• Serving independent schools and colleges with since 1990

Celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month

From Our Kitchen

sage img

According to a 2020 Pew Research Center survey, there are about 7.5 million Jewish Americans in the country. Jewish American Heritage Month provides an opportunity to recognize the significant impact they’ve had on U.S. history, culture, and traditions. At the heart of Jewish American heritage is a deep connection to food, which can serve as a means of storytelling and fostering community. Jewish American cuisine continues to evolve, embracing innovation while honoring tradition. From trendy kosher restaurants reimagining traditional dishes to food trucks serving up modern interpretations of Jewish comfort food, the Jewish American culinary landscape is as diverse as the community it represents.

There are several notable Jewish American chefs who have made significant contributions to the food scene in the U.S.:

  • Andrew Zimmern is an Emmy Award-winning TV personality, chef, restaurateur, food critic, and writer. He’s starred on TV shows like “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” and has won four James Beard Awards, including two for Outstanding Personality/Host.

  • New York native Susie Fishbein is an Orthodox Jewish kosher cookbook author and cooking teacher. Her “Kosher By Design” series of cookbooks, which has sold more than 500,000 copies, put a new spin on kosher and Jewish classics with creative and elegant recipes.

  • An Israeli American chef known for his modern Israeli cuisine, Michael Solomonov is the owner of several acclaimed restaurants, including Zahav in Philadelphia, which has won multiple James Beard Awards.

Jewish American cuisine is difficult to define; it’s diverse and reflects the culinary traditions of different Jewish communities around the world. There’s Sephardic cuisine, originating from Spain and the Mediterranean region, that features ingredients such as rice, chickpeas, and spices like cumin and paprika. Meanwhile, Ashkenazi cuisine, prevalent among Jewish people of Eastern European descent, includes dishes like gefilte fish, borscht, and brisket.

For those who follow kosher dietary laws, there are guidelines for what foods are allowed for consumption according to Jewish tradition. These include not eating pork, separating meat and poultry from dairy, and ensuring proper slaughtering practices. Some traditional kosher dishes include classic matzo ball soup; stuffed vegetables and grape leaves; cholent (a savory and slow-cooked stew with meat, potatoes, and beans); sweet noodle kugel; and cheese bourekas (made with puff pastry and filled with a feta, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese mixture).

Jewish holidays are also marked by unique culinary traditions and specialties. For example, many Jewish people enjoy potato latkes and jelly doughnuts during Hanukkah, while hamantaschen (triangular cookies filled with fruit or poppy seeds) are a staple of Purim celebrations. Traditional Rosh Hashanah meals will often include challah bread and tzimmes (a side dish made with carrots, dried fruits, and other sweet root vegetables), and favorites for Passover include matzo and charoset (a sweet medley of apples, walnuts, and raisins with honey, spices, and kosher wine).

Discover the flavors of Jewish cuisine by trying your hands at this classic dish at home:

Potato Kugel
Servings: 8

2 ⅔ pounds potatoes
1 medium yellow onion
2 eggs
¼ cup white rice flour
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
¾ stick of salted butter

  1. To prepare ingredients: Peel and shred potatoes. Shred the yellow onion.

  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare pan with nonstick cooking spray.

  3. Place the shredded potatoes in a clean towel and ring out excess water. Transfer to a bowl. Add the onions, eggs, rice flour, salt, and white pepper; stir to combine.

  4. Coat a casserole dish with some of the Place the potato mixture in the casserole dish and top with the remaining butter.

Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the casserole dish during cooking. Remove from oven and let rest until set. Cut into pieces.

sage img

All Foods Fit: Enjoy Your Food and Dining Experiences!

sage img

Sustainability at Kimball Union Academy

Next post


Logging In...

Forgot Your Password?


Parents: MyKidsSpending | SAGE Careers


Verifying Account...

Lost your password? Please enter your username (which could be your email address). An email will be sent to the account on file with instructions for resetting your password.

An email was sent to the account on file with instructions for resetting your password.

Reset password

Back to log-in


Quick Contact