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Culinary traditions have played an integral role in the Jewish religion from its very beginning. Families have continually passed down these traditions from one generation to the next as a means to preserve Jewish culture as well as to maintain their Jewish identity. The authors propose that one of the methods of preserving and transmitting these culinary traditions, traditions clearly rooted in oral tradition, has been through the cookbook. While the written cookbook continues to be popular and marketable, traditional cookbook contents are becoming increasingly available online. In saving recipes for future generations, cookbooks preserve religious, cultural, and traditional elements of Jewish life. As important as it is for Jewish libraries to consider the value of cookbooks in preserving Judaism, non-Jewish libraries, from academic to public, and from K-12 to special, can also share in this mission. Passing cookbooks down through generations not only strengthens culinary cuisine and traditions, but also preserves memories, both familial and religious.


Originally published in Judaica Librarianship 16 (1), 149-72.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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