Shishi Israeli: Shabbat Experience With the Israeli American Council

Devorah Selber, in the maroon apron, and Mazal Fellah, in the striped apron, with volunteers cooking for Shishi Israeli.

Devorah Selber, in the maroon apron, and Mazal Fellah, in the striped apron, with volunteers cooking for Shishi Israeli.

Have you ever enjoyed an Israeli-style Shabbat dinner? They tend to be casual family get-togethers, with delicious home-cooked food. Even many secular Israelis still congregate for Shabbat dinner every Friday evening, sans the blessings. If you are not fortunate enough to have an Israeli relative to invite you, you may now join the Israeli American Council (IAC) community for potluck Shabbat dinners. The main courses are cooked at the venue by a group of volunteers, lead by Devorah Selber and Mazal Fellah.

The IAC has partnered with several Reform synagogues to organize these Shabbat dinners. The evening begins with a Kabbalat Shabbat, followed by a potluck dinner, and ends with Israeli music and dancing. So far, two events have been organized. They both sold out, and were tremendously successful. The most important accomplishment of these dinners is that they draw Israeli families that otherwise do not participate in anything organized by the Jewish community. People who volunteer to help in the synagogue kitchen help strengthen this emerging community. The next dinner will be March 31, 2017.

Devorah Selber and Mazal Fellah were both born in Israel, to families of Moroccan background. They have taken the lead in organizing the kitchen crew for the Shabbat dinners. Devorah and Mazal have generously agreed to share two of their recipes with those who would like to cook them at home.

Fish Moroccan Style

  • Salmon (or any other fish) cubes
  • Whole garlic cloves (1 head of garlic for each pound of fish)
  • Fresh jalapeno peppers, thickly sliced
  • Red bell pepper, sliced in thick rounds
  • Canned chickpeas, drained
  • Dried red pepper
  • Cilantro, minced
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Vegetable oil


  1. Place the garlic, jalapenos, and red pepper slices at the bottom of a deep roasting pan.
  2. Place the salmon on top of the peppers.
  3. Mix some vegetable oil with salt, black pepper, paprika, and dried red pepper.
  4. Pour the oil mixture over the fish.
  5. Sprinkle the chickpeas on the fish.
  6. Add more garlic, jalapenos, and red peppers on top of the fish.
  7. Garnish with the fresh minced cilantro and the dried red pepper.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes.

Moroccan Style Chicken

  • Cut up chicken

For the marinade:

  • Olive oil
  • Paprika
  • Osem chicken soup powder
  • Honey
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Soy sauce

For the topping:

  • Onion, sliced
  • Garlic, sliced
  • Prunes
  • Dried apricots
  • Diced sweet potatoes


  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add the chicken.
  3. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  4. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Pour the chicken and sauce into a deep casserole dish.
  6. Top with onion, garlic, prunes, dried apricots, and sweet potatoes.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.


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