Abbie Rosner writes about the multicultural culinary landscape of the Galilee for publications including Gastronomica and Wine Spectator and on her blog, Galilee Seasonality. She also established and operates “Culinary Tours of the Galilee,” which introduces visitors to Israel to the foods of the Galilee and the diverse cultures that prepare them.
Allison Sarnoff Soffer is the author of Apple Days – A Rosh Hashanah Story recently published by Kar-Ben. In addition to writing, Allison is passionate about teaching at Temple Sinai Nursery School where she weaves music and ritual into her work in the classroom. Allison especially enjoys writing for and about children. Apple Days is her first book.
Allyson is Maryland transplant living in NYC as a magazine editor. An avid traveler and foodie, she’s always on the hunt for her next adventure and a good bite to eat. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @allyren.
A food lover and self-proclaimed great talker, Amy Zitelman joined her two sisters and a brother-in-law to launch Soom Foods in 2012. Soom Foods sources sesame seeds in Ethiopia and manufactures delicious, nutritious sesame products in Israel for distribution in the US.
Andrew Friedman is an attorney in Washington, DC. He writes about food, nutrition and veganism on his blog, The Avocadbro. He loves animals, but doesn’t love eating them.
Andy Meyrowitz is the beverage director and sommelier at The Wine Harvest and The Wine Harvest at Park Potomac, a profession he has enjoyed for over 10 years. He studied hospitality at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and received his First Level Sommelier certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Andy thrives on connecting his professional passion to his love of Jewish tradition, culture and community. As a specialist of alcoholic beverages, he always tries to focus each drink with the right situation, connecting this to his Jewish upbringing where there was wine on the table on Friday and Saturday nights for Shabbat, Passover and in other times of celebration as well as mourning. For Andy, moderation is the key to a happy life of enjoying wine.
Aviva Goldfarb is Family Dinner Expert, Founder and CEO of the Six O’Clock Scramble, which encourages family mealtime, promotes healthy meals for children and supports local farmers through an online meal planning and grocery shopping system. She is the author of two cookbooks, The Six O’Clock Scramble and SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue (St. Martin’s Press).
Beyhan is the third daughter of a Jewish mother (Beti) and Muslim father (Zeki) who immigrated with the family to the US in 1958. Her book, The Ottoman Turk and the Pretty Jewish Girl, is an outstanding Turkish/Sephardic cookbook as well as a fascinating memoir that captures a precious legacy—the “old world” family recipes which have been passed down from one generation of cooks to the next in an unbroken chain.
Cheryl Kollin is the principal of Full Plate Ventures, a consulting business that works with entrepreneurs and nonprofits to address the interconnected issues of local food systems, environmental sustainability and economic development. Cheryl is a founding member of the Montgomery County Food Council. She won the 2012 Adat Shalom Iron Chef contest fundraiser.
Claire Uziel has been the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington’s Assistant Archivist since 2005. When she’s not taking care of the community’s history, she takes care of the Society’s website. Claire grew up eating from Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions and is grateful for an extended family that loves to cook.
Teenage Debbi Minkoff Miller was famous for her banana bread, inspired by a recipe she had found in an old cookbook at home. Years later, she is the owner and “Top Banana” of Union Kitchen-produced Banana Love Muffins, which is “changing the world one [healthy, vegan banana] muffin at a time.”
Denyse Tannenbaum is a writer and editor who covered education, crime and business before finding the food beat. She has discovered that it’s almost as much fun to write about food as it is to eat it.
Emily Landsman is the former Chief Creative Officer and brand ambassador at Catoctin Creek Distilling Company in Purcellville, Virginia. She is a freelance media consultant by day and spirited cocktail connoisseur by night. Emily has a BA and MPA from The George Washington University.
