A First! Michigan Jewish Food Festival
By Vivian Henoch, Editor myJewishDetroit
August 1, 2016
What is Jewish about our food?
How is the earth beneath our feet sacred?
Can insects be kosher to eat?
What is “Culinary Justice,” who is Michael Twitty and how is he related to Detroit’s own Larry Mongo of Café d’Mongo Speakeasy?
For answers to these questions – and so much more in a delectable sampling of Jewish Detroit’s hottest farm-to-table-to-culinary trends – bring your family and friends, your curiosity and your appetite to The Michigan Jewish Food Festival, Sunday, August 28, 2016, 11 am to 4 pm, Shed 5, Eastern Market Detroit.
It’s a one-day taste of Detroit’s Jewish Food Movement, and what a day it will be! A day for foodies and food trucks and food for thought, a day for connections and community for kosher vegans, omnivores and everyone in between.
Presented by Hazon Detroit, with the support of the William Davidson Foundation, the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation, the Ben N. Teitel Charitable Trust, The David Farber Family Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, it’s your opportunity to meet celebrity chefs, area restaurateurs, rabbis, urban farmers, educators and entrepreneurs.
Follow the preparations for the big day on Facebook. For the full schedule of events, cooking demos, family activities, music and entertainment, visit Hazon Detroit online.
- Meet Michael Twitty, celebrated food historian, Afroculinaria food blogger and author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African-American History in the Old South. A Judaic studies teacher from Washington DC, Twitty, 39, has been “chasing culinary memory and identity” throughout his life. At the age of 22, he converted to Judaism and began his journey into the history and politics, the cultural tastes and flavors and Diasporic wisdom of being Black and Jewish. As the keynote speaker, Twitty will launch the Festival’s inaugural lecture on the topic “Kosher Soul: Black and Jewish Identity Cooking” in the Demo Kitchen, Shed 5.
- Meet local celebrity chef, Jared Bobkin, a finalist featured on Hell’s Kitchen. Passionate, hard working executive chef at Bayview Yacht Club, who lives for food and knowledge about food.
- Hear from health and family experts: national blogger, Zen Honeycutt from Moms Across America; Dr. Joel Kahn, cardiologist and founder of GreenSpace Café; and Jeffrey Cohan, National Executive Director of Jewish Veg.
- Explore food justice issues with Detroit urban farmers, including Do It for Detroit’s recent grant winner, Atieno Nyar Kasagam of the Detroit African Women’s Coalition for Liberated Land.
- Learn more with Rabbi Alana Alpert and Detroit Jews for Justice about fair wages in the food and restaurant industry.
- Find What’s Spiritual About Food with Rabbi Rachel Shere of Congregation Adat Shalom and check out an interfaith panel on sacred eating with Rabbi Herschel Finman.
Shed 5 will be packed with more than 60 entrepreneurial food vendors, environmental and food justice groups, activities for kids, fresh produce stands and more. More workshops and seminars will be announced. NEXTGen Detroit brings the music. Feet on the Street will provide a guided tour through the Jewish history of the Market.
Additionally, the Jewish Food Festival will host 36 of Metro Detroit’s Jewish Community synagogues and other organizations. “We are so moved by the level of participation, across all denominations, in this first-ever Michigan Jewish Food Festival,” said Sue Salinger, Director of Hazon in Detroit. “It’s encouraging to know that so many people in this community are interested in coming together around our common traditions of food and food justice. This is an exciting time to engage Jewishly in the metro Detroit area.”
About Hazon Detroit
A uniquely Jewish eco-conscious community, Hazon has taken root and is starting to grow in Detroit. Founded in 2000, and based in New York City and Falls Village Connecticut, Hazon’s mission is to create a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community – and a better world for all.
Hazon (the Hebrew word for vision) works at the intersection of two sets of questions posed by its visionary Chief Executive Officer, Nigel Savage. “Why be Jewish? What is the nature of being Jewish and what does it mean to be Jewish in the 21st Century?” And the second set of questions: “We seem to be messing up the world in so many ways – climate change and pollution and damaged food systems; what can, could or should we do about these challenges? The intuition behind Hazon is how these two sets of questions are related. Nigel asserts, “When we turn Jewish life outwards to try to tackle some of the biggest issues of our time, we can make a difference in the wider world, and strengthen Jewish life in the process.”