Students sample foods, learn about Jewish cultures in different countries

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By Pearl Mak
For the Mitzpeh
@pearl_mak

Students’ taste buds traveled around the world Wednesday without having to leave the Hillel Game Room.

The Jewish Student Union’s Jewish Geography: Food Edition event, which was free to students, featured foods from countries like Morocco, Italy, Israel, Guatemala and more. Helpers served a variety of food ranging from matzah balls and pasta to peach cobbler.

Event organizer Jerry Katz said the goal of the event was to educate participants about the diversity of cultures within the Jewish population.

“It’s very easy to think that Jews look very similar. I think there’s definitely a stereotype. But the truth is that Jews come from all over the world,” said Katz, a sophomore economics major. “I think one of our favorite cultural items is food. And I think we do it pretty well. We just want to show that there isn’t one box or one stereotype.”

Each table represented a different place of origin and had a sign with information about the place’s Jewish population, additional facts and a drawing of its flag. Tables were arranged in a semicircle to allow participants to move around and try out different foods.

All of the food was homemade and cooked in kosher kitchens. People who volunteered to help cook began to prepare for Food Edition a day before it started. However, Katz said there was about twice the amount of food last year compared to this year.

It was challenging trying to organize people to get the groceries because there is a limited amount of kosher food sections around campus, Katz said. Despite the challenges, however, Katz was happy with how the event turned out.

“It was really cute. The food is yummy and it was nice that they made it for us,” said freshman psychology major Adina Weinreb.

Tables where students could taste food from different countries. Pearl Mak/Mitzpeh.
Tables where students could taste food from different countries. Pearl Mak/Mitzpeh.

JSU President Sam Fishman, a senior government and politics major, said amount of attendance doesn’t amount to the success of the group’s event. Rather, the social aspect is more important.

“People are here mingling with each other, having nice conversations, trying different food around the world and that’s successful to us,” Fishman said. “It’s the global aspect of the event where people from Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds from all around the world can come together and bond over food. It’s a great way for people to have some snacks or dinner together and talk about their heritage or meet each other and catch up.”

People were able to go inside the Hillel Game Room to get food and learn about the different countries while socializing with the event organizers. Outside of the room with food and facts was a sitting area for students to mingle amongst each other.

“The food is delicious and it’s a very nice opportunity to meet who aren’t usually around,” Sarah Otis, a sophomore computer science major, said.

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