Esther Schuster (mom) is a recently retired social worker and the former executive director of Collat Jewish Family Services in Birmingham, AL. She now enjoys having time for grocery shopping and cooking in daylight hours, mahjong and other new pursuits. Esther thrives on throwing dinner parties for 40 + people, which “ain’t no thang” in Alabama. She is the mother of one daughter, three refrigerators and four freezers. Crucial in-stock food items for her include canned tomatoes, shelled walnuts and pine nuts, Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips (she has over 30 pounds in the laundry room freezer right now…seriously), EVOO, black beans and Jarlsberg cheese. She loves Costco and olives.
Evan Caplan hails from the second Jewish homeland: New York. After a stint in the Peace Corps, he settled in the District and loves calling this fascinating slice of America home. He’s a travel and food writer when not at his day job working in international development.
Jane Yamaykin lives in Takoma Park and is passionate about Judaism, social justice and food. She has worked for nonprofit organizations for nearly ten years and stays actively involved in community organizing and direct-service volunteer opportunities. She loves to relax by cooking with farmers market finds and inviting friends over to share the meal.
Jeff Rum is president and chief creative officer at SPARK Experience Design, a full-service digital agency that focuses on user experience design. Jeff recently led the digital marketing and web design efforts for the Knightsbridge Restaurant Group that includes world-renowned restaurants such as Rasika, Bibiana, Oval Room, Ardeo+Bardeo, Bombay Club and 701. Jeff was profiled in SmartCEO Magazine and regularly serves as an online panelist for CMSWire. He has been featured in HP’s blog, Input Output and he is a contributor to the updated version of Letting Go of the Words by Janice (Ginny) Redish, a world-renowned author and content specialist.
Jenna Weissman Joselit is the Charles E. Smith Professor of Judaic Studies & Professor of History at The George Washington University, where she also directs its Program in Judaic Studies and MA in Jewish Cultural Arts.
Part journalist, part copywriter, Jessica Leshnoff is 100 percent writer. A longtime contributing writer for Baltimore Magazine, she made her publishing debut in March 2011 as a contributor to the highly anticipated book, It Gets Better: Coming, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living. An award-winning humor blogger, recovering Jersey girl, and early lunch proponent, Jessica lives with her partner in southeast Baltimore and chronicles their adventures on her humor blog, Lunch at 11:30.
The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington and its Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum preserve, chronicle and present the story of the local Jewish community through archival collections, exhibits, educational programs, publications, and the restoration and preservation of the oldest synagogue building in the nation’s capital. The Museum is located in the historic 1876 Adas Israel Synagogue—the oldest in the Washington, D.C., area. The synagogue is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites (PDF), and the Historic American Buildings Survey. It is an Official Project of the Save America’s Treasures program.
Joan Nathan is the author of ten cookbooks including her most recent, Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France (Knopf), which was named one of the 10 best cookbooks of 2010 by NPR, Food and Wine and Bon Appétit magazines. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times and Tablet Magazine.
Coming from a long line of fabulous Jewish culinarians, Julie Silverstein is committed to inventing new dishes and bringing fresh and local ingredients with unique international flavors to her table. After serving as the speechwriter for the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations and a conflict resolution instructor at Harvard, a crisis in the kitchen doesn’t ruffle her apron. Julie lives in Washingto0,n DC with her in-house taste testers—her husband, Rusty, and three young children.
Kara Elder grew up playing in the kitchen and reading cookbooks for fun. After graduating with a degree in Russian, her love for food led her to start The Troika Table with her mother and sister. Kara currently works for Joan Nathan and at Bazaar Spices in DC’s Union Market.
Like many others, Leah Hadad once worked as a lawyer. But her life-long love for cooking and baking led her to start Tribes-a-Dozen and develop its signature product, Voilà! Hallah, a line of all-natural, kosher challah bread mixes. Her calling now is to revive the tradition of baking challah at home. Leah draws on her Yemenite-Israeli roots as she is mixin’ traditions in her kitchen for family and friends in Washington, DC.
