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According to legend, the world’s first bagel was produced in 1783 as a tribute to Jan Sobieski, King of Poland. The king, a renowned horseman, had just saved the people of Austria from an onslaught by Turkish invaders. In gratitude, a local baker shaped yeast dough into the shape of stirrup to honor him and called it the Austrian word for stirrup, beugel. The roll soon became a hit throughout Eastern Europe. Over time, its shape evolved into a circle with a hole in the center and its name was converted to its modern form, bagel.

New York Bagels recipe

Ah, the New York bagel, perhaps the archetype of all other modern bagels. Thick, starchy, fluffy, and super salty; bagels don’t get much better than this.


  • Water, as needed
  • 1 medium potato, peeled, quartered
  • 1 packet active yeast
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • Cornmeal, for dusting
  • 1 egg white mixed with 1 teaspoon water


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat; add potato and cook 15 minutes, until softened. Remove from water, reserving 1/3 cup liquid; drain and set aside.

Transfer reserved 1/3 cup cooking liquid to a small bowl; sprinkle yeast over and stir gently. Set aside for 3 minutes.

Sift flour, salt, and ½ tablespoon of sugar together in a large bowl; add yeast mixture. Add oil and another 2/3 cup water; stir well. Add eggs and stir to form a dough ball.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead 10 minutes, until firm. Transfer dough to a medium greased bowl; cover and allow to rise in a warm place 60 minutes.

Punch down the dough to flatten; remove from bowl. Cut dough into 18 equal pieces; shape each into a 6-inch long, ¾-inch thick rope. Bring the ends of each rope together and pinch to a close, using a little water on the end to help secure. Cover all rings with a towel; allow to rise 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet; dust gently with cornmeal. Bring a large pot of water and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar to a boil.

Drop bagels into boiling water one at a time, cooking each 3 minutes; remove from water, place on paper towels, and repeat with remaining bagels.

Transfer boiled bagels to prepared baking sheet. Brush tops of bagels with egg white mixture. Bake 15 minutes, until bagels are golden.

LI found love and friendship

Ruth Gruber
Dear Jackie,

Delighted to hear from you.   You are one of my favorite people. I really like the picture of you and me.  It shows our friendship.   Much love, Ruth
Ruth Gruber (born September 30, 1911) is an American journalist, photographer, writer, humanitarian and a former United States government official.


ruth gruber

Rodger Kamenetz
Hi Jackie, I'm honored to be part of the story of your life and wish you well with your writing and all you do. To look at your life honestly & think about the hard parts as well as the beautiful parts is very important. I'm glad you have done this. Against the thought of death to reach for life... All the best, Rodger
Rodger Kamenetz is an American poet and author - The Jew in the Lotus, the lower case jew

I Found strength

My Ashkenazi mentor, Zelda Goodman

Debbie Friedman
Deborah Lynn "Debbie" Friedman  was an American singer-songwriter concerning Jewish religious content. She is best known for her setting of "Mi Shebeirach",the prayer for healing, which is used by hundreds of congregations across America. She was a religious bard and angel for the entire community."

Pourquoi?  Why did I create this book?

because I was born in Tunis
because I was led to study in Paris
because I sojourned in Montreal
because I live in San Diego

because I learned from my parents to be responsible
because I learned from my parents to be respectful of others
because I see life in objects I cherish
because I love my parents

because I believe in love
because I want to love
because I am afraid of not being loved
because I want to “keep” my friends
because I reflect on past experiences
because I believe in promises
because I want to be sincere
because I believe in the power of words

because I believe in G-d
because I believe in prayer
because I respect all religions
because I believe in tradition
because I believe in knowledge

buy now@ geffen

book 3d

because I love to learn
because I am afraid of not learning with exactitude
because I want to fully embrace what I learned

because I have had to adapt
because I have not known how to adapt
because I encountered unexpected situations
because I retained the values I hold dear

because I faced challenges
because I sometimes failed
because I often succeeded
because I act by Gam Ze Le Tova, Good Can Come From Bad

because I believe in people
because I believe life is a romance
because I believe in a better world
because I hope for a world of respect and compassion

because I want to share my life with You, You, my children, You, my grandchildren, You, my friends, and You whoever You are and wherever You are.

