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Beyond Chicken Soup: Ashkenazi Herbalism with Deatra Cohen and Adam Siegel

October 19 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Unearth the history of Ashkenazi folk medicine with herbalists Deatra Cohen and Adam Siegel as they discuss their new book entitled “Ashkenazi Herbalism: Rediscovering the Herbal Traditions of Eastern European Jews” at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History. Just days after the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot and weeks after the end of a Shmita (rest for the land) year, this event will surely inspire ideas for the fall garden harvest and sew new ideas for gardeners planning the year to come.

When faced with the reality that the natural medicine practices of her Jewish ancestors had been erased by war like most documentation of European Jewry, Cohen, a clinical herbalist and research librarian, took it upon herself to piece back together the history of Ashkenazi healers. With the help of Siegel, a research librarian and literary translator, the two were able to uncover European Jewish medicinal traditions that go beyond today’s ever present “chicken soup” theory. Cohen and Siegel turn back time to explore the vast treatments within Eastern Europe’s Pale of Settlement herbal tradition that from the Middle Ages through today has been shrouded in mystery. Join us for this conversation to talk about the native plants, practices and practitioners that brought infamy to the Jewish medicinal plant healers of Eastern Europe.


Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History
101 S Independence Mall E
Philadelphia, 19106 United States
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