For over 20 years, Dr. Marion Usher has helped Jewish interfaith couples examine the role of love and religion in their relationships. She has worked with over 600 interfaith couples, as well as parents and grandparents, in workshops and reached many more through her website and blog. A professor of psychiatry with a private practice, Marion is also a grandmother who delights in preparing Shabbat and holiday meals for her family.
Merav Levkowitz is JFE’s Digital Content Manager. The daughter of an Israeli father and a Colombian Jewish mother, Merav speaks six languages and has eaten her way around the globe. At any moment, Merav is planning either her next meal or her next trip—or both.
Only after Pati Jinich got her dream job as a policy analyst did she realize, with a nudge from her husband, that food is really her first love. Nostalgia for her childhood meals in Mexico City inspires her mission to teach true Mexican cooking through classes, her public television show Pati’s Mexican Table and her blog and cookbook.
Paul Entis, JFE director, is passionate about all things culinary: good food, kitchen gadgets, hosting brunches, ordering artisanal ingredients online, adapting recipes, watching Top Chef, you name it. He’s worked in the nonprofit world for close to 20 years as a fundraiser, event planner, administrator and program director. Paul served as the Site Director for AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps’ DC site and Hillel Director at the University of Southern California and UMass/Amherst. He is interested in food as a social justice issue and volunteers at N Street Village helping prepare a monthly meal for the agency’s clients.
French-trained pastry chef Paula Shoyer wrote The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-Free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy to start a kosher baking revolution. A former attorney, Paula teaches baking in DC and across the US and Canada. A frequent guest on local and national television and radio, her second book, The Holiday Kosher Baker, was released October 2013.
The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington and its Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum preserve, chronicle and present the story of the local Jewish community through archival collections, exhibits, educational programs, publications, and the restoration and preservation of the oldest synagogue building in the nation’s capital. The Museum is located in the historic 1876 Adas Israel Synagogue—the oldest in the Washington, DC, area. The synagogue is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the DC Inventory of Historic Sites (PDF), and the Historic American Buildings Survey. It is an Official Project of the Save America’s Treasures program.
Rabbi Susan N. Shankman has served as a rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation since 2001. In addition to officiating at services and life cycle events, she focuses on adult education, confirmation, youth programming, engaging young families, social action and Sisterhood. Rabbi Shankman joined The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Board of Directors in 2014. She and her husband, Rabbi Michael Namath, have three children.
Rachel is a writer, cook, chocolatier and self-described celebrationist. She loves to create memorable, fun and delicious experiences through imaginative food and menus. Writing about the recipes, and occasions they are prepared for, is her way of savoring the memories long after the dishes have been washed. Find Rachel’s stories and recipes on her website.
Sala Levin is a writer for Moment Magazine, the nation’s largest independent Jewish publication, covering Jewish politics, culture and religion. She’s written about Israeli street food, Jewish ghosts, famous heretics and much more. Sala first fell in love with cooking in college, when 11 am classes left her lots of time to putter in the kitchen. Now, she’s more often found bookmarking her favorite recipes online and trying frantically to cook them all in her free time.
Sam Rosenbaum is volunteer coordinator at The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Jconnect. He has worked with volunteers, students and clients in a community service setting since 1998. Originally from Canada, he joined The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington in 2004 to begin the Jewish Volunteer Connection volunteer clearinghouse, which has grown into Jconnect, a comprehensive community outreach program. He lives in Silver Spring, MD with his wife, daughter, and two cats.
Sam Bass has been involved with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington since 2011 and currently serves as program coordinator. She is responsible for educational programs and tours, special events and membership outreach. A Wisconsin native, she loves frozen custard and all things food-related, which she documents on her food history blog.
Inspired to get involved in the local food movement, Sara Polon (Soupergirl), together with her mom (Supermom), launched Soupergirl, creating healthy, kosher, vegan soups, which are available at their DC store, several other locations around town and by delivery.
