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The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

The Bancroft Library


University of California, Berkeley
Warren Hellman Gallery
Charles Michael Gallery
Irving Rabin Collection Wing
August 28, 2014June 26, 2015
Gourmet Ghettos
MODERN FOOD RI TUAL S
CASE STUDY NO. 5
b
Gourmet Ghettos: Modern Food Rituals
Case Study No. 5
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Warren Hellman Gallery, Charles Michael Gallery, and
Irving Rabin Collection Wing
August 28, 2014June 26, 2015
Galleries open TuesdayFriday 11 AM4 PM
(closed December 20, 2014January 26, 2015)
bit.ly/gourmetghettos
EXHIBITION TEAM
Curators: Dr. Francesco Spagnolo and India Mandelkern
(PhD Candidate, History)
Contributing Scholar: Dr. Yahil Zaban, Tel Aviv University
Helen Diller Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, 20122014
Registrars: Julie Franklin, Lorna Kirwan (Bancroft Library)
Research: Gary Handman, Zoe Lewin (URAP), Christine Liu (URAP)
Design: Gordon Chun Design
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Major support for The Magnes comes from the Hellman Family
Foundation, Koret Foundation, Magnes Museum Foundation,
Taube Philanthropies and Magnes Leadership Circle. Additional
research funds were provided by the Helen Fawcett Chair in History
at UC Berkeley.
COVER IMAGE
le-shanah tovah. tikatevu (May you be inscribed for a good year)
A Happy New Year
Popup greeting card
Germany, n.d.
GIFT OF SOLOMON L. GLUCK, LIB 73.35.3
1 b
Curators Note
From Alexander Portnoys french fry cravings to eating
Chinese food on Christmas, from the abominations of
Leviticus to the legendary New York City kosher deli, Jewish
food rituals combine religion and history, folklore and stereo-
type. In many ways, foods remarkable powers of expression
are encapsulated by the Jewish experience.
Jewish foodways are associated with religious and cultural
partic ularism almost by default. At the same time, they are
relevant to the broader ways in which we think about food,
eating, and conviviality today. Gourmet Ghettos considers
how food, ritual, identity, and activism intersect in Jewish
life. Using objects from around the world, ranging from
cookware, tableware, and kitchen textiles to books, manu-
scripts, paintings and drawings, this exhibition also examines
Jewish food rituals as meaningful frameworks in which to
contextualize todays food movement. Modern food ritu-
als are deeply embedded in Berkeleys history, a city with
a powerful tradition of social justice and its own gourmet
ghetto, a term inherited from the original Jewish ghettos of
Renaissance Europe.
These connections may not be intuitive at rst. After all,
todays food culture seems to pride itself on its global omniv-
orousness, rejecting the status and structure of highbrow
grande cuisine in favor of exoticism, camp, and culinary
pastiche. We attribute our passions for sustainability and
social justice to the past two hundred years of industrial-
ization, which opened a Pandoras box of hyper-processing,
environmental degradation, human rights abuses, and
unprecedented waste.
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Yet, given a closer look, Jewish foodways in fact engage with
these issues more than we may think. Many of the agricultural
laws outlined in the Biblesuch as the sabbatical year
(shemitah) when land must lie fallow, or the prohibition of
eating fruit from young trees (orlah)link Jewish identity to
sustainable agricultural practices. Likewise, much in the same
way that todays debates about animal welfare reect larger
concerns about our status as a civil society, Biblical and rab-
binic guidelines governing the ritual slaughter and inspection
of carcasses appear to ethicize the search for and the con-
sumption of food, one of the most personal and immediate
ways in which we connect with the natural world.
Links between Jewish food rituals and the modern food
move ment extend beyond their respective ethics of food
production. Much like dietary laws have structured Jewish
identities throughout history, the modern foodie organizes
his or her food choices by distinguishing between what is
morally t and unt for consumption. Indeed, the regulatory
work achieved today by nutritional labels and various
ethically-grounded certicationsorganic, local,
GMO-freewas for centuries accomplished by a
single term: kosher.
FRANCESCO SPAGNOLO and INDIA MANDELKERN
3 2
Introduction
Are we chopped liver?
A few years ago, while giving a lecture on The Poetics of
Jewish Food, something began to trouble me. I was reading
an excerpt from Dror Bursteins novel, Avner Brenner (2005),
one of the best Hebrew novels published in the last decade,
when I felt a burning sensation in my chest. The excerpt
described a festive Jewish family dinner in which the guests
enjoyed chopped liver, a well-known Jewish dish. So smooth,
sweet, and silky was this liver, that the guests felt as if they
were actually eating ice cream, while the challah bread served
with it was so uffy and delicate that the guests compared
it to cake. The main course became a dessert upon the rst
bite. Such food, one guest remarked, should be served at the
wedding of their enemies enemies. But while most of the
audience were laughing, I felt like someone was puncturing my
skin with two hot iron rods. An irrational fear gripped me. Had
the unbelievable happened? Had this cholesterol-rich literary
dish managed to block my arteries? I raised my eye from
the book, and saw a gentleman who must have been in his
seventies sitting before me: clenched sts, pressed lips, and
two burning, raging, piercing eyes.
I stopped reading. Is everything alright?
No, he said, springing to his feet. Nothing is ok. You call
this Jewish food, but this is no Jewish food. Believe me, I know
chopped liver when I see it: Ive eaten it my entire life. My
grandmother made it, my mother made it, and it was never
sweet. Never! If you want something sweet, ask the French
to taste their foie gras. But if this is Jewish, it cannot be sweet,
so what in the hell is all this nonsense about cakes and ice
cream?
I usually know how to deal with his sort, the kind that take their
childhood meals so personally. In a soothing voice, I explained
that this was only a ctional description of chopped liver. I was
busily explaining the mechanics of literary description when a
high-pitched call from one of the back rows interrupted me.
I dont know who your grandmother is, mister, but my Bubbe
made the sweetest chopped liver there is. I nearly gasped as
the vengeful eyes xed on a blasphemous old lady.
You must be from Warsaw, he charged. Your kind puts
sugar in everything, even in chicken soup. Its the only condi-
ment you use!
The lady didnt inch. Im a proud Warsaw descendant, but
you are wrong. The sweetness comes not from sugar but from
chopped onions fried in schmaltz (goose fat).
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In fear of escalating the conict, I decided to end the debate
with a peace offering. Each Jewish dish has many variations,
I suggested. Each community made it differently and
because our identities and memories are so intertwined
with eating, our communal perception is conditioned by
childhood emotion . . .
But what about the hard-boiled egg?
Another concerned diner cut my soliloquy short.
Everybody knows that you must add a crushed hard-boiled
egg to the dish. Otherwise it will be too watery.
And the gherkins, another voice added. They cut the
sweetness of the onions.
No sweet onions! my nemesis shouted from the front row.
Only raw onions and no hardboiled egg!
My lecture had disintegrated into a battle of words. Virtual
chopped livers ew over my head, a brigade of gherkin
diehards jousted with elderly purists, people brandished
eggplants, eyerlekh and mashed potatoes while an elderly
gentleman, grasping my sleeve, recounted how, when he was
a child and his family had no refrigerator, they ate an entire
chopped liver over the course of each Sabbath. It was the
only meat dish we ever ate. Oh, how we hated it! I still hate it
to this very day!
Fortunately, the organizer of the evening soon pacied the
mob. We are at a lecture about literature, she reprimanded,
not in a cooking class. Once the hall became reasonably
quiet, she turned to me and asked if I could please repeat the
name of the dish in question. I should have known better,
but I was young and believed in humanitys innate mercy.
Chopped liver, I said.
Exactly she said. Chopped! So how dare you say smooth
and silky like ice cream when its very name refers to a crude
piece of meat. The burning sensation in my chest returned.
