Howard Golden; Steve, Sam and Regina Brodsky; and Sharon, Ben and Arielle Golden enjoy mufletta, fresh fruit and crudité.
By Glory Weisberg
The Jewish Community Center South, known as the JCC South Denver, opened its doors in Greenwood Village about a year ago at the northwest corner of Arapahoe Road and South Dayton and on April 4 it was the site for Mimouna, a traditional Moroccan Jewish celebration held the day after Passover. It also marks the start of spring.
Since Passover is a time when leavened breads are not eaten, Jewish people are free after Passover to return to eating regular breads such as mufletta, a North African style fry bread.
The Mimouna event attracted a lot of Jewish families, some three generations strong, to come and eat mufletta, traditional Moroccan bread made on the spot at the Mimouna by JCC volunteer coordinator Alice Forshner. In Israel such parties feature barbecues, picnics and other outdoor parties. The event has gained in popularity as Jewish immigrants from North Africa, also called Maghrebim, brought this family centered tradition with them. Mimouna was made a national holiday in Israel in 1966.
This sign on one wall understates the importance of Jewish community participation.
At the JCC South Denver party was Noam Dahary, an official Young Israeli Emissary, who works with young Jewish people in the community and also there was Michal Uziyahu, also an Israeli Emissary, whose job it is to bring Israel to the local community and bring the local community to Israel, she said. She also leads program for teenagers and young adults.
At this Mimouna Festival children in one room sat in a drum circle, learning how to beat traditional North African drums, the thrumming filling the air with rhythm and children’s laughter. In adjoining rooms families ate mufletta while others watched a woman demonstrating Moroccan style belly dancing.
The JCC South Denver hosts events throughout the year, as explained by Melissa Hoch, director of JCC South Denver Programs. One of the programs is a Jewish Parenting University, “A Class for expecting Parents,” learning about the whole spectrum of Jewish life and it’s not just one class, it’s a group of programs lead by Debbie Goodman, Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center director of the Department of Jewish Life and Learning.
The JCC South Denver also has a variety of one-week specialty camps over nine weeks of summer for children entering grades K-5 in partnership with the Mizel Arts and Culture Center. Also available are a number of other activities.
For more detailed information on the JCC South Denver, visit www.jccdenver.org/south or call 303-799-6975.
During the Mimouna, Alice Forshner was frying North African mufletta, served with honey.
Noam Dahary and Michal Uziyahu
Children had fun learning how to play traditional North African style drums.
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