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September 29, 2017

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PAGE 8A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017 By Josefin Dolsten NEWYORK (JTA)--Larissa Raphael was sick of eating knishes that packed in plenty of potatoes but no punch. "I was like, 'why does the knish need to be bland?'" she said. "I want it to taste really good." As the former pastry chef of a late lamented restaurant that earned a Michelin star, she decided to take matters into her own hands. In Febru- ary, Raphael, 47, launched her one-woman knish business, Riss' Knishes. Raphael started cooking up the idea last year when an acquaintance suggested she make the doughy pockets with roots in Jewish Eastern Europe. She tested various recipes and gave them to friends and family members. One neighbor was so smitten that at his encouragement, she decided to make it a business. Raphael's savory, flavor- ful creations are not your grandfather's favorite deli's knishes, and they look differ- ent, too: Instead of dough that completely wraps the filling, Raphael treats the dough as more of a crust, shaping it in a rose-like pattern with the smooth filling peeking from the center. "I took my pastry chef skill and mixed it with my love for potatoes and created a knish that's a little more artisanal," Raphael told JTA on a re- cent Wednesday morning in Brooklyn after finishing up a batch of knishes. Raphael, who grew up out- side Philadelphia and studied to become a pastry chef at the South Seattle Community College, is selling her wares at Fulton Stall Market, an upscale food hall in downtown Manhattan that offers locally made food and produce. She is in talks with Whole Foods to sell her knishes in its stores. Raphael's flavors range from the classic potato-onion knish to inventive new takes such as mushroom Gruyere and poblano jalapeno cheddar. Prior to launching Riss' Josefin Dolsten Top, clockwise, potato onion knish, poblano jalapeno cheddar knish and mushroom Gruyere knish. Knishes, all with her own money, Raphael was the head pastry chef at Telepan, whose owner-chef Bill Telepan she met when the two worked at Judson Grill. Telepan, a farm-to-table restaurant on Manhattan's Upper West Side, was awarded a Michelin star three years in a row but closed in 2016 due to financial reasons. Raphael starts her day early, waking up at about 3 a.m. to get from her Lower East Side home to Runner & Stone, a Brooklyn restaurant whose owners lend her the kitchen a few times a month. She goes through some 36 pounds of potatoes to produce around 300 knishes a month, which she sells frozen for $3.50 each or $12 for four. The daughter of a Jewish father and a Unitarian Univer- salist mother, Raphael grew up celebrating both Christian and Jewish holidays at home. She remembers eating Jew- ish food, including knishes (though they were--gasp!- store bought) at the home of her paternal grandparents on Long Island. While working at Tele- pan, the restaurant hosted a squash and sweet potato- themed dinner, and Raphael wanted to make sweet potato knishes. Though they didn't pan out, she found herself coming back to the idea last year. "I'd like to expose the cul- ture of Jewish food to more people," she said. "I think food brings people together. I think there's always that say- ing of when you break bread with somebody, you form a relationship. "Not that the knish is going to save the world--it's just one step of sharing something and bringing people together." When it comes to flavors, Raphael tries to balance tra- dition with modernity. Lately she has been fielding requests to make a knish filled with kasha, or buckwheat. "Ifa lot of people are going to want to buy a kasha knish, I'm going to make it," she said. "But if I do something that traditional, then maybe the next one I do can be a little more playful. I kind of want to satisfy the traditionalists and look to open up the ideas of what a knish can be." No matter the filling, Ra- phael is convinced that knish- es can please anyone's palate. "It seems to me anyone would like a knish," she said. "Who wouldn't like it?" 9 West Hall at Tufts University. By Yvette/kit (JTA)--Tufts University's Hillel is described as "an organization that supports a white supremacist state" in a student-written guide to activist life at the uni- versity. The Tufts University Disorientation Guide offers information on social, spiri- tual, health and academic resources at the Boston-area university, but singles out Hillel for opprobrium, call- ing it a "Zionist space" and accusing it of "exploit(ing) blackvoices for their own pro- Israel agenda." The guide has been widely read and shared on social media.Tufts Hillel's executive director, Rabbi "Jef- frey Summit, objected to its one-sided portrayal of Hillel and Jewish campus life at the private university."We have been working so hard to create a positive atmosphere on cam. pus, and we have such a positive Israel presence," Summit said, adding that over 100 Tufts students visit Israel each year.The accusa- tion that Tufts Hillel exploits "black voices" stems from three years ago when Hillel brought to campus the par- ents of Trayvon Martin, the black teenager who was shot in 2012 bya neighborhoodwatch volunteer in Sanford, Florida, to speak about gun violence. According to the guide, "Students were outraged that Hillel, an organization that promotes awhite supremacist state, were bringing Tray- von's parents to exploit black voices for their own pro-Israel agenda." Like other campus Hillels, the Tufts center offers a range of