I ended the lecture feeling lifeless and deated, much like the
humble dish itself.
But as I headed back home that night clinging to my now
worthless notes and books, humbled by the powers of Jewish
tradition, I was stopped by a member of the audience. In
Morocco, where she was from, she told me, no Jew ate
chopped liver. The whole debate was meaningless. You can
add gherkins, onions, schmaltz, it doesnt matter. It was just a
European dish that Jews happened to enjoy eating.
So what is Jewish food? Does it have a unique identity that
separates it from other culinary traditions? I dont have all the
answers, but there are a few general features:
5 4
First, Jewish food is kosher food. Anthropologists tell us that
every community, tribe, and nation has its own complex food
system determined by rules, traditions, social necessities,
and environmental conditions. Jewish dietary laws are among
the most intricate, multifaceted, and enigmatic among them.
They began as a few humble proscriptions recorded in the
books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, which were later inter-
preted and reinterpreted by rabbis in the Mishnah and the
Talmud. Since then, these laws have been codied, elabo-
rated, and re-elaborated by generations of Jewish scholars.
Although the goal of rabbinic law was to demarcate what is
appropriate (in Hebrew, kasher) for Jewish people to eat from
what it is not, the labyrinth of rules and restrictions it cre-
ated can make what counts as Jewish food a highly divisive
issue. Jewish food is therefore dened by both afrmation
and negation, and turns the biological act of eating into a
religious act. There are countless explanations for why the
Jewish dietary laws exist as they do. But the basic fact is that
Jewish food must be kosher, meaning that it is immersed in
the Jewish scholarly tradition.
From the point of view of kashrut, chopped liver is a highly
paradoxical dish, as the Bible forbids eating blood. There is
a vast rabbinic literature on chopped liver: how to salt it, cut
it, skewer and chop it. By eating chopped liver, one not only
abides by Gods will, but also validates the profound relation-
ship between text and practice, word and body.
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Second, Jewish food is poor mans food. Shaped by two thou-
sand years of socioeconomic repression, most Jewish dishes,
throughout the diaspora, reect the harsh conditions of exis-
tence. Chicken soup was considered healthy because it was
often the best thing at hand to serve to the sick. Jachnoon, the
Yemenite bread made of cooked dough left overnight, was
revered because it looked like meat and could defer hunger
for hours. Chopped liver was beloved not for its taste as
much as its price; in eastern Europe, offal wasnt taxed by the
government because it so easily spoiled.
Last, Jewish food is a form of communal memory. The
eastern European cholent, the Iraqi tabit, and the Moroccan
schina might use different ingredients, but they are all pre-
pared in advance to be enjoyed on Shabbat, marking the six
days of creation and the day of rest that followed. Different
dishes can share a symbolic function, and conversely, the
same dish can evoke very different collective memories.
While chopped liver became Jewish in the United States
because of its price, in Israel it evoked the austerity period
during the 1950s, when the Ministry of Rationing attempted
to replace ita widely beloved delicacywith chopped cour-
gettes. In both cases, however, food was then, as it continues
to be today, a powerful tool to evoke the past. Once it enters
the body, it becomes permanently integrated in the consum-
ers identity and lives on as an edible memory.
Gourmet Ghettos invites us to explore the vast traditions,
tastes, rituals and customs that dene Jewish food. But it
also shows us how Jewishness is always an ongoing recipe
that continues to be written, revised, and re-embodied from
generation to generation.
YAHIL ZABAN
Tel Aviv University
Helen Diller Foundation postdoctoral fellow, UC Berkeley
(20122014)
7 6
WARREN HELMAN GALLERY
CASE A
Religious and Secular
Food Rituals
Religious rituals mark the beginning (kiddush) and the end
(havdalah) of the Sabbath and holidays. Aromatic spices and
candle light invoke our senses to punctuate the passage of
time, while the inebriating properties of wine seal the bonds of
kinship among drinkers. These qualities are equally important
to secular rituals, such as preparing, serving, and drinking
coffee in the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin, and
can invest them with religious meaning. For instance, coffees
arrival to Europe in the 16th century enabled the development
of nighttime Kabbalistic rituals still celebrated today.
1. Kiddush set. Six wine cups and plate engraved in honor of
Rabbi Irving F. Reichert
USA, 1916
Silver
GIFT OF RABBI IRVING F. REICHERT, 66.2 a-g
2. Havdalah set. Wine cup, spice container, candle holder, and
plate inscribed in Hebrew ha-mavdil beyn qodesh le-chol
(He who separates the holy from the profane)
Berlin, Germany, Posen-Posen, ca. 1930
Silver
GIFT OF THE ESTATE OF STEFANIE JONAS, 2002.6.5.1-4
3. Coffee set. Pot, sugar bowl, cups, and tray
Damascus, Syria, ca. 1930
Copper, enamel, porcelain
GIFT OF MARY SCHUSSHEIM, 85.35.2 a-p
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CASE B
Embodying Identity
Captured in 1980s San Francisco, American photographer
Ira Nowinskis depictions of Russian Jewish immigrants
portray the quiet contemplative dignity of men and women
allowed to openly practice their faith for the rst time. Yves
Mozelsios portraits, taken a decade later in Chicago, reveal
a very different frame of mind. His subjects, prosperous
candy story owners, kashrut supervisors, shmongers, and
chefs, look straight at the camera, condent in their elds of
expertise. These two sets of portraits call attention to foods
ability to dene identity. Not only does the production and
consumption of food nourish immigrant livelihoods in a new
and foreign place, but, as Mozelsio illustrates, it continues to
work as an agent of progress and self-realization.
Yves Mozelsio (b. 1961, Belgium)
The Fruits of Our Labor: Orthodox Jews at Work
Chicago, Ill., 19961999
1. Menachem Emanuel (candy store retailer)
1997
Silver gelatin print
GIFT OF YVES MOZELSIO, 2012.6.36
2. David Schwartz (mashgiachKasherut supervisor)
1998
Silver gelatin print
GIFT OF YVES MOZELSIO, 2012.6.29
3. Dorothy Levant Chakiris (chef )
1998
Silver gelatin print
GIFT OF YVES MOZELSIO, 2012.6.23
4. Aharon Morgan (kosher sh store owner and operator)
1997
Silver gelatin print
GIFT OF YVES MOZELSIO, 2012.6.8
Ira Nowinski (b. 1938, United States)
5. Untitled (Man reading a Russian-English Passover
Haggadah), from the series Soviet migrs, San Francisco
San Francisco, Calif., 1991
Silver gelatin print
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, 92.29.4
6. The Karaite JewsSan Francisco, Ca, 1984
San Francisco, Calif., 1985
Silver gelatin print
GIFT OF KARL AND ELSA KRAUS, 86.14.5
9 8
7. Untitled (Community meal), from the series Soviet
migrs, San Francisco
San Francisco, Calif., 1991
Silver gelatin print
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, 92.29.23
8. Untitled (Kosher grocer), from the series Soviet migrs,
San Francisco
San Francisco, Calif., 1991
Silver gelatin print
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, 92.29.24
Food and Celebration
Throughout history, celebrations have been dened by
alimentary rituals. Not only are they typied by abundant
quantities of food, but they are frequently marked by unusual
or special foods that allow eaters to reenact religious
narratives. Alcohol is also an important element, whether
it is used to sanctify a historical moment or to fuel an
altered collective consciousness. Thanks to food and drink,
celebrations are transformed from exalted eating occasions
into bona de performances. These can be manifested in
several ways. During Passover, participants recline on pillows
as they take turns reciting from the Haggadah, echoing the
symposia of ancient Greece. On Purim, all Jews must perform
mishloach manotthe sending of portionsallowing them
to re-enact a biblical narrative while participating vicariously
in their friends Purim feasts.
