The Holocaust Survivor Cookbook is a spiral-bound, self-published fund-raising project for the Carmei Ha’ir Soup Kitchen in Jerusalem. In only four years, this cookbook has raised thousands of dollars to feed hungry Israelis. Unlike other fundraising cookbooks, though, the recipes are not the focus of this compilation. Instead, they are more like footnotes to the stories accompanying them. This cookbook contains the personal testimonies of more than one hundred Holocaust survivors, and memorializing their stories is the primary purpose of this book.
The first person narratives are unedited and raw, touching and honest. Some are merely a few lines long; others span pages. Each story is accompanied by one or more recipes submitted by the survivor. They range from dishes that the writer remembered from childhood to current kitchen favorites. None has been tested for accuracy because the recipe itself is secondary to the testament.
Perhaps the most significant direction, though, comes from the editors, who explain how to use this cookbook: “[H]ere is the most important thing you can do. Whenever you serve a recipe from this cookbook to your family please be sure to read them the story of the survivor that goes with the recipe…By doing this, you will keep both the recipes and the stories alive for generations to come.” For that reason alone, this cookbook is a worthy addition to any collection.