As Jewish farmers take a hands-on approach to sustainability, four local institutions are inviting the public to lend their voices in a series of presentations, performances, lectures and demonstrations centered around the question, "What Is Your Food Worth?"
Over the next two years, Reform Congregation Rodeph Shalom, the National Museum of American Jewish History, the Gershman Y and Temple University's Feinstein Center for American Jewish History will host a variety of programs focused on food, ethics, sustainability and "eating Jewish."
The goal is to bring disparate groups of people together to address the choices we confront "as we try to square what we eat with what we believe and what we can afford," explained Bryant Simon, acting director of the Feinstein Center. "We're really trying to spark a conversation rather than resolve a problem."
Historians, religious scholars, kosher bakers, organic farmers, labor activists, watch dogs, chefs and foodies will challenge audiences to ponder why cheap food is cheap, what are the costs of kosher eating and how much should the people who make and grow our food earn? Is a healthy diet the same as an ethical diet? And are these--a healthy diet and an ethical diet-- the same as a Jewish diet?
In addition to events, rabbis, college students and cooks will also share their tastes, budgets, beliefs, and food choices at whatisyourfoodworth.com .
"What's fascinating about the blogosphere, it doesn't have to end in the way more classic academic projects end," Simon said.
The dialogue kicks off on Oct. 2, at 5:30 p.m.,with a free "Si'ach (Conversation) in the Sukkah" at Rodeph Shalom, 615 North Broad St. It will be led by Fare Restaurant owner Andrew Siegel; Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel Associate Rabbi Kevin Kleinman; Vetri Foundation's Jeff Benjamin and CSA organizer Laurel Klein. More information about future programs can be found at the site above or www.temple.edu/feinsteinctr .