March 06, 2007

Kugel Season: it bridges winter and spring

The Shmooze Club is preparing for the Second Annual Malka and Elimelech Kugelov Kugel-off. And we are equally excited that we can call this an annual event. It will be this Saturday at 2 p.m. at 507 Elm St.

To prepare the logistics for the event, the Shmooze board convened in 543 Church Apt. 4 to discuss the big event. Here is a rundown of the meeting notes.

Icebreaker: Best thing you met over Spring Break

Erick: Listening to a song about Myspace. That was great. I downloaded. It’s about a stalker guy that is stalking a girl on myspace., I feel like I could change the lyrics to facebook. The cab driver in Puerto Rico had it on a CD.

Rachel: I went to Minnesota and Chicago and Madison. We went sledding. In Chicago, we got $25 front row tickets to Wicked. Adam jumped onto a rock in Lake Michigan. We went to the Shedd Aquarium for three hours, we snuck into the marine mammal exhibition (pretty much scamming $20 per person).

Ari asked if Rachel saw an ugly fish, but she did saw a turle and a beluga whale.

Naomi: I met a chicken that lays green eggs, and I chased it. We did that in Lake Placid (not the site of the 1980 and 1932 Olympics, but the town in western Florida).

Ari: My favorite thing that I met were the cockroaches in an old man’s silverware drawer in Buenos Aires. I dumped out a drawerful of cockroaches and his granddaughter said in a sweet, joyous voice “oh, las cucarachas.?

Ian: I’m stealing Ari’s. That was my favorite. While attending the Las Madres protest on Thursday, Ari walked into the middle of a flock of pigeons. One of the pigeons flew onto his back, and I got a break picture of it, see the great picture on the side.


Test your bubbe skills at the Second Annual Malka and Elimelech Kugelov kugel-off, which will be held this Saturday, March 10 @ 2 in the friendly confines of 507 Elm (I like to think of the kugel-off as the pinnacle of the Ann Arbor Jewish Food Competition Circuit [A2JF2C]). The competition will feature several different variations and interpretations of this most traditional of foods (If you witnessed last year's Po-Mo ice cream dessert kugel, you know exactly what I mean). While you are encouraged to enter a kugel, you are welcome to attend as a judge.

If you would like to enter a Kugel (read: please enter a Kugel), let me know and drop it off by Friday evening in a 9 x 13 or bundt pan to 507 Elm. All kugels must be milchig or pareve and cannot use toothpicks as part of the cooking or serving (this would ruin the integrity of the voting system). Include a name, any allergy-possible ingredients, and where the recipe came from. If you are interested in entering but do not have access to a kitchen, let me know and I can arrange something for you.

You do not have to be a University of Michigan student to enter a kugel. We invite any alumni or community member to prepare a 9 x 13 or bundt pan full of scrumptiousness.

Any questions and/or concerns should be handled by myself. We will refrigerate all entries and then reheat them before the competition. If you cannot bring a kugel, but would like to attend, palate cleansing food (ie. carrots, hummus, salad, crackers) would be greatly appreciated. Normal deadline applies.

Erick will not go on Saturday or publicize it on Facebook because he has too many tests next week.

Alumni and community members are allowed to enter, but some believe that they should not be granted full sufrage rights (maybe 1.5 toothpicks). In the end, the receive full voting rights.

Some people didn’t understand the toothpick voting system. Everyone gets three tooth picks at the door and puts them in the container next to their three favorite kugels.

Erick wants me to change the date for the kugel off (which was set two months ago) because he needs to read the Vindications of the Rights of Women

Soccer Match

We're playing the Arab Students Association in soccer next week. Stay with Mir Blong and mirshmoozn for updates.

Relay for Life

We are really heading down to the wire. Please sign up for the team by following the link to the right.

Golden Apple Nominations

Please submit

Erick wants Ralph Williams again

Ari has not good professors

Ian wonders if Zvi Gittelman could win. There is general agreement that he could but he is hampered by a few key factors.

