Holiday Prep From Soul To Table


Special Guests


Rachell Bitton, Chef

Rachell Bitton is the Owner & Chef of @koshersustenance in Silver Spring, Maryland. Trained at the feet of her Moroccan-born Israeli grandmother, Rachell has run a boutique catering business in the D.C. area for a dozen years, specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine. She is renowned for her use of fresh vegetables, exotic spices, and creative presentations. Rachell will be demoing her pumpkin tajine recipe and opening the floor for questions! You can find her on Facebook or Instagram at “KosherSustenance” — check out her holiday menu here!

Rachell will be doing a giveaway for one-on-one hour long cooking class at the beginning of her segment. Thank you, Rachell!


Leah Koenig, Food Writer, Author

Leah Koenig is a freelance writer and cookbook author who's writing and recipes have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine's GrubStreet, Food52, Epicurious, Tablet Magazine, and other publications. She is the author of SIX cookbooks, most recently The Jewish Cookbook - a 400 recipe collection of global Jewish dishes, published by Phaidon Press. She leads cooking demonstrations and classes around the globe.

Basically -- she is a treasure-trove of everything necessary to make a holiday delicious!

Come with your culinary questions -- we are in for a treat!

Leah will be gifting two of her fabulous cookbooks to some lucky RHRadio participants! Thank you, Leah!

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Nira Berry, Happiness Coach

Laughter Queen, Nira Berry is a professional motivational speaker; igniting your spark through unique inspiring presentations; laughingRx Laughter team-building events; laughter therapy and life coaching. Nira is the founder of LaughingRx laughter wellness programs & is known worldwide as the Happiness coach.

Nira discovered the power and healing benefits of laughter during her recovery from cancer. Since then, her passion is to spread the message of living with joy and laughter to thousands worldwide and has been a sought after speaker on topics such as "laughing off Stress" and "Winning in Life". Combining her expertise in Health & Wellness Coaching and her expertise in Laughter yoga, Nira founded the laughter wellness movement using her skills as a laughter therapist and life coaching.

'Crowned' the Susan G. Komen DC 2019 Survivor of the Year; Nira also represents Sharsheret breast cancer organization in the DC region. Nira is featured frequently in national and international media; is the host of the 'Happy and Healthy' TV show, MMCTV; and is the author of 'Laugh Off Stress: Laughter Yoga Exercises' DVD, and her upcoming book on Laughter Therapy, expected release date: 2020. Stay connected with her at



A former stand up comedian, Sara Polon is now dedicating her life to saving the world - one bowl of soup at a time. Her hand-crafted, all natural, wholesome, plant-based soups are available in stores and markets up and down the east coast, and available nationwide via the Souper Meals shipping program.

Sara will be sharing with us the secrets to cooking a great pot of soup! (Will she share her secrets to fluffier matzo balls?)

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Stephanie Goldfarb, Director of Community Outreach, Honeymoon Israel

Stephanie Goldfarb is a veteran Jewish community professional specializing in experiential Jewish education. Goldfarb holds Masters Degrees in both Gender Studies and Clinical Social Work from Loyola University, as well as a certificate in Experiential Jewish Education from Yeshiva University. She is dedicated to providing high-quality, unique, and immersive learning experiences for people of all ages in Chicago. Stephanie is also an accomplished chef and in her spare time she can be seen competing on (and winning) national cooking shows. She also operates frequent pop-up dinners (a nod to her passion for the intersections of Judaism and food) from which she donates all of the proceeds to Chicago-based non-profits. You can chek her out winning “America’s Best Cook” on the Food Network here:

Stephanie will be focusing on Recognizing The Strength of Difference Around Your High Holiday Table- This open forum is a safe, nonjudgemental space to join if you are looking for support around welcoming interfaith couples, non-Jewish folks, LGBTQ folks, people of color, or anyone who feels "different" than your typical high holiday guest into your home or Jewish community this high holiday season. Participants will learn a bit about Honeymoon Israel's philosophy on radical welcoming, and have the opportunity to ask questions in real time.

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DArShanit Dr. Miriam Udel

Miriam Udel is associate professor of German Studies and Jewish Studies at Emory University, where her teaching focuses on Yiddish language, literature, and culture. She holds an AB in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University, as well as a PhD in Comparative Literature from the same institution. She has also studied at Midreshet Lindenbaum and MaTaN in Jerusalem and was ordained in 2019 as part of the first cohort of the Kollel Executive Ordination Track at Yeshivat Maharat. Professor Udel’s academic research interests include 20th-century Yiddish literature and culture, Jewish children’s literature, and American-Jewish literature. In the Jewish community, she enjoys teaching about narrative midrash and medieval biblical interpretation as well as Yiddish culture. With grace and imagination, she stages meaningful textual encounters between classical and modern Jewish literary sources. She is the author of Never Better!: The Modern Jewish Picaresque (University of Michigan Press, 2016), winner of the National Jewish Book Award in Modern Jewish Thought and Experience. Her annotated, translated anthology of Yiddish children’s literature, Honey on the Page, is slated to appear with New York University Press in 2020.

