Seconds often make the difference between life and death and new technology makes the difference…
Mrs. Poopa Dweck, the cook-lecturer, a chic, charming woman, is the author of a monumental, beautifully illustrated cookbook, Aromas of Aleppo: The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews. Herself a scion of a Jewish family from Aleppo, Poopa Dweck is deeply immersed in the traditions of the Aleppian Jewish community. The core of these traditions, in her words, is the food, the various cooked and baked delicacies that express not only the essence but also the deep religious and historic associations of this Jewish society’s soul.
Countless numbers of recipes reflect deeply held beliefs. For instance, the 12 small loaves of pitta called “khubz” that the Aleppian housewife prepares for the Friday evening meal symbolize the 12 loaves of showbread, or lehem panim, that were placed on the Table in the Holy Temple to represent the Divine Presence. A dish called slihat, containing almonds − symbol of fertility − was cooked expressly for a woman after delivery.
Aromas of Aleppo is not merely a cookbook; it is a delightful journey in a slice of Jewish history. It tells of Jewish presence in Aleppo as early as 6th century B.C.E, to be supplanted by a large influx of Jews from Spain in the years following their expulsion in 1492. Aleppo became the center of silk and spice trade and the “gem of Arabian cooking.” More than other Jewish communities in the Middle East, the Jews of Aleppo integrated Arab cuisine with certain adjustments for the laws of kashrut.
“This book is a reflection of the women who have really been the main reason we have defied assimilation,” says Poopa Dweck. A firm believer in women’s power through maintaining a traditional Jewish home in which the kitchen plays a central role, Poopa and her friends began collecting these time-honored recipes more than 30 years ago. Out of concern that these were retained only in the memory of older cooks, and would one day be lost, the women started the project of recipe compilation in a red vinyl binder called “Deal Delights” after their New Jersey domicile. The collection was later self-published in two volumes under the above title.
Poopa was born Joyce Kattan in Italy where her parents decided to settle when, on honeymoon in 1947, the U.N. vote (on Nov. 29) to establish the Jewish State in Palestine engendered bloody attacks on Jews in Aleppo. The name Poopa, “doll” in Italian, originated with her Italian nanny and was transplanted to Brooklyn, N.Y. where she grew up. At 18 she married Sam Dweck, a fellow Aleppian with whom she moved to Deal, N.J. − the home of a large concentration of Jews from Aleppo − to raise their six children.
When in 2003 tragedy struck – the Dwecks’ 18-year-old son Jesse was killed – Poopa, a woman of great faith, derived a blessing from her bereavement. She founded the Jesse Dweck City Learning Center in Manhattan where young men of Jesse’s age learn Torah in his memory.
A computer whiz, Jesse had helped Poopa organize her research for the book, so she elected to dedicate Aromas of Aleppo to his memory, and bequeath all proceeds from the cookbook to the Jesse Dweck City Learning Center. A highly active community leader, Poopa also founded Daughters of Sarah and is the cofounder of the Sephardic Women’s Organization.
By her own admission, Mrs. Poopa Dweck is a devoted cook of traditional Jewish food because she is a devoted mother and grandmother, and passing these on is the secret of her design – to pass Judaism on to future generations.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”
We have recently witnessed how other minorities deal with even perceived danger aimed at their brothers and sisters. They respond in great numbers.
“The objective behind establishing small communities as places for relocation was a remedy for the excessive cost of housing and education in the large New York metropolitan market,” Mr. Savitsky explained.
Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.
The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.
Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.
We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]
From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.
Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions: Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]
It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.
During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]
In 1756, when the ominous threat of Islamic terror against Jews reached Tunis as well, Friha became one of its tragic victims.
Brigitte was a nine-year-old girl when Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base and destroyed her home.
This led to a shouting match between the judges and what could have been the end of the show.
In 1939, Chuchill challenged the common notion that Jewish immigration to Palestine uprooted Arabs
Her cherished plan to take the Hebrew theater group Habimah to Eretz Yisrael was not greeted with enthusiasm by the actors.
“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”
In 1939, after her father’s arrest, the family decided to flee to England.
Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/impact-women-history/poopa-dweck-aromas-of-aleppo/2008/08/07/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: