HomeClubsCHS club shares Jewish culture with students

CHS club shares Jewish culture with students

Published Oct. 4, 2023


From discussing the history of babka to sampling Israeli candies, the Jewish Culture and Culinary club uses food to educate students about Jewish traditions. 

“We talk about where that food came from and the Jewish cultural connections to it,” notes Dale DePalatis, the club’s adviser, who explains that JCC club is not a religious group and that its main focus is to expose Carmel High students to an interesting culture. 

The club was founded by recent CHS graduate Calla Woodruff-Lyons two years ago and still maintains her legacy of sharing Jewish culture with the student body.

“We use food to help open people’s minds to different religions and cultures,” elaborates junior Magnolia Woodruff-Lyons, the club’s vice president. 

Magnolia explains that it is the group’s goal to increase equality, promote diversity and introduce students to new cultural perspectives by sharing Jewish food. The club’s activities also help Jewish students to connect with their culture and understand their family’s traditions.

“I’m also learning more about my Jewish heritage that wasn’t passed down to my dad,” explains senior Hailey Collins, the club president. 

During meetings, members discuss the links that particular recipes have to Jewish customs and traditions.  

“Sometimes there are just very surprising connections with how the food got developed over time,” says DePalatis, who says that the club discusses the origins of the dishes and their names as well as their significance to Jewish culture. 

Junior Magnolia Woodruff-Lyons explains the history of the pickle during a meeting of the Jewish Culture and Culinary Club. (photo by ANNA PRESCOTT)

Besides their weekly lunch meetings, the JCC also hosted a Hanukkah party last December in the library. The group organized dreidel games and brought latkes and sufganiyah, similar to jelly doughnuts, and shared them with anyone interested. Woodruff-Lyons adds that the club members plan to host the celebration again this December, plus a few new school-wide events.

Beyond its main message of sharing Jewish culture with CHS students, the club also lets them connect with people who share an interest in trying and learning about new foods.

“They’re fun kids who are energetic and enjoy eating food and making fun of each other,” explains DePalatis. 

Meeting in Room 27 during lunch on Thursdays, the Jewish Culture and Culinary Club creates a welcoming environment where students can share dishes and enjoy each other’s company, all while learning about a unique culture. 

“I really like that it’s a small, tight-knit group of friends, and we all get to hang out together and try new foods,” mentions sophomore Michelle Clay. “It brings a lot of joy to my week, something to look forward to.” 

Whether they are preparing bagels or sharing Bamba, the club members are sure to be having a great time. 

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