Here is a recipe from Emet Outreach for a memorable couples night out. Invite enthusiastic couples for an interactive evening with friends. Measure out equal parts good conversation and enticing new skills. Sprinkle in an abundance of laughter, enchanting music, and good-natured teamwork. Savor the feeling of connection and accomplishment. This tried-and-true recipe was enjoyed when Emet’s Couples Division hosted a cooking class at Apron Masters in Woodmere. Fifteen couples, and some eager Emet staff, learned to prepare a three-course meal. “We wanted to take a moment to focus on our connection with our spouses and friends at a time when our hearts are with Israel,” said Shay Yonaiev, Couples Director. “Cooking together was perfect since everyone actively participated, relaxed, and had fun.”

In their state-of-the-art kitchen, the staff at Apron Masters made it easy for the group to follow along and feel like chefs. Guests prepared a menu that included creatively decorated focaccia bread for an appetizer, hand-cut bowtie pasta for the main, and chocolate and almond biscotti for dessert. After the hands-on instruction, couples headed to the dining area to enjoy their delicacies as well as each other’s company. In addition to Shay and his wife Sonya, the couples were joined by Rabbi Akiva Rutenberg, Emet Co-Founder and Director, and his wife Shonnie.

Over dinner, Rabbi Rutenberg shared timely thoughts. “I explained that a night like this is important because now, more than ever, we need to come together and show unity. The type of achdut we’ve seen recently from the Jewish people shows that we are ‘K’ish echad b’lev echad,’ like one person with one heart.” Rabbi Rutenberg then went on to discuss the word “shalom” or peace, and its relationship to the word “shalem,” or complete. “I shared that the concept of shalom bayit and the sense of peace and completion we strive for with our spouses is similar to the calmness of Shabbat shalom we celebrate weekly. In order to feel a true sense of connection with Hashem and our spouses, we have to first have shalom and calmness within ourselves. My prayer for Klal Yisrael is to feel that connection within ourselves, each other, and our families.”

At the close of the evening, Couples offered rave reviews. “The cooking event was an amazing experience,” Batya and Avraham Badalov said. “We can always count on Emet to bring us back to our Jewish roots and bring us closer together as Jews.” Julie and Eddie Tolmasov added, “We had a great time cooking together. It was a fun and memorable night.”  The best perk of the cooking class was that no one had to clean up!