BOCA RATON, FL – On April 29, St. David Armenian Church warmly welcomed 47 clergy to the 2013 Clergy Conference presided by His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenia Church of America, at the Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center in North Palm Beach, Florida. Situated on 26 beautiful acres of waterfront property on Little Lake Worth, it offered an ideal setting for spectacular sunrises, while the beautiful gardens of unusual natural beauty staged a contemplative and peaceful environment for meditation. The Conference began with a Dinner Cruise on the Intracoastal Waterway, and ended with dinner at St. David Church banquet hall on Wednesday, May 1st. A faithful friend and church neighbor, Fr. Mark Leondis, Pastor of St. Mark Greek Orthodox Church, was one of the guest speakers who stressed loving God and our neighbor is not only our dream and vision, but most importantly it is Our Lord’s commandment.
On Thursday, May 2nd, through Saturday, May 4th, the 111th Annual Diocesan Assembly was held at the Boca Marriott Hotel, where various programs were presented and discussed.
At a lavish banquet on Friday, May 3rd, awards were presented to Edward and Janet Mardigian for “Armenian of the Year,” and to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as “Friend of the Armenians.”
On Saturday morning, a requiem service was held for His Beatitude Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, the late 96th Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, and long-serving former Primate of the Eastern Diocese.
The Assembly opened with a reading of the message of His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. Fr. Nareg welcomed the representatives from various parishes of our Diocese. In his closing remarks, His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian thanked the Assembly officers and expressed his appreciation to Very Reverend Fr. Nareg Berberian, and to Carol Norigian and to St. David parish for their warm hospitality in making this Assembly a splendid and memorable occasion.
ST. DAVID ARMENIAN CHURCH HONORS DEPARTING PASTOR, VERY REVEREND FR. NAREG BERBERIAN
On Saturday evening, May 4th, Fr. Nareg was enthusiastically greeted by old and new friends in the Diocese, St. David community members, as well as Delegates and Clergy who attended the 111th Diocesan Assembly to express their warm sentiments and best wishes on his imminent assignment as Locum Tenens to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Having served eleven years as Pastor of St. David Armenian Church in Boca Raton, Florida, Fr. Nareg was honored with a very-well attended Farewell Reception at the Marriott Hotel where many successful events of the 2013 Diocesan Assembly took place.
His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate presided over the event and eloquently articulated Fr. Nareg’s many accomplishments in the service of Our Lord. Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary spoke about the academic achievements of Fr. Nareg. His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the Ecumenical Director, spoke about his pastorate at St. David. The Parish Council Chair, R. Carol Norigian, who also chaired the Diocesan Assembly, spoke on behalf of St. David Church to express their appreciation for making this a vibrant community and for Hayr Soorp’s steadfast commitment and support in ensuring that our youth as well as our seasonal and year-round parishioners are engaged in the life of the church in meaningful ways. Fr. Nareg was very touched by this wonderful tribute and expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the beautiful Bishop’s Panagia, which will be presented to him at his last Badarak at St. David.
FIVE WOMEN HONORED AT THE ASSEMBLY
On Thursday, May 2, at the 4th Annual Woman of Wonder (WOW) Luncheon during the 27th Annual Women’s Guild Assembly, Carol Norigian, Claudette Sarian, Nina Stapan and Rose Kazanjian of St. David Armenian Church, and Naomi Davitian of St. Mary Armenian Church, were honored by the Women’s Guild Central Council for their many years of devoted service and dedication to the Women’s Guild and the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America. His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian presented special certificates to them for their many years of faithful service, and wishing that they continue their love for Christ and His church with the same zeal and dedication.
FAREWELL COFFEE HOUR SUNDAY JUNE 2
This Sunday, June 2nd, there will be a special farewell coffee hour following the Badarak in honor of Fr. Nareg. This is the perfect opportunity for you to express your best wishes to him before he leaves for Brazil. On behalf of St. David Armenian Church a special appreciation gift will be presented to him.
By Robyn and Doug Kalajian
FLArmenians Cuisine Contributors
After two years of preparation and anticipation, the 111th Diocesan Assembly and Clergy Conference in beautiful Boca Raton concluded on Sunday, May 5, 2013.
