By Leora Cohen
When I originally bought the cookbooks In Memory’s Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin and Recipes Remembered: A Celebration of Survival, I had no idea where they would take me. I decided that I wanted to make some of the recipes found in the book, but I struggled with them. I am only one woman, with one set of taste buds and one set of cooking experiences. I needed the assistance of more, the feedback of others, and the experience of people who have been cooking and baking far longer than I have.
When I mentioned the idea of trying these recipes with a group of community members to my mother (Sarah Greenblatt), we quickly came up with an idea, chose a name, and we had even gathered partners. I knew that this idea was something special, and every time I heard the emotional and excited feedback from people we mentioned the project to, I was reassured that we were onto something special. I am thrilled to announce the start of the L’Chaim Cooking Club: Bringing Recipes from the Holocaust to Life! The cooking club is a collaborative effort between Beth El Sisterhood and Temple Israel Sisterhood.
By cooking and eating the treasured family recipes of Jewish women in the Holocaust, we will remember them and bring their recipes and memories to life. With a monthly cooking club, participants will select recipes from different cookbooks and cook them in an alternating community setting (Beth El & Temple Israel kitchens). Each month, we will highlight the stories of different women in the Holocaust. The cost to participate at each cooking club meeting will be $5 per person. Containers will be purchased for individuals to bring home leftovers or samples to share with their families (if there are any leftovers!).
Participants will be encouraged to blog about their participation and their experience on the cooking club website. The website will also provide information about upcoming cooking sessions, links to related websites, an archive of our cooking sessions and recipes, and the blog. Our hope is that this program will be an inspiration for other communities to replicate, with our literature as a guide.
Our first cooking club session will take place on Monday, Oct.26, at Temple Israel, 91 Springside Drive, Akron, Ohio 44333, from 6-8 pm. Please sign up to participate in this month’s cooking club by visiting www.lchaimcookingclub.com or by calling Leora Cohen at 330-671-0610. We are also looking for volunteers for set-up crew, clean-up crew, shopping crew, and for individuals to share the stories of Jewish women in the Holocaust.