When you’re the guest at someone else’s Seder, a particularly thoughtful offering is in order. Here’s a roundup of our favorite food-related gifts.
One day, Jessye Stein, a computer teacher on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, was trying to persuade a student to return to his Lakota language class when the young man suddenly posed an unexpected question. “He asked me where I come from, where my people come from and what my ancestral language is,” she recalled. Stein, 24, told the student she was Jewish and that her ancestors spoke Yiddish. But that just prompted the next, obvious question: “He asked me if I could speak Yiddish,” she recounted. And when she said no, he accused her of being a hypocrite.
In 2015, they didn’t speak Yiddish. In 2016, they do. A small group of students gathered at Yiddish Farm, an organic farm and immersive Yiddish language experience, and by the week’s end all the participants were speaking Yiddish.
What do Succot and Pesach have to do with each other? Sages have been asking each other that questions for generations, but the result has never been quite so eco-conscious. This year though, for the first time ever, Yiddish farm is offering the opportunity to purchase local, organic, whole wheat, Shmurah matzah for Passover.
I grew up avoiding garlic. Pesto did not exist in my house, garlic bread was unique to summer camp, and dishes would begin with plain cooked onions. My family was the antithesis of everything culinary ethnography told me was Jewish.
Traditional Ashkenazi food is often thought of as meat-heavy, fat-heavy, and just plain heavy (think brisket, flankn, gribenes and shmaltz). But that’s not the case at Yiddish Farm, despite the otherwise pervasive emphasis on Ashkenazi language and culture.
Yiddish Farm immerses participants in language while creating a model of sustainable agriculture. It doesn?t hurt they grow zucchini, beets and Yukon gold potatoes.
A few months ago I sent an email to my editor, pitching a story on Yiddish Farm. (That piece is in this week’s paper, and online here.) I didn’t have to make a hard sell. An organic farm, run by 20-something-year-olds, where everyone speaks Yiddish? The piece practically writes itself.
This week: Americans confront an Israeli report proclaiming there?s no occupation, Jewish athletes to watch in the Olympics and learning Yiddish on the farm.
It takes some nerve to call a festival the “Golus Festival.” Golus, meaning exile or Diaspora, is usually something bemoaned in Jewish tradition. But from July 14 to 17, for approximately 60 people in (the appropriately named) Goshen, New York, Golus was something to celebrate.