With the grades he gives, he will never get the award

Some don’t think that he will ever get it because his classes are so early (8:30!!)

Posted by irobi at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 05, 2006

Shmooze + Shakespeare = Shylock

English professor Ralph Williams will speak to the Shmooze Club and greater Hillel community this Friday, Dec. 8, following shabbat dinner at 8 p.m. in Hillel's Green Auditorium.

We need your help to publicize and attend this historic, wonderful, awesome event.
With the Royal Shakiespeare Company's residency in Ann Arbor, the Shmooze Club lobbied to have them perform the Merchant of Venice. We were unsuccessful in that attempt. In its stead, Ralph Williams will be speaking on the portrayal of Jews in Shakespeare.

If you plan on eating free shabbat dinner at Hillel, please 734-769-0500 before Thursday.

To enhance this event, the Shmooze Club will screen the recent production of the Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Thursday night at 8 p.m.

If you don't tell 17 other people in addition to the three other people in your Fishbowl Cubicle, your roommates, and the cashier at your favorite coffee establishment, we will take five pounds of your flesh (see the Merchant of Venice)

Posted by irobi at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2006

If you can't follow through with your New Year's Resolution, show up.

Sh'morze Fest 5767:

Featuring You
(and all your camp friends, even the weird ones who now live in EQ)!
Thursday, Sept. 28 @ 517 Elm Street from 8:30-10:00.

If you've made it as far as the Shmooze blog, that means our painstaking and super-expensive market research has worked. And if you'd like to be in great pictures with everyone in their winter caps (or toques) around the hearth roasting marshmellows, arguing about marshmellows, and throwing marshmellows at the referees (an old time Michigan football tradition that was banned before I became a student), please stop by 517 Elm. Alright, if that doesn't entice you, how about Deb on the guitar. Yes, she will be standing on a guitar (with just one leg) for over an hour. And if you're still not convinced, I guarantee you will hear the best camp stories you've ever heard (which may or may not be scary). I hope they're not scary because I'm afraid of the dark. Lastly, if you're still on the fence, I guarantee (like Rasheed Wallace) zero mosquitoes and that perfect, crisp fall weather with a hint of burnt pine in the air. (If that doesn't make sense to you non-Michiganders, come on over to 517 Elm and you'll see).

My editor only allotted me six 'ifs'. He's so mean. If I could put some peanut brickle in his peanut-free office (for he is allergic), I would. No I wouldn't. Well maybe. No. His kids might miss him. The answer is no.

Posted by irobi at 06:16 PM | Comments (1)

August 28, 2006

Eh.. we're shmoozing again

After a tremendous rookie season, the premier Jewish culture group on campus is gearing up for sophomore stardom (or something close). After a summer of scheming innovative ideas for the shmooze (read: that's all I did), it is time for YOU to share your ideas with rest of the group (and to shmooze a little bit [it is Welcome Week after all]). With a few things cooking (hot dogs, pun intended) Festifall, Hillel open house, other beginning of the year events, we need to hit the ground running.

This year's first Shmooze Club meeting will be on Sunday afternoon, September 3, at 1 p.m. in this year's new "board room" at 543 Church apt. 4 (as long as the toilet from the apartment upstairs stops leaking). It will be a catered affair, as always.

Shmooze had a strong senior class, which means two things 1) the ground is set for a strong alumni association and 2) we NEED people to fill the void. Please come to the meeting. It promises to be a great time.

Topics to be covered:
1) General shmoozing and kibbutzing
2) Ian's idea for a new icebreaker
3) Icebreaker
4) Hot dog cart
5) Festifall
5a) Hillel open house
6) New ideas
7) General shmoozing

To recap, first Shmooze meeting of the year will take place this Sunday at 1 p.m. in the board room 543 Church apt. 4 (the building is behind China Gate).