Miriam will be sharing a beautiful and timely story from her upcoming book, Honey on the Page. We can’t wait!


Rabba Rachel Kohl Finegold

Rabba Rachel Kohl Finegold is the Director of Education and Spiritual Enrichment at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in Montreal. She was ordained in the inaugural class of Yeshivat Maharat. You can check out her recent article featured in EJewish Philanthropy here:

Rabba Rachel’s segement will be focusing on "I Am But Dust and Ashes" - Thoughts on Humility

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RAchel Engelhart, Rd, LPC, Renutrition

Rachel Engelhart is a registered dietitian and licensed professional counselor. She is passionate about helping people of all ages cultivate a healthy relationship with food and specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. She offers in-home nutrition counseling services and has offices in Bethesda, MD and Washington DC. She also offers tele-health coaching sessions nationally. You can find her at

Rachel will be discussing strategies for feeling at peace with food and body during these food-focused holidays


Amalia Stodolsky Haas

As a scholar-in-residence, consultant and experiential educator, Amalia Haas inspires audiences to sustain people, pollinators and planet. Her work has been featured in many publications including ejewish philanthropy, the Cleveland and New York Jewish News and the 2010 book Kosher Nation. Amalia is CEO of and resides in Beachwood with her family. With her husband, she lives in Cleveland, Ohio where she raises six children and 1.2 million bees. When not coaching or teaching you can find her among her hives.

Amalia will be discussing The Meaning of Honey on Rosh HaShanah.


Paula Shoyer, The Kosher Baker

Paula Shoyer, “the kosher baker,” is the author of The Healthy Jewish Kitchen, The Holiday Kosher Baker, The Kosher Baker and The New Passover Menu. Paula has a degree in French pastry from the Ritz Escoffier in Paris and does cooking classes all around the world. She is a freelance writer for several publications, cookbook editor and consultant for kosher food companies. Paula competed on Food Network's Sweet Genius and has appeared on TV over 40 times, including in Israel. Paula was honored by Jewish Women International as a “Woman to Watch.” You can find more of Paula’s books and recipes at

Paula will be focusing on how to lighten up traditional Rosh Hashanah recipes.

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Dvora Entin, LCSW

Dvora Entin, LCSW developed and directs JFCS Ma’oz in Philadelphia, a unique initiative to engage the Orthodox community on mental health issues. With specialized training in maternal mental health and perinatal death, Dvora moderates the Pregnancy Loss phone support calls for K’nafayim, and for Yesh Tikvah on infertility. In 2017, her BLOOM program to engage the frum community on Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders won the Perinatal Mental Health Society Innovation award. Dvora provides private sessions for supportive counseling and consultation, and presents nationally about perinatal loss and compassionate bereavement. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband Isaac, and their children.


Shira Kaufman Danzig PhD

Dr. Shira Danzig is a licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in New York City. She treats adolescents and adults of all ages with a focus on pregnancy and postpartum mental health issues and the treatment of young adults.

Think you're the only one whose blood pressure rises when the family gets together? Nope. Think again. Family drama is at its best -- particularly if family-members have New Year-related stress triggers. Dr. Kaufman is going to share some of her favorite strategies to get through family get-togethers in one piece. How to preserve your sanity and maybe even bring the volume down a notch. Have specific questions for Dr. Danzig? Add them in the question fields below!

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Susan Barocas, Chef & Food Writer

Susan Barocas is a writer, chef, teacher and speaker with a passion for healthy eating, Jewish food and Sephardic cuisines and history. Founding director of the innovative Jewish Food Experience, she served as the guest chef for President Obama’s White House Seders from 2014-2016. Her writing appears in the Washington Post, Huff Post, Moment and The Nosher among other outlets, and in 2019 she was recognized with a Rockower Award from the American Jewish Press Association for her story in Lilith magazine, “When Food Betrayed the Jews.” She has made many broadcast appearances and organized food conferences for American University and Hazon, among others. Susan is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and is at work on her first cookbook. You can follow her deliciousness on Facebook and Instagram.

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Rabbi Dr. Erin Leib Smokler

Rabbi Dr. Erin Leib Smokler is the Director of Spiritual Development at Yeshivat Maharat, where she teaches Chassidut and Pastoral Torah, and Adjunct Faculty at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. She earned her PhD and MA from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought and her BA from Harvard University. She is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute. Dr. Leib Smokler previously served as Assistant Literary Editor of The New Republic magazine, and her writing has appeared there, as well as in The New York Times Book Review, The Jerusalem Report, and The Jewish Week.


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