Maimonides Shabbat Dinner

In addition to cooking me dinner on Friday, Shira was also nice enough to let me talk her into writing about it!  This dinner was a great example of how to be welcoming, how to build community, and how to make sure all the guests leave dinner with just a little bit of chocolate still on their faces.

The Friday at the end of the first week back to school was a welcome sight foreveryone. There is more to the wonder of Friday than it simply being the end of the work-week or the school week, because Friday means the coming of Shabbat. This past Friday night the Maimonides society at Drexel med hosted a Shabbat dinner. The dinner was an Italian themed Shabbat with salad, eggplant lasagna, pasta with marinara sauce, and an amazing dessert of s’mores bars. Of course, there were the traditional Shabbat staples of challah and wine.

It was wonderful to have so many med students from years 1-4 coming together for a Shabbat dinner. It was a great way for the new first years to get to know classmates better (ones that they may or may not have already met during orientation) as well as a way for them to meet members of the other years. For the members of other years it was a chance to catch up with people they had not seen in a while and also to get to know students from the other years better. Everyone was taking the time to enjoy the homemade Shabbat meal and talk. Hopefully as the year continues and the Maimonides Society hosts future events for the various holidays the people who came out to this first Shabbat dinner will remember the great time they had and they will come again, leading to the development of a welcoming, strong and connected Jewish community at Drexel med.

For me personally there was an added bonus besides the wonderful group of people to celebrate Shabbat with. My younger brother came to visit for the weekend. I enjoyed giving him a taste of the med school life and having him spend Shabbat dinner with my classmates.  Overall the Shabbat dinner was a success and a wonderful way to start of the year.  Hopefully the future Friday night dinners and other events will go as well!

S’mores Bars

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.

Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

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