Debates over Jewish Cuisine Could Be Described as 'Jewish Nationalism,' 'Boundary Making,' Professor Gross Says

Monday, January 04, 2021

THE TIMES OF ISRAEL (JERUSALEM) -- To Rachel B. Gross, a professor of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University, the debates about the proper way to eat Jewish foods and which foods are actually Jewish are really about drawing boundaries to determine which of the people who consume those foods are “in” or “out.”

“I think what could be happening here could be described as Jewish nationalism, and certainly Jewish boundary making in a long history with people using food in this way,” said Gross, whose forthcoming book “Beyond the Synagogue: Jewish Nostalgia as Religious Practice,” includes a section on the role of food in modern Jewish identity.