So why would anyone eat chopped liver? Well, it is an acquired taste, but we love it at our house.

Here is a food story of rejection, redemption and a Borscht Belt sense of humor. You don’t have to like chopped liver, but at least read about how it became a famous expression of dismissiveness.–

Click on “BLOGFINGER” below:

Paul @Blogfinger.


Tonight begins Passover 5774 (Jewish calendar)  Eileen's seder table. Ocean Grove, 2014.  Note the Pope's yarmulka which I will wear tonight. Tonight begins Passover 5774 (Jewish calendar) Eileen’s seder table. Ocean Grove, 2014. Note the Pope’s yarmulka which I will wear tonight.   Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Tsai is a woman who works at Wegman’s. Despite her Chinese heritage, she was assigned to the kosher department.   She knew nothing about Jewish food but she quickly learned about lox, matzoh balls, knishes, latkes, chopped liver and many other items.

She was fascinated with Passover rituals where special foods have traditional meanings.   Tsai found out about seders (Passover meals where the history of the Jewish people is recounted) and about kosher food regulations. She learned why they have separate dishes and a special kosher kitchen at Wegmans.

Although most of the foods were initially strange to her, one thing that she knew about was liver. “The only customers at Wegmans who like liver are the Jews and the…

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Eileen’s seder table. Passover 2012 (5772). Ocean Grove, New Jersey

J.A. Joel, Jewish soldier in the Union Army. 1862. Author of the Civil War seder article described below. (photo: Jewish Virtual Library)

During Reverend Stokes’ time, a Passover seder in the Grove would have been highly unlikely.  But these days, given the changing demographics in what used to be a one-size-fits-all religious environment, seders in the Grove do occur. The seder is a festive celebration devoted to family, traditional foods and retelling  the story of Exodus. A guide book called  the Hagaddah is used during the seder.

Although Passover is a happy holiday, the recitation of this phase of Jewish history is a solemn obligation and a touchstone for Jewish identity. Most American Jews celebrate a seder at Passover. But seders are held all over the world, and, although the framework is the same for each seder, there are many variations of  the rituals, depending on regional and cultural differences. It is surprising where seders have occurred in the past. We know, for example, that secret Passover celebrations were held “underground” during the Inquisition, in Spain and Portugal.

Image courtesy of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA. Two marines and a soldier attend a seder in 1944. In front of them are Australian matzohs. They are probably in the Pacific.

In America, there are reports of seders being held by soldiers during the  Revolutionary and Civil Wars.  There were matzoh factories in unlikely places such as Montana and the Dakotas.

In 1862, an account by  soldier,  J. A. Joel of the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Regiment,  of a seder celebrated by Union soldiers in Fayette, West Virginia, was published in The Jewish Messenger.  Joel and 20 other Jewish soldiers were granted leave to observe Passover.  They received matzoh shipped from Cincinnati.

Said Joel, “We sent parties to forage for Passover food while a group stayed to build a log hut for the services. We obtained two kegs of cider (Ed. note: wine was unavailable), a lamb, several chickens and some eggs. We could not obtain horseradish or parsley, but instead we found a weed whose bitterness, I apprehend, exceeded anything our forefathers ‘enjoyed.’ “   (Ed. note: The seder table includes “bitter herbs” to recall the terrible  times as slaves.)

Joel went on to report  how they used “Yankee ingenuity” to make substitutions for other traditional components of the seder. Those Jews who fought with the North felt like they had the moral high ground  (compared to Jews serving in the Confederate Army) because of the similarity between the freeing of Jewish slaves in Exodus and their participation in freeing the American black slaves. Happy Easter and Passover to those Grovers who celebrate these holidays.

Here is a link about a seder in Ocean Grove in 2011 with references to Haggadahs.

Ocean Grove seder 2011.


—Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

ETTA JAMES: “Down by the Riverside.”


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a.  The Township is considering taking down all the Bradford Pear trees on Main Avenue.  Why? Our little bird source didn’t say.


b.  The owner of the Pavilion Building believes that he can rebuild if he gets enough insurance money.    But he may find some challenges in trying to rebuild on a lot where there has been no approval from the State DEP to rebuild on that riparian lot.

c.  Blogfinger secret dossier is revealed:

Blogfinger secret dossier

d.  Send us your favorite rumors. It’s a custom in small-town America.


FARAH ALVIN:  From the Marvelous Wonderettes

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This is a re-post about saving historic buildings. We begin with two hotels in Asbury, then we get into music and photography and finally wind up with a 2018 perspective on Ocean Grove.  Paul @Blogfinger

Click on the word Blogfinger below this sentence.


