A Flavorful Celebration of Jewish Culinary Identities

Despite making up just about two percent of the U.S. population, Jews remain keepers of an incredibly varied culture. We see this first-hand in the wide range of Jewish identities which exist in America alone — an Israeli Jew may arrive in the U.S. cooking with chickpeas and pomegranates, only to balk at the copious amounts of “white food” which many Ashkenazi Jews consume. Likewise, latkes and gefilte fish may seem so intrinsically Jewish to these Eastern European Jewish communities that shunning them is to eschew Judaism entirely. Jewish culture is, therefore, dependent upon the interpreter’s own experiences, creating a collection of identities as varied as its people. Yet despite their differences, these groups unite themselves under the larger “Jewish” title, celebrating tradition and commitment to the community in similar ways: Through food.

Shabbat Dinner: Cornell Edition

Around 6:30 p.m. on a Friday, if you walk past 102 Willard Way, you’ll see a group of men with thick beards armed with Kippahs and prayer books. At this time, they’re deep in focus, unified in prayer, speaking the Hebrew words that welcome in the Shabbat — the holiest day of the week. Around the world, thousands of synagogues join. Walk past the same building an hour later, and the sights and sounds of 102 Willard Way will be those you can’t find in synagogues anywhere else. Friday night Shabbat dinner is a culinary and cultural spectacle only the Chabad at Cornell can do.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Make Cornell More Inclusive for Christians’

To the Editor:

I want to start by emphasizing that this is no way an attack on Christianity or the author of the op-ed. This is a response to reflect on religious privilege on campus and to continue the conversation of religious acceptance and accommodation at Cornell. If you can write an op-ed about your religious beliefs and not fear for your safety on campus after it’s published, you are experiencing religious privilege. If you can write an op-ed about your religion and not be stereotyped as the voice for your entire religion by the public, you are experiencing religious privilege. If you can attend Cornell University and never have your religion be the target of a hate crime, you are experiencing religious privilege.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘A Jewish Case for Divestment’

To the Editor:

I read the March 25 guest column in The Sun, “A Jewish Case for Divestment.” I graduated from Cornell in 1971, and I remember a course I took in the Arts School on public opinion. It is probably relevant to this discussion because all of us have beliefs based on what we read, see and hear. I remember my dad reading about the 1956 Arab-Israeli war and crying, “They’re killing more Jews again.” Being seven at the time, I had no idea what he was talking about, but it seemed frightening to me since I knew I was Jewish and had no idea if I was in danger. Later in life, I learned he was stabbed by a Nazi who was trying to kill him, and that the Nazis murdered his uncle, aunt and their 18-year-old daughter. I have read a lot about Israel, pre-Israel Palestine and the various attempts to attack the Jews.

EDITORIAL: Inconsistency and Silence: Cornell’s Lacking Response to Anti-Semitism on Campus

Nine days. Three swastikas. And only just now, after a comprehensive report from The Sun, is there a response from Cornell. Now tell us, what is wrong with that picture? The appearance of three swastikas on North Campus over the past week, on dorm lounge whiteboards and in the snow, is a glaring reminder of the hate and the fear still very much alive at Cornell.