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Missed Our Latest Schmaltzy? Here's a Small Taste

Missed Our Latest Schmaltzy? Here's a Small Taste

 Storytellers (from left to right): Jake Dell, Darra Goldstein, Lior Lev Sercarz, Zoe Kanan, Jordana Rothman, with Naama Shefi, Executive Director of the Jewish Food Society and our host for the evening Mitchell Davis. Photo by Liz Clayman.

Storytellers (from left to right): Jake Dell, Darra Goldstein, Lior Lev Sercarz, Zoe Kanan, Jordana Rothman, with Naama Shefi, Executive Director of the Jewish Food Society and our host for the evening Mitchell Davis. Photo by Liz Clayman.

At the Jewish Food Society, our mission is to preserve, protect, and revitalize Jewish foods and the stories that travel with them. On a recent fall evening, 300 people gathered to celebrate that mission at our Schmaltzy benefit — and, of course, to nosh.

Five storytellers joined us for the evening including Jake Dell, the owner of New York icon Katz’s deli who shared the story of how he decided to become an old deli man. Food writer Jordana Rothman made us laugh with a story about sushi and her hasidic nephew Kaddish, while spicemaster Lior Lev Sercarz reminisced about cooking a Tunisian family recipe for one of the world’s most famed chefs. Food scholar Darra Goldstein told the tale of making p’tcha for the first time — with pork — and baker Zoe Kanan shared a story about honey cake and a very Texan Rosh Hashanah.

Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper of legendary appetizing shop Russ & Daughters started off the evening in conversation with host Mitchell Davis of the James Beard Foundation. Josh showed off how to use the word “appetizing” correctly in a sentence, while Niki explained that during the Great Depression their great-grandfather had to give up his house or his shop. He chose the house.

Listen to their conversation and all of the stories below:

Thank you so much to our storytellers, our incredible host committee, Niki and Josh for the conversation and delicious snacks, and to everyone who joined us to celebrate the evening. We hope to see you at the next Schmaltzy on the west coast this coming Spring. Stay tuned for details.

Photos by Liz Clayman


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