1. Anonymous
San Francisco Jewish family in the California redwoods
California, ca. 1900
Silver gelatin print
SOPHIE AND THEODORE LILIENTHAL LETTERS AND PHOTOGRAPHS,
BANC MSS 2010/732, THE MAGNES COLLECTION OF JEWISH ART AND
LIFE, THE BANCROFT LIBRARY
2. Sedar Service 1916: Emanuel Sisterhood
San Francisco, Calif., Morton & Co., 1916
Silver gelatin print
EMANU-EL RESIDENCE CLUB OF SAN FRANCISCO RECORDS, BANC MSS
2010/717, THE MAGNES COLLECTION OF JEWISH ART AND LIFE, THE
BANCROFT LIBRARY
10
3. Mark Podwal (b. 1945, United States)
Purim costumes
United States, 2006
Etching, edition 19/35
GIFT OF THE ARTIST, 2014.1.3
4. Andrew Partos
PurimNew Square, N.Y., an Orthodox Hassidic Jewish
Community
From the series AmericaFaces
United States, n.d.
Silver gelatin print
GIFT OF ANDREW PARTOS, 75.274
5. J. Y. Eisenstark
Mevinus. Connoisseurs examine the nished article
From the series Baking matzah shemurah
Jerusalem, Palestine, ca. 1930
Silver gelatin print
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE WITH FUNDS PROVIDED BY AN
ANONYMOUS DONOR, 80.77.2.6
6. Isaachar Ber Ryback (18971935: Ukraine, Soviet Union,
Lithuania, Germany, and France)
Untitled (Queen Esther as a pickled cucumber)
Moscow, ca. 1921
Gouache and cont crayon on wove paper
GIFT OF DR. ELLIOT ZALEZNIK, 83.48.1
7. Pitcher for Purim inscribed in Hebrew mi-she-nikhnas adar
marbin be-simchah (Those entering the month of Adar
increase in joy, after TB Taanit 29a)
Bohemia, 18th century
Glazed stoneware with pewter lid
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE WITH FUNDS PROVIDED BY DR.
ELLIOTT ZALEZNIK, 81.63
8. Plate for delivering Purim gifts, depicting a scene from
the Book of Esther, and inscribed in Hebrew with biblical
quotations, the names of Mordecai and Haman, and the
motto, ratz ke-tzvi (run like a deer)
Central Europe, 1748
Pewter
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, SIEGFRIED S. STRAUSS
COLLECTION, 67.1.15.16
9. Plate for delivering Purim gifts, depicting a scene from
the Book of Esther, and inscribed in Hebrew with biblical
quotations: shelach manot ish le-reehu u-[ma]tanot
la-evyonim (send portions one to another and gifts to
the poor, Esther 9:22) and kakhah yeaseh la-ish asher
ha-melekh chafetz bi-yqaro (Thus shall it be done unto
the man whom the king delights to honor, Esther 6:11)
Germany, 18th century
Faience (earthenware with white tin glaze)
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE WITH FUNDS PROVIDED BY DR.
ELLIOTT ZALEZNIK, 81.58
11 10
10. Announcement for a Purim party, depicting a festival table,
food, animal, oral, and plant motifs, and inscribed in
Hebrew with quotations from the Book of Esther and texts
relating to the Festival of Purim, including mi-she-nikhnas
adar marbin be-simchah (Those entering the month
of Adar should increase in joy, TB Taanit 29a), and
mishloach manot ish le-reehu u-matanot la-eviyonim
(send portions one to another and gifts to the poor,
Esther 9:22), and in Polish 18 Marca godz 19 (March 18,
at 7pm)
Poland, [1935]
Hand colored lithograph on paper with ink
GIFT OF DR. ELLIOTT ZALEZNIK, 82.21
CASE C
From the Kitchen to the Table
From the kashering of meat to the setting of the Sabbath
table, nowhere are family dynamics more evident than in the
processes of preparing, distributing, and consuming food in
the home. The kitchen and the dinner table have always been
important sites for the inculcation of norms, expectations,
and the transmission of information from one generation to
another. Yet the apparent hierarchies suggested by gender
divisions are not always what they seem. Historically, the
home could be a civilizing force for men as much as it was
for women and children, as it integrated men into domestic
routines. Proper food hygiene depended on a combination
of male trust and female expertise, while cookery could be a
tool in a womans arsenal, granting her entry into otherwise
separate spheres.
1. Wedding apron embroidered with P.W. monogram and
oral designs
Poland, n.d.
Cotton
GIFT OF MRS. IDA SILVER, 86.39.1
2. Russian Caravan Tea advertisement
New York, B. Fischer & Co., 1900
Chromolithograph
GIFT OF MARK HURVITZ, 91.59.36.2
12
3. Yitzchaq Levizon
Di fromme chaneh und ikher shabes (The pious Hannah
and her Sabbath)
Hebrew and Yiddish
Alsace-Lorraine, France, 19th century
Hand-colored engraving on paper
GIFT OF CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL-JUDEA, 76.104
Illustration of Sabbath religious precepts for women and
men. Women engage in the preparation of the Sabbath
bread, in the ritual bath, and in the kindling of Sabbath
candles. Men observe the Sabbath, perform ritual
circumcision, and engage in daily prayer. The initials of
the three Hebrew titles of the panels dedicated to women
form the name Hannah, while those of the panels
dedicated to men form the word Shabbat.
4. Hand towel embroidered with birds, hippogryphs, lions,
and stags, illustrating the spies returning from the Land of
Canaan carrying a cluster of grapes (after Numbers 13:23),
and with Hebrew inscriptions from the Psalms (134:2) and
Numbers (Ch. 13)
Germany, 18th century
Linen, silk, cotton
75.183.126
5. Hand towel depicting a crowned double-headed eagle,
animal and oral motifs, embroidered with Hebrew
inscriptions containing the blessing for ritual hand washing,
honoring a couple named Abraham and [Hedindl], and the
Hebrew date 8 Tammuz [5]553
Germany, 1793
Linen, silk, cotton
75.183.127
6. sefer olat shabbat im kol ha-telot . . . be-otiyiot
amsterdam (Book of the Sabbath burnt offering with all
the prayers . . . in Amsterdam typescript)
Illustrated manuscript prayer book
Hebrew
Germany, 17251726
Ink and gold leaf on vellum (bound, silk velvet and silver clasp)
Ms. 29.4
7. Marie Elsasser
Ausfhrliches Kochbuch fr die einfache und feine jdische
Kche unter Bercksichtigung aller rituellen Vorschriften
in 3759 Rezepten (Comprehensive cookbook for the
simple and ne Jewish kitchen according to all ritual
prescriptions in 3759 recipes)
German
Frankfurt, J. Kauffmann Verlag, 1921
MCBC 45
13 12
8. Frank Brown
Board for salting kosher meat
USA, 19th century
Wood
GIFT OF NATALIE WACHSPRESS, 93.36
9. Anonymous
Family celebrating a festival meal in a sukkah
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, ca. 1906
Silver gelatin print
GIFT OF STEWARD AND BEVERLY DENENBERG, 84.35.5
10. Neil Folberg (b. San Francisco, Calif., 1950)
Kleinman family making Havdalah; Brooklyn, New York
1974
From Ki anu amkha. Portfolio One: We Are Thy people: Glimpses
of Lubavitcher life
Berkeley, Calif., Bet-Alfa Press, 1975
Silver gelatin print
GIFT OF BEVERLEE FRENCH, 2008.8.1.6
11. Sukkoth (Laubhttenfest) (Sukkot. Feast of Tabernacles)
Postcard reproduction after an engraving by Bernard Picart
(18th century)
Berlin, Germany, Joseph Spiro, n.d.
GIFT OF SERGE KLEIN, 92.28.9
12. Chamez hatteln (Wegrumen des gesauerten Brodes
am Vorabend des Osterfestes) (The search for chametz.
