One of the most potent memories I have of Hebrew School (other than the time I got into trouble for setting the clock ahead) was our celebration of Tu B’Shvat. In addition to pasting the leaf-shaped stamps on our Jewish National Fund tree poster, I loved feasting on the dried fruits and nuts that, we were told, came from the Land of Israel itself. Even if the fruits hadn’t been delicious, the notion of their having traveled over the ocean to our little school (and carried on camelback to the port?) was the ultimate of the exotic to my child’s mind.
Black History Month has always proved complicated in multicultural America. The great historian Carter G. Woodson, the second African American to receive his doctorate from Harvard, created Negro History Week in 1926. Then Dr. Woodson, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, later expanded Negro History Week to Black History Month to honor the birth month of writer and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who we all know “did an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.”
Because of this, Dr. Woodson became the legendary “Father of Black History.” It is an old commemoration not a gimmick or product of political correctness. It is not a separatist gesture, and it is not meant to be a stand-alone annual recognition of the accomplishments of African Americans and other people of African descent, but rather the event serves as inspiration to see and support the discussion year round.
Rooster Soup Company has a lot in common with other restaurants from Michael Solomonov’s Philadelphia-based restaurant group CooknSolo: Haute comfort food, cool décor and general lack of attitude.
Challah has never been just bread to me. I grew up watching my father proof his yeast every Friday at dawn before he’d race off to do rounds at the hospital, returning at midday to punch down and knead the aromatic dough before braiding and baking it.