In this lesson, which I adapt to different courses, students explore Centropa’s web page with Jewish recipes curated by Jayne Cohen, and read In Memory’s Kitchen, a collection of recipes women gathered while in the Nazi camps. As a way to learn about pre-war Jewish culture, and to bring that learning from the intellect to their senses, students are asked to find a recipe that they then cook with their parents.
We began by watching Centropa’s film So Memory Doesn’t Die, about Teofila Silberring’s harrowing experience during the Holocaust. She was saved from starvation by a kind family friend who gave her blueberry pirogues at key moments, and we focused on the role these pirogues played in her story. After discussing this, students were asked to research an important food in their family, and then to make a cookbook page –either by hand, or digitally – and represent the dish and its importance in the family through images, colors, and design.
Students interviewed and took pictures of a relative while they prepared a favorite family recipe. The students then created a PowerPoint presentation that included their relative preparing the dish; background information about the recipe and the family member; and a recipe from Centropa that will highlight the similarities in Jewish cooking. Students’ interactions through family collaborative tasks can provide opportunities for them to acquire knowledge that may ultimately influence their personal development and growth.
This lesson uses the interview from Hedvig Endrei, from Hungary. In a labor camp during the war, Mrs. Endrei and her friends wrote out a book of recipes and she returned home with this book.