Clearing the unleavened bread on the Eve of Passover)
Postcard reproduction after an engraving by Bernard Picart
(18th century)
Berlin, Germany, Joseph Spiro, n.d.
GIFT OF SERGE KLEIN, 92.28.6
13. Sederabend (Osterabend) (Passover Seder Evening)
Postcard reproduction after an engraving by Bernard Picart
(18th century)
Berlin, Germany, Joseph Spiro, n.d.
GIFT OF SERGE KLEIN, 92.28.7
14. le-shanah tovah. tikatevu (May you be inscribed for a
good year) A Happy New Year
Popup greeting card
Germany, n.d.
GIFT OF SOLOMON L. GLUCK, LIB 73.35.3
15. Bob Davis and Ron Giteck
Hanukah Latkas, from the Hanukah Ritual Book
Berkeley, Calif., AART, 1979
Off-set lithograph with wax on paper
GIFT OF THE AUTHORS, 79.73 H
14
CASE D
1. Passover Seder plate engraved with illustrations of a ritual
meal scene and inscribed with Hebrew words listing the
sections of the Passover Haggadah
Iran, 20th century
Tinned copper
GIFT OF MAX EIS, 86.65
15 14
CASE E
Ritual Bread Covers
Bland, bloodless, and dietarily neutral, bread historically
formed the backbone of a familys diet, and continues to
stand as a metonym for all food. Yet the varied ways in which
bread is prepared and used in religious ceremonies can invest
it with radically different meanings. Matzah is Hebrew for
unleavened bread, consumed during Passover as a symbol
of freedom and sacrice. Matzah covers reect how ritual
objects may elevate a common and otherwise unremarkable
foodstuff into an embodiment of Jewish lineage. These
meanings were not erased by the mechanization of matzah
production during the 19th century, which standardized
its recipe and physical shape. Challah has two denitions.
While we usually think of it as the special bread eaten on
the Sabbath to evoke the double portion of manna that fell
every Friday during the forty years the Jews wandered in the
desert, the term originally described a portion of dough set
aside as an offering to the Temple. Ritual textiles cover bread
to separate it from other foods, and often contain explicit
directions on how food rituals ought to be performed. These
textiles also display a variety of aesthetics reecting their
makers, their social status, and, at times, even their political
allegiances.
1. Matzah bag with three pouches, inscribed with Hebrew
text relating to the foods displayed on the Passover Seder
plate, the sections of the Passover Haggadah, and the three
portions of matzah eaten during the Seder meal (labelled
as kohen, levi, and yisrael).
Europe, 19th century
Linen with silk embroidery oss, metallic fringe edging
GIFT OF DR. ELLIOT ZALEZNIK, 77.53
2. Matzah cover, embroidered with the monogram BH in
Latin script, dates in the Gregorian and Jewish calendars,
and three Hebrew words from the Passover Haggadah
(pesach, matzah, and maror)
San Francisco, Calif., 1880
Linen with silk embroidery oss
75.183.159
3. Challah cover for the Sabbath table depicting the Great
Seal of the United States over the Latin inscription E
pluribus unum, and inscribed in Hebrew with the name
Gedalyah Ullman, the quotation reu ki h natan lakhem
ha-shabat (after Exodus 16:29), and the year [5]612 of the
Jewish calendar
United States, 18511852
Silk brocade, metallic embroidery, red velvet appliqu
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, 77.341
16
Wimpel and Wine
From an infants brit milah (ritual circumcision) to a childs
bar mitzvah, to a mans wedding, wine celebrates and
ceremonializes the Jewish life cycle. A wimpel is a textile used
by German Jews to bind a Torah scroll. Traditionally taken
from the cloth used for swaddling at an infants circumcision,
it was then inscribed, personalized, and preserved for future
ritual occasions. This 18th-century wimpel depicts a pitcher
and several wine jugs, presaging abundance and fertility.
4. Wine carafe
Germany, 18th century
Pewter
GIFT OF HENRY LIPMANSEN, 85.15.1 A-B
5. Wimpel (Binder for Torah scrolls made from a circumcision
cloth), depicting animals and jugs of wine, and inscribed in
Hebrew for a child named Yehudah Zvi Leyb Hirsch bar
Asher, born on August 29, 1718
Bechhofen, Germany, 1718
Linen with silk embroidery oss
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, SIEGFRIED S. STRAUSS
COLLECTION, 67.1.21.13
6. Jug, inscribed in Hebrew and Yiddish to honor Wolf Braun
Central Europe, 18661867
Silver and tin
83.0.8
Esther Scrolls and Banquets
Banquets were important political tools during antiquity,
used not only to represent a rulers municence, but also to
showcase his control over resources. The Book of Esthers
plot involves multiple banquets, in which political power and
subterfuge play central roles. The banquet scenes depicted
in illustrated Esther scrolls are rarely historically accurate.
Instead, they vividly characterize the food and eating customs
of the time in which the manuscripts were created.
7. Illustrated Esther scroll
Italy, 17th century
Ink on parchment, wood
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, SIEGFRIED S. STRAUSS
COLLECTION, 67.1.11.5
8. Illustrated Esther scroll in the style of the Bezalel School of
Arts and Crafts
Jerusalem, Israel, mid-20th century
Ink on parchment, wood
GIFT OF PROFESSOR LAWRENCE RABINOWITZ, 98.23.1
9. Illustrated Esther scroll
Germany, 18th century
Ink on parchment, copper plate engravings
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, SIEGFRIED S. STRAUSS
COLLECTION, 67.1.11.7
17 16
Ritual Slaughter
While the Jewish dietary laws pertain to everything from
grains to dairy to wine, a vast majority of them deal with
meat. Highly nutritious and widely prized across cultures,
meat nevertheless is a fertile ground for pathogens and
has always been a taboo-ascribed food. The rules of ritual
slaughter elaborated in the Talmud overcome these taboos in
three ways. First, these rules make slaughter more deliberate
and less inhumane, instilling dignity to the sacriced animal.
Second, they distinguish carrion from food, thus civilizing
its consumption. Last, by stipulating that every stage must
be carefully performed and supervised by a Jewish specialist
(in Hebrew, shochet), ritual slaughter nourishes cultural
ties within the Jewish community. However, interpreting the
rules of ritual slaughter and the manufacture of slaughtering
knives has also historically created communal rifts. In 1772,
a rabbinic ban against Hassidic whetted knives brought
Hassidism, a religious current that was just emerging at the
time, to the forefront of European Jewish life.
10. Knife for the ritual slaughter of bovines, with case inscribed
in Hebrew with the motto lifrat zot ha-behemah asher
tokhlu (after Deuteronomy 14:4 These are the animals
which you may eat) and the year [5]674 in the Jewish
calendar
Grnewald, Germany, 19th century (case inscribed in 1913
1914)
Steel blade, horn handle with brass collar, steel rivets,
container carved wood, and velvet
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, 97.16.3 A-B
11. Knifes for the ritual slaughter of poultry
Naples, Italy, 19th century
Steel blade, ivory, silver-colored rings and bases, carved wood
and pressed leather case with gold decoration
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, SIEGFRIED S. STRAUSS
COLLECTION, 67.1.15.2
12. Ritual slaughterer seal, inscribed in Hebrew Avraham
eliyahu bar yeshayah shvb (Abraham Elijah son of
Isaiah, slaughterer and inspector of kosher meat)
Germany, 17th century
Black jade
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, SIEGFRIED S. STRAUSS
COLLECTION, 67.1.12.3
13. Yechiel b. Yaaqov
meqor chayim . . . hilkhot shechitah ve-hilkhot trei[ fah]
. . . (Source of Life . . . Rules about ritual slaughter and
impurity)
Hebrew
Kochi, Kerala, India, n.d.
Ink on paper, cardboard and leather binding
India Ms. 17
18
DRAWER ONE
Educating with Food
Eating and Jewish pedagogy have always been intertwined.
