Judy Sharken Simon, Staff Member


I am the planning director at the Federation, and I'm a member of Mount Zion Temple. I'm also married to Chris and am the mother of two college-age daughters, both Hawkeyes, at the University of Iowa. 
I love being part of strengthening the Jewish community in St. Paul in ways defined by and for the community.
Maya, Talia, Chris and Judy
About the potato latke recipe:

From my go-to Jewish recipe book, New Kosher Cookbook by Beth El Women’s League, whose forward by Rabbi Kassel Abelson reads in part:


“…Though a housewife is not always a homemaker, a homemaker needs to be a skilled housewife. She must master the household arts and carry them through devotedly and consistently…”


I don’t even know where or how I got this cookbook but the food-stained pages give me comfort and link to Jewish homes and holidays that transcend the years.

Recipe: Grated potato lakes


6 potatoes
2 eggs
½ c sifted flour
1 tsp salt
1 onion grated
½ tsp baking powder


Pare and grate potatoes into a deep bowl. Squeeze and pour off some of liquid. Beat eggs and add remaining sifted dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Heat vegetable shortening in frying pan and drop the potato batter from a spoon to form flat rounds or ovals.


Let fry until crisp around the edges and on underside before turning to brown. Be sure to use sufficient shortening to cover the potato pancakes if you want them to be crisp. Remove pancakes as soon as done and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with cream cheese, sour cream, applesauce or dried apricot puree.


After several years of needing to route-out my plugged drain my husband added a special note on the recipe “Whatever you do, don’t put the peels down the disposal!”

Jerry Helfand, Board Member and Joan Cleary


I trade commodities, primarily wheat, at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. I also am a lawyer and have managed apartment buildings. I am trying, without much success, to learn to fly fish. And, I have been suffering through the agonies of being a Cleveland sports fans (insert joke about 0-13 Browns here).  My wife, Joan Cleary, and I have two wonderful adult children, Jenny and Alex.


I'm involved in Federation because...


We have been a supporters of the Federation as a way to give back to the Jewish community. We have been grateful to institutions like the JCC (our kids started in the toddler room and had their first jobs there).  

Recipe: Pineapple Whole Wheat Lokshen Kugel



8 ounces medium whole wheat noodles
Salted water
1 pound cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 cup milk
1 can (20 oz) crushed and drained pineapple
3 beaten eggs
1/4 cup (or a little less) honey
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Boil noodles in salted water and drain.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour into a well-buttered 11x14 inch baking dish.  Bake for an hour or until the top is golden and crusty.  Serves 8-10

Bonnie Resnick, Board Member



I have four kids, David, Danny, Zoe and Talia and a cat named, Noodle, and I am married to Alan Milavetz. I enjoy my work as a psychologist and yoga teacher. I also love working in the Jewish community, serving on the boards of Talmud Torah and the Federation. I attend both Mount Zion Temple and Beth Jacob Congregation, and support the B’nai Abraham Museum and Cultural Center.


I remember when I was 21 years old and someone called to ask me to make a gift to the Federation, and I said I would give $20 dollars. When I told my mother, Nancy Karasov of this amount, she told me to ask myself if I could give more as this is one of the most important values – supporting our Jewish community.


She and my late step-father, Elliott Karasov, z”l, have been wonderful role models for me and my husband, Alan. Elliott served as president of the Talmud Torah and Alan served as president of the Federation, and my mother has continuously supported all of the Jewish agencies in St. Paul, as well as worked for the JCC. I feel very fortunate to live in St. Paul and care deeply about our Jewish community, both local and abroad.

Recipe: Coconut Date Truffles




1 cup raw almonds

20 pitted medjool dates

2 T. cocoa powder

Zest from 1 organic orange

Agave nectar-1/4 cup or so

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup shredded coconut


Use food processor to grind up the almonds first until fine, then add the rest of the ingredients until they form a ball.  Add more agave if needed.  Form 30 balls and roll in toppings or your choice. 


Toppings: cocoa powder or toasted coconut, Toast coconut at 325 degrees for a few minutes-watch so that the coconut does not burn.

Charley Smith, Staff Member


I work for both the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Jewish Federations as the Young Adult Engagement Manager. As a young person, it’s sometimes hard to find the time to cook (or even have the correct utensils for cooking).


As such, I’ve often relied on this easy and convenient recipe for making sufganiyot without commercial bakery equipment.


Charley and his wife Shaked and their pup.



Recipe: Easy Sufganiyot



One roll of store-bought biscuit dough (or, i suppose you could make your own!)

Canola oil, for frying

A small bowl of sugar, white or powdered

About 1/2 c jam (or any other filling) 


Let dough sit at room temperature for 20 minutes so that it's easy to roll out. On a floured surface, roll out dough until it's 1/2-inch thick. Cut out 2 1/2- or 3-inch circles (I like using a ball jar lid). 


