to sink to the bottom.


A. During the first part of the lesson is a tremendous opportunity to encourage the students to try a family Shabbat of their own. If you are able to create the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of a mini Shabbat in the classroom/kitchen, imagine how nice it would be at home in the dining room.

B. A central theme in Judaism which threads through all our religious law is the focusing on small, mundane acts and the hallowing of these acts. The eating of a mouthful of bread, a sip of wine, the lighting of a candle are all occasions for the sanctification of life. In America, we are often so affluent that we begin to take for granted these small pleasures. We don't have to worry about where our next meal is coming from and whether we will have light when darkness falls. If we begin to take for granted the small pleasures of life, it seems that they are no longer pleasures and a sense of discontent begins to replace the appreciation when small pleasures are never enough. This can be an opportunity to discuss values with your students. What material benefits make them happy and how do they plan to go about securing these benefits in the future? Do they feel contented or discontented most of the time and why?

C. Why are two challot necessary? They are a reminder that a double portion of manna was given to our ancestors traveling in the Sinai Desert on Fridays so that they would not violate the Sabbath by gathering and carrying food.



  • 1 cut up chicken
  • 1 large or two small leeks
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley or 1 parsley root
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 turnips
  • 1 bunch celery or 1 celery root
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 2 Telma chicken bouillion cubes
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • 1 lb. carrots
  • I bunch flowers and vase
  • 2 challot
  • kosher grape juice
  • 1 vegetable peeler
  • 1 sharp knife
  • cheesecloth
  • two 8-quart pots
  • string
  • refrigerated matzoh ball mixture
  • 1 bag frozen matzoh balls
  • 4 quarts chicken soup
  • candles
  • candelabra
  • kiddush cup
  • challah cover
  • plastic soup bowls
  • plastic soup spoons
  • napkins
  • 1 bread knife
  • salt and pepper shakers
  • paper tablecloth
  • plastic wine glasses



    Shabbat is the most important Jewish holiday. In Judaism, we are commanded by God to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy in a document important to the history of the morality of mankind—the Ten Commandments. No other holiday is mentioned there. In ancient times, observance of the Sabbath was a custom that distinguished Jews from other cultures and some cultures thought it such a good idea that they adopted the practice also. It is a practice that not only allows one to rest and feel good, but commands one to do so. Why, then, are we so resistant in America to observing this commandment? Our lifestyle seems to put constant demands on our time and many people have somehow lost the art of planning and setting up an occasion designed to be enjoyed by all members of the family.

    If your family is anything like ours, all during the week we rush from place to place and very rarely sit down to a meal together. Things got so hectic when we were first married that we decided to institute a traditional Shabbat dinner on Friday night to give us a chance to relax and enjoy dinner together. This tradition became especially important when the kids came along because it gave us a chance to talk about the events of the week and a special time to communicate with grandparents, whom we sometimes forgot to call and check in with during the week.

    Now, everybody in the family looks forward to the sights, smells, and tastes of Friday night’s Shabbat meal. All it takes is someone in your family, who is willing to take the time to make things a little more special, to begin your own tradition. It could be you!


l. Light and bless candles. (We light one for each member of the family.)

2. Arrange to have two challot for Motzi. Make a challah cover that is special and beautiful for the occasion. (You might want to make the challah yourself. It can be made ahead in quantity and frozen.)

3. Pick or buy fresh flowers for the table. Use a tablecloth if you don't ordinarily bother with one during the week.

4. Use an especially nice stemmed glass or goblet for Kiddush.

5. Sing the Birkat Hamazon after dessert.

6. Call your grandparents before you sit down to dinner to see how they are and tell them what you've been doing all week. Better yet, invite them for dinner!



  • 1 whole chicken, cut up, with heart and gizzard (Do not use the liver in the soup. Freeze it until you have enough to make chopped liver.)
  • 1 large or 2 small leeks
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley (flat leaf is better than curly if you can get it) or 1 parsley root
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 turnips
  • All the tops with leaves cut from a whole bunch of celery. (Save the stalks for salad) or 1 large celery root (also called knob celery or celeriac)
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 2 Telma chicken bouillion cubes
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • 1 lb. carrots

1. Rinse chicken and put in the bottom of an 8-quart pot.

2. Cover with warm water and bring to a boil on high heat.

3. Skim off foam that rises to the top and discard. Turn heat to simmer.

4. Remove any discolored leaves from leek and cut off tips of leaves and bottom of bulb. Slice leek lengthwise halfway up from the bottom and rinse out any dirt or sand between the leaves. Add to pot.

5. Rinse parsley and dill well and add to pot. If you were able to get a parsley root, peel it with a vegetable peeler before you rinse the leaves.

6. Peel parsnips and turnips with a vegetable peeler and add to pot.

7. Rinse celery and add to pot. If you were able to get a celery root, peel it with a vegetable peeler before adding to the pot.

8. Add bouillion and salt to the pot.

9. Peel carrots removing tips. Cut in three or four lengths and cut each length in half. Put cut up carrots into a length of cheesecloth and tie up with string. Add to pot.

10. Add water to within an inch of the top of the pot and simmer for two hours.

11. Remove bag of carrots and pour soup through a strainer. Discard vegetables, separate chicken meat from bones and add to the strained soup or save for another purpose.

12. Cut open bag of carrots and add to the strained soup.

13. At this point the soup can be ladled into plastic containers to be frozen until needed, or add matzoh balls and boil for 20 minutes and serve. (See recipe for matzoh balls below.)


  • 12 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 c. warm water
  • 3-1/4 c. matzoh meal
  • I c. (2 sticks) melted margarine
  • 1 T. salt
  • dash of pepper

1. Mix all the above ingredients and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.

2. Bring 8 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a pot for which you have a steamer insert that can be lifted out.

3. Form the refrigerated dough into walnut-sized balls with wet hands. Be careful not to drip water into the dough. Drop, one by one into the boiling water. When the pot is full and about half the dough has been used, cover and let boil for 15 minutes. The balls will rise to the surface as soon as they begin to cook.

4. Remove balls by lifting them out in the steamer insert and dump out onto a jelly roll pan.

5. Return steamer insert to pot and repeat the process with the other half of the dough.

6. When the balls have cooled slightly on the pans, place them uncovered in the freezer and freeze solid.

7. Remove balls from the pan and dump into plastic bags.

8. Refreeze immediately and add to boiling soup as needed.

Makes about 100 matzoh balls. 

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