It was a whirlwind week of events with hundreds of attendees from Mid-Western, East Coast, and Southern states. In addition to the planned sessions and meetings, guests participated in luncheons, kef time (featuring the music of Johnny Berberian), area sightseeing, and a gala banquet honoring Armenians of the Year – Janet and Edward Mardigian, and Friend of the Armenians – former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. The week-long gathering culminated with a lavish farewell Sunday brunch for departing Very Rev. Fr. Nareg Berberian of St. David Armenian Church.
I had a mini part in the grand scheme of things, but it was exciting just the same. Many of our seasonal visitors rolled up their sleeves alongside local parishioners to help create the massive menu for the farewell brunch.
Serving stations were set with assorted salads, yalanchi, lahmajoun, cheese boregs, meat boregs, and hummus. A carving station offered sliced-to-order roast beef, ham and turkey. Desserts included kourabia cookies, paklava, semolina cakes, fruit kabobs, and more. The beverage station served-up Mimosas (orange juice and champagne), plain orange juice, and coffee to help wash everything down.
Weeks before the brunch, I was at church working on another aspect of the preparation while a group of seasonal parishioners from Detroit were in the kitchen making the meat boregs. They made Dolly Matoian’s recipe which came from St. John Armenian Church (Detroit) cookbook. This is not a ‘home version’ recipe as it yields 375 to 400 boregs, and requires 20 workers over a 2-day period to complete.
Instead of using phyllo dough or puff pastry, the dough was more chorag-like. The meat filling had a nice ‘kick’ from the blend of black pepper and cayenne pepper in the filling. I got to sample a test boreg as it came out of the oven – it was soft, warm, and so delicious!
I have made an attempt to break down the large-group recipe for the home kitchen, but be warned – I have not tested this version. The new ingredient amounts represent 1/8th the original recipe measurements.
The smaller recipe should yield about 45 to 50 boregs, and I would suggest having one or two extra pairs of hands to assist. Oh yes, it’s important to prepare the meat mixture one day in advance.
Please don’t be discouraged by the lengthy recipe. One thing is for sure, I can certainly appreciate the time and effort the Detroit ladies put into this recipe, and I truly did savor every bite!
Here’s the (untested) home version recipe…
Meat Boreg (Beoreg)
Yield: 45 to 50 pieces
1 lb. chopped onions
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 ¾ lbs. ground lamb
1 ¾ lb. ground sirloin (or chuck)
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. paprika
¾ lb. (3 sticks) butter
¾ c. dried parsley (or 1 cup fresh, chopped parsley)
¼ lb. (1 stick) butter
¼ cup vegetable shortening
1¼ c. milk
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. dry granular yeast
½ cup warm water
2 ¼ tsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
3 ¼ lb. all-purpose flour (approx. 12 cups)
2 eggs, beaten
Regular or black sesame seeds
1. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet. Saute onions until soft, but not mushy. Strain onions in a colander, pressing firmly to remove any liquid. Set aside until ready to use.
2. In a large frying pan, cook lamb and beef over medium heat until brown. Break meat down with a fork to remove any large lumps. Strain out any excess fat.
3. Place cooked onions and meat in a large mixing bowl. Stir in all of the seasonings. Taste for flavor and spiciness. Make any adjustments, if necessary.
4. Melt the butter in a skillet and add to the meat-onion mixture. Finally, add the chopped parsley.
5. Place mixture in shallow containers; cover and refrigerate until day 2.
Directions for Dough Preparation:
1. Melt butter and shortening in a saucepan. Allow to cool. Add milk to butter mixture; set aside.
2. Using a hand or stand mixer and a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until well-blended.
3. Begin adding flour, a little at a time, to the egg mixture for a uniform mixture.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the ½ c. warm water, yeast and sugar, whisking to dissolve. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof.
5, Add proofed yeast to the flour mixture and knead dough well.
6. Using a food scale, portion the dough into 1 ½ to 2 oz. portions; place on trays, cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper and allow to rest.
7. Portion the meat into 1/12 to 2 oz. portions.
8. On a work surface (no flour should be needed), roll each dough portion into 4-inch circles, and place on platters.
Forming and baking the boregs:
9. Hold each round of dough in one hand; top with meat mixture. Pinch or fold the dough over the meat to completely seal the filling.
10. Place – seam side down – on parchment-lined baking sheets. Lightly press down to make a bun shape instead of a ball shape. Continue the process until the trays are filled. Allow boregs to rest about 15 minutes before baking.
