Today I took part in The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI) and Holocaust Educators Network Summer Satellite Workshop: Crossing Lines – Tools for Teaching Tough Topics. My colleague has been co-facilitating this workshop with another educator from Chico, CA for the past eight years and I’ve had the opportunity to be part of this engaging offering for teachers over several summers.
Each year brings new opportunities to connect with amazing educators who are passionate about teaching for social justice and providing students with an understanding of the common threads that connect the exclusion and forced removal of any group of people. Through the lens of the Holocaust, Japanese-American incarceration, the “Secret War in Laos,” and the recent Rwandan genocide, participants have the opportunity to examine the impact of “bystanders” and the power of “upstanders” to change the history of their communities and the world.
Our first day included our keynote: The History of Antisemitism: Rescuers, Perpetrators & Bystanders – Carol & Sam Edelman, co-directors, The Center for Excellence on the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, Human Rights, and Tolerance.
Carol Edelman is a Professor of Sociology at California State University, Chico, and Sam Edelman is a retired Professor of Communications at CSUC. They have been teaching courses on the Holocaust and genocide since the mid 1980’s and Carol continues to offer these classes every semester. Together, they have raised over $700,000 for their center and have been running seminars and workshops all over California for teachers on the Holocaust and genocide.
Sharing cultures and heritage through food traditions and giving each other nourishment through enjoying a meal together is one of the most communal things we can do – worldwide.
“Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from the get-go.”- Anthony Bourdain
(It should be mentioned that I was completely gutted to hear the horrible news of Anthony’s death… I can’t even begin to estimate how many hours of his stories I’ve watched and re-watched on his various TV shows and online. He was real, he taught me so much about food and brought me to countries and cultures I will never experience in my lifetime. Thank you Anthony for loving food and for delivering your spirit and enthusiasm into my living room and life.)
Today we shared an amazing meal catered by Solomon’s Delicatessen. Educators had the opportunity to learn a little bit about the history of how Solomon’s came about, while filling their plates with items from the delicious “Newish Jewish” deli spread.
Named after Tower Records founder, the late Russ Solomon, the deli’s menu pays homage to Russ and his legacy. No Music, No Life – became – No Bagels, No Life. Just like Tower Records once was, Solomon’s Delicatessen is a community gathering place where music and culture is celebrated and everyone is welcome.
Solomon’s Deli opened in the Davis Commons shopping center at 500 First St., Davis, CA in May of this year. Their Sacramento flagship location is expected to open at 730 K St. later this year – they hit some delays with the city, but are plugging along. I’m SO looking forward to the K St. location and will be waiting in line with other supporters when they open their doors.
Solomon’s breads and bagels are made daily through their partnership with Grateful Bread Co. The Challah was soft and airy and I WILL be comparing all rye moving forward… to theirs.
I’m not kidding, the sliced rye was really amazing – I loved the little kick at the end.
The spread included pickles, pickled onion, smoked white fish salad, egg salad, sauerkraut and horseradish cream. I was told that the white fish salad was a must try… so I did and would definitely order that again.
The salad combined greens, pickled onion, cucumber, red and yellow bell peppers and beets – man I love beets. We had a side conversation about beets and how my husband and other friends think they taste like dirt. Ha-ha – apparently there are a lot of beet haters out there – they must hangout with the Brussels sprouts haters on the corner of no sense of adventure and you obviously haven’t had them prepared correctly.
The corned beef, and pastrami was out of this world. Best I’ve ever had… the smokiness of the pastrami will be etched into memory for a long time. A slice of that with the spicy mustard on rye – yes please!
The roasted turkey paired great with the black salt bagels.
While my brain was left with a million thoughts and questions swirling around after discussing such a horrific topic and time in history, my body and soul were nourished with tasty Jewish food, new friendships and important connections.