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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

BZA shows Israeli culture through food

Published: November 12, 2010
Section: News

The Brandeis Zionist Association held their annual musical social event, “Israel Gourmet Buffet,” Monday in Ridgewood Commons. Taking place during Israeli Occupation Awareness Week, the event was a break from politics and showcased the culture of Israel by listening to Israeli music and eating a variety of Israeli foods.

In the spirit of celebrating culture, all around the walls were posters with facts about Israel. On one poster labeled “Anglo-Saxon Israel,” it was written that there are approximately 110,000 North American immigrants living in Israel. Another poster praised Israel’s support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual rights, including same-sex common law marriage and adoption rights. Still another poster instead focused on acting, describing the achievements of Makran Khoury, an Israeli actor.

The real feature was the food. Benny Sternberg ’14 explained his joy when he said, “I love food! And Israeli food is the best kind!”

Various cultures were represented with their food. There was Israeli hummus and pita bread, Moroccan lemon cake, Yemenite eggplant salad, Charedi potato kugel, and, of course, peanut butter and fluff sandwiches, representing the Anglo-Saxons who have immigrated to Israel.

Along with this, the organization also was advertising their current fundraiser, “Save a Child’s Heart,” an Israeli-based humanitarian aid project. The basic idea, Tamar Schneck ’13 of BZA said, is to try to raise money to help children with heart issues in underdeveloped countries who would not be able to get heart transplants otherwise. There was a table set up asking for dollar donations with a variety of colorful construction paper to make cards to send to the children.

Rachel Goutman ’12, the head of BZA, described that the purpose of the event was to show a “cultural Israel.” She said that the purpose was to show Israel in a different light, rather than just focusing on the politics. However, the event was just one of the first Israel-focused events of the week, and there were various reactions about the rest of the events planned for Israeli Occupation Awareness Week.

After being asked if he would attend these events, Sternberg responded that he wanted to hear the other side even if he would not agree with it.

“I’d like to say that I do not support those events, but I’m going to view the not so good opinions about Israeli government,” he said.