Posted by irobi at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2006

Next: The Every Three Weekly

"Perry Teicher is brimming with plans for next year," notes Christine Bremmer in this morning's Michigan Daily. Teicher, the Hillel Governing Board Chair and fellow Shmooznik, described to the Daily his enthusiasm for some of Hillel's programs that students should look forward to in the fall semester. And taking center stage in this excitement: Shmooze! Here is a short snippet from Beamer's article:

Schmooze [sic] made its debut on campus earlier this month at Relay for Life, providing Jewish desserts [that were Kosher for Passover] to participants. Pending the issuance of a vendor permit, Schmooze is also planning to start a kosher hot dog stand on South University Avenue this fall...

The article focused on campus cultural groups'—with their new leaders—plans for the upcoming semester(s). La Voz Latina, Muslim Students Association, Native American Students Association, United Asian American Organization, and American Movement for Israel, amongst other student groups, were profiled.

When reached for comment about the group's newest publicity outlet, Ian shouted "Yes! Yes!" while performing the classic Jordan-esque move, the fist-pump-and-jump, which is way better than the more reserved Tiger Woods' feet-planted-putter-in-one-hand-double-fist-pump. [Editor's note: Ian high-fived David in celebration, causing David's hand to sting for three minutes, thirty-eight second afterward.]

After calming down, Ian said that he was "definitely surprised by the group's publicity in the paper. And in the last issue of the semester's Daily. Yes!"

Speaking of planning and looking forward to events in the coming semesters, all Shmoozniks are invited (and encouraged) to attend the final Shmooze meeting of the year, this Friday, April 21 @ 4. We will be discussing events, activities, and kosher hot dogs.

Posted by rubyr at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2006

Press Conference for March 31

Some excerpts from this week's press conference, as related by the Shmooze PR-nik.

Gentleman in the back of the room: Yes, I understand that you are currently working on the Kosher Hot Dog Cart. Could you please tell us where you are, as far as permits and cleaning are concerned?
• "Yesterday, we started the process by cleaning the cart @ Hillel. One cleaner said he felt like Cinderella, scrubbing away at the 'remnants left by his older sisters, [or in this case,] three years worth of hot dog grease.' It was a very rewarding experience for these scrubbers, though. We thank them for spending so much time working on the cart when they could have been shmoozin' it up on the Diag. Great dedication. "

You, with the glasses: One, did you finish cleaning the cart? And two, what's next?
• "Yes, we finished with the cart. The next step is to obtain the proper permits from Washtenaw County, the City of Ann Arbor, and hopefully, the University. Oh, and did they mention earlier about OSHA food safety training? We got to get that too."

Freckles, on the left: Describe your feelings regarding Relay for Life.
• "We're kvelling over the support that our community—students, friends, and families—has given to the team. In the past few days alone, we've added six new Relay for Lifers to the team! We couldn't be happier. Though, a few more donations to the American Cancer Society wouldn't hurt. You can donate through the link on the side of our blog (-->)."

Portly fellow by the door: I've heard rumors of a Pesah Dessert competition. Could you indulge my readers with some more information.
• "Most certainly. Saturday, April 8 in the afternoon, at Palmer Field during Relay for Life we are having the first, hopefully annual "Erasing Stereotypes" Passover Dessert Competition. For years there has been this misconception that Passover is a holiday with horrible dessert food, with the exception of those fruit jellies shaped like orange slices that we tried to sell each year at Sunday school. Anyway, we want to turn this negative image around by inviting the Shmooze-going public to a competition where they can both enter and judge various desserts prior to the holiday. That way, if you like a dessert so much, we'll give you the recipe and you can make it for real the next week. The details, regarding a specific time, have yet to be determined. Though, we believe mid to late afternoon on April 8 @ Palmer Field in the Shmooze tent.
• "Also, if anyone is interested in entering a dessert, please, please, please, e-mail our dessert coordinator (irobi@) before the event so we can clear table space."