George Tice © Belmont Hotel, Asbury Park. 1974. This is a selenium-toned silver gelatin print.

By Paul Goldfinger ©. The Belmont burned down about 7 years ago. By Paul Goldfinger ©. rear view.  Photo taken before the Belmont was destroyed by fire.

Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor @Blogfinger.   Re-posted from 2016.  The editor’s note below still rings true in 2018 and has been updated.

There were two historic (over 100 years old) hotels in A.Park which were adjacent to each other on Asbury Avenue—-The Belmont and the Atlantic.   The Belmont had 50 rooms, but it was vacant in 2006.   The entire block was scheduled for demolition, but it burned down during a 5 alarm fire, along with the Atlantic, in December of that year.  The balloon construction made for a deluge with quick destruction up and down the buildings.

An AP historian said, in an APP article, that the buildings were considered historically significant to Asbury Park and Monmouth County.
“This site…

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Paul Goldfinger ©. Bunche Beach.  Ft. Myers, Fla.    Spring, 2018.   Click to enlarge.  Blogfinger.net


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

At the Passover seder,   “Solomon’s Song of Songs” (from the Bible)  is read.   Much of it is about romantic love, but it also has something to say about Spring.

This is from Meyer Levin’s Israel Haggadah for Passover.  A Haggadah is a guide book which is read at seders.  There are many versions of Haggadahs, and one could search Blogfinger’s archives by typing in “Passover” into the search box at the upper right. One was written by an Ocean Grover.

As those attending a seder know, everyone gets a chance to read. The father says, “Like all people, our people in ancient, pastoral times celebrated the liberation of the earth itself from wintry darkness, and rejoiced in the yearly rebirth of nature.  This is beautifully described in Solomon’s Song of Songs read by the mother:”

For, lo, the winter is past,

The rain is over and gone;

The flowers appear on the earth;

The time of singing is come,

And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

The fig tree putteth forth her green figs,

And the vines in blossom give forth their fragrance.


Paul Goldfinger © Neptune Township April 16, 2019. Spring is emerging. ©



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Crews worked through the night to get to this point. Blogfinger photo © 4/15/19.  10:00 am.   Ocean Grove North End boardwalk.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

The fire site is quiet this morning.  All fire fighting equipment is gone, and two Camp Meeting Associates observers are looking around before leaving in their truck.  There is no police presence now.

We did speak to those CMA workers, and they told Blogfinger that the CMA was conferring with the building’s owner, Bob Dweck, to come up with a short term plan.  The owner is officially known as “Maplewood Ocean Grove Associates, Inc.”  Neptune Township is not part of the management team currently planning the next steps.

It reminds me of the post Sandy situation when the Township would not send any help east of Ocean Avenue because it is private property.

It brings back the uncomfortable private vs. public issues that were raised in conjunction with FEMA funding. Undoubtedly the building is insured. The CMA “owns” the land, and that lot is part of the North End Revelopment Plan.

The short term prognosis is that no one is being allowed at the site for now.  All the rubble will be removed, and then a path will be created to enable pedestrians to go back and forth through the Casino.   Despite early reports of “collapse” of the boardwalk at the site, we are told this morning that the boardwalk is fine.

But if, for some reason, the boardwalk cannot be used back and forth, then a path will be created through the open lot just west of the boardwalk, ie the “North End Area in Need of Redevelopment.”

It is remarkable how quickly the site was transformed into what you see in the image above. Those who were responsible for that cleanup should be commended for turning that depressing  burned wreck into a safe place for hope.

In a way it seems like the dawning of a new day, because that stretch of beach will be open–a visual delight for all to enjoy, as the sun rises and sets over OG ‘s North End—pending subsequent plans, of course.


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN:  “Land of Hope and Dreams.”  (live)

“Leave behind your sorrows
Let this day be the last
Tomorrow there’ll be sunshine
And all this darkness past
Big wheels roll through fields
Where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams”


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A  crowd assembled on the beach and boardwalk to see the efforts to control this fire. 4/13/19 Paul Goldfinger ©


White Whale fire. Blogfinger photo


Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

The large white building was unoccupied when the fire was reported at about 11:30 am. A huge assemblage of fire and emergency trucks showed up very quickly, but most of the firemen were standing on the boardwalk  We saw a small crew at the rear where it appears that the fire began in the space under the restaurants.  They were using hoses to run water in

The crowd was told to stand back at noon because of fear of a gas explosion. We have no information as to the cause or extent, but it seems as if there was trouble quelling the blaze. Trucks were still arriving with sirens blasting as late as 2:30  pm.


