OyChicago articles

Tel Aviv Pride Through My Eyes

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06/24/2014

Tel Aviv Pride Through My Eyes photo 2

When I say Tel Aviv Pride, I don't just mean one street gets wild – I mean the whole place. The entire city takes a breather to celebrate; people from all over the world, upwards of 25,000, fly in just to be in town for it.

At the start of the festivities, many service agencies and groups came together in Gan Meir to share resources with the community. It was powerful, for example, seeing a group that serves people who are LGBT* and Orthodox. I also got to meet with a group that caters to the ever-increasing population of LGBT* English-speaking olim (people who immigrate to Israel). 

Tel Aviv Pride Through My Eyes photo 3

After we started marching I saw a group of older Australian gentleman smiling as they waved their flag; a bear pride flag; a woman from Russia holding the flag for the Straight Alliance for LGBT Equality St. Petersburg Trans* alliance; Israeli flags; Rainbow kippot; and flags for peace. If you want to be at the table to celebrate, you can. Whatever your cause, Pride is a place that welcomes all of it. 

Before the parade, there was a stage performance. As we waited for it to start, a few strangers and I decided to dance like nobody was watching, progressively building a crowd around us. Two of us even started to coordinate moves. My dance partner later told me that he was from Russia. I can't even imagine what his experience is like over there. Could he even wear the same short shorts that he donned that day? Could he wildly dance to Spice Girls performing in drag? I don’t know. But what I do know, regardless of his experiences, was Tel Aviv Pride was a day to be ourselves in all our glory.

Tel Aviv Pride Through My Eyes photo 1

The day ended with a massive concert and party with infinite food trucks, shoppertunities, and activities for all ages. Families even had a designated play area. I really enjoyed that it wasn’t one main event like a parade, but a series of opportunities for people of all interests to enjoy themselves. I have gone twice to Tel Aviv Pride, and hope to find opportunities to go again in the future. I invite you all to join me.

Check out my movie: “Tel Aviv Pride through My Eyes by Shaily Hakimian”

Tell us about that one time at Jewish summer camp

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06/17/2014

This one time at Jewish Summer Camp photo

Summer camp has played a big role in fostering Jewish identity for generations. Jewish overnight (or sleepaway) camps and day camps are responsible for some of our best stories, experiences and friendships. We want you to tell those stories and share what Jewish summer camp has meant to you for our next Oy!Chicago blog series, “This One Time … At Jewish Summer Camp …”  

We want to publish your stories, your insights or whatever is on your mind about Jewish summer camp the week of July 7-11. Persons of all levels of writing experience are welcome to pitch ideas!  

Here’s how: write a paragraph describing what your piece would be about and send it to info@oychicago.com by Friday, June 27. The only requirement is that the post should in some way relate to the theme, and that you are 21 or older. We will review your submission and let you know if we are interested in running in your piece in full on Oy!Chicago the week of the blog series.

Please note that Oy!Chicago is a volunteer-run website, so we are unable to pay for published submissions at this time. If you have any questions, email them to info@oychicago.com

Stef & Steven

Green Pea & Walnut Pâté (aka “Mockchop”)

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06/10/2014

Green Pea & Walnut Pâté (aka “Mockchop”) photo 1

Elegance is all in the head. “Elevated” food is just simple food that is made really well and stylishly plated. So when I host a supper club, most of what I serve is really just comfort food that I put a lot of thought into and serve in a beautiful way. When I know that all the flavors of my classic, rustic, not-at-all-fussy Jewish mock chopped liver (pictured above) will play well on my vegetarian charcuterie board, I sell it as “Green Pea & Walnut Pâté” (pictured below) and suddenly Bubbie food is Saturday night fare. It’s not a trick. It’s just re-branding.  

Whatever you want to call it, this spread is absolutely delicious, easy to prepare, can be kept in the refrigerator for over a week, and dressed up or dressed down as you see fit. Try spreading it on a sandwich instead of mayo or mustard. Serve it alongside crackers and grapes for a cocktail hour nosh. Spoon it into a fancy terrine mold and put it on a charcuterie board. Pâté or Mockchop, whatever you do, don’t apologize for it. It’s not pretty until you tell people it is.

Green Pea & Walnut Pâté (aka “Mockchop”) photo 2

Ingredients

2 large yellow onions

oil for frying
Cognac, brandy, or some other brown liquor (this is entirely optional) 
2 cans of green peas, drained (don’t even think about using fresh or frozen)
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled 
1 bunch of fresh dill
a few handfuls of walnuts
salt & pepper
garnish (optional): diced raw onion, chopped hardboiled egg, toasted walnut halves, fresh dill  

Coarsely chop the onions and throw them into a large skillet with enough oil to coat the bottom. Cook the onions on medium-low heat and stir them occasionally until they get very soft and start to brown. 

When the onions are done cooking, pour in a few glugs of the liquor, and scrape the bottom of the pan until all the delicious oniony bits come up. Cook everything for another minute until the astringent alcohol taste cooks off. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Put the peas, the eggs, half of the dill, and the walnuts into the bowl of a food processor* and pulse until it all comes together. Add the onions and pulse again, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add a generous pinch of salt and black pepper and pulse again. This mixture doesn’t need to be totally smooth (unless you want it that way), but it should be pretty homogenously incorporated. TASTE IT. Add more salt, pepper, and dill until you are happy with the way it tastes.

Enjoy.

*Don’t have a food processor? No worries! Just chop everything as finely as you can get it and mash it with a fork.  

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