Archive for June, 2014

Caplansky’s Serves Up Beer With Pickle on Rye

June 23, 2014

This piece was first published on The Jew and the Carrot blog at the Forward.

Zane Caplansky shows off his new beer in his eponymous Toronto deli./Renee Ghert-Zand

Zane Caplansky shows off his new beer in his eponymous Toronto deli./Renee Ghert-Zand

Forget the lime wedge or orange slice. This beer comes with a pickle garnish.

Caplansky’s Delicatessen in Toronto has introduced its own brew, called Deli King Spiced Dark Rye Lager, and it really does taste better accompanied by a sour dill.

This is not only because the beer is brewed with rye (in addition to barley). It’s also because it is flavored by the proprietary brisket rub deli man Zane Caplansky uses to make his delicious smoked meat (sort of like a deli sandwich in a bottle).

“The vinegar of the pickle cuts across the hoppiness of the beer,” Caplansky told the Forward, referring to a lager’s bitter, tangy taste. “And in any case, garnishing a beer with a pickle just goes with the chutzpah and humor I’m known for.”

Although some diners might order a beer to go with their deli sandwich, most people do not usually associate Jewish delicatessens with alcoholic beverages. Many delis are not even licensed to sell them, and even at Caplansky’s, which has been licensed since its opening, most patrons ask for a dark cherry soda or gingerale.

“Newsflash: Jews don’t drink!” Caplansky, 46, said with tongue in cheek. In fact, two years after the deli opened, he moved the bar to the back of the restaurant so that the meat slicing station could be in a more prominent position.

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© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

 

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Duo Hopes MLB ‘Baseball Birthright’ Pitch Catches On

June 22, 2014

This piece first appeared in The Times of Israel.

Houston Astros pitcher Josh Zeid says he'd love to go on a 'Baseball Birthright' trip. (Courtesy of Houston Astros)

Houston Astros pitcher Josh Zeid says he’d love to go on a ‘Baseball Birthright’ trip. (Courtesy of Houston Astros)

If they build it, will they come? Filmmaker Jeremy Newberger and sports writer Jonathan Mayo think so. The two are working on organizing a special trip to Israel for Jewish Major League Baseball players, past and present.

Newberger, a director with Ironbound Films, and Mayo, who works for MLB.com, are pitching the idea of a “Baseball Birthright.” Based on positive responses from players such as Houston Astros pitcher Josh Zeid, Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Ike Davis, and Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler, the two think they could hit it out of the park with the trip — and an associated documentary film chronicling each player’s personal Jewish journey.

“The project is still in an early development stage,” notes Newberger in a conversation with The Times of Israel. He and Mayo, who have known each other since their days at Zionist summer camp, have long thought about bringing the players to Israel. It would be their first visit to the country for most of them.

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© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

 

 

Toronto Jews Rally for Kidnapped Israeli Teens

June 21, 2014

This piece first appeared in The Times of Israel.

Attendees of rally in Toronto in support of kidnapped Israeli teens, including Israeli Consul DJ Schneeweiss (center left), hold up #BringBackOurBoys signs in English and Hebrew for photo to be sent to the teens' families.(Courtesy of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto)

Attendees of rally in Toronto in support of kidnapped Israeli teens, including Israeli Consul DJ Schneeweiss (center left), hold up #BringBackOurBoys signs in English and Hebrew for photo to be sent to the teens’ families.(Courtesy of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto)

TORONTO — A thousand members of Toronto’s Jewish community came out Thursday evening to a rally in solidarity with Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Frankel and Eyal Yifrach, the three missing Israeli teens believed by Israel to have been abducted by Hamas.

At the gathering, which took place at the local Schwartz/Reisman Jewish community center, speakers and audience members alike expressed full-throated support for the Jewish state and the IDF, as well as gratitude for the current Canadian government’s backing of Israel.

The event was organized by the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, the city’s Jewish umbrella organization, and the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

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© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.