Community Events

Susan Kusel

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In Conversation With Susan Kusel

Hi, Angels Working On Earth Family,

Susan Kusel gave an exciting review of Jewish cookbooks. Her breath of knowledge was as measurable as the books she handpicked for the lecture.  She rummaged through her vast assortment of cookbooks spotlighting Jewish cuisine in its many dialects. The books included Jewish holiday baking cookbooks and even an encyclopedia of Jewish food. 

She spoke about the etymology of Jewish cookbooks and their authors. Family history and recipes passed down from mothers to daughters highlighted the conversation. The audience engaged Susan in discussions about family traditions and how these traditions have evolved. The books covered everything from chicken soup to matzah ball soup. The topic of crabmeat recipes brought about humorous laughter. Is it kosher? Vegan recipes are an enigma but a topic in need of discussion. Yes, there are Gluten-free Jewish recipes!

Her knowledge about the cookbook industry, as well as Jewish cookbooks, piqued my curiosity! She occasionally travels to New York to browse books in mainstream and Jewish book shops. What a wonderful trip that will be?!

Her tips for new authors writing their first books were helpful. She gave a real-world view of entering the industry’s peaks and challenges. One suggestion is to research your target market and the audience you wish to inspire. Another tip, what genre of the book will you write? Will you hire an agent? Which publisher should produce your book?

The “Thought” event took place at Temple Rodef Shalom, which has an extensive cookbook library. Susan enjoys helping people connect with cookbooks and encouraging curiosity. See the link “Susan Kusel, “In Conversation About Historical Jewish Cookbooks” to view the entire lecture.



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