As a Jew, myself, cooking food that I commonly eat during the High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) allowed me to better connect with my own roots and to gain a better appreciation of how much work it is to prepare food for my family’s holiday gatherings. Additionally, we specifically selected recipes that I had not tried before so that I, too, could broaden my sense of cultural awareness as there are many different types of locational Jews (i.e. Sephardi, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi). This also created a great opportunity and experience for me to be able to share a tidbit of my own culture and traditional family recipes, while also learning and connecting more about Jews from all around the world.
My father grew up as a practicing Jew, and over the years he has become increasingly secular. However, learning, cooking, and eating traditional Jewish food from around the world was a way for me to better understand the Jewish high holidays and overall Jewish culture. The 7 hours of cooking was stressful, but totally worth it in the end. As I am not much of a cook, I still had an amazing time shaping the Pastelicos and rolling the Chocolate-Pecan Rugelach.