The Shulman Hillel at University of Iowa and the Adult Education Committee of Agudas Achim Congregation will be hosting a visit from Jewish food historian and cookbook author Gil Marks. An American who has recently moved to Israel, Marks is a leading authority on Jewish food culture and has published several cookbooks making food history and ancient recipes accessible for the home cook.
The visit will consist of two events on January 31. At noon, at the Shulman Hillel Building at 122 E. Market Street in Iowa City, Marks will be signing books and giving his lecture, “From Schmear to Eternity: The Mainstreaming of Jewish Food and Culture in America.” He will discuss the history of how Jewish foods, such as bagels and chicken soup, have gradually become American classics.
At 7 p.m. on January 31, Marks will be giving a cooking demonstration in the Hillel kitchen at the same address. He will be making and serving traditional vegetarian recipes for the Jewish holiday of Purim. The holiday is one that commemorates the Jewish community of ancient Persia avoiding annihilation.
The Hillel and Agudas Achim Congregation are working together to bring Marks to Iowa City because he will appeal to a variety of audiences. His books are of interest not only to the Jewish community, but anyone interested in food history and traditional cuisines. The two organizations also hope to bring attention to new developments, including a kitchen renovation at Hillel and the brand-new synagogue building.
I plan to attend one of Gil Marks’ presentations. Will you?