social, cultural, educational and religious events in addi- tion and often unrelated to pro-lsrael activity. The disorientation guide was created by and for leftist student groups on campus, and suggests resources for students of color, low-income students, the LGBT commu- nity and women. The only mentions of Jewish groups or activities, including Hil- lel, appear in a section for "Israel Apartheid Week," a pro-Palestinian event, and in a description of the Pan African Alliance's 2015 protest of the Trayvon Martin event. Such guides have been created on other campuses as an alternative to the official student guides dis- tributed by the university administration. The most recent disorientation guide at Columbia University criti- cized its administration for "supporting the oppression of Palestinians both through its investments and by suppress- ing anti-Israel speech by stu- dents and faculty." The 2016 version at New York University asserts that students visiting Israel on a Birthright trip are "complicit in the occupation, destruction, and colonization of Palestine." The Tufts version does not receive university funding, according to Tufts' executive director of public relations, Patrick Collins, and is not part of the university's official orientation program. The disorientation guide "was posted without authori- zation by students on two offi- cial Class Facebook pages and prompted a number of student complaints," Collins told JTA in an email. "Although we respect students' rights to free speech and expression, we also reserve the right to determine what may or may not be ap- propriate to share through the university's official com- munications platforms. The university removed the guide shortly after being made aware of its posting because the guide is unauthorized and because multiple portions of the guide run counter to our community's shared values and standards and to Orienta- tion's mission." A small group of friends created the Tufts guide after a 2016 edition fell through. They used the 2015 edition as a template. Emmett Pinsky, a junior majoring in American stud- ies with a minor in English, was among those who worked on the guide. Pinsky, who is Jewish, said that if people feel shocked by the guide's strong language, it is doing its job. "The use of strong language is meant to be jarring," Pinsky (who eschews gender-specific pronouns) told JTA. "The disorientation guide is meant to be jarring, and is meant to make you stop and think." Pinsky's knowledge of Hillel is limited, the junior said, and stems from attending services a few times in his freshman year. Pinsky has not visited Israel. But the authors stand by the guide, Pinsky said, not- ing that Tufts Hillel is broadly pro-Israel. "Israel is certainly impli- cated in systems of white supremacy," Pinsky said. "The fact that many white Jewish people feel favorably toward the Jewish state and the occupation of Palestine comes from a desire to pre- serve whiteness in the way it is unfolding in Israel and Palestine." If people feel alarm at Tufts Hillel being implicated in white supremacy, Pinsky said, "I think that feeling of alarm is worth exploring to see if that has a deeper root." The charge that Zionism is tantamount or similar to white supremacy has become increasingly popular on the anti-Zionist left. Naomi Dann of the pro- BDS group Jewish Voice for Peace argued in the Forward recently that Zionists and white supremacists share "anxiety about demographics and racist and Islamophobic fear of 'Arabs.'" The Anti-Defamation League responded to Dann's piece by asserting that Zion- ism "is based on providing for equal opportunity for the Jewish people, like others, to have sovereignty in their land while still fully protecting the rights of minorities who live within Israel. At its core, Zionism is a positive move- ment and is not intended to be 'against' anyone." For some students, the Tufts University Disorienta- tion Guide has made their campus seem a colder, less welcoming place. Sabrina Miller, a Jewish sophomore majoring in com- puter engineering, said the guide "gave a lot of support to other groups" and that made its negativity about Hillel more painful. "For freshmen who are Jew- ish, who support Israel, I think it will make them feel unwel- come or uneasy" at Tufts, she said. "I know it definitely made me feel uneasy" on campus. Sophie Saunders, also a Jewish sophomore majoring in computer engineering, the guide brought back memories of a bitter dispute five months ago when the Tufts student senate voted to divest from Is- rael. Saunders, who describes herself as a Zionist, attended the debate and was reduced to tears. Jewish and pro-Israel stu- dents were upset that the vote was brought up unexpectedly before the senate by Students for Justice in Palestine just days before Passover. Jews make up nearly 25 percent of the university's undergraduate enrollment of 5,290, according to the For- ward's recent college guide. In addition to Hillel, Jewish and Israel-oriented groups include the Tufts American Is- rael Alliance, Tufts Friends of Israel, J Street U, Jewish Voice for Peace, TAMID and IAC Mishelanu. Noting that after the disori- entation guide she feels "less welcome" at Tufts, Saunders said she has a plan: "I would like to say I'd like to get more involved" in pro-Israel activi- ties at the university as a way to fight back Custom Printing Invitations & Announcements Digital & Offset Printing / Brochures & Booklets Direct Mail Services Forms & Letterheads Envelopes Business Cards 2o5 North Street Longwood, FL 32750 Bring in this ad and receive 18,~ Discount