11. Bake in preheated 375°F oven (350°F for convection oven) until golden.
12. Place baked boregs on cooling racks; cool completely. If not serving immediately, place borges in freezer bags in single layers, and freeze until ready to use.
13. Prior to serving, defrost boregs in the refrigerator, and bake in preheated 325°F oven until warmed through.
HOLLYWOOD, FL —On Wednesday April 24, several hundred members of the South Florida Armenian American Community gathered at St Mary Armenian Church to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, reported Florida Armenians (FLArmenians).
The evening began with a hokehankist (memorial service), which was offered for the victims of the Armenian Genocide by the V. Rev. Fr. Nareg Berberian of St. David Armenian Church and Rev. Fr. Vartan Joulfayan of St. Mary Armenian Church.
After the service, a cross-cultural, multimedia program began delving into the history surrounding the Armenian genocide, as well as the emotions that are shared not only by the survivors and descendants of survivors, but also the survivors of many of the numerous other genocides of the 20th century.
Armenians worldwide commemorate the genocide on April 24 of each year, the day when, in 1915, Ottoman authorities arrested 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. Soon after, the Ottoman military ripped Armenians from their homes and began a systematic extermination of Armenians which was implemented in two phases: the killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and forced labor, and the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches to the Syrian Desert. The total number of Christian Armenians who perished as a result between 1915 and 1923 has been estimated at around 1.5 million. The Turkish government has yet to formally acknowledge that the genocide even occurred.
Mr. Raffy Yaghdjian, member of the St Mary Armenian Church parish council, served as master of ceremonies. In Yaghdjian’s opening words he stated, “We are gathered here today to remind ourselves that the struggle is not over. The world did not learn. There were many more genocides following ours. The Assyrians, the Greeks, the Jews, the Cambodians, Rwandans, and those in Darfur. So we continue with the struggle. We must continue to educate. We must continue to publicize. We must continue to publish books and write papers. We must continue to make the effort. We must continue to be creative in how we do it. After all, and I quote, ‘all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’”
As the program continued, Mr. Harry Pilafian, a survivor of the genocide who was in attendance, was recognized with standing applause. Lilit Mnatsakanyan and Tanya Lusararian read papers they had composed regarding their perspectives on the genocide, and Roubina Majarian of St David Armenian Church presented Armenian poetry. Guest speaker Professor Hannibal Travis of the Florida International University (FIU) College of Law addressed the audience about his ongoing study of the Armenian Genocide, particularly how it has been addressed by the United States. Professor Travis is the author of the first comprehensive history of physical and cultural genocide in the Middle East and North Africa, entitled Genocide in the Middle East: The Ottoman Empire, Iraq, and Sudan. A short screening from the documentary “Orphans of the Genocide” was also presented by south Florida film producer Bared Maronian. A musical interlude followed, with Alique Mazmanian performing “Karouna” by Komitas on piano, Mrs. Audrey Pilafian performing “Manoushak” and “Yeraz” on cello, Joseph Yenikomshian playing “Lord have mercy” on clarinet, and Sage McBride performing “Krounk” by Komitas, on violin.
Before the conclusion of the program, Mr. Yaghdjian unexpectedly once more approached the podium to excitedly say, “I was just given a note that the Florida State Senate just passed a resolution recognizing April 24 as Armenian Martyrs Remembrance Day for the first time in Florida history,” to a round of thunderous applause.
Fr. Joulfayan offered in closing, “Many thanks to you, dear South Floridians, families, youth, and children. But, in a way, I should not be thanking you. We do not thank each other on this day. Today, we simply come to remember and never forget.”
The South Florida Armenian Genocide Commemoration was held under the auspices of St. David Armenian Church of Boca Raton, St. Mary Armenian Church of Hollywood and Florida Armenians, together with the Armenian Assembly of America, the Armenian National Committee, and the Knights of Vartan.
Photo Caption 1: St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church of Hollywood, Florida.
Photo Caption 2: Florida Armenians joined by human rights and anti-genocide activists to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and all genocides of the 20th Century.
Photo Caption 3: FIU Professor Hannibal Travis presents his studies on the Armenian Genocide.
Photo Caption 4: Armenian Genocide survivor Harry Pilafian recognized by South Florida Armenian American community.
Photos courtesy of Michele Kevorkian McBride for FLArmenians.com.