Some communities bake sweets in the shape of Hebrew
letters, while others dab the pages of religious texts with
honey in order to enhance the physical and spiritual taste
of Jewish learning. Food education is also crucial to dening
the individuals relationship to the cosmos. The complex
system of Hebrew blessings recited before, during, and after
each meal underscores an alimentary blueprint based on a
nutrients origins, the ways it is prepared as food, and the
order in which it is consumed in a meal. Codied by rabbinic
literature on the basis of scriptural references, this system
reects a particular outlook on the universe that is articulated
by eating.
Table for teaching the Hebrew alphabet, prayers, blessings
to be recited over food varieties, and the Grace After
Meals, illustrated with the depiction of an angel rewarding
studious pupils with candy, and a reluctant pupil being
punished by a teacher
Hebrew and Judeo-Spanish
Venice, Bragadin press, 18th century
Wood engraving
70.0.3
19 18
DRAWER TWO
Kashrut Certifcation
During the 19th century, when food was no longer produced
in the home and the supply chain between producer and
consumer began to expand, assessing whether food,
dishware, and utensils were kosher or not became more
difcult to verify. This kashrut certication showcases
rabbinic authority over Jewish food production industries.
Created for a Hungarian factory that produced kosher dishes,
the certication was re-issued over a decade later. Concerns
about the origin, preparation, and safety of various foodstuffs
were not limited to Jewish culture. In the United States,
the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Acta series of consumer
protection laws dealing with food adulteration and labeling
sought to accomplish many of the same tasks that Kashrut
had done for centuries.
Yonah Zvi Berenfeld and Binyamin Zeev Broch
Rabbinical certications of Kashrut for the Kaszanyitsky
Endre dish factory
Hebrew and Yiddish
Debrecen, Hungary, 1879 and 1896
Ink on paper, with wax seal
GIFT OF ALAN STERNBERG, 84.31
DRAWER THREE
Subversive Foodways
Letter from Julius Eckman to Solomon Nunes Carvalho
San Francisco, Calif., March 15, 1855
THE MAGNES COLLECTION OF JEWISH ART AND LIFE, THE BANCROFT
LIBRARY, BANC MSS 2010/513
Julius Eckman (18051874), a graduate of the University
and the Rabbinical College of Berlin and a pupil of
Leopold Zunz, was the rst Rabbi of Congregation
Emanu-El in San Francisco (185455) and the publisher
of the Jewish journal, The Weekly Gleaner (18571863). In
1855, he wrote to Solomon Nunes Carvalho (18151897),
the ofcial photographer of explorer John C. Fremonts
fth expedition to the American West in 18531854,
discussing the living conditions and the religious
customs of the Jews in San Francisco. In his letter, he
complained about Jews eating non-kosher foods and
celebrating weddings in a beer house.
20
DRAWER FOUR
Canaan and California:
Wine in the Promised Lands
While winemaking has always occupied a central place
in Jewish culture, perhaps no modern winery has a more
distinguished reputation than Israels Carmel winery.
Founded in 1882 by the Baron Rothschild (owner of the
famous Chteau Late), the regions testimonials date back
to Biblical times. The explorers sent by Moses to the land
of Canaan, recorded in the Book of Numbers (13:2324),
returned from their mission with a cluster of grapes so large
it required mounting on a pole to be carried. This powerful
image also became the emblem of the Schoenberger winery
in Mainz, Germany, then famous for its sparkling wines.
In 1939, the winery was seized by the Nazis, forcing the
Schoenbergers to ee, eventually settling in San Francisco.
But California was a veritable Canaan in more ways than
one. While Prohibition (19201933) damaged Californias
edgling wine-industries, kosher wine-making ourished,
as sacramental wine was exempt from the law.
1. Carmel Wines
Postcard
Tel Aviv, Israel, United Artists, n.d.
Offset lithograph on paper
GIFT OF TZIEREL GURMAN, 99.6.1.7
2. Commemorative liquor pour spout, depicting a scene from
Numbers 13:23, printed in Hebrew and English Carmel
1882
Israel, Carmel Wines, 20th century
Plastic, metal, cork
GIFT OF RUTH EIS, 93.10.4
3. Ephemera from the Schoenberger Cabinet
Mainz, Germany, 19301939
Offset lithograph
EDITH SCHOENBERGER KAUFMAN PAPERS, BANC MSS 2010/729,
THE MAGNES COLLECTION OF JEWISH ART AND LIFE, THE BANCROFT
LIBRARY
4. Rabbi Mayer Hirsch (18741946) with barrels of kosher for
Passover Angelica and Muscat wine
San Francisco Bay Area, Calif., ca. 1930
Silver gelatin print
SAMUEL HIRSCH FAMILY PAPERS AND PHOTOGRAPHS, BANC MSS
2010/738, THE MAGNES COLLECTION OF JEWISH ART AND LIFE,
THE BANCROFT LIBRARY
21 20
CHARLES MICHAEL GALLERY
Dinner is Served
In Jewish life, eatingand especially communal eatingis a
religious act that reects and commemorates the agricultural
rhythms around which the ritual calendar is structured. This
might seem at odds with the fact that food consumption,
so crucial to survival, is one of our most basic, primal, and
uncivilized of daily activities. Perhaps it is for this reason
that instilling deference, civility, and knowledge so frequently
occurs around the table; there is simply so much at stake.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the dining room became an
important site of bourgeois cultivation. It was there that
most of a familys wealthfrom linen tablecloths to crystal
glasses to silverwarecould be found. Given the communal
meals centrality to staging and reproducing the social order,
all the more important are the special occasions, such as
the Sabbath and the Holidays, in which diners partake of
food around a table. During the Passover Seder, communal
eating echoes the Greek symposium, or drinking party, where
participants are invited not to sit but recline, often propping
themselves with the aid of pillows.
1. A. P.
Festival tablecloth
Southern Germany, 1775
Linen, embroidered with silk and cotton embroidery oss
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, SIEGFRIED S. STRAUSS
COLLECTION, 75.183.137
Tablecloth inscribed for a couple named Michel and
Henleh, embroi dered with the owners names, Hebrew
blessings for the Festivals of Sukkot, Shemini atzeret,
and Simchat Torah, a quotation from the Mishnah (Ethics
of the Fathers 3:3), and depictions of a heraldic emblem,
biblical scenes, animals, and oral motifs. The initials of
the maker, A. P., appear at the bottom right of the cloth.
At times, tablecloths like this one would be used as wall
hangings inside a sukkah (festival hut).
The embroidered quotation from the Ethics of the Fathers
recites: Three who eat at one table, and at the table
speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten at table
of the Blessed One, as is said: And he said to me: this is
the table that is before God (Ezekiel 41:22).
2. Pillowcase used for reclining during the Passover Seder
meal, depicting birds and plant motifs, embroidered in
Hebrew li-khvod yom tov pesach ha-laylah ha-zeh kulanu
mesubin (In honor of the Passover Festival on this night
we all recline)
n.d.
Cotton
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, 86.5
22
3. Pillow cases
3.1 Pillow case embroidered with the monogram R.S.
Norway, 19th century
Cotton with silk embroidery oss
75.183.250
3.2 Pillow case
n.d.
Silk brocade
75.183.294
3.3 Eileen Amiel Baroukk
Pillow case
Palestine, ca. 1910
Velvet with silk ribbon applique and embroidery oss
GIFT OF ESTHER BEMORAS, 94.44.1
3.4 Pillow cases
Bulgaria, n.d.
