The National Jewish Outreach Program, an Upper West Side-based Modern Orthodox Kiruv organization, has spearheaded an number of innovative projects aimed at reacquainting Jews with their Judaism. These include Shabbat Across America, Passover Across America and Read Hebrew America. While these have gotten the organization some attention, they really hit the jackpot with Better Than Your Bubby’s – The Chicken Soup Challenge. The contest, aimed to coincide with NJOP’s 2009 Shabbat Across America initiative, underscores how Jewish food unites Jews of all denominations. Today the New York Times reported the winner – one Michael Cohen of Los Angeles who won a slew of prizes including a free trip to Israel, with his Israel influenced Elat Chicken Soup. You can get his recipe as well as those of the runners up, at the contest site. You can get more information about the upcoming Shabbat Across America from the project’s page on the NJOP Web site. Other than a free trip to Israel, what more can we expect from Mr. Cohen?

The announcement was made by phone to Mr. Cohen, 31, who lives in Hollywood and writes music for film, television and video games. He said he started cooking a lot when he got his own place a few years ago, and had entered a number of recipe contests. The chicken soup was an Israeli-inspired recipe that he had created himself.

“Is he single?” a woman in the audience asked when his bio was read.

“I am,” Mr. Cohen replied on the telephone.

“Tell him one of the prizes is being set up,” the woman said.

Another Jewish tradition, which also evolves while staying the same.

Aw yeah. No one does Jewish like the New York Times does Jewish. What? You wanted a post about Bernie Madoff going to jail? Sorry. Jewish penicillin trumps massive fraud every time!

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ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

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