If there’s one thing Jews like better than guilt, it’s food. (And don’t worry, I’m 100% Heeb for as many Jewish grandmothers as I can trace back, so I can say such things without being sentenced to a lifetime eating white bread and mayonnaise, which to our people is somewhat parallel to hell). Unfortunately, the National Museum of American Jewish History, much to my disappointment, has thus far failed to exploit the obvious marketing benefits derivable from its intersection as a world-class Jewish cultural center in a city that likes to eat.
Oy, am I glad that’s finally changed.
The Jewish museum has started programs in conjunction with “What is Your Food Worth?” (www.whatisyourfoodworth.com), a two-year collaboration between the museum, Temple (the kind that rocks a basketball team, not a rabbi), The Gershman Y and Congregation Rodeph Shalom (the kind with a rabbi, not a … eh, enough already, you get the point) to explore the relationship between Jews and food. Now there’s a bagel I can get my mouth around.
This week, the museum hosted Audrey Claire Taichman as a speaker for “Just a Pinch: A Brief and Unofficial History of Jewish Cooking in America.’’ And speaking of bagels (never raisin or chocolate chip, though, only goys eat those), the next event is a bagel-making workshop at Spread Bagelry on Oct. 30. After that, an NYU expert on immigrant foodways will lead “They Were What They Ate: Immigrant Jews and the Encounter with America” at Temple on Oct. 30.
And on Dec. 5, Philadelphia’s own favorite member-of-the-tribe chef (not counting Neil Stein, who gave Jews in this town a bad name like that Bernie Madoff jerkoff … feh), Michael Solomonov, will speak at Rodeph Shalom about the role of food in his life. Maybe you should send your daughter. Sure, Solomonov is no doctor but a girl could do worse. At least he visits his mother — the poor thing back in Israel and her son so far away. Also, married to a chef, G-d willing, your daughter will never be without a nosh.
What Is Your Food Worth? [Official website]
National Museum of American Jewish History [Program schedule]