Eating the Bubbe: Culinary encounters between secular and haredi jews in Bnei Brak

Shlomo Guzmen-Carmeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Over the last few years on Thursday evenings, the main streets of Bnei Brak, one of Israel’s largest haredi (ultra-Orthodox) cities, becomes a culinary meeting place. The Eastern European Jewish cuisine sustained by the haredi kitchen attracts non-haredi visitors to a society that tends to keep to itself. This article presents an ethnographic investigation of a new culinary scene that brings together local haredim and secular visitors. I draw upon the concept of “eating the other” to argue how the “haredi other” represents a complex kind of “otherness,” whose encounters with secular visitors simultaneously mark boundaries and cross them. These encounters demonstrate how culinary tradition can provide a link to collective memory and help build individual and group identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-90
Number of pages22
JournalFood and Foodways
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Culinary tourism
  • Israel
  • ethnic kitchen
  • haredi
  • inclusion
  • marking boundaries
  • secular
  • “eating the other”


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