Over the past two weeks I have been quite occupied at peace camp. This is my third summer on staff at Building Bridges for Peace and I was even a participant during my lovely teenage years. BBfP (as the insiders call it) has Palestinian, Israeli, and American Jewish, Muslim, and Christian teenagers spend two weeks together trying to figure each other out. Now I know what you’re all thinking. Why would a nice Jewish girl like me spend three weeks every year trying to talk to the enemy? I guess the simplest answer is that it makes me feel like a good person, and when it comes down to it, I do belive peace is possible on some level. I know — I’m cute.

images.jpgSo anyways, I’m sitting around the other night with some of the staff members and the topic of drinking comes up, as it often does with young twentysomethings. One of the staff members, who happens to be a borderline fundamentalist Christian, admits that the only time he’s ever really been drunk has been off of Manischewitz. I am physically repsulsed by this since the only time I ever drink it is when I’m at a kiddush and I need to lighten it up a bit. It becomes clear to me, though, that non-Jews think of this lovely syruppy liquid when the topic of Jewish alcohol comes up.

So the next day, I found out that Manischewitz is sponsoring a Kosher cook-off. Since apparently they know how to make good alcohol, I guess they’ll be able to judge good food (umm sure). The only requirements for this competition are that the recipes be original and, of course, kosher. The deadline is September 21. If anyone enters, I want to taste the genius recipe.

In other kosher alcohol news, there now exists a kosher beer maker in Germany. Who would have thought that sixty five years after the Holocaust a kosher beer would be made in the very place that Hitler rose to power? The beer maker admits that there is no difference between kosher and non-kosher beer, but why not make the Jews happy, and get them drunk in the process? Manischewitz shouldn’t have all the fun (after all, they already have a cooking contest).

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  • You wrote: “Why would a nice Jewish girl like me spend three weeks every year trying to talk to the enemy?”

    I wonder why you feel the need to justify and temper your actions with words? I’m glad you are trying to build bridges, but saddened that you felt the need to make excuses for it. Anyway, please keep up the good work – But referring to Christians and Muslims as “the enemy” (even if you were kidding) doesn’t help proloferate positivity.

  • Yes, but… That’s the reality of the situation. The opinion has been on all sides, overwhelmingly, that it’s us or them, and ‘they’ are the enemy.

  • Huh? Who do you think we all think is “the enemy”? Palestinians? American Muslims? American Christians?

  • Back in the olde days, when chicken parmagian was still kosher (before poultry became meat as wasn’t just parve), kosher wines were as dru as the best French or California wines. Rashi, a vintner, was not making thick malaga in his cellar. No.. No.. it wasn’t until the Hebrew tribes moved to New York State and had to use grapes made in inferior soils… they had to add sugar to make the wines drinkable, and thus thick, sweet, kosher wines proliferated. This is similar to the use of sweetened coffee in VietNam and Thailand (thai iced coffee).. their coffee plants grow in inferior more acidic soils, just like those old NY State grapes.

  • Ummm…yeah Eliana–I think this post requires that you have a sense of humor….

    Obviously SOS was not saying they were the enemy, she was joking about being at peace camp. Where, you know, people from DIFFERENT groups are supposed to talk to each other. In this case about really bad kosher wine. But whatever–it’s bonding.

    Larry–excellent post about the history of kosher chicken and wine. Not sure what it has to do with anything, but thanks for the history lesson!

  • No excuse to drink Manishevitz.

    Try some Domaine du Castel Grand Vin or Teperberg Meritage or Yarden Pinot Noir or California’s Gefen.

    It is assur to make brachot over bad wine (i.e. Kedem and Manishevitz and anything that calls itself Kiddush wine)