Gold metallic thread on blue silk with green linen backing
GIFT OF SERENA DJERASSI, 2001.30.5 AND 2001.30.6
3.5 Pillow cases
Turkey, 19th century
Velvet, gold metallic thread, sequins
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE WITH FUNDS PROVIDED BY
GERALD FRIEDKIN, 88.34.A-B
4. Passover Seder panel depicting Moses, the paschal lamb,
and King David, with Hebrew texts and biblical quotations
Germany, 1725
Silk and silver metallic thread
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, SIEGFRIED S. STRAUSS
COLLECTION, 75.183.254
Moses is depicted at the top, holding the Tablets of
the Law, and described in Hebrew as mosheh rabenu
(Moses, our teacher). A depiction of a paschal lamb at
the center is accompanied by the inscription ve-amartem
zevach-pesach (That you shall say: It is the Passover
sacrice, Exodus 12:27), which also indicates the year
[5]485 in the Jewish calendar (1725 in the Gregorian
calendar) through the Hebrew letters highlighted in the
inscription. At the bottom, a depiction of King David
holding a harp is followed by the inscription david
melekh yisrael (David, King of Israel). According to the
collectors notes, this item belonged to the descendents
of Zevi Hirsch ben Jacob Ashkenazi (also known as the
Chakham Zevi; 16601718), rabbi and halakhist.
5. Ritual hand washing station with lavabo, lid, basin,
and bowl
Germany, ca. 18th century
Pewter
GIFT OF THE ESTATE OF CHARLOTTE STEIN PICK, 91.12.1.1-3
23 22
The Ritual Table
The dining table lies at the center of meals, study, singing
and performance: it is the original site of sociability. While
common to many societies, it is particularly relevant to Jewish
culture.
The table of the Presence (shulchan) was an essential
component of the divine mishqan, or tabernacle, described
in the Book of Exodus, upon which twelve loaves of
showbread were displayed as a sacrice to God, along with
vessels used for libations. While the shulchan was just one
part of the tabernacle, its ritual functions are now embodied
by the Jewish dining table. The Sephardic scholar Joseph Caro
(14881575) drew upon these meanings in the 16th century
by choosing the Hebrew word for tableshulchanas a
metaphor for his detailed code of Jewish law, the Shulchan
Arukh (The Set Table). Scholar Moses Isserles (1525 or
15301572) embraced the same metaphor by naming his
own adaptation of Caros code to Ashkenazi Jewish law Ha-
Mappah, the tablecloth.
Given its evocative powers, the table remains a powerful
site of religious instruction, in which ritual and pedagogy are
intertwined. Many food vessels are inscribed with ritual texts,
instructions, and at times, visual depictions of how the rituals
themselves ought to be performed.
As a meticulously dened ritual space, the dining table is
populated by a variety of items, all of which play specic
roles. Foods are displayed and organized according to
predened templates governed by each ritual. Dishware,
cutlery, cups and bottles are clearly labeled to reect their
specic ritual uses, the types of food they may contain, and
the respective demarcations imposed by dietary laws.
6.1 Passover Seder plate depicting a family seated at a Festival
table, inscribed in Hebrew with a list of the fteen parts of
the Seder meal, and the motto achilat matzah (eating of
Matzah)
Limoges, France, ca. 1900
Glazed stoneware
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, 78.25
6.2 Passover Seder plate with three compartments for the
Matzah inscribed in Hebrew kohen, levi, and yisrael,
and two inserts for displaying ritual foods, engraved in
German and Hebrew in honor of the 70th birthday of Louis
Schlesinger
Racibrz, Poland, 1857
Silver
GIFT OF MARIANNE RAWACK BRANNON, 75.245 a-c
24
6.3 Joseph Loewy and Joseph Guens
hagadah shel pesach. The Pessach Haggadah Service for
the First Nights of Passover
Hebrew, Aramaic, and English; color illustrations by Aryeh
Allweil
Tel Aviv, Sinai Publishing, 1971
Tin, enamel, and plastic binding
GIFT OF MARIANNE FRIEDMAN, 98.20.2
6.4 Eric Tunstall (18971987)
Sederdish. Passover Seder plate set with six cups,
painted with depictions of the Seder meal ingredients and
vignettes of the Ten Plagues, and inscribed in Hebrew and
English with a list of the fteen parts of the Seder meal,
the Four Questions, the names of the ingredients and
narrative captions
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom, Royal Cauldon (designed for
Sirett), mid-20th century
Bone china
GIFT OF BERNARD OSHER AND IRVING RABIN, 77.248A-G
6.5 Passover Seder plate engraved in Hebrew and German with
the names of ingredients of the Seder meal, and with the
initials, H. S. surmounted by a crown
Germany, 1712
Pewter
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, 84.6
6.6 Candelabrum for the Sabbath depicting two deer
Poland, 19th century
Brass
GIFT OF DR. AND MRS. JASON E. FARBER, 76.281
6.7 Haroset from Israel for your Seder Table [Ingredient for the
Passover Seder meal, with ritual instructions on package]
Wickliffe, Ohio, Telshe Yeshiva, n.d.
Cardboard box, plastic container, and wrapped food
2010.0.64 a and c
6.8 Kosher for Passover citric acid (sour salt) container
Hebrew, English, and Yiddish
New York, Aron Streit, Inc., n.d.
Glass, tin coated steel and paper
GIFT OF THEODORE AND VALERIE REICH, 97.37.12
6.9 Kosher for Passover white pepper container
English and Hebrew
Long Island City, New York, Horowitz Bros. & Margareten, n.d.
Tin coated steel and paper
GIFT OF THEODORE AND VALERIE REICH, 97.37.10
6.10 Kosher for Passover ginger container
English, Hebrew, and Yiddish
Brooklyn, New York, Hudson Tea & Spice Co., n.d.
Tin coated steel and paper
GIFT OF THEODORE AND VALERIE REICH, 97.37.11
25 24
6.11 Cup for the Passover Seder inscribed in Hebrew kos shel
eliyahu ha-navi (Cup of Elijah the Prophet)
Corning, New York, Steuben Glass Works, 1979
Engraved glass
GIFT OF DR. AND MRS. PHILLIP BADER, 82.7
6.12 Cup for the Passover Seder decorated with oral motifs,
and inscribed in Hebrew kos shel eliyahu (Cup of Elijah)
United States, Tiffany and Co., n.d.
Sterling silver
GIFT OF THE JONAS COLLECTION, 66.5
6.13 Cup for the Passover Seder decorated with a six-pointed
star and inscribed in Hebrew shel chag ha-pesach (For
the Passover Festival)
Central Europe, 18th century
Etched glass
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, SIEGFRIED S. STRAUSS
COLLECTION, 67.1.15.20
6.14 W. H. Grindely
Passover. Cup and saucer for Passover, depicting a seven-
branched candelabrum and fruit motifs, and inscribed in
Hebrew with quotations from the Passover Haggadah
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom, Royal Cauldon (designed for
Sirett), ca. 1930
Bone china
GIFT OF MRS. HOWARD AND MRS. BURR, 75.350 a-b
26
6.15 Plate for Passover, depicting a bird and oral motifs,
inscribed in Hebrew with the word pesach (Passover)
and the monogram D. L.