Hillel Beat Reporter: What can we expect from Shmooze as far as the Gala is concerned?
• "Expect big things. I feel confident that we will easily walk away with a hat trick of awards on Sunday evening. In fact, we're already busy writing our acceptance speeches.

You, the one with the gimpy leg: I heard about this week's upcoming Holocaust Vigil. Will Shmooze be participating? And what can I do for my gimpy leg?
• "On Thursday, April 6, an extended vigil will occur on the Diag to read names of victims from the Shoah. We encourage anyone who might be able to read names, including those with gimpy legs or just ten minutes of free time, to contact for further information. We must be going now, for the wind is up..."

Posted by rubyr at 10:58 AM | Comments (1)

March 12, 2006

Mir Meetn to Discuss If and How We'll Meatn

We will be meeting this Tuesday, March 14, 8 PM @ 1023 Church.
Among the topics to be discussed:

Posted by irobi at 09:54 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 05, 2006

Haman over

Meeting on Monday
Seven in the evening
Ten Twenty-three Church

Posted by rubyr at 07:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Relays and Recipes Redounding

Shmoozniks, this is the last week that you can sign up for Relay for Life and still receive a free t-shirt. Also, if you have already signed up for the event, please start fundraising. Check out the easy-to-use e-mail features on the website. At the next meeting, the fundraising chair will go over some important and useful tips to help you with your canvassing endeavors.

In other Shmooze-related news, the Iron Blech competition that was originally slated for this weekend has been delayed one week. So circle next Saturday, March 11 as a reminder to loosen your belts for the cholenty goodness that will ensue. Cholent ideas will still be handled by the Culinary Advisory Committee.

We've got some more recipes.

Fruity Israeli Kugel (#6 @ the competition)

4 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground preferred)
2 teaspoons salt
12 oz. thin noodles
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  1. In a pot, bring water, margarine/butter, sugar, salt, and pepper to a boil
  2. Turn off heat and add noodles. Stir. Cover the pot. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Combine eggs, brown sugar, and oil in a small bowl.
  4. Add egg mixture to noodles. Stir. Let stand another 10 to 15 minutes, covered.
  5. Pour mixture into a greased 9" x 13" (or bundt) pan.
  6. [Optional:] For fruity flavor, add dried fruits like raisins, apricots, or figs
  7. Bake one to one-and-a-half hours. If top browns over early, place a sheet of foil on, and place back in the oven.

Yerushalayimi Kugel(#5 @ the competition)

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
12 oz. thin noodles (ie. vermicelli)
4 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Place 1/2 cup sugar and oil in saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat, about 10 minutes, until caramelized.
  3. Remove from heat. Let harden and cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Pour 5 1/2 cups of water into the pan with sugar mixture and bring to a boil.
  5. Add salt, pepper, and remaining sugar. When water boils, add noodles.
  6. Cook until water is almost evaporated.
  7. Cool slightly and stir in eggs. Mix well and pour into a greased 9" x 13" pan.
  8. Bake for one hour.

Posted by rubyr at 11:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 24, 2006

Searching for Cholent in a Kugeled World

In less than three weeks, the Shmooze Club will be entering its first cholent in Hillel's Iron Blech competition. In order to prepare for this event, we need some of your cholenty ideas to crock up a winning version of this savory, meaty Saturday-for-lunch delicacy. Furthermore, if you'd like to be added to the prep/cook team for this event, please submit your culinary resumé, preferrably with samples, to the Cholent sub-Committee. In the meantime, while you mull over award-winning cholentary ideas, have a gander at some of the recipes from last week's Malka and Elimelech Kugelov Kugel-off.

Also, if you haven't already inquired/signed-up for the Relay for Life team, please do so through the link --> or by contacting Ruby (rubyr@). Thanks.

