Monday, August 03, 2020

Children cooking at WDS.

“Instant Shabbat—Easy Recipes for Busy People,” the exciting new cookbook project launched on August 16 by Westchester Day School and Westchester Summer Day will soon be entering Phase 2—recipe tasting and testing. After January 1, small groups of people joining together from different communities will be tasting and testing those recipes submitted to the cookbook committee. More than just enjoying good food and drink, tasters and testers will make new friends in welcoming, cozy environments.

Lauren Kaplan, curriculum coordinator at WDS, explained that the cookbook project would be creating community building on all levels, including integrating the project into the classroom. Kids on different grade levels would have fun as they tasted and tested recipes. Learning about measurements and other math-related topics found in recipes would be part of the curriculum. Students would also be learning transcription and editing skills.

Community Builders, a 15-person committee, was established and members were assigned to contact people in areas where WDS and WSD have a constituency—New Rochelle, White Plains, Scarsdale, Riverdale, Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye, Stamford and New York City. Committee members were assigned to reach out to teachers and staff members, as well.

Because the project’s mission is to strengthen the community and for people to get to know one another, Phase 1—recipe collection—was designed to encourage people to meet people in their own neighborhoods who they may not have known previously. The Community Builders formed a contact pyramid and worked from there, neighbors reaching out to neighbors. 

Lauren Levy, one of the cookbook organizers, explained, “We figured the easiest way to cold call a complete stranger and get to know them better would be with a simple ask: ‘Do you have an easy Shabbat recipe you can share with me?’”

The committee’s goal was to collect 250 recipes with 80-100% participation. With December 1 as the deadline for submissions from current WDS parents, the committee is thrilled to report that nearly 400 recipes have been collected, with 75% participation.

Extending the deadline for submissions to December 31 for WDS alumni and WSD families will provide a bit of extra time to collect additional recipes. For this constituency, it was less neighbor meeting neighbor and more of a direct request to participate via email.

Please search through your recipes and submit your favorites. Especially needed are more spring/summer recipes (barbecue mains and sides) and recipes for Pesach, dairy recipes and one-pot meals (slow cooker ribs etc.).

Volunteers are needed for Phase 2—testing and tasting—and help will also be welcomed in the areas of graphic design, content writers, editors, food photographers, social media management, PR, fundraising and more.

To volunteer for the cookbook project or to submit your recipes, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For further information, please visit:

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