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.
In a world afflicted by plagues and devoid of autonomy, the ancient Israelites enslaved in Egypt longed for little more than fundamental safety and freedom from suffering. Today, whether you have lost your job, feel unsafe in your home or are eating Matzah of your own volition, your pain is also valid. What makes this Passover different from all other Passovers? For one, many seders have saved a seat for a special new guest (and no, I’m not talking about Elijah). This year, Zoom joined the party, enabling extended families to safely come together from across the street or across the globe.
Sarah Hurwitz, speechwriter to the Obamas, will give a talk to the Cornell and Ithaca community on March 23 about what it was like to work in the White House, as well as how she rediscovered her Jewish identity. Free tickets will be available in Willard Straight Hall starting on March 9, through the show date.
Cornell students enjoyed a night of delicious food and stimulating discussion at a Jewish-Muslim Dialogue Dinner last night.
With Rosh Hashanah and the end of Ramadan coinciding together this year, Jewish and Muslim students on campus gathered in the One World Room at Annabel Taylor Hall in the hopes of bridging a dialogue between the two communities. Cornell Hillel, Muslim Education Cultural Association (MECA), Cornell Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Islamic Alliance for Justice were the four hosts of the dinner.