You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Assimilation

Food, Fat, and Feminism: Navigating the Contradictions of Judaism and Food

We’re all familiar with the stereotype of the zaftig Jewish bubbe, stuffing her offspring with chicken soup and brisket, shouting, “Eat! Eat! You’re skin and bones.” We love to talk about these mythical kitchens of our childhoods—tables overflowing with kugels and babkas, tsimmus and kneidlach. But for many Jewish women, there was another, more painful, side to this abundance. Our bubbes didn’t just say, “Eat! Eat!” they also said “Why are you eating so much? You’re getting fat!” I don’t think this contradiction is unique to Judaism, but I do think there’s a distinctive cultural spin to this schizophrenic relationship to food. And considering the prevalence of eating disorders, if there are cultural roots, we need to weed them out.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Assimilation." (Viewed on October 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/assimilation>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Poll

Which topics pique your interest on the JWA blog?

Twitter

3 hr
Today in 1944, army nurse Frances Y. Slanger became the first American nurse killed in Europe after D-Day. http://t.co/LU17b9yE3o
21 hr
RT @AJHSNYC: Mon., 10/20 Women in American Sport: Settlement Houses to the Olympics http://t.co/WmhwjWeDNt
23 hr
Check out Erica Brown's piece on regulating the rabbinate after the Freundel scandal @NYJewishWeek Read here: http://t.co/sxgBsrh2hQ