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The Cook and the Rabbi: Recipes and Stories to Celebrate the Jewish Holidays
A delicious exploration of the Jewish holidays, with illuminating conversations and meals shared by friends: a rabbi and a cook.
For many belonging to the Jewish diaspora, understanding the holidays means lighting a menorah for Chanukah, maybe hosting a seder during Passover. But, if celebrated with an understanding of the storied customs behind the festivities, these occasions can be so much more than candles and matzah. Following the lunisolar calendar, James Beard Award-winning author Susan Simon and Rabbi Zoe Zak devote a chapter to each of the fourteen holidays. From Selichot to Rosh Hashanah, Purim to Pesach, every holiday has history, interpretation, and foods, with kosher recipes that reimagine traditional dishes with flair.
More than a cookbook, The Cook and the Rabbi is a testament to the resilient versatility of the Jewish people and their traditions. With Rabbi Zoe’s thoughtful insight and Susan’s inspired recipes, there’s no end to the ways you might celebrate the holidays and make your personal relationship with them uplifting, inspiring, and deeply fulfilling. Chag Sameach!
About the Author:
Zoe B Zak has served as the rabbi of Temple Israel of Catskill in Catskill, NY since 2012. She is well matched to her warm, out-reaching community of congregants, being a person with a great heart and a passion for service to others. Together Rabbi Zoe and her congregation have created a welcoming home for all, including families of special needs children. Every congregant is included, respected and given a chance to participate at services and other celebrations.
Since 2015 Rabbi Zoe has acted as Outreach Chaplain for Jewish Federation of Northeastern NY. In this capacity, she visits Jewish residents and offers holiday celebrations at nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Greene County and part of Columbia County.
Rabbi Zoe has been a member of The Greater Kingston Chevra Kadisha since 1998 and Vice President of The Board of Directors since 2017. This organization is devoted to preparing the bodies of those who have passed away for Jewish burial.
Rabbi Zoe co-leads The Peace Ensemble, an Interfaith Initiative whose mission is to spread peace through music. Fellow musicians include Pastor Everett Newton, Hazzan Michael Kasper and Robert Bard. She is an active member of The Greene County Interfaith Community and The Greenville Area Interfaith Council.