JGrads is a warm community of Jewish graduate students, recent graduates, and friends, who come together to celebrate Shabbat and holidays, enjoy delicious meals, meet Jewish friends, and experience or learn more about our culture and heritage.
Everyone is welcome, regardless of background or affiliation.
We help Jewish young adults build connections in the community, while fostering a sense of Jewish pride and purpose.
We are Shoshana and Shua Hoexter, directors of JGrads Pittsburgh.
We moved to Pittsburgh in 2003, a small family of 3, and began hosting Shabbat dinners (dubbed “Grad Shabbat”) with small groups of graduate students. A group of 8-10 students was a huge crowd back in the day!
Grad Shabbat began in our small apartment in Oakland, grew and moved with us to a bigger apartment in Shadyside, and finally to our home in Squirrel Hill.
We remember being college students ourselves, and how we were warmly welcomed into families’ homes and Chabad Houses.
Through JGrads, we create a welcoming space for young adults to meet, grow, and celebrate with one another.
The Hoexter kids are a crucial part of our family and team!
Perhaps the most important thing we can do for busy graduate students is to nurture and feed you wholesome, home-made meals. Through your intense course of study, JGrads offers much-needed opportunities to take a break and meet people with shared cultural backgrounds but outside your department. “Good food and company” is our trademark.
And yet, some of you will find yourself (during school or even later) with some time and the desire to learn Hebrew, examine Jewish philosophy or values, or learn the laws of mikvah and Jewish marriage.
Rabbi Shua and Shoshana are available for 1-on-1 study or conversations over coffee…after all, so much “learning” happens outside the classroom through life and shared experiences.
We also coordinate the JME Fellowship course, and other classes when we meet a group who wants to learn!
JGrads Directors: Rabbi Shua and Shoshana Hoexter
Chabad House on Campus Directors: Rabbi Shmuel and Sara Weinstein
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mylynda Massart
Advisory Board Lead: Ari Chester
JGrads is an affiliate of Chabad House on Campus and a member of the Chabad on Campus International network.
Contact us at email@example.com or (412) 952-4702
Welcome to Shabbat Secrets: Recipes and more!
Sweet & Delicious Challah Recipe (Shoshana Hoexter)
3 Tbs. dry yeast
5 cups very warm water
1 ½ cups sugar
1 Tbs. salt
1 cup oil
Approx. 15 cups flour (about a 5 lb. bag, plus a little more)
In a large bowl, combine yeast and 5 cups of warm water and stir. No need to let the yeast mixture rise (this dough recipe does all of the rising later), and add sugar, salt, eggs, and oil. Mix well. Finally, add the flour—keep adding flour until the dough is thick and not sticky. Cover with a towel, and let rise for 1 hour.
Knead dough, separate a piece of challah (with a blessing), braid, egg the loaves, and add toppings (optional: cinnamon/sugar, onions, chocolate chips…)
Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees (switch racks half way through.)
Yields 4-5 irresistible, large, six-braided challahs
Consider cutting the recipe in half (or even try a third) if you only want one or two loaves
There were so many requests for the Broccoli kugel recipe the last time it was served that it seemed time to write down and share the recipe. For your enjoyment:
Broccoli Kugel (non-dairy)
In a pie shell:
1-1.5 bags of frozen broccoli
1 medium onion
Salt, pepper, and garlic to taste
Steam broccoli and keep cooking it until it is very soft. In the meantime, chop and saute onion in olive oil (or other oil for frying). When both are ready, mix together adding the spices (to taste) and then add 2 eggs and mix well. Pour into the pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for appox. 45 min.
(You can use a ready-made pie shell, or ask me how to make your own with 3 ingredients and less than 3 minutes.)
In a 9 X 13 pan: Double the recipe except the pie shell (for a gluten-free kugel.) You can also top with corn flake crumbs or make a bottom cornflake crust, if desired.