A long time ago, when I was young and a Girl Scout, we used to sing a song that reminded us of the value of new friends as well as old, saying “One is silver and the other gold.” These days, that’s how I feel not just about friends, but about Jewish food and traditions as well.

From Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur (well, at least the break-fast part) to the eight days of Sukkot, foods infused with tradition and meaning call Jews around the world to gather together, whether at long linen-covered tables, on couches and floors in small apartments or under the stars in temporary outdoor structures.

As we come together, some things never change, especially in our memories: your mother’s brisket, my father’s yaprakas (what most people call “dolmas”), a grandmother’s chicken soup and a neighbor’s honey cake. These memories and traditions are part of who we are. We hold on to these tastes throughout the years, bringing many of them into our kitchens and celebrations today.

And yet, our lives have changed, sometimes in ways we never could have predicted sitting around holiday tables long ago. Some of us have young children while others are empty-nesters. Some have become more observant while others intermarried. There are food allergies that seem more prevalent than ever, as well as an emphasis on organic, local and sustainable. And so many of us have embraced being foodies these days that tv and radio programs about food proliferate along with cookbooks focusing on every cuisine imaginable.

So when we asked some leading local foodies to give us recipes for favorite dishes for the fall Jewish holidays, we weren’t completely surprised by the mix of cultural traditions with modern twists and personal touches. Barry Koslow re-imagines the symbolic new year’s fish, while Pati Jinich recalls her Mexican heritage with a gefilte fish in tomato sauce and Vered Guttman creates a ceviche with Middle Eastern and seasonal touches. Sara Polon offers another refreshing way to start the meal with chilled watermelon gazpacho.

Joan Nathan turns to a chicken dish from French Jews, while Leah Hadad looks to her Sephardic roots and Aviva Goldfarb makes a friend’s holiday dish her own. For sweet touches, Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray add some new twists to her family’s favorite kugel, Paula Shoyer creates a dessert that reminds her of her grandmother and I recall a simple and beloved cake from my childhood.

Our offerings to you for this new year are full of abundance and flavor infused with the love of each cook and presented with wishes for the best of the new and old in the coming year. L’shanah tovah!

Pomegranate Ceviche Pomegranate Ceviche
Vered Guttman
Food columnist, Haaretz.com, and caterer, Cardamom & Mint
Watermelon Gazpacho with Fresh Dill Watermelon Gazpacho with Fresh Dill
Sara Polon
Creator and owner, Soupergirl
Gefilte Fish a la Veracruzana Gefilte Fish a la Veracruzana
Pati Jinich
TV host and author, Pati’s Mexican Table
Chicken with Cinnamon and Apples from Metz Chicken with Cinnamon and Apples from Metz
Joan Nathan
TV producer/host and author of 10 cookbooks including Jewish Cooking in America
Pan-Seared Branzino with Leeks and Saffron Broth Pan-Seared Branzino with Leeks and Saffron Broth
Barry Koslow
Chef/partner, DGS Delicatessen
Light and Fluffy Spinach and Cheese Strata Light and Fluffy Spinach and Cheese Strata
Aviva Goldfarb
Author, family food expert and blogger, The Six O-Clock Scramble
Kassoffs' Sweet Noodle Kugel Kassoffs’ Sweet Noodle Kugel
Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray
Co-owners, Equinox Restaurant, and co-authors, The New Jewish Table
Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad
Leah Hadad
Creator and owner, Tribes-A-Dozen
Orange Tea Cake Orange Tea Cake
Paula Shoyer
Pastry chef and author, The Kosher Baker
Applesauce Cake Applesauce Cake
Susan Barocas
Project director, Jewish Food Experience