Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Celebration of Recipes Remembered

A very special event took place at the Museum Tuesday. June Feiss Hersh, author of Recipes Remembered: A Celebration of Survival, presented the survivors who contributed their food memories and histories with their own copies of the book. The entire room was kvelling with pride, most especially for June, who took on this project three years ago with the devotion of Mother Theresa and the will of Scarlett O’Hara.

The brunch, graciously hosted by June and her family, was a combination reunion and revival meeting. A lot of spontaneous applause, especially when it was announced that the book sold out in three weeks. Not to worry, we are reprinting as I type.

David Marwell and I spoke briefly, but June’s remarks were, well, there is no other word for it: remarkable. She spoke honestly about the long journey of the cookbook, and she showered love on the survivors, calling them out by name and fondly recalling their interviews, recipes, and histories. She spoke to them, and about them, with adoration and reverence. It takes great talent to write a cookbook that tells stories of the Holocaust and make it joyful, but that is what June has done. I got the sense that many of the survivors had told their stories to groups before. But by telling their stories to June, each story was captured forever in print. What a gift she has given them. And what a gift she has given the world. I think she’s just swell.

Pre-order your copy now of the book described by the New York Times’ Florence Fabricant as “lavishly illustrated” and “a rich collection” of recipes and stories. You can get it online at http://www.pickmanmuseumshop.com/ or call 646.437.4213. Read more about the book here.

Photo of Holocaust survivor Fira Stukelman, Museum Director David Marwell, and author June Feiss Hersh by Caroline Earp.

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