Join us on June 1st at 6 PM for an evening of learning and food-tasting as we explore stories and recipes from Kenden Alfond’s Feeding Women of the Talmud, Feeding Ourselves, recipient of the Natan Notable Book Award. Grab your free tickets here!
More than a cookbook, more than a study guide, the Jewish Food Hero’s Feeding Women of the Talmud, Feeding Ourselves is a testament to the power of spiritual community. Featuring scholarship and recipes from over 120 women around the world, Kenden Alfond’s collection showcases the diversity and depth of Jewish learning and experience.
By bringing together and highlighting so many Jewish voices, Alfond provides readers with a unique journey of discovery. Writers from every continent challenge readers to thoughtfully examine Jewish texts and their connection with food. Raising consciousness about how women were portrayed in the Talmud two thousand years ago, and bridging these teachings with contemporary retellings and understandings, opens new avenues and encourages greater creativity in Jewish text study.
The texts and accompanying recipes don’t seem to be in any order, a fact that allows readers the freedom to focus on their reading preferences but makes the book more difficult to navigate overall. There is also a large range of expertise that readers would need to bring to the book; some texts and recipes are very straightforward, while others seem to rely more on prior knowledge. The result is a collection of authentic learning materials, complete with sketches of each contributor, that many readers may need extra support to fully appreciate.
Noteworthy, too, is that each recipe is vegan, bolstering Alfond’s point that Jewish study and community can nurture us spiritually and physically and make us more conscious stewards of our environment. This interconnectedness — of Jewish women, study, and food from every corner of the globe — is the backbone of the book. Hopefully readers will follow its teachings for years to come.
Deborah Miller received rabbinical ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter, where she serves as a hospice chaplain and teacher.