Elizabeth Alpern


Jewish Dinner at JoeDoe Takes Fun Culinary Liberties

By Elizabeth Alpern

Jewish Dinner at JoeDoe Takes Fun Culinary Liberties
If you are a Jewish food enthusiast and happen to live in New York, your calendar has been quite busy of late. Restaurants are hosting deli-themed Shabbat dinners, museums are hosting talks on gefilte fish and venues across the city are nodding to Ashkenazi fare in any number of creative ways. These events are focused on reimagining and updating Jewish cuisine, and have been permeated with a sense of nostalgia. They have also, seemingly, been attended by heavily Jewish audiences.Read More


From South Africa, an Activist’s Recipe Recalls the Power of Food

By Elizabeth Alpern

The early years of Nelson Mandela’s life as an organizer and revolutionary were marked by cross-cultural experiences centered around the table, even when such alliances were frowned upon politically. The Indian South African community, and the solidarity it showed in passive resistance campaigns, deeply influenced Mandela’s later mass actions and encouraged Mandela and his colleagues to work across racial and cultural lines. Among his greatest influencers was Amina Pahad, who became politically active in her teenage years, and welcomed activists of all backgrounds into her home, truly letting “all who were hungry come and eat” and creating a safe haven filled with political debate and good meals.Read More


From Egypt, a Traditional Dish Links to an Ongoing Struggle

By Elizabeth Alpern

At the start of 2011 the world watched as the Egyptian people overthrew longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak. It is not often that we can so easily honor the Haggadah’s instruction that “In every generation one must look upon himself as if he personally has come out of Egypt.”Read More


Foods of Freedom: South African Vegetable Curry

By Elizabeth Alpern

To read the first installment of Foods of Freedom click here. Read More


Foods of Freedom: Egyptian Leek Mina

By Elizabeth Alpern

Foods of Freedom: Egyptian Leek Mina
After the bitter herbs, charoset, salt water and the symbolism that goes along with them, the Passover seder can easily slip into a festive meal containing minimal meaning, save for the deliciousness of this year’s soup versus last year’s. Though our Passover entrees are often filled with significance, as foods of family tradition and memories of Passovers past, main dishes during the seder should not be overlooked as an opportunity to infuse a holiday meal with meaning. This year we have chosen recipes from two nations, which in the last two decades have found new freedom — Egypt and South Africa. We hope that these dishes spark lively conversation about the path to modern freedom around the Passover table.Read More






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  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
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