Ben Harris plants 1,000 sungold tomato plants — and deals with the predictably catastrophic aftermath.
When it comes to Passover, the same treasured foods grace tables every year. Matzah ball soup. Gefilte fish. Brisket. Roast chicken. Growing up, my husband’s family table was no different. I, however, grew up Italian and later converted to Judaism. Our Passover meals now not only include the customary Jewish dishes, but also some of my Italian flavoring as well.
Symbolic new foods have joined the parsley and charoset on seder plates. They represent a desire among Jews to use our ancient tradition to spotlight modern-day tenets.
Perennial Plate in Florida
After a trip to the tomato fields of Florida, Joshua Lesser added a tomato to his Seder plate. It reminds him of the virtual slavery of workers — happening here and now.
Why was a group of rabbis singing around some tomatoes at a Publix supermarket in Naples, Fla.? No, it wasn’t a new ritual about mindful eating, but rather an act of protest. Would you pay one penny more per pound for tomatoes to ensure a better wage and a more dignified workplace for farmworkers? That’s the underlying question our prayer circle was asking.
This past Sunday, as I marched with nearly 1,000 others, passing by 5-star hotels, bewildered tourists and students, I felt proud to be holding the new “Boston Jews for Fair Food” banner. A group of interfaith individuals, we were marching in support of the Coalition for Immokalee Workers and the “penny per pound” campaign. The campaign, which Whole Foods, Taco Bell and even McDonalds have already signed on to, promises one more cent paid per pound of tomatoes collected by workers in the Immokalee section of Florida, one of the largest tomato growing regions in the country (workers currently receive 50 cents for every 32 pounds they pick.) More specifically, we were protesting the Massachusetts-based Ahold company, which owns Stop and Shop grocery stores, and has refused to sign on to the agreement.
Sukkot encourages us each year to eat autumn harvest meals outside in a roughly constructed sukkah, covered with leafy fronds and decorated with the fruits of the harvest, with a view of the night sky.