Keeping It Kosher: Jewish Food Festival and Exhibition Takes Off in Moscow’s Jewish Museum

Tastings, talks and demonstrations accompanied the opening of a new facility dedicated to Kashrut at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center on August 1. To make the conversation engaging and understandable, the multimedia installation in the shape of a restaurant table explains the Jewish laws of nutrition through interactive screens, videos, cards and images.

Rabbi Alexander Boroda, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia and the head of the Jewish Museum, presented the new interactive facility alongside the patrons of the project Yehuda and Khaya-Tamar Davydov. The installation is located at the Rishon Jewish modern cafe and complements the museum’s permanent Jewish heritage exhibition hall.

The installation includes an interactive restaurant table and a sculpture of a chef. Photo: MJCC.

According to the FJC Russia president, the cafes at the Jewish museum are popular with a wide audience, many of which are unfamiliar with Kashrut, hence the organizers’ decision to include a section on kosher food in the main exhibition.

“In the museum, we present not only the history of the Jewish people, but also talk about the traditional cycle of Jewish daily life and holidays. This is precisely the commandment of Kashrut, which is not tied to any historical period or holiday, but is an everyday commandment. There are many myths around the words ‘Kashrut’ and ‘kosher’, and our goal is to provide reliable information for our visitors,” noted Rabbi Alexander Boroda.

President of the FJC Russia stressed the importance of updating the permanent exhibition of the museum. Photo: mkisrael.co.il. 

“It is very symbolic that the inauguration of the installation took place in the very week that the Jews read the Torah chapter which talks in detail about kosher animals and birds,” added Yehuda Davydov, “if anyone wanted to learn more about Kashrut or to start following the rules, now is a great opportunity to find out more about it. I think the installation can help people to observe the laws of Kashrut and to debunk various myths about it.”

Festival-goers enjoyed discussions on a range of topics from everyday essentials to more niche subjects like preparing forshmak (a dish made of mashed potatoes and herring or meat), as well as culinary tours and master classes. Visitors were also able to scan a receipt and view recipes and details of the traditional Jewish dishes served at Rishon modern Jewish cafe.

All presented materials are available in both Russian and English.

Photos: mkisrael.co.il. 

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