Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew

These days, there is a lot of talk about identity politics. Though it is used by some to manipulate the voters, there is also another angle to it. If we have the balls to dig beyond the labels, we may discover that we have a lot in common.

Cookbook author Michael W. Twitty transverses multiple identities. An African American Jew who is also gay, he speaks to what this nation can become (if we are willing to do the work). His new memoir/cookbook, Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew, was published in August.

In the book, he dives into both Jewish cuisine and African American cuisine and how both have evolved over time. He also goes into the history of both peoples and how the image of both has become what it is today. In addition, Twitty talks about his own life and his choice to convert to Judaism.

The book is amazing. if nothing else, it speaks to the fact that we are all human. If we are willing sit-down and break bread with one another (so to speak), we might learn to actually like one another.

I also appreciated that Twitty goes beyond Ashkenazi food. He also references recipes from Sephardi Jews, Mizrahi Jews, etc.

Some of the dishes also sound pretty good.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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The Forgotten Exodus Podcast Review

Immigration from one land to another is part and parcel of human history. Unfortunately, so are violence, expulsion, and becoming a refugee.

The new podcast, The Forgotten Exodus, tells the story of Mizrahi Jews who were either forced out of predominately Arab lands or left of their own volition. Produced by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), which also produces People of the Pod, this limited series started releasing episodes this week.

Each week, the listener is introduced to one person who tells the story of their family. This person speaks both of their familial past in the land of their ancestors and their experiences living outside of that country. After this narrative is told, a historian fills in the gaps with the documented events that led to the immigration or expulsion.

When we talk about Jews, the focus is often on Ashkenazi Jews. The problem is that in doing so, we forget that Jews come from many nations and have different skin tones. This podcast rounds out the Jewish narrative and brings new colors and flavors to a tale that the listener thinks they know.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

New episodes of The Forgotten Exodus drop every Monday.

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