This Jewish woman

This Jewish woman

You might be under the impression that Rosh HaShanah 5769 has just passed, but for Teaneck resident Devorah Rosen Goldman, 5770 is already history.

“I live 18 months ahead of time,” explained the creator of “The Jewish Woman’s Weekly Planner + Creative Ideas for Inspired Jewish Living” (Pomegranate Press, $17.99). “I’m just about finished with the planner for 2009-2010.”

To back up a bit: This graphic artist and product developer’s first planner – incorporating Judaic themes combined with a contemporary visual style – appeared in time for the High Holidays in 2007. This was around the same time she moved to Teaneck with her husband and two teenage daughters after 10 years in Clifton.

The original planner included a weekly calendar, kosher recipes, candle-lighting times, and inspirational thoughts. Every week featured Monday through Friday on a left-side page and Saturday and Sunday on a right-side page, with an additional detachable fold-out page for recipes, tips, shopping list, menu ideas, and guest list.

“The format proved very successful, so the layout is the same this year,” Goldman said. “What really changed is that while the first calendar was interspersed with recipe pages – which I like, because it’s such a big chunk of being Jewish – I branched out a little bit for 2008, and besides the holiday pages and expanded recipe sections, there are also ‘sound bites’ on healthy living, Jewish style.”

For a woman who counts among her culinary inspirations Mollie Katzen, Ruth Reichl, Joan Nathan, Dr. Andrew Weil, and the “Spice & Spirit” Lubavitcher cookbook, this is a logical progression.

“The idea for this addition came from the writing of Rabbi Dovid Goldman [no relation], editor of American Jewish Spirit magazine,” said Goldman. “He’d written a long article with these kinds of ideas, and I called him to ask if I could borrow his idea and run with it.”

Simultaneously, she “ran” with another idea, the result of which is a recipe-card file called “The New Jewish Family Kitchen” (Pomegranate, $15.95).

“I realized in going into friends’ homes that generally people have a huge collection of cookbooks, and a lot of times it’s not even in the kitchen,” she said. “Then I went to the International Gift and Book Show at the Javits Center and noticed all the well-known chefs of our time have little boxes filled with 4-by-6 [-inch] laminated recipe cards. It seems like it’s more digestible and convenient; you can even take the card to the market to shop for the ingredients. I said ‘Aha, the Jewish world could use one of these, too.’ I pitched it to Pomegranate and they thought it was a terrific idea.”

However, even with the help of a recipe planner in Baltimore, it wasn’t simple to execute. “You’ve got to fit the entire recipe on a card, so it takes a certain amount of tinkering to get it right,” said Goldman. “And the publisher asked me to come up with an organizing principle, so the underlying theme is four unusual but easy-to-make recipes for each of the 10 major Jewish holidays. You can cook them anytime, but I thought it would be particularly useful for students, newly marrieds, or anyone wanting to be a little more connected. You can go through the box and through the Jewish year.”

Goldman, treasurer for the Parent Council at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls in Teaneck, earned an M.F.A. in graphic design from CalArts, and received a National Endowment for the Arts Entering Designer Fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship. She recently created a digital painting, based on her Jerusalem photographs, to illustrate the cover of the new Jewish Standard “Guide to Jewish Life.”

The 2008-2009 planner and the recipe cards are available at bookstores, Judaica stores, museum shops, online at, or by calling (800) 227-1428. Goldman’s companion Website,, shares the vision behind her work and showcases her photography.

Goldman will sell the planner and recipe box on Nov 23 at Lubavitch on the Palisades’ benefit boutique, 12:30 to 4 p.m., at 11 Harold St., Tenafly.

A portion of all vendors’ proceeds will be donated to the preschool scholarship fund.

The Jewish Woman’s Weekly Planner

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