Published inSmall Miracles: Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life

by Yitta Halberstan


My daughter is almost 7 years old.  She is born on March 5, 1976.  The world is invaded by the Cabbage PatchKid Dolls. 
- “ I promised you, my little Bikounitta, that for your birthday, we will get you a Cabbage PatchKid Doll.... I know, I know, you want a girl.”
- Promise, Mom, promise, I know you always keep your promises.
Time flies, and we get closer to March 5.  I thought that it was time to go somewhere, and purchase this famous doll which is going to offer so much joy to my youngest child.   The search starts... and I realize that that this economic world in which we live is creating serious problems in families: I have to find one, It si almost a question of honor.  Montreal, New York, Paris, Toronto.....They simply are not available.  The stores announce a waiting list of two to three months.  
It is impossible.  My promise... G’d, Where is the solution. This situation was becoming critical.   I had told Rebecca, that it will be a present form her grand-mothers.   My mother passed away, just few weeks ago.  I have been away from home for more than five weeks.   This separation was very hard on my Baby who does not understand yet, the concept of death, of total desperation of a human being that you have cherished your all life.Days after days, for more than five weeks, I sat at my mother’s bed, listening to the continuous and lanscinant sound of the bips of this pump: up down, up, down, up, down, and a kind of life exists.

Oxygen is insufflated in her lungs, and she is alive.....but, does she knows that I am here, next to her, does she feel something, does she hear me, does she need something.... All these questions which remain without answers.   Life is here, and life disappear.  Saturday, around 6:00 p.m., David leaves us and is on his way to have dinner.  Few minutes,  she is white, and lifeless.  I scream and call the nurse. 
- “ It’s over, it was too much for this poor lady..”
-  What do you mean?
- It’s over, she is not with us anymore.
She looks at me, and reach Bronias’ wrist, take off the watch, a Tissot, and her ring and hand them to me. 
David is back.  He enters the room, and holds his mother’s hand.  he cries silently,  I give him the jewelry and leave this hospital room where she stayed for more than a year and half... on her back, but decided to have an outside life, listening to music, eating outside food, drinking coffee brought from outside, having her done, her nails polished, her hair cut and combed....
They have to help me find this doll that I promised to my daughter.  I just, imagine that it is part of their responsibility.

Yael seems so disoriented, the necessity of finding the doll becomes for her primordial.   The last tentative is to call a Toys’ R Us store located in Chula Vista.   They just, received seventy of them.  No order can be taken other the phone.   We get into the car, without evaluating the Day, Friday, the time, the evening. It is almost Shabbat.   After a forty five minute drive, and Rebecca announcing with no interruption he desire to have a girl.  We enter the store, and we can discover behind a glass cage the dolls, boys and girls gently aligned and resting in their cardboard boxes.   Payment is required first, selection is not permitted.  You pay and you get what you get.   Finally, Rebecca is holding her new baby girl, and looks so happy.  What a relief.   We are on our way back home, and the need of opening the box becomes intolerable for Rebecca.  She wants to discover her name; she wants to touch her, to hug her.  She wants probably to make tangible this present that her grandmothers are offering her.   Gilberta is her name.  She wears blue pans decorated with small colored flowers.  Gilberta, I love her.  Gilberta, Gilberta, a strange feeling is enveloping me.
It is Saturday morning.  It is time for David, to be introduced to Gilberta.  His face whitens, his breathing becomes difficult.  His voice becomes unsettle.  Gilberta.. Gilberta... The market has covered the entire world of Cabbage Patchkid Dolls, more than three millions of them.   Gilberta.  My mother’s name was Gillette, and David mother’s name was Berthe.