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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 5, 2017 Gretchen Stumme/AFP/Getty Images Vandalized gravestones at the Waad Hakolel Cemetery in Rochester, N.Y., March 3, 2017. By Marcy Oster and Ben Sales (JTA)--Anti-Semitic in- cidents in the United States soared 86 percent in the first three months of 2017 after rising by more than one-third in 2016, according to the Anti- Defamation League. There has been a massive increase in harassment of American Jews, largely since November, and at least 34 incidents linked to the presi- dential election that month, the ADL said Monday in its annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents. This year has seen pre- liminary reports of 541 anti- Semitic incidents through March. One reason for the jump appeared to be the bomb threats called in to Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions across the country. An Israeli-American teenager is accused of call- ing in most of them, and he has been charged in Israel and the United States. He is in custody in Israel. The 2017 incidents include 380 for harassment, includ- ing the 161 bomb threats, an increase of 127 percent over the first quarter of '16; 155 for vandalism, including three cemetery desecrations, an increase of 36 percent, and six physical assaults, a decrease of 40 percent. The increase in anti-Semit- ic acts comes despite a low level of anti-Semitic attitudes among Americans. While there was a 34 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents in 2016, an ADL survey earlier this month found that only 14 percent of Americans hold anti-Semitic views. Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL's national director, told reporters Monday that the numbers reflect growing as- sertiveness among ahard core of anti-Semites. "What appears to be hap- pening is the extremists feel emboldened and are spread- 634872195 891356742 752941638 -475698213 189723456 263514987 318467529 -547239861 926185374 ing their virus," he said, adding that prominent white supremacists "like Richard Spencer and David Duke find themselves in the head- lines, and their noxious ideas started to spread." Greenblatt and Moshe Kan- tor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said that a global wave of populism and corresponding backlash against elites is fueling anti- Semitism. Kantor added that resentment of globalization By Ben Sales CHICAGO (JTA)--The plat- ter, served during Passover, contained a green, a bitter herb, an egg and matzah. But it was no seder plate. Instead, itwas the appetizer served during a six-course prix fixe meal at Aviv, a pop-up, kosher-for-Passover restau- rant housed for one night at Rodfei Zedek, a Conservative synagogue in the Hyde Park neighborhood on this city's South Side. The course, a pickle platter, featured pickled cucumbers, pickled asparagus tips and beet-pickled eggs, along with olive tapenade, citrus-carrot horseradish and--de rigueur for a Passover meal--Tam Tam crackers with everything topping. The first course also came with a soft gluten-free matzah that resembled a tea cracker and, as guests noted approvingly, didn't really taste like matzah. Aviv had taken over what was usually the synagogue social hall, with guests seated at long tables covered with disposable white table cloths. The courses, served on biode- gradable dishes, included a shaved Brussels sprouts salad with lemon-ginger dressing and micro-herbs, as well as whole-roasted spiced cauli- flower with seared haloumi cheese, parsley gremolata and marinated Fresno chilies. The pop-up restaurant was the latest creation of Wander- ing Foods Productions, a ko- sher food caterer that aims to create kosher fine dining ex- periences that fuse traditional Jewish recipes with other cui- sines. Wandering Foods is the brainchild of Jonathan Posner, a lanky, 26-year-old rabbinical student with a baritone voice and five years of experience working in upscale Chicago restaurants. "How to rethink what Pass- coupled with continuing economic struggles born of the 2008 recession are also contributing factors. Greenbelt said populist demagogues have been a boon to the extreme right, as "much of their rhetoric has been normalized in the past 12 to 18 months." "The social contract that worked well for the past 50 years is no longer in place," Kantor said at the press briefing on Monday. "We as citizens of the developed world believed every new generation would live better than the previous one, so it is not surprising that well- to-do European societies are dominated by fear rather than values--fear of poverty, fear of migrants, fear for their lives amid terror attacks." Astudy this month from the European Jewish Congress found that violent anti-Semit- ic incidents worldwide fell to 361 in2016 from410in2015,a decrease of 12 percent. Kantor attributed the decrease, which was most dramatic in Europe, to ramped-up security at Jewish institutions and more government funding for Jew- ish communal safety. over is like and what it means to eat on Passover" fs how Posner, dressed in a black T- shirt with a pinstriped apron, describedAvivas he welcomed 35 people to the first of two sold-out seatings on April 13, the holiday's fourth night, for $54 a head. "This is a meal and a pop-up restaurant that celebrates spring. The food will be green, the food will be bright and it will be delicious." While success stories like Michael Solomonov and Einat Admony may have made Israe- li food all the rage in the U.S., Wandering Foods is one of several recent enterprises that are aiming to make Ashkenazi food hip. There's the Gefilte- ria, which has resurrected traditional recipes for gefilte fish, horseradish and borscht with an emphasis on local, seasonal ingredients. There's the Wandering Chew, which creates artisanal Montreal- style Jewish food and conducts culinarywalking tours of Mile End, the Canadian city's Jew- ish neighborhood, complete with tastings of bagels and smoked meat. Zak