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Virtual Shavuot Programming

May 16, 2021 @ 7:30 pm 10:30 pm PDT

Join us on Sunday May 16 at 7:30pm Pacific as we honor this tradition with study, song, poetry, and shir berenj: delicious rice pudding with orange blossom water.


  • 7:30pm REVELATION: Candle Lighting, original music, revelation with Rabbi Susan, Duvid, Sally and special guests
  • 8-8:30 Torah teaching with Merissa Nathan Gerson, Sex and Grieving in Jewish Traditions. Merissa is author of Forget Prayers, Bring Cake : A Single Woman’s Guide to Grieving
  • 8:30-9:15 Tannaz Sassooni cooking presentation: shir berenj, Iranian rice pudding. See below for prep instructions, you’ll want to cook the rice prior to join in real time!
  • 9:15 – 9:45 Torah teaching with Rabbi Susan Silverman: Partnership in Torah/Partnership in Families. Rabbi Susan Silverman is the author of Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World and the founding director of Second Nurture.
  • 10pm Torah Texts You Love with Ethan Pack and Maya Buffet-Davis and YOU
  • 10:30pm Hanging out, kibbitzing, eating dairy foods!

There is a midrash that says the day the people were to receive the Torah at the foot of Mt. Sinai they overslept! To do a tikkun (repair) for that oversleeping we now stay up all night on Erev Shavuot wrapping ourselves in wisdom teachings of Torah, eating delicious foods of milk and honey, and preparing for RECEIVING.

Shir Berenj – Rice Pudding

with Tannaz Sassooni | 8:30pm PT May 16, 2021

If you’d like to cook along with Tannaz at 8:30 PT, please have your rice prepared in advance.

In Iran, Shavuot is known as “moed-e gol”, the festival of flowers. When the orange trees are in bloom, it smells heavenly, and in Shiraz, “you breathe it everywhere”. Shavuot falls at the time when the trees are moving from flower to fruit, and you make rice pudding with orange blossom water.

Shir Berenj | rice pudding
Makes 4-6 servings.

  • 1 Cup medium or short-grain rice (Calrose or jasmine are good choices)
  • ½ t salt
  • 2 Cup whole milk
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • ¼ Cup orange blossom water
  • To serve: clotted cream, kaymak/sarshir, or crème fraiche
  1. Wash the rice: In a bowl, cover rice with cold water.
  2. Claw through with fingers, until water grows cloudy. Carefully drain out water, and the repeat until water runs mostly clear.
  3. The last time, pour the rice and water into a medium pot (at least 6 cups), and if necessary, add additional water to cover the rice by about an inch.
  4. Add salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until rice is soft and expanded, and water has begun to thicken, about 20 minutes.
  5. Add sugar to pot; stir to combine.
  6. Add milk, about ½ cup at a time, bringing it back up to a simmer, and stirring until it’s mostly incorporated, before each pour. This should take about 20 minutes altogether. When it’s fully incorporated and thickened, remove from heat.
  7. Add orange blossom water, and stir to combine.
  8. Top each serving with a dollop of sarshir, and optionally, honey, date syrup, or sour cherry preserves. 

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