Great Purim Baskets For A Great Cause

Creating and designing Purim baskets (Shaloch Manos) is an old Jewish tradition that requires a lot of time and effort for everyone involved. We love making and sending these baskets of goodies to our friends and family because, what greater holiday spirit is there than to spend time preparing to make someone else’s holiday something special (and tasty). Not to mention that sending Shaloch Manos is an essential part of what Purim is all about.

In the times of the Megillah, Haman claimed that the Jewish people were fragmented and split into various sects and sub-communities. He claimed that not only were we an easy target for mass genocide, but we could also not be counted upon to support the Babylonian king when called upon because of our separation from the gentiles and our internal strife. We give Shaloch Manos as a way to counteract these false claims and help bolster a unified Jewish nation. So in the spirit of the holiday of Purim, let’s take a moment to consider showing support for a great cause, getting a really sweeeet Purim basket and giving it to someone who will really appreciate it, all at once.

Kahal Levy is a great place to purchase a prepackaged Purim basket. Not only is the Kahal Levy Purim basket a great value ($50.00), it comes with a variety of assorted goodies (hamantashen, tea biscuits, sparkling grape juice, fresh Cali dats, chips, kosher for passover Hashahar chocolate spread etc…). By buying a Purim basket from Kahal Levy, you’ll be supporting a great cause as well.

Kahal Levy is a small (and growing) shul located on the corner of Fallbrook and Saticoy in Canoga Park (bordering Woodland Hills). It is the home of a shul which began in August of 2004, and has moved twice, before settling at its current location this past year. When Kahal Levy first began, services were offered on Shabbat only and getting 10 people for those services seemed like an impossible feat. Today, Kahal Levy has a daily Shacharit minyan in addition to Shabbat minyanim and a weekly kiddush on Shabbat.

About Kahal Levy:
Kahal Levy is a nonprofit organization that serves the Woodland Hills community. Kahal Levy offeres daily prayer services to local Jewish residents. Services there are conducted in the sefardic tradition. Kahal Levy was started in August 2004 in the home of Mr. and Mrs. David and Michelle Mazalian. Since then the shul has moved twice and is now located at 7527 Fallbrook Ave. Woodland Hills, CA 91307. Kahal Levy will be offering services on Pesach and will be hosting Rabbi Shwartzberg throughout the holiday as the scholar in residence. Shavuot services will also be offered followed by an all night study session at the shul (first night only). Kahal Levy is now accepting donations for a new Sefer Torah, which will be formally inaugurated within the next few months.

If you would like to memorialize a loved one, wish to donate to Kahal Levy or wish to know more about how and where to order your Purim baskets, please contact David Mazalian, the Gabbai/Coordinator for Kahal Levy, at

My Kosher LA is a proud supporter of Congregation Kahal Levy.

By: Aryeh Powers
February 11, 2010

Got Schnitzel on a Pretzel?

Pico Robertson is known by many as a Kosher haven. Plenty of kosher places to chose from. It sometimes takes 30 min just to decide where to eat. After much thought and consideration, I decided to try something new, something that would hit the spot… I decided on Got Kosher? on Pico off of Livonia.

You might have seen Got Kosher? sandwiches, salads and meals at local schools, airports, snack shops and other institutions. Those sandwiches are nothing compared to what they offer in there store though.

Continue reading “Got Schnitzel on a Pretzel?”

Parker Weinthal and His Delicious Tea Biscuits

It was in Laguna Beach two Sunday’s ago where I was attending an event at the Laguna Beach Moishe House, that I first met Parker Weinthal and got a chance to taste his delicious cherry vanilla tea biscuits. I was really happy to see the nice little box of cherry delights, because they were the only kosher certified food I knew to be around Laguna Beach, aside from the Cliff Bars I had brought with me, which were heating up in my car.

Well, let me explain, the tea biscuits weren’t actually baked by him, rather they were manufactured by Smart Planet Kitchen®, a company started and run to-date by Parker’s family, in southern California. What surprised me about this delicious snack was the fact that it was both kosher and made entirely from all natural ingredients. Unfortunately kosher products (especially kosher snacks) are not known for their organic ingredients or health benefits, and the trend for kosher food doesn’t appear to be shifting in that direction either. I personally recommend trying a Jilli’s cherry vanilla tea biscuit the next time you have a chance to relax with a cup of your favorite joe or tea.

It is my hope that other companies will follow Jilli’s example and create all natural alternatives to the existing list of kosher snacks. Particularly, I would be interested in seeing some more kosher snacks without the high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils – that have become common place in both kosher and non-kosher snacks.

I hope you have the opportunity to try some of the Jilli’s snack line and share with the My Kosher LA community your thoughts and critiques! If you know of someone or some company with a kosher story that you would like to share, please email it to , or use the contact form to share your thoughts with us.

About Smart Planet Kitchen® and Jilli’s Tea Biscuits®

All Jilli’s Tea Biscuits® are certified kosher by the Kof-K® certifying agency based out of Teaneck, NJ. Jilli’s Biscuits come in three flavors; Cherry Vanilla, Orange Basil and Savory Chedder. Jilli’s® products can be found at your local Whole Foods store. Jilli’s® products are manufactured in their plant, located in Los Angeles.

For further information on Jilli’s Tea Biscuits® or Smart Planet Kitchen®, Please contact Parker Weinthal at . Smart Planet Kitchen® will soon have a Web site with more information on their products and services. Please check back at My Kosher LA for further updates and news on Jilli’s Tea Biscuits®.

  • My Kosher LA is a proud supporter of Jilli’s Tea Biscuits®.

  • By: Aryeh Powers
    February 3, 2010