Passover begins the evening of Monday, April 22 and continues through Monday, April 29, 2024
14-21 Nisan 5784

Whether it’s your aunt’s kugel or your grandmother’s matzah ball soup, everyone has a favorite food that’s a must-have at their Passover seder. The following recipes have been collected over the years from our current and former temple staff, as well as members of the Emanu-El family. Enjoy!

My Family’s Favorite Matzah Balls

A Family Recipe from Robyn Cimbol,
Senior Director, Development and Philanthropy


2 tablepoons melted fat/margarine
2 eggs, beaten slightly
1 cup matzah meal
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons seltzer


1. Mix fat and eggs.

2. Add matzah meal and salt; blend well.

3. Add seltzer.

4. Cover bowl and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile…Bring 2½ quarts of salted water to a brisk boil. Wet your hands and make eight matzah balls. (Wet hands keep the substance from sticking!) Carefully drop the matzah balls into the pot of boiling water, cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.

6. Remove the matzah balls from the water and add to the soup. When ready to serve, simmer the soup for five minutes. (NOTE: Do NOT cook the matzah balls in the soup until you are ready to serve; they will absorb all of your soup.)


From Estelle Hendrickson

Many Sephardic recipes come from different countries. Therefore, each recipe will vary in ingredients, methods of preparation and even the pronunciation of the name. The following recipes are from my family, who originally went from Spain to Salonika, Greece, probably during the Inquisition.


1 cup of pitted dates
1 cup of raisins
1 medium apples, peeled and cut into chunks
8-ounce jar of honey
8 ounces of water
Juice of 1 navel orange
Grated orange peel


1. Add equal amounts of the raisins and dates at a time to a food processor and pulse.

2. Add the apple, making sure to leave some chunks.

3. Add orange peel and pulse again, adding the orange juice to moisten the mixture. It should look like a smooth, not sticky, paste with bits of apple showing.

4. Use a thick-bottomed sauce pan in which to cook the above mixture on a very low flame; add the honey and half of the water; stir well. Keep checking the liquid and stir so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. If it becomes too thick, add the rest of the water a little at a time and stir. Cooking time should be about an hour.

5. When the mixture is done cooking, it should look like a spread. Great on a matzah!

Potato Kugel

From Rachel Brumberg

This kugel is pretty easy and standard but a key part of the seder meal in my family. My cousin and I always would bring the tray to the table and serve us first to ensure that we got corner pieces; we still do in fact.


8 to 10 potatoes, grated
3 eggs
2 tablespoons matzah meal
3 large onions, grated
Salt, pepper to taste
3 tablespoons oil


1. Grease pan.

2. Mix ingredients together.

3. Drizzle oil on top.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for slightly more than an hour, until golden on top; time will vary depending on the size of the pan.

Passover Spinach Frittata

From Elizabeth F. Stabler


2 large bunches of fresh spinach, washed thoroughly and allowed to dry
2 matzot
1 tablespoon butter
1 small bunch fresh dill
½ small bunch parsley (optional)
4 to 6 ounces of cheese, such as a sharp yogurt cheese or Swiss cheese
8 ounces of feta cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
5 eggs
½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
½ cup matzah meal


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Butter 10-inch round pan or 6-inch by 9-inch rectangular pan;
spread or dot excess butter in bottom of pan.

3. Beat up one egg.

4. Break up matzot into quarters and dip into bean egg; then layer the coated matzot on the bottom of the pan. Pour excess egg over the matzot.

5. Finely chop the dill and parsley (optional). Chop the spinach. (NOTE: The greens can be chopped by hand or in a food processor; be careful not to liquify them.)

6. Grate the Swiss or yogurt cheese, using large holes of the grater.

7. Lightly beat four eggs in a large bowl.

8. Add grated cheese to bowl and crumble in the feta cheese. Add matzah meal, salt and pepper. Mix in the spinach and herbs until completely mixed.

9. Pour mixture into pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over top.

10. Turn oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for 40 minutes, or until slightly puffed and quite firm. Serves four as a main course and up to 10 as a side dish. Delicious cold, sliced thinly to reveal the streaks of cheese among the spinach and herbs.

Dessert Recipes

12-Egg Cake

From Marcia Waxman

This recipe was given to me by Rayminnie Friedman (of blessed memory). Rayminnie was a devoted member of Emanu-El and a past president of the Women’s Auxiliary (now Women of Emanu-El). She was a wonderful cook, and this is the best sponge cake I’ve ever tasted, which is probably attributable to the fact that Rayminnie was a chemist.