Fill a pot with 2 inches of oil and heat it to 360F.  You'll want to keep the temperature between 360 and 375. Fry the dough until each side is a deep brown. Test one to make sure they're not doughy in the middle. 


Transfer donuts to a paper towel, pat off any excess grease, and then coat with sugar. Fill with jam using a squeeze bottle. If the jam is being difficult, warm it for 30 seconds in the microwave. 


SOURCE: http://mynameisyeh.com/mynameisyeh/2013/10/recipe-easiest-sufganiyot-ever

Alex Tselos, Cardozo Society Member and Past Board Member

I am married to Marni and we have two daughters, Gabrielle (15) and Zoe (18), plus a 10-year-old goldendoodle named Rusty. I am a real estate attorney for Target Corp. and in my free time, I love to read about history and politics, and to travel to new destinations.


I'm involved in Federation because...

Federation is important to me because it supports my fellow Jews here and abroad. I love being part of the Cardozo Society since it allows me to engage Jewish tradition and law with my daily professional practice. 

Recipe: (My wife) Marni's No-Fail Latkes 

  1 bag Simply Potatoes (pre-shredded)
  3 eggs
  1/2 to 3/4 cup flour 
  1/2 large onion, diced

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. If too wet, add a bit more flour. Drop by the spoonful onto a hot fry pan filled with oil.


Flip only when brown around the edges. Fry until golden brown. Top with a sprinkle of sea salt. Enjoy with sour cream and/or applesauce. 

Wendy Baldinger, Board Member

I have an interactive show called Wendy’s Wiggle, Jiggle and Jam! I write all the music for my family concerts and love singing, dancing and joking around with all the young children for whom I perform. I also teach music at several preschools including St. Paul JCC and Temple Israel’s ECC. It is the joy of my life to sing for families, and I feel lucky every day that I get to have such a fun job.


I'm involved in Federation because:

I have been involved at St. Paul Jewish Federation almost as long as I have been singing. I have worked on the campaign and served as Board president. I love that the Federation has supported our Jewish agencies in St. Paul and also many programs throughout the world. I am especially excited that we are entering a new chapter of innovation for Federation. We are implementing new programs that will help engage people in our community who may have been overlooked in the past. I hope that we will be able to convene more people with new ideas and raise enough money to fund new projects to help our community continue to thrive.

Recipe: Apple Sauce


4 Fuji apples
4 Granny Smith apples
4 Gala apples
1/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Peel and core apples. Slice into chunks. Put apples, water and cinnamon into a bowl. Cover and cook on high for 10 minutes in a microwave. Let sit for 5 minutes. Use immersion blender or food processor to blend. Leave it a bit chunky. Serve on potato latkes.

Nancy Lane, Board Member

When it comes down to what is really important in life for me, it is family, community, and doing what is right. Steve and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this year.  We have three children who are all married and have wonderful spouses.  We have been blessed with five healthy grandchildren so far!  It is my hope that they will learn from us the importance of family and giving to their Jewish community while being honest good people.  In simple terms, be a “mensch” and “do good!"

Nancy and Steve Lane with grandchildren Shey, Owen, Maddy, Julia and Hannah.​

I'm involved in Federation because: 

There are many reasons why we give to the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul. Donating makes a real impact on causes one believes in. Donating helps others in need while at the same time motivates friends and family to do the same. The Jewish community both here and abroad is no stranger to need.  It literally takes a village to tackle issues such as poverty, childhood and adult education, anti-Semitism, hunger, and the list goes on...


These issues tug at our heartstrings. We truly care and find it imperative to lead by example and give.  Steve and I have always felt that whether you give financially or by physically donating time to volunteer does not matter. Give because you care. Give because every little bit helps and everyone counts.  Giving brings more meaning to life as it has ours. Giving brings more meaning to the life of others as well and inspires generosity in generations to come. As we all know, we learn by example and actions speak louder than words.  




Recipe: Brisket


5-7 lb. beef brisket (figure about 1/2 lb. of brisket per person)
Garlic Salt
Onion Salt
Celery Salt
1/2 Bottle Liquid Smoke (or less)


Sauce Recipe:
2 T. Brown Sugar
2 T. Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Worcestershire
5 - Drops of Tobasco
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp. Salt. 
Baked Brisket’s own juices


Season beef brisket with garlic, onion and celery salts plus 1/2 bottle (or less) of liquid smoke.  Place in a roasting pan and cover.  Marinate overnight in refrigerator.


The next day, place marinated brisket (in the covered roasting pan) into a pre-heated 275 degree oven and bake for 3 hours.  **Make sure the roasting pan is covered.  
Remove from oven, cool and slice on the diagonal into very thin slices.


SAUCE:  Pour baked brisket’s juices into a sauce pan. Add the brown sugar, Worcestershire, tobasco, cayenne pepper and salt; mix together and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down and simmer sauce for 15 minutes.


With sliced brisket in the roasting pan, pour the sauce over the brisket and bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.


Leftover thin slices of brisket make great sandwiches either hot or cold - especially with some horseradish sauce!!