Jewish Diversity and Innovation: The View from the Kitchen
What can we learn about Jewish history and culture from recipes? In this Go & Learn guide, we begin with a recipe for “Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Chick-peas in Massachusetts” to explore how Jewish food culture has adapted as Jews have migrated from place to place. Just as Batsheva Levy Salzman brought her mother's pumpkin soup recipe from Morocco to Israel and then to Massachusetts, and switched its setting from Sukkot to Thanksgiving, recipes tell us stories about Jewish history and our ever-changing rich cultural diversity.
- We can learn a lot about where Jews have lived and which cultures they’ve engaged with by studying food recipes.
- In any country where Jews live, the Jewish food often incorporates elements from the surrounding culture.
- Throughout history, Jews have moved to new countries and continents for various reasons, from escaping anti-Semitism to seeking out better economic opportunities. This constant movement has resulted in a diverse and varied Jewish population and culture.
- What are some other examples of cultural aspects from different countries that have influenced Jewish life?
- Looking at Joan Nathan’s pumpkin soup recipe, what can we tell or guess about where the Jews in her family have been and whom they’ve interacted with?
- For youth:
Jewish diversity: Learning about our families, friends, and communities through food recipes
- For family/congregational education:
Jewish diversity: Travels of Jewish foods and Jewish families
- For adults:
Jewish women: Chief cooks of culture, family, and community