Rotten supports under the Great White Whale. March 7, 2016. Jean Bredin photo Blogfinger staff ©

This photo above is from March 2016 when rotten supports were revealed under that building during boardwalk work, and there was concern about the structural integrity of the building.

During Sandy in 2012, the rear of this structure collapsed raising questions if this building could be used again and if repairs were done according to post Sandy specifications.

This is what happened to the rear of the White Whale after Sandy 2012. Blogfinger photo ©

2:00 pm:   Reports of spreading blaze that threatens the entire building.  Flames break through the roof.   A rumor says that suspicious people had been living underneath.

APP photo at 2:00 pm–then the roof collapsed. (APP)

Go to APP.com for updates.


3:30 pm  APP   “Firefighters are battling a four-alarm blaze at an Ocean Grove boardwalk eatery that has already caused a partial collapse of the boardwalk, emergency officials said.”

Heavy smoke is spreading to other towns.

We have no information as to who owns this building.  It has been successful in recent summers as a food court.  It is located just inside the line that separates OG from Asbury Park.


8:30 pm  Building is a total loss; will have to be torn down.


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Chantal Regnault. Lakou Souvenance. EAster Monday 2000.

Chantal Regnault. Lakou Souvenance. Easter Monday 2000. From Photograph Magazine. 2015.  Re-post.

The exhibit is called “From Within and Without: The History of Haitian Photography.”  It will be shown from June 21 to October 4, 2015, at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale  (Nova Southeastern University.)

Chantal Regnault is French. She became known in the ’80’s and 90’s documenting the dance scene in NYC.  This is a gorgeous portrait of a Haitian woman who may have been engaged in a voo doo ritual.

JULIO IGLESIAS.  “Por Ella”  (Because of Her)

–Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

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Mom’s chicken soup never goes out of style. ——Paul @Blogfinger.


Myrna's Jewish Chicken Soup. This batch was just made. By Eileen Goldfinger. Editor @Blogfinger © Myrna’s Jewish Chicken Soup. This batch was just made. By Eileen Goldfinger. Editor @Blogfinger ©  Re-posted from February, 2016.

Eileen (left) and Myrna Goldfinger. Chester, NJ. c.1995. Eileen (left) and Myrna Goldfinger. Chester, NJ. c.1995.

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger and Paul Goldfinger, Regular Editor@Blogfinger

Most Jewish families have a favorite recipe for what has been called “heaven in a bowl” (Jaimie Oliver). It is a “classic comfort food” and has been part of Jewish tradition since medieval times.

Jewish Chicken Soup  is often prepared to make the sick feel more comfortable. The Huffington Post says that is “has healing powers,” and the University of Nebraska documented some health benefits (anti-inflammatory effects) for colds; probably due to breathing in those delightful fumes.

Eileen follows the tradition of my Mom’s family who came over from Eastern Europe (Poland) shortly after the turn of the 20th century. They settled in Bayonne, New Jersey where they lived in a small…

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Blind spot detection.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Click on link below regarding blind spot detectors.


The blind spot detector is a valuable safety feature that promotes peace of mind for the driver. But it sometimes fails to detect cars in the blind spot, so always verify by using your mirrors. It not only detects cars in the blind spot, but it also tells you if you can safely change lanes, but again, always verify.

There is another potential danger with the BSM. I find that I depend on the monitor when I drive our 2013 car. It gives you cautious optimism, but what if you have a second car without the BSM. The risk is that your mindset thinks that your second car also has a BSM. So you go to change lanes, check your rear view mirror and see no BSM light; and then you go ahead only to collide with a passing vehicle.

So, when dealing with auto safety technology, keep you mind on the situation. Be aware as to which of your cars you are driving.

The second warning has to do with something that we posted last year. It has to do with keyless ignitions:

“Many new cars have keyless ignition fobs.  Unless the car is engineered with a warning mechanism, it is possible to walk away, carrying  your fob, while the engine continues to run. If you pull into a garage, there can be deaths or injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Some cars do give a warning, but that warning may be easily ignored. For example my car gives three quick beeps to say that the ignition (and the engine) is still on. It’s easy to walk away from that. So you might go shopping or see a movie and then return to find that your car’s engine is still running.

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