Shaina Shealy (daughter) is currently spending a year in Jerusalem where she’s exploring abundant vegetables at Israel’s many markets and studying for a Masters Degree in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Hebrew University in conjunction with The George Washington University. She’s prone to existential crises every two weeks and spends 20 percent of her 20-something life washing, peeling, cooking or eating vegetables. Known to throw elaborate dinner parties with her housemates, her pantry is always stocked with extra virgin coconut oil, tahini, raw almonds and Himalayan sea salt. She hates olives.
Award-winning author of 26 cookbooks, Sheilah Kaufman has taught and lectured from Alaska to Mexico and around the world for 40 years, demystifying cooking with her fearless and fussless international recipes. As a partner in the Cookbook Construction Crew, she mentors and collaborates with other authors on proofreading, editing, recipe testing and publishing their books.
Shulie Madnick is an Israeli Indian living in the DC area. Her parents are Bnai Israel Indian Jews born and raised in and near Mumbai, India. Shulie is a food and travel writer and a photographer. Her articles and photographs have appeared in various publications and on her website.
Stacey Viera is a freelance food photographer, public relations flack and writer in Arlington, Virginia. She founded Best Light Communications seven years ago to picture her clients in the best light. Her grandfather and career photographer, Stan Singer, inspired her passion for creating timeless images, specializing in mouth-watering food photography. Like her (fairly portly) Papa Stan before her, she lives for making photos, eating food and her family. When she isn’t photographing food for clients or her blog, she’s eating, baking, cooking, knitting and wrangling her young son, husband and French bulldog, Tchotchke. Bio photo credit: Aziz Yazdani.
While Stephanie has spent the last 15+ years as a professional communications executive, her passion is food. To her, food is love. Food is cultural and food is spiritual. Food can spark intense and rewarding conversations about myriad topics and food can provide a comfortable backdrop when conversations become uncomfortable. Stephanie had a successful stint as a professional chef, where she was able to hone her craft and instill in her clients the importance in healthy, delicious eating. Stephanie believes the quality of the food we place in our bodies directly correlates to how our bodies treat us. She believes in whole, natural, organic, and delicious living, and gets an enormous sense of pride and satisfaction creating healthy versions of traditional holiday foods. Stephanie and her husband, Ilan, are the proud parents of three daughters who love food as much as they do!
Susan Barocas adores food, film, family and friends…although not necessarily in that order. She helped launch the Jewish Food Experience as its first project director following several years as director of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. Currently, Susan writes, produces and directs documentaries and films for non-profit organizations. She also organizes special events, teaches cooking, caters and considers hosting a holiday meal for less than 20 to be small. Susan still has her first cookbook, Betty Crocker’s Cook Book for Boys and Girls from 1957.
Tanya Tolchin grows vegetables and flowers on her family farm in Maryland just 20 miles from Washington, DC. She is a manager of Israeli Harvest, which supports Israeli farmers by selling their organic olive oil and dates in the US. She writes about farming, parenting and Jewish life on her blog and elsewhere.
Tina Wasserman is the author of Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora and Entrée to Judaism for Families: Jewish Cooking and Kitchen Conversations with Children. A food writer and cooking instructor for over 40 years, her hands-on approach to food (that also happens to be kosher) and its preparation appeal equally to Jewish and non-Jewish students.
Vered Guttman is passionate about Jewish and Israeli food. She writes the popular Modern Manna food blog for for Israel’s daily newspaper, Haaretz, and her articles appear in the Washington Post and slate.com, among others. She is also chef and owner of Cardamom & Mint, a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern catering company in Washington, DC. Growing up in Israel, Vered took her first steps in Jewish cooking sitting at the table of her two grandmothers, one from Poland, the other from Iraq. To these traditional Jewish flavors, she has now added the wonders of Israel’s modern fusion kitchen to create new Israeli-inspired recipes.
Zachary Paul Levine joined the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington in 2014 as its curator, helping to develop the Society’s new museum. A native of Bethesda, he returned to Washington after ten years in New York (mostly), Hungary and Israel, places in which he cultivated his love for home brewing, mushroom goulash and hummus.