Min's Noodle Kugel (#2 @ the competition)

8 oz. wide noodle noodles
4 oz. butter or margarine
6 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)
1/2 lb. dried apricots (optional)
1 cup corn flake crumbs
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
  1. Cook noodles, drain, add butter/margarine, and set aside
  2. While noodles are cooking, beat eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, sugar, and milk
  3. Combine noodles and mixture together in greased 8" x 12" pan
  4. In a separate bowl, mix corn flakes and brown sugar
  5. Sprinkle on top of kugel
  6. Dollop the topping with butter/margarine
  7. Bake for 1 hour

Kosher for Passover Apple-Matzah Kugel

4 large, tart apples (e.g. Granny Smith), cored and diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
6 matzahs
6 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (8 Tbsp.) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Toss apples with brown sugar and orange juice, set aside
  3. Break matzah into medium-sized pieces and soak in warm water until soft but not mushy.
  4. Beat eggs and combine with salt, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter/margarine, raisins, and apricots
  5. Add drained matzahs and apples to the egg mixture. Stir kugel well and pour into a grease 9" x 13" pan.
  6. Dollop top with margarine/butter
  7. Bake kugel for 1 hour. If the topping browns too quickly, cover with foil, and continue cooking

Posted by rubyr at 09:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 13, 2006

Bake your kugel and eat it too!

Another successful meeting tonight at 1023 Church. Topics discussed included: the upcoming Kugel-Off to be held at 2 PM this Saturday (February 18th) at headquarters, a fundraising opportunity cleaning Cliff Keen arena (March 9th and 11th), and our participation in Relay for Life .

Regarding our next event:
Test your bubbe skills at the Malka and Elimelech Kugelov Kugel-Off. The Kugel competition will feature several different variations on this most traditional of foods (and spellings too, see meeting notes below). If you would like to enter a Kugel (read: please enter a Kugel), drop it off by Friday evening in a 9 x 13 or bundt pan. Include a name, any allergy-possible ingredients, and where the recipe came from. Any questions and/or concerns should be handled by Ian (irobi@). We will refrigerate all entries and then reheat them before the competition. If you cannot bring a kugel, but would like to attend, palate cleansing food (ie. carrots, hummus, salad, crackers) would be greatly appreciated. Normal deadline applies. If you would like to learn more about kugel, check out wikipedia.

Help raise money for the American Cancer Society. Sign up for our Relay for Life team by going here. Once you're registered, Ruby can get you the appropriate fundraising materials to get you started.

Full meeting notes, commentary, and additional information are available after the jump via the link below.

- - - - - -Meeting Notes | February 12, 2006- - - - - - -

Favorite Winter Olympic moment or event
Aaron: Hermann Maier’s crash in ‘98
Adam: Waking up at 7:30 to watch downhill and even Ruby couldn’t get up
Shira: not a winter Olympic person
Erick: watching Costa rica in the opening cermenoines
David: Ferrari doin' donuts in the opening ceremonies, very un-Olympic
Jed: Skeleton
Daphna: Watching Shaun White
Ian: Johan Olav Koss

Jed’s volunteer cleaning Cliff Keen idea

* Went to Ukraine this summer to fix community center
* Receive 250 dollars an hour for 10 people
* March 9 and 11

Goodness day: April 13, 2006 (First Day of Pesach, Second Seder)

* Perhaps a pre-Goodness Day agenda
* Idea
* Getting rid of chametz

World Tour (Sunday, March 12)

* We need to turn in the form three days late
* Tribute to the Costa Rican Jewish community
* Or Sephardic
* Food exhibit
* Ideas????

