My children attended Akiba Academy, now known as Sinai Akiba, from grades K-8. When Norm and I chose that particular school, the decision was based on reputation, philosophy, and location. We were young parents and had no idea how that choice would impact not only the lives of our children, but our lives as well. My children made life-long friends at Akiba, (my older son is now related to one of those friends) and some of our closest friends were also found in those classrooms. Our family benefited in ways that we didn’t anticipate, by meeting and becoming friends with Jewish families that came from places like Iran, Mexico, Russia and Egypt. Being Akiba parents influenced our decision to send our children to Camp Ramah, (where our older son met his wife) it exposed us to more observant families, influencing the way we practiced Judaism, it opened our eyes to the benefits of Jewish education which ultimately led to the decision to continue with our children’s Jewish education through Shalhevet and Milken Community High School.
When I look back, I realize how significant those relationships were, in spite of how young our children were at the time. That community of children and parents stood by each other through good times and challenging times, through celebrations and unfortunately, through losses. I love that so many of them and so many of us are still in touch. I love that early this morning my daughter called wanting my recipe for Sumi salad, a salad I first tasted in the Silberman home over 20 years ago, shortly after David and Aaron met in Kindergarten. What better way to celebrate the 4th than with a recipe for a salad that was given to me by a friend I met through Akiba, who was born in Egypt, raised in Israel, and living in America. Happy 4th to all and thank you Sinai Akiba.
Irma’s Sumi Salad
1 head shredded cabbage (or 1 bag)
8 green onions, thinly sliced
2 packages of Ramen noodles or a kosher equivalent. Just use the noodles, not the seasonings
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup frozen apple juice, thawed
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 Tb dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Take bags or Ramen and without opening them, break noodles in the bag with your hands or a rolling-pin. Add to salad. Mix dressing ingredients and pour over salad no more than 15 minutes before serving so noodles stay somewhat crispy. Serves 6