Stern, aka Zak the Baker, a kosher dell owner in an artsy Miami neighborhood, makes his sandwiches with fresh-baked sourdough bread. Despite the accolades gar- nered by these food entrepre- neurs, Posner still feels that Ashkenazi foods like brisket and kugel get short shrift. He asks why other international cuisines, from Italian pasta to Chinese stir-fry, have become common in a home cook's repertoire, but traditional American Jewish food--even among American Jews--is generally relegated to Rosh Hashanah and Passover, if at all. "The base for most Jews in America is that Jewish food at best is bland, except the one or two things that someone does really well, that someone In 2016, the ADL report showed a total of 1,266 acts targeting Jews and Jewish institutions, with a 34 percent increase of incidents of as- saults, vandalism and harass- ment over the previous year. Nearly 30 percent of those incidents, or 369, occurred in November and December. The states with the high- est number of incidents were those with large Jewish popu- lations, including California, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Massachusetts. The acts included 720 harassment and threat in- cidents, an increase of 41 percent over 2015; 510 vandal- ism incidents, an increase of 35 percent; and 36 physical assaults, a decrease of 35 percent. Incidents on college cam- puses stayed mostly static after nearly doubling in 2015, but more than doubled in non- Jewish elementary, middle and high schools. The rise to 235 incidents in 2016 from 114 the previous year repre- sented a 106 percent increase. There have been 95 incidents reported in the first quarter of this year. The ADL numbers do not does once ayear," Posner said. "Jewish food is really holiday food and doesn't exist in the daily kitchen of most Ameri- can Jews. In what ways can Jewish food have a cuisine the way we have French cuisine or Italian cuisine?" According to Liz Alpern, the Gefilteria's co-founder, she and Other Jewish foodies are merging their generation's culinary sensibilities with Jewish culture. Just like previous generations cared about low-fat diets, these young Jewish chefs are buying their ingredients at farmers' markets, avoiding processed foods and making sure their dishes have color. "A lot of people we knew really loved cooking locally sourced, high-quality meat, but when it came to Jewish cooking, like when it came to making a brisket, they didn't care, really," Alpern said. "The ways this is different is it's a coming together of our values as a generation around food, and our love of Jewish cooking and authenticity and tradition." Plus, tasty food can be an accessible entry point for many into other modes of Jewish life. More events like this, Posner said, could draw young Jews to large syna- gogues that may fail to attract them to Shabbat services. David Minkus, rabbi of Rod- fei Zedek, which hosted the Passover pop-up, agreed that a synagogue can, for various reasons, be the right place for a Jewish culinary event. "I thought it was an op- portunity to reshape the way people think about having kosher food, how they think about eating in a synagogue," he said ofAviv. "I didn't under- stand why synagogues didn't use their kitchens, which are usually large, industrial and kosher, to do something beyond serving kugel on Sat- urday afternoon." include online anti-Semitism, including a wave of anti- Semitic harrassment on Twit- ter. A 2016 ADL report tallied 2.6 million tweets containing anti-Semitic language be- tween August 2015 and July 2016. Greenblatt said Monday that the anti-Semitism statis- tics would be "off the charts" if cyber hate were included. "Clearly, we have work to do and need to bring more urgency to the fight. At ADL, we will use every resource available to put a stop to anti- Semitism," Greenblatt said in a statement. "But we also need more leaders to speak out against this cancer of hate and more action at all levels to counter anti-Semitism." The ADL has been tracking anti-Semitic incidents since 1979. In the past 10 years, the number of reported anti- Semitic incidents peaked at 1,554 in 2006. Separately, Tel Aviv Uni- versity's watchdog on anti- Semitism reported Sunday that the number of anti- Semitic incidents worldwide has decreased by 12 percent in 2016 despite the spike in the United Kingdom and the United States. Posner was raised in an ob- servant Jewish family and was trained as a chef in downtown Chicago's fancy restaurants. As he returned to Jewish observance as an adult, he knew thatworking Friday and Saturday nights--the busiest times for restaurants--would prevent him from keeping the Sabbath. So he left the restau- rant scene and two years ago founded Wandering Foods. Last year he entered rabbini- cal school at the Conservative movement's Jewish Theologi- cal Seminary in New York. In addition to elevating the quality of Ashkenazi recipes, Posner aims to fuse them with other cuisines, from Sephardi dishes to other American and global culinary traditions. The matzah ball soup, for example, included shiitake mushrooms; for dessert, the flourless chocolate cake was accompanied by green tea ice cream and espresso. "It's not just a Sephardic- Ashkenazic mashup," said Posner, who will also be hosting a regular supper club on the Upper West Side of Manhattan beginning in May. "It's taking specific items, specific techniques, specific ingredients, understanding them in their own contexts and then making something that's greater than the sum of its parts." Posner isn't sure what he's going to do after rabbinical school or how long he can sustain Wandering Foods with a full course load. But he said working in a kitchen and behind a pulpit aren't all that different. In both cases, he said, Posner feels he's lead- ing "a life in service." "People seek out rabbis for a lot of the reasons they go to restaurants," he said. "They go for the most momentous occasions of their lives. People want experiences. People want to feel cared for."