The Jew And The Carrot

Growing in Eden Gardens

By Blair Nosan

Jackie Victor of IADS
IADS member Ginger Hopkins teaches young attendees from the neighborhood and the shul how to plant garlic at our Sukkot in Eden Gardens event

When I returned to Detroit from Adamah, the Jewish Environmental Fellowship in 2008, I had only two things on my mind: food and Jews. Having grown up in the Detroit suburbs, I had never before grown my own food. Coming of age in a secular family that belonged to a large Reform congregation, I had never sung Jewish songs, and had never celebrated Shabbat. At Adamah, we sang at every opportunity, and felt the meaning of Shabbat through the grateful rest of our aching muscles. From the moment I returned to Detroit, this time to the urban center instead of the 3rd ring suburb of my youth, I wondered if there would be some way to lead a Jewish life as rich and grounded as life at Adamah had been. There were a few realities that allowed me to excuse this as an impossible dream.

First, most of Detroit’s Jewish population exited the city for the suburbs over the course of the 50s and 60s. Much of this exit was motivated by post-WWII upward mobility, demographic shifts, and consequent racial tension. Also, most Jewish communities I’ve known in my life have been defined by insularity and exceptionalism, which led to my belief that, because the city of Detroit is 85% black, any Jewish Renaissance within its boarders was more likely to result in gentrification than integration.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Adamah, Community gardens, Detroit

Bagels and the Perfect (Homemade) Schmear

By Blair Nosan

Blair Nosan

I’ve been basking in the glory of a vibrant Jewish food community since moving to Detroit in 2009. From bountiful shabbat potlucks, heated debates about the role of urban agriculture, and teaching Jewish “Farm to Fork” curricula in suburban Jewish institutions, my friends and I have been busy. Despite of all the excitement, there has been one glaring absence: Bagels. I’m not just talking about authentic Jewish boiled bagels either — from Einstein’s to Detroit Bagel, all things round, doughy and savory have followed the mainstream Jewish population out of the city and into the suburbs. This was a situation that needed addressing!

While the intensity of my desires and my do-it-yourself attitude had me plugging away at rudimentary efforts to make sourdough bagels, a more yeasty affair rolled into town: the Detroit Institute of Bagels. Two brothers, hoping to start a bagel business, had asked to kick things off with a bagel fundraiser at my synagogue. As a self-titled “spontaneous preservationist” (I run a pickle/preserves business called Suddenly Sauer) and a less than capable baker, I eagerly re-assessed my goals and switched from bagel baking to finding an old world, nutritious, and delicious way to make the perfect schmear.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Suddenly Sauer, Schmear, Detroit Institute of Bagels, Bagels, Detroit




Find us on Facebook!
  • Yeshiva University's lawyer wanted to know why the dozens of former schoolboys now suing over a sexual abuse cover-up didn't sue decades ago. Read the judge's striking response here.
  • It’s over. The tyranny of the straight-haired, button nosed, tan-skinned girl has ended. Jewesses rejoice!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.