Germany, 17th18th centuries
Glazed ceramic
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, SIEGFRIED S. STRAUSS
COLLECTION, 67.1.15.27
6.16 Painted manuscript Passover Haggadah illustrating the
order of the Passover Seder table
Hebrew and Aramaic, with Yiddish annotations
[Amsterdam], 17771778
Ink on paper
GIFT OF THE ESTATE OF RABBI MAURICE A. LAZOWICK, 94.43.7
6.17 Two-handled cup for ritual handwashing
Israel, 20th century
Tinned copper
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE THROUGH THE GOOR FUND,
ROZIN COLLECTION, 78.78.35 B
6.18 Three-handled cup for ritual handwashing, decorated with
oral motifs and engraved with monograms in honor of the
wedding of Lew Wagoner
United States, 1910
Glass, silver
GIFT OF DON T. THRALL, 88.13
6.19 Bar mitzvah cake decoration, with a six-pointed star
inscribed with the Hebrew acronym M. T. (mazal tov)
United States, 20th century
Painted bisque porcelain, plaster, fabric
GIFT OF DR. PHILIP FEIGIR, 99.47.3
6.20 Festival cooking vessel for meat dishes, engraved in Hebrew
basar yt (meat [dishes] for the festivals)
Germany, 18th century
Pewter
68.0.1
27 26
6.21 Wrapped saucer from Lou G. Siegel, Americas Foremost
Kosher Restaurant
New York City, United States, after 1925
Ceramic, paper, and plastic wrapping
GIFT OF JOHN HARRIS, 97.39
6.22 Spice container in sh form, with articulated movable body
Poland, 19th century
Silver
GIFT OF DR. ELLIOT ZALEZNIK, 81.23
6.23 Rebekka Heinemann Wolf
Kochbuch fr Israelitische Frauen enthaltend die
verschiedensten Koch- und Backkarten, mit einer
vollstndigen Speisekarte sowie einer genauen Anweisung
zur Einrichtung und Fhrung einer religis-jdischen
Haushaltung (Cookbook for Jewish Women containing
a variety of cooking and baking recipes, with a full menu
as well as a precise statement on the establishment and
management of a religious Jewish household)
German
Frankfurt a. M., J. Kauffmann, 1912 (13th edition, rst published
in 1851)
Ink, paper, and board
MCBC 44
6.24 Plates for kosher service on the RMS Queen Mary ocean
liner, inscribed in Hebrew and English for dairy and meat
dishes
Liverpool, United Kingdom, Maddock Ivory Ware England
Stoniers for The Cunard Steam-ship Company United, n.d.
(before 1967)
Porcelain
GIFT OF ELIE GUGGENHEIM, 96.5.1 AND 96.5.2
6.25 Silverware for kosher service, inscribed in Hebrew chalav
(milk) for dairy dishes
Warsaw, Poland, Norblin & Co., ca. 1900
Silver
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, 88.23.1 AND 88.23.2
6.26 Wine bottle medallion for Sabbath and Festivals, decorated
with vine motifs and a six-pointed star, and inscribed in
Hebrew bore peri ha-gefen (creator of the fruit of the
vine)
United States, 20th century
Silver
GIFT OF THE ESTATE OF STEFANIE JONAS, 2002.6.10
6.27 Cups for the circumcision ceremony, decorated with vine
motifs, and inscribed in Hebrew kos berakhah (blessing
cup)
France, 18th century
Silver
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, SIEGFRIED S. STRAUSS
COLLECTION, 67.1.8.13 A-B
6.28 Candelabrum for the Sabbath depicting two deer, inscribed
in Hebrew lehadliq ner shel shabat (To kindle the
Sabbath lights)
Poland, 19th century
Brass
79.0.02
28
6.29 Travel-size set including a wine cup, a spice container for
the Havdalah ceremony and, at the base, a Hebrew seal
stating michael berg ktz mi-lesla (Michael Berg, Kohen
Tzedeq, from Inowrocaw)
Poland, 19th century
Silver
GIFT OF GUNTER BENDIX, 84.36.2 a-c
6.30 Wine bottle medallion for the Sabbath meals, decorated
with a wreath and geometrical motifs, and inscribed in
Hebrew zakhor et yom ha-shabat le-qadsho (remember
the Sabbath day, to sanctify it, after Exodus 20:7) and
with the initials H[irsch] R[osenthal]
Germany, 20th century
Silver
GIFT OF THE ESTATE OF STEFANIE JONAS, 2002.6.11
6.31 Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts
Kiddush cup, depicting three synagogue scenes, Torah
scrolls, a seven-branched candelabrum and a wine cup,
decorated with geometrical and architectural motifs, and
inscribed in Hebrew after Proverbs 23:31 (Do not look
upon the wine when it is red, when it gives its color to the
cup, when it goes [down] smoothly)
Jerusalem, Palestine, ca. 1930
Silver washed brass
GIFT OF RABBI AND MRS. LOUIS NEWMAN, 69.22
6.32 Kiddush cup depicting oral and geometrical motifs,
inscribed in Hebrew in honor of the chevra qadisha
(burial society) of Sulzbach on the 1st of Cheshvan, 5525
(October 27, 1764)
Germany, 18th century
Silver
GIFT OF MR. AND MRS. LUDWIG PICK IN MEMORY OF SIGMUND STEIN
AND FAMILY, 78.66.1
6.33 Kiddush cup inscribed in Hebrew mazal tov Mosheh ben
Avraham
Germany, 20th century
Silver
GIFT OF DOROTHY VOGEL FROM THE ESTATE OF WALTER VOGEL,
99.58.1
6.34 Ben Ra Mayeri (Efahn, Iran, 1914San Francisco,
Calif., 2003)
Kiddush cup depicting oral motifs, inscribed in Hebrew
barukh atah h eloheynu melekh ha-olam bore peri
ha-gefen (blessed are you God, our God and king of the
universe, creator of the fruit of the vine)
Iran, 20th century
Silver plated bronze
GIFT OF BEN RAFI MAYERI, 84.63
29 28
6.35 Knife for cutting the Sabbath bread, depicting a hanging
Sabbath lamp and a table set with a kiddush cups, two
loaves of bread and and a challah cover, inscribed in
Hebrew zakhor et yom ha-shabat le-qadsho (remember
the Sabbath day, to sanctify it, Exodus 20:7) and yom
menuchah u-qedushah le-amekha natata (a day of rest
and of sanctity you gave to your people, after the prayer
service)
Warsaw, Poland, Gerlach, 20th century
Silver
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE WITH FUNDS PROVIDED BY DR.
ELLIOT ZALEZNIK, 83.56.3
6.36 Tray for the Sabbath bread inscribed in Hebrew zakhor et
yom ha-shabat le-qadsho (remember the Sabbath day,
to sanctify it, Exodus 20:7) and ba-yom ha-shishi lachtu
lechem mi-sheneh (And it came to pass that on the sixth
day they gathered twice as much bread, Exodus 16:22)
Berlin, Germany, Posen, ca. 1930
Silver
GIFT OF THE ESTATE OF STEFANIE JONAS, 2002.6.1 a
6.37 Souvenir pocket knife for cutting the Sabbath bread,
engraved in Hebrew li-khvod ha-shabat (to honor the
Sabbath) and karlsbad
Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad), Bohemia, Czech Republic, ca. 1920
Silver, mother of pearl, steel
GIFT OF RALPH SILVERMAN, 89.61.2
6.38 Pocket knife for cutting the Sabbath bread, engraved in
Hebrew shabat qodesh (holy Sabbath), and inscribed for
M. Rieder
Ca. 1920
Steel, mother of pearl
GIFT OF HILDA SAPPERSTEIN, 95.1
Food Visions
1. Harold Persico Paris (19251979: United States)
Man Peeling Potatoes
1942
Oil on canvas
GIFT OF SHIRLEY PARIS, 86.23.1
2. Moshe Castel (19091991: Ottoman Palestine, France,
and Israel)
Sabbath Eve
ca. 1935
Oil on board
GIFT OF JUDGE AND MRS. STANLEY A. WEIGEL, 86.56
3. Amy Berk (b. 1967: United States)
Recoverings (Cluster)
2006
Linens, wood stretcher bars
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, 2007.10
30
4. Zelig Tepper (18771973: Russia and United States)
Untitled (Shabbat/Purim)
ca. 1955
Oil on canvas board
GIFT OF STEVE BLECKMAN, 2003.6.1
5. Joseph Wolins (19151999: United States)
Chicken Market
19361937
Oil on canvas
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, 98.3
6. Moshe Rynecki (18811943: Poland)
The Wedding (The Gift of Bread)
1919
Oil on parchment
GIFT OF GEORGE RYNECKI, 84.65
7. Zelig Tepper (18771973: Russia and United States)
Untitled (Village Scene)
1952
Oil on canvas board
GIFT OF STEVE BLECKMAN, 2003.6.2
8. Maurycy Trebacz (18611940/41: Poland)
Rabbi
Early 20
th
century
Oil on board
GIFT OF GWEN AND MARTIN S. GANS IN MEMORY OF MAX AND
ESTHER LESSMAN, 91.8.2
9. Boris Deutsch (18921978: Russia, Latvia, Germany, and
United States)
Chollem (The Dream)
1967
Gouache on paper
GIFT OF LEO AND JULIA KRASHEN, 91.19
10. Boris Deutsch (18921978: Russia, Latvia, Germany, and
United States)
Holiday (Blessing over wine)
1927
Oil on board
JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM PURCHASE, 81.64.20
11. William Freed (19021984: Poland and United States)
Market Scene
1930
Oil on canvas
GIFT OF BETTY BISHOP IN HONOR OF LILLIAN ORLOWSKY, 98.21
31 30
IRVING RABIN COLLECTION WING
Food as Religious and Social
Ritual: Israeli Advertisement
Posters
Both before and after the achievement of Israeli statehood
in 1948, Zionists actively sought to dene and distinguish
the culture of the Jewish state. The establishment of a new
national identity also involved foodways, and implicated
religious rituals, ideology, as well as entrepreneurship. While
primarily concerned with the production and distribution of
food, the advertising efforts of state-owned and private food
companies in Israel often deployed a multitude of Jewish
religious references that articulated sacred connections to
the land, exalted biblical food themes, and renewed ancient
blessings of abundance.
1. JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
The Jewish National Fund (JNF), in Hebrew Keren Kayemeth
Leyisrael, was founded as a land purchase and development
fund of the Zionist Organization at the Fifth Zionist Congress
in Basel, Switzerland in 1901. Its name derives from a
Talmudic passage about good deeds regarding earthly
delights and rewards in the world to come.
1.1 The Orchard Verger Monte Frutal gan atze pri
English, French, Spanish, and Hebrew
Jerusalem, Israel, Jewish National Fund, n.d.
Offset litho
GIFT OF ROBERTA STEINER, 93.43.32
1.2 Ora Itan (b. 1940)
chag ha-shavuot chag ha-biqurim; ShavouthThe
Harvest Festival; Chavouth La fte des prmices;
ShavuotLa esta de la cosecha
Hebrew, English, French, and Spanish
Jerusalem, Israel, Offset Ziv for the Jewish National Fund, n.d.
Offset litho
2014.0.6 a
1.3 Brigitte Frankfurter
adamah, admati (The land, my land)
Jerusalem, Israel, Jewish National Fund, n.d.
Offset litho
2014.0.6 b
2. CITRUS MARKETING BOARD
The Citrus Control and Marketing Board, in Hebrew
Ha-moatzah le-shivaq peri hadar, was established during
the British Mandatory period. Though the citrus fruit (Heb.
hadar) is not among the seven species listed as plentiful in
the Land of Israel by Deuteronomy, the fruit of a beautiful
tree (peri etz hadar) is cited in Leviticus as one of the ritual
four species used during the Festival of Sukkot.
32
David Shechem (19232012), Abraham Lewensohn (1923
1986), and Uri Aylon
2.1 peri hadar le-vriutekhah (Citrus fruit for your health)
Tel Aviv, Israel, Omanim Meuchadim (United Artists) for Ha-
moatzah le-shivaq peri hadar (Citrus Marketing Board), n.d.
(ca. 1960)
Offset litho
2014.0.7 b1
2.2 be-khol yom be-khol shaah qlementinah mehanah (Every
day at every hour a clementine is enjoyable)
Tel Aviv, Israel, Omanim Meuchadim (United Artists) for Ha-
moatzah le-shivaq peri hadar (Citrus Marketing Board), n.d.
(ca. 1960)
Offset litho
2014.0.7 b2
2.3 eshkolit - peri taim ve-bari (Grapefruit: A tasty and
healthy fruit)
Tel Aviv, Israel, Omanim Meuchadim (United Artists) for Ha-
moatzah le-shivaq peri hadar (Citrus Marketing Board), n.d.
(ca. 1960)
Offset litho
2014.0.7 b3
2.4 la-hadarim heydad (Hooray for the citrus)
Tel Aviv, Israel, Omanim Meuchadim (United Artists) for Ha-
moatzah le-shivaq peri hadar (Citrus Marketing Board), n.d.
(ca. 1960)
Offset litho
2014.0.7 b4
2.5 limon tari yail le-kol tavshil (A fresh lemon is effective on
any dish)
Tel Aviv, Israel, Omanim Meuchadim (United Artists) for Ha-
moatzah le-shivaq peri hadar (Citrus Marketing Board), n.d.
(ca. 1960)
Offset litho
2014.0.7 a1
2.6 tabure bikure tapuche zahav: peri taim bishel ve-asis
(Early navel oranges: delicious fruit, ripe and juicy)
Tel Aviv, Israel, Omanim Meuchadim (United Artists) for Ha-
moatzah le-shivaq peri hadar (Citrus Marketing Board), n.d.
(ca. 1960)
Offset litho
2014.0.7 a2
2.7 hagashah naeh shel peri-hadar le-iruach (A lovely
presentation of citrus fruits for having guests)
Tel Aviv, Israel, Omanim Meuchadim (United Artists) for Ha-
moatzah le-shivaq peri hadar (Citrus Marketing Board), n.d.
(ca. 1960)
Offset litho
2014.0.7 a3
2.8 aley-hadarim (Late citrus varieties)
Tel Aviv, Israel, Omanim Meuchadim (United Artists) for Ha-
moatzah le-shivaq peri hadar (Citrus Marketing Board), n.d.
(ca. 1960)
Offset litho
2014.0.7 a4
33 32
3. OSEM
In 1942, Osem Investments Ltd. was established in Bnei
Brak, Mandatory Palestine, by seven co-founders, who joined
forces in marketing the pasta products of the factories they
each owned. The companys name (Heb. osem, or plenty)
is based on the words pronounced by the High Priest on the
Day of Atonement: may this year be a year of plenty.
3.1 hayom-yom pasta (Today is Pasta Day)
Calendar for the year 5737 (19761977)
Israel, Osem, 1976
Offset litho
2014.0.8 b
3.2 bissli (Bissli)
Israel, Osem, n.d. (ca. 1970)
Offset litho
2014.0.8 f
3.3 falafel piqanti be-taam mizrachi amiti (Spicy falafel with
true oriental avor)
Israel, Osem, n.d.
Offset litho
2014.0.8 c
4. CARMEL AGREXCO
Originally known as Agrexco, Carmel was established in Israel
in 1956 as a state-owned agricultural export company. Its
name means, in Hebrew, Gods vineyard.
4.1 Tamar. Dates, Datten, Dattes. Carmel: Produce of Israel
Hebrew, English, German, and French
Tel Aviv, Israel, United Artists Ldt. for Carmel, n.d.
Offset litho
2014.0.1a
4.2 Zach Advertising
Avocado. Carmel: Produce of Israel
Tel Aviv, Israel, United Artists Ltd. for Carmel, n.d.
Offset litho
2014.0.1e
4.3 [Watermelon]. Carmel: Produce of Israel
Israel, E Lewin Epstein Ltd. for Carmel, n.d.
Offset litho
2014.0.1 b
4.4 Zach Advertising
[Strawberries]. Carmel: Produce of Israel
Tel Aviv, Israel, United Artists Ltd. for Carmel, n.d.
Offset litho
2014.0.1c
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
The Bancroft Library I University of California, Berkeley
2121 Allston Way
Berkeley, California 94720
510/643-2526
www.magnes.org