TK: What did you do every Friday night?

GK: We had Shabbos dinner, I lit the candles, with a table cloth. My mother always had food for us; she was such a wonderful cook. Your daddy would go to synagogue with my father and he would walk 8 or 9 blocks. And in schul he was the most behaved boy you had ever seen. Everyone giving him candy. He loved afterward when they had the drinks and food. Ross was my father’s only grandson. He had 6 granddaughters. We went to synagogue in the morning–

TK: Saturday morning?

GK: Yes, Ross, my parents and me. After we came home all the nieces came over for lunch because they all loved my mother’s cooking.

TK: So lunch was a big thing?

GK: Very special because my mother made the chicken well done and everybody was fighting for it. But Ross got service first, your dad, because he was the only boy. They were fun times; we always had big dinners.

TK: Was there a certain dish or food that was at every dinner?

GK: My mother made white fish that was delicious. We never bought fish from a store. She was also a very good cook because my grandfather was in the baking business. Strudel, everything the kids loved. She loved the kitchen. Everything was spotless, all white. And the kids loved her food and she made everything the way the children liked it. Then we moved to Florida.

TK: So in Florida you started hosting dinners?

GK: Yes, I started making dinners. We went to a congregation and the rabbi had married me. He was from Michigan which was very weird.

TK: Who used to come to dinners in Miami?

GK: My children. My husband’s brother and his wife. And my aunt used to come from the winter with her husband. We always had relatives and friends come in. We were always very busy. And then six years later we moved back to Michigan and did the same thing. It was joyous, a very joyous time.

TK: Were you orthodox?

GK: We were very orthodox. My father was ultra religious. We couldn’t eat meat out or anything. Papa’s family was religious but not as quite as religious. I used to change all the dishes and everything because I had lunch at my house after services. But you know you don’t stay as religious.

TK: When daddy was growing up were you conservative?

GK: Yes, we went to a congregation that was conservative. The men and women sit together. In Orthodox the men and women don’t sit together.


THE INFORMANT: The informant is my dad’s mother, who grew up in Michigan, where she lived until she moved to Florida. She came from a family of immigrant Russian Jews and maintained the Jewish religion in her own life, which has evolved through living in America.

ANALYSIS: The tradition of Friday night shabbat dinner is still very intact in modern Jewish homes. The dinners my grandmother is referencing from fifty years ago are still quite similar in their existence in today’s world; those more religious families go to synagogue, but even those without this weekly tradition often still maintain a culinary tradition. It is very family-oriented, showing the emphasis on family, tradition, and memories.