Malka and Elimelech Kugelov present the First ever Shmooze club Kugel-off

* This Saturday at 2:00
* Location: 1023 Church
* How many participants: ???
* Criteria for competition
o Taste, appearance
o What goes with Kugel? Complements?
* Guidelines
o 9 x 13 pan
o Pronunciation issues (kugel or kiegel)
o Bundt pan created for kugels in 1950 see wikipedia
(contributed by David)
o Freyda is working on logistics to bring kugel to Ann Arbor
(Southfield to Ann Arbor…) → entered under name of kugel cookher
o Bema is making a Kugel and shipping from Florida
o Adam believes that only students should contribute, not
their ‘rents. More Kugels are welcome, though only
student-shponsored dishes should be accepted for judging
o Should have “Kugel? in its name (if not, please add)
o Kugel must have a name, origin, label if milkheg (sp?) or
pareve (read: NO MEAT)
o Adam is going to submit his meatloaf and label it as Kugel
* Logistics
o We can/will import shabbos goys (a term used in its most
non-demeaning sense)
o Adam: A kugel should be considered handicapped if it cannot
be good for shabbos
o Water to cleanse the palate
o Sour cream and apple sauce (maybe Gabe’s frozen latkes)
o Latkevitz next December or November (depending on when it falls)
o Carrots & Hoummous
o Salad ??
* Frayda has many kugel issues
o Reheat is not a big deal, especially if every one is at a
* Advertising
o UM*Events
o Facebook (party invitation)
o Mir Blogn
* Marble in the jar-style judging competition
* Shmooze-approved standard of kugeling

Moving on to
“James’ Journey to Jerusalem?

* African man that moves to Israel
* Black-Jewish Alliance (see Sam Woll/Tzedek for possible crossover
* Speaker ?

Shmooze in the Blogosphere ... Mir Blogn


M-Shvitz headbands

* How do we make it profitable or fundraise-able
* How do we get more people shvitzing
* Raquetball Fridays? Or Thursdays
* "M Go Shvitz? or “I shvitz blue?

Relay for Life (send any questions to rubyr@)
Saturday, April 8 @ 10:00 AM --> Sunday, April 9 @ 12:00 PM
(Palmer Field)

Here's the low-down on RFL.
If you want to walk, please sign up as soon as possible. The last, possible chance to do so is March 7, just one month before the event. You can walk for as long as you want. The only rule is that one person from the team must always be on the track. But if we can double- or triple-up, that would be great. Also, if you would like to request a time to walk two months in advance, we can arrange that.

1. Sign-up
- Go to
- Click on the "Sign Up Here" link in the left menu bar
- Join an existing team, choose "Shmooze"
- E-mail rubyr@ your t-shirt size. I will give you a collection packet once you sign up.
- Simple.

2. Raise money
- Door to door
- Friends, family, co-workers...
- CPK Night (I have fliers, also attached to the e-mail)
- Be creative.
- Other

3. Luminaria
- Try to sell one.

4. In April
- Please give all donation material back to Ruby (rubyr@)
- He'll give you further information

Posted by gluckman at 12:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 09, 2006

We're kind of a big(ger) deal

We are now officially a Hillel-affiliated group.

After one month of what appeared to be de facto Hillel affiliation, the Shmooze Club has received the approval of the Hillel governing board. A group of three (four if you count Rabbi Miller) people represented the Shmooze Club at the meeting. I gave a five minute shpiel that I worked on for hours (read: impromptu) speech about the club and why it should become affiliated with Hillel. Vice-president-in-charge-of-shvitzing and men's locker room bureau chief Jon Gotfried spoke about the affiliation with the M-Shvitz club. Senior advisor Ruby Robinson was on hand as well.
We left the meeting very soon after our presentation. About thirty minutes after we left, I received a text message from Rabbi Miller that read "You are official!" (I think that the message deserved two exclamation points but that is a matter for another time and entry.)
We need to start planning the rest of the semester (because our budget application is due soon). Please bring all ideas to the now-slated for Sunday at 6:30 (barring any qualms) meeting. Right now, the meeting is scheduled to take place in the board room at 1023 Church but we are open to alternatives (ie. Union, League, or other living rooms). Use the comment system below to talk amongst yourselves (because we are farklempt).

Posted by irobi at 02:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 24, 2006

I'll have the fourth and fifth layers

Posted by irobi at 10:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack