Metro Detroit is at the forefront of the Jewish food movement, which connects food and sustainability with Jewish tradition. Hazon’s Michigan Jewish Food Festival will be held at Eastern Market’s Sheds 5 and 6 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Aug. 27.
Hazon, which promotes Jewish environmental and food justice movements, hosted more than 5,000 attendees at last year’s festival.
More than 50 Jewish organizations and 80 food entrepreneurs and food justice organizations will be on hand to share traditions this year.
“Let’s celebrate Jewish food traditions, bring them into the public space, and let’s renew Jewish life and create a better world for everybody,” said Nigel Savage, Hazon CEO.
Sue Salinger, director of Hazon Detroit, said, “My rebbe taught that ‘the only way we’re going to get it together — is together.’ For Hazon Detroit, that means bringing the Jewish community into relation with Detroit’s food justice movement for a day of food, fun and learning is one delicious way we can do tikun olam — repairing our world —in person and face to face.”
The day-long festival includes a food marketplace featuring emerging entrepreneurs from Food Lab and Kitchen Connect and fresh produce from Detroit growers, chef demos and tastings, five food trucks and seven restaurant booths like Truckshuka, Nu Deli, Chef Cari, Vegan Soul, Green Space Café, Soul Café, Zingermans, the Huron Room and a lot more.
At 11:30 a.m. join Joan Nathan in the Shed 5 Kitchen Commons for a cooking demonstration of an early dish from ancient Persia and Babylonia: Azerbaijani Kukusa with Swiss Chard and Herbs from her latest book King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World.
Adventure into Jewish Ethiopian cuisine with a taste of Africa. Meskem Gebreyohannes, owner of Southfield’s Taste of Ethiopia, will demo and offer samples of Yatakilt We’t (cabbage and carrots seasoned with garlic, ginger and sesame oil) and injera (fermented bread) at 1 p.m.
At 2:30 p.m., the Gefilteria’s Liz Alpern will present Curd-to-Crêpe Blintzes. Discover the Eastern European, Ashkenazi history of the blintz — once the star of the Jewish dairy restaurants of the Lower East Side. Liz will teach participants how to make it from scratch, including the cheese, and also cook up savory blintz fillings, using seasonal vegetables sourced right from Detroit.
Authors will be available to meet and sell and sign books at a booth hosted by the JCC’s BookFair.
There’s also a Speaker’s Tent where you can hear panel discussions, such as “Troubled Water,” at 11:15 a.m., about the regional water issues facing southeast Michigan. Panelists include Monica Lewis Patrick, co-founder of We the People of Detroit; Steven Low, executive director at the Flint Jewish Federation; Sylvia Orduno, National Environmental Justice Advisory Council; and Julie Horowitz.
At 12:30 p.m. “Food For Good” is the discussion. Meet members of the community and the food initiatives they lead. Presenters include Jerry Ann Hebron of Oakland Avenue Farm and Roula David of Murals in the Market, among others.
Later in the day, at 1:45 p.m., Aryeh Bernstein from Jewish Initiative for Animals and Rabbi Herschel Finman of Jewish Ferndale lead a discussion on “The Suffering of Living Creatures.” Tza’ar Ba’alei Chaim is the Rabbinic prohibition against causing pain to animals. In this session, Bernstein will lead a text study and facilitate exploration into the scope of this concept, and Finman will speak on how a careful understanding of these Jewish texts can inform our personal and communal Jewish lives.
At 3 p.m., listen to a discussion on “Community Food Security in Detroit and Lessons for Everyone, Everywhere.” Presenters Kibibi Blount-Dorn, program manager at Detroit Food Policy Council; Kathryn Underwood, co-founder of Slow Food Detroit Central City; Devita Davison, executive director of FoodLab Detroit; and Suezette Olaker, M.D., a member and former chair of the Detroit Food Policy Council, will lead an interactive and down-to-earth discussion about food security and food justice.
If you’re the hands-on type, join Amalia Haas, a treatment-free, natural beekeeper and honey purveyor, at 11:30 a.m. for “A Land of Milk & Honey,” a varietal honey and tasting pairing program. This experiential session shares how to support honey bee survival. In this tasting session, she’ll weave the theme of the honeybees throughout the annual Jewish calendar.
At 1 p.m., community educator Karla Mitchell and Lottie Spady of Exhalation Integrative Wellness, an herbal apothecary, present “Translating the Science of Self Care.” They’ll teach participants basic health promotion tenets using herbs and/or other alternative methods.
Using meditation, music, movement and role play, presenter Elizabeth Yaari, artist and workshop facilitator, will present “Flowing Like Water” at 2:30 p.m., during which participants “will experience the passage of water from the beginning of time until today and give voice to the parts of our lives and the food that water nurtures.”
Health and Wellness Activities
Yoga Shelter will offer mini classes on the hour every hour of the festival covering yoga basics, such as stretching, posture and small strength building. M is 4 Massage will be offering chair massages for wellness. Weight Watchers Chef Isabella will be giving personal consults about how to incorporate more healthy recipes into your life, and Henry Ford Health Systems nurses will do BP screenings and BMI measurements.
Family Tent/Children’s Area
Join Elizabeth Yaari for “Vegetable Stories” at 11:15 a.m. Using rhythm and creative writing, she will show children how to connect to vegetables through their senses and find the stories nestled inside them. At 1 p.m. she presents “Seed Stories.”
At noon, Michigan State University Extension presents “Secret Smells” about how animals communicate in the natural world. This game will test kids’ senses and challenge them to learn to identify different scents found in Michigan.
Everyone can have a hand in painting a food mural, which will be facilitated by Murals in the Market. Also, visit the Topsy Turvy bus to share your family’s narrative of origin in relation to the Detroit food industry. Forty-five-minute tours of historic Eastern Market from Feet on the Street Tours will be offered at noon and 2 p.m.
Do-It Yourself Fun
While there, look to make challah with Aish and Havdalah kits with Camp Ramah. Plant with Camp Tavor; make rugelach with Bais Chabad; learn to recycle with the JCC; how to pickle with Yad Ezra and much, much more. To keep up-to-date on all that’s planned, visit hazon.org/calendar/michigan-jewish-food-festival-2.