Most of my time during my 4 years of college was spent between two things that are very important to me: nutrition and dietetics, and UD Hillel. I taught a variety of classes in the Food and Nutrition Education Lab; where I found my passion for teaching and helping others develop interest in cooking and health. When I was not in the lab, I was at Hillel participating in various internships and leadership positions. I would watch others easily find ways to combine their passions in public policy, marketing, or accounting with Jewish student life, and it inspired me to find a way to link the two things that I love.
After accepting my offer to the Human Nutrition Master’s Program at UD, I began brainstorming ways to find a connection between teaching, nutrition, and my Jewish identity. As a graduate student, I knew that I wanted to move from participating in opportunities, to creating my own. After many discussions with supportive and creative staff members at Hillel, we came up with a programming idea consisting of me teaching a series of cooking classes on Jewish themed foods, with a healthy twist.
This series, Cooking Healthy with Hillel, is comprised of 4 free cooking classes, each with a different theme. The classes take place in the Food Lab, a fully stocked, 6 kitchen classroom on campus. September’s class included healthy Rosh Hashanah recipes, and information on fasting smart for Yom Kippur. October was traditional Israeli foods taught with the help of Noam, our Israel Fellow. In November’s class, we cooked healthy versions of Jewish – American foods such as low sodium matzo ball soup, low – fat fruit blintzes, and lox and cucumber sandwiches. December’s class will be Hanukkah themed, and the students will get to try 6 different healthy latke recipes! Each class begins with a presentation educating students on the healthy changes to the recipes and ends with a discussion on food and Jewish identity.
The Cooking Healthy with Hillel series will continue next semester, with fun themes and delicious recipes. The goal of these classes is to help others learn how to cook the Jewish foods that they love and make them a little healthier!