Tonight: Kosher Cooking and Kurds

It is the penultimate evening of the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival and there are two sensational authors who have been attracting a lot of attention to feature.

First at 6pm, Ronnie Fein introduces us to Hip Kosher–the burgeoning movement that liberates kosher cuisine from the moribund stereotype of gray meat cooked to the consistency of shoe leather and replaces it with easy-to-prepare recipes that would fit in nicely on any FoodNetwork show. Want an example? How about Lamb Chops with Charmoula Pesto? Or Pepper Crusted Bluefish with Horseradish Yogurt Sauce? Crisped Gilboa Cheese Panini with Fig Jam? You don’t have to be kosher or even Jewish to get your taste buds jumping at the mere description.

Also tonight at 7:30 pm, is Ariel Sabar’s widely heralded My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq. In this amazing family history, Sabar traces his father’s journey from his small village in Iraqi Kurdistan, where he was the last boy bar-mitzvahed to his new home in Israel, to his unlikely role as the premier scholar on Aramaic in the world, first at Yale and later at UCLA. Woven into this amazing life, is the story of one thoroughly American son’s quest to understand his roots and by proxy, his enigmatic father. His journey takes us from the skate parks of Southern California to post-Saddam Iraq and back again. This is a book people will be talking about for a long time.

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