Friday, September 18, 2009

Rosh Hashana in Pre War America

The Times, on Wednesday, published a delightful article about something modern Orthodox Jews imagine never existed: Observant pre-war American Jews.

The subject of the story is the Jews of Portsmouth, N.H., and a restoration village/museum there which includes a Jewish house, staffed by a Jewish woman who portrays Mrs. Shiva Shapiro as she is imagined to have lived in 1919.  (Nineteen hundred and NINETEEN)

Because the article appears in the Food section, it is primarily about Shiva's diet and cooking practices, but there are also some other interesting notes about Jewish life in that time and place, and it includes reflections from the children and grandchildren of the Jews who lived then, and there. Of particular interest is the suggested Rosh Hashana menu, which the curators of the museum say is "authentic" for the era:
  • Crispy Kale
  • Kasha-Stuffed Roast Chicken
  • Poppy Seed Cake
The New York Times: Rosh Hashana, Circa 1919

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