12 large eggs, separated
1½ cups sugar
Grated rind of one large lemon
Grated rind of one medium orange
¼ cup orange juice
Pinch of salt
1 cup matzah cake meal
¼ cup potato starch
½ cup finely ground walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Beat yolks with 1 cup sugar until they are thick, almost white and ribbon when a little of the batter is allowed to drop back from a spoon.

3. Stir in grated rinds and fruit juice.

4. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt; as they begin to thicken, gradually beat in the remaining ½ cup of sugar. Whites should stand in stiff but glossy peaks. They are perfect when they slide easily in a mass if the bowl is tipped.

5. Sprinkle cake meal, potato starch and ground nuts over whites.

6. Add yolk mixture and fold all together gently but thoroughly with a rubber spatula; no egg white should be showing.

7. Pour into tube pan. (If using a spring form pan, line with damp brown paper.)

8. Bake for 1 to 1¼ hours or until a test in center comes out clean and top of cake springs back when pressed with a finger tip.

9. Cool upside down for two hours.

World’s Best Brownies for Passover

From Frances A. Hess,
Former Women’s Auxiliary/Women of Emanu-El President
(of blessed memory)


4 squares bitter (unsweetened) chocolate
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
½ cup matzah cake meal
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces chocolate or mint chip or chocolate chunks


1. Melt chocolate and butter together over hot water and cool to room temperature.

2. Beat eggs and sugar until lemon colored.

3. Fold in room-temperature chocolate-and-butter mixture into the
egg-and-sugar mixture; mix thoroughly.

4. Fold in cake meal until just mixed.

5. Stir in vanilla and chocolate chips.

6. Bake in greased and floured 9-inch by 13-inch pan at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, until top springs back. Do not overbake.

7. Cut into bars when cold.

Chocolate Chip Bars

From Rachel Brumberg


1 cup margarine
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 cup matzah cake meal
¼ teaspoon salt
8 ounces of chocolate chips
1 cup nuts


1. Cream margarine, sugar, vanilla and salt.

2. Mix in eggs; beat well.

3. Add meal slowly and blend well.

4. Add nuts and chocolate chips.

5. Grease two square tins or one rectangular tins.
Spread dough and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees F.

6. Cut into bars before 100 percent cool.

Lottie’s Sweet Matzah Kugel

From Robyn Cimbol


6 matzot
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup raisins
3 teaspoons margarine
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Dried apple slices or dried apricot halves


1. Soak matzot; when soft, squeeze out water.

2. Separate eggs.

3. Beat eggs whites until stiff and place in the refrigerator.

4. Beat egg yolks.

5. Add sugar, salt, cinnamon and grated lemon rind. Beat until light and frothy.

6. Add matzot and raisins. Mix well.

7. Fold in egg whites.

8. Turn half of this mixture into greased 9-inch by 14-inch greased baking dish.

9. Lay dried fruit on top. Cover with the balance of the mixture.

10. Dot the top with margarine. Bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.

Bimuelos (Spanish Fried Donuts)

From Estelle Hendrickson

Various Latin countries also make bimuelos out of different ingredients.
The following recipe is used for Passover and is served at breakfast or after dinner with a honey syrup. At other times of the year we may use four and yeast.


2 cups matzah meal
3 cups of water to which is added a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 tablespoons canola or corn oil
8 eggs at room temperature and separated
Oil for deep frying


1. Boil the water with the salt, sugar and oil as mentioned above.

2. Cool the water a bit.

3. Pour the matzah meal in a large mixing bowl and add the cooled water a little at a time. The dough will be stiff at first, and as you add the water, it will become easier to mix. Do not let the dough become too liquidy. Cover the bowl and let the mixture cool completely.

4. Separate the eggs; put the whites in another mixing bowl and beat until stiff.

5. When the matzah meal is cool, add the egg yolks one at a time and beat well after each until the mixture is well incorporated.

6. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites;
do not over stir the mixture, should be the consistency of a thick pancake batter.

7. The frying oil should be very hot; use a deep fry pan.

8. Coat a tablespoon with nonstick cooking spray so the batter will drop off the spoon easily; or use two spoons, one for the batter and the other to help it off and into the oil. Flip the Bimuelos over in the oil until golden brown; drain on paper towels. (In our family, the tradition is to give the little bits of batter that collect in the oil to the children as you fry!)

Honey Syrup:

1 cup of honey
½ cup water

Cook honey and water over a low flame until the syrup comes to a boil and is thick, about 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook another 15 minutes. Serve on the side.

Carrot Pudding

From Robyn Cimbol


2 cups matzah meal
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2½ cups shredded raw carrots
1 cup fat/margarine
1½ cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
7 whole eggs
2 8-ounce cans crushed pineapple


1. Shred carrots in a food processor.

2. Mix all ingredients together.

3. Pour into greased 9-inch by 14-inch pan.

4. Bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes.