What does "eating Jewish" look like in the United States today? The spectrum of Jewish food laws and dietary guidelines is vast and followed to many varying degrees. Some rabbis eat lobster; some Jews eat treyf during the year, but strictly adhere to Passover. What if you're not Jewish but like a good kosher deli? What does it mean to be culinarily versus religiously Jewish, and where do these diverge? And what exactly is Jewish food anyway?
Join moderator Jeffrey Yoskowitz and a dynamic panel made up of Russ & Daughters' Niki Russ Federman, Mile End's Joel Tietolman, Ben's Deli's Hal Simon, and cookbook author Adeena Sussman for a lively discussion on the relationship between Jewish food and Jewish eating.
An informal reception with book signings and small bites will follow.
This program is part of our Global Cuisines, Global Cultures series.
About Jeffrey Yoskowitz
Jeffrey Yoskowitz is a food entrepreneur, a pickler, and a writer. He co-founded The Gefilteria, a culinary venture with the mission to reimagine east European Jewish food that manufactures artisanal gefilte fish, produces dining events around the world, and teaches classes on Jewish cooking. Jeffrey co-authored The Gefilte Manifesto, named a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and a top cookbook of the year by Epicurious and others. His writings on food and culture appear in major publications, such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Gastronomica. He has cooked as a guest chef at the James Beard House kitchen and was named to Forbes' "30 under 30" list in Food and Wine.
About Niki Russ Federman
Niki Russ Federman was pretty much born in a herring barrel, with a sharp knife in her hand and a penchant for caviar. Educated at Amherst College, Niki worked in a variety of professions—from the art world to international development—before realizing that her appetite was fulfilled by continuing her family’s 104-year-old culinary legacy at Russ & Daughters: the landmark appetizing shop known for the best bagels, lox, caviar, herring, babka and other traditional baked goods and smoked fish. Today, along with her cousin Josh Russ Tupper, she owns and runs Russ & Daughters, Russ & Daughters Cafe, Russ & Daughters Bagels & Bakery, Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum, and Russ & Daughters at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (summer 2018). Niki appears frequently in a variety of media, including The New York Times, NPR, Food Network, The New Yorker, Martha Stewart, Travel Channel, and Vogue. She is also one of the subjects of The Sturgeon Queens, a PBS documentary about Russ & Daughters. Niki is a board member of the Lower East Side Business Improvement District and Chair of the Friends of the Educational Alliance. She is fluent in several languages, but alas, Yiddish is not one of them. In 2016, Niki was named one of Crain’s New York Business’ “40 Under 40.”
About Hal Simon
Hal Simon is the supervising manager of three of the Ben's Deli kosher restaurants: Bayside, Queens; Manhattan; and Scarsdale. Hal has been with Ben's almost his entire life, since he was sixteen years old. He has spoken to numerous audiences on the history of the Jewish deli, it's heyday and demise, and where these institutions may be headed in the future. Hal studied Business Management at SUNY Buffalo. Ben's Deli opened in 1972 and the owner, Ronnie Dragoon, has since opened six more locations.
About Adeena Sussman
An almost full-time resident of Tel Aviv, Adeena Sussman’s Israeli cookbook, Sababa: Fresh Cooking From My Tel Aviv Kitchen, will be released by Penguin in Spring 2019. The solo author of Short Stack Editions’ Tahini, Adeena has also co-authored eleven cookbooks. Her last two collaborations, Cravings with Chrissy Teigen and The Sprinkles Baking Book with Candace Nelson, were New York Times best sellers. Adeena has written about Jewish and Israeli cooking and food culture for Food And Wine, The Wall Street Journal, Epicurious, Gourmet (may she rest in peace), and many others.
About Joel Tietolman
Joel Tietolman was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. He always had a strong connection to Jewish food, whether at Jewish delicatessens such as Beauty’s Luncheonette in Montreal , The Rascal House in Florida, or enjoying his bubby’s matzo ball soup. Joel first gained notoriety in the New York food scene as a partner of Mile End Delicatessen when he decided to make weekly overnight trips from Montreal’s famed Saint-Viateur bagel shop with over 100 dozen Montreal bagels to be sold in New York City. Joel now continues the tradition of Montreal bagels in NYC as an owner of Black Seed Bagels, with locations in Nolita, Battery Park, and the East Village. He is also managing partner of Mile End Delicatessen with locations in Noho and Boerum Hill. Joel holds multiple degrees including a J.D. in law and a M.A. in Political Philosophy.
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