Jewish American Heritage Month
Can you tell me about Jewish American History Month?
In 2006, President George W. Bush established Jewish American Heritage Month by Presidential Proclamation to honor the achievements of Jewish Americans and their contributions to our nation’s history, culture, and society. Every year since then, we at LA County Library have celebrated Jewish American Heritage in Los Angeles and in the entire nation in May.
The latest report by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles states that Los Angeles County has the largest Jewish population of any single US county: 560,000. That’s nearly 7% of all Jews in the entire United States! Jacob Frankfurt was the first documented Jewish immigrant to arrive to the Puebla de Los Angeles from the East Coast in 1841. His journey from Europe to New York to California would be repeated years later by many thousands of Jews.
LA County Library is committed to serving the Jewish community and experience with a Judaica Collection, Hebrew, and Yiddish language books at our Culver City Julian Dixon Library. Agoura Hills Library houses a Holocaust Collection and Hebrew books for children and adults.
For more Jewish local history, check out the Mapping Jewish Los Angeles project developed by UCLA Library and local community archives. For more information about Jewish American Heritage Month, please visit the Library of Congress.
How is LA County Library celebrating Jewish American History Month in May?
You can check out our specially curated film and book content below that has been selected for its relevance to the Jewish American experience. It is appropriate for all ages. We also have some delicious recipes for you to try out so you can get a special taste of the Jewish American experience.
People say the way to the heart is through the stomach, so we’d also like to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month with you by sharing two delicious recipes from Linda Torn and Montebello native, Dr. Lenora M. Noroski. Thank you, Dr. Noroski and Linda! Also thank you, Sherry Uribe, for connecting us with them.
Traditional on Chanukah; lovely on Passover; can be served as a side for dinner or lunch or brunch; great anytime.
In large mixing bowl, combine the following fresh ingredients:
- 2 large russet potatoes, grated
- 3 medium russet potatoes, grated
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 3 stalks green onion, cut into thin slices
- 4 eggs
- Kosher matzah meal or potato pancake mix, 3 – 4 tablespoons to reach a light folding texture
- Parsley, fresh – dice leafy ends from a small handful of fresh branches
- Lemon juice, 1/2 fresh lemon – squeeze filtered juice (to avoid seeds, use cheese cloth or remove seeds before squeeze or pick out)
- Olive oil, a ’round-robin’ 4-second light drizzle
Pour over top Kosher salt.
Sprinkle a bit of freshly ground black pepper over mixture.
In a big iron or metal frying pan, pour 1/2 inch thick vegetable oil and heat.
Form approximately 2-2.5 inch semi-flat patties with the mixture and fry.
Watch, turn/flip gently as soon as edges become mildly firm.
When done, both sides should be golden brown.
Place cooked ‘potato patties’ atop paper towel that is layered on a flattened paper bag or regular plate.
Dr. Noroski’s tips:
- Do NOT let grated potatoes sit ahead of time to prevent browning when raw.
- Present on your favorite ceramic dish and garnish with fresh parsley sprigs and pomegranate seeds (or thinly sliced lemon or orange).
- Dash with coarse kosher salt over the top.
- Eat lovingly with family and friends, anytime!
- 3 eggs
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 medium russet potatoes, grated
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, grated
- 1 large zucchini, grated
- 3/4 cup matzah meal or flour (I use whole wheat flour, almond flour can also be used)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Oil for sautéing, I use olive oil
Grater (use large holes) or food processor, large mixing bowl, 9×12 pan, a plate or cookie sheet for cooling sautéed veggies.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Chop onions and grate the rest of the vegetables.
- Sauté each vegetable and set aside on plate to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs well.
- After eggs are beaten, whisk in matzah meal or flour, salt, baking powder, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder.
- Combine sautéed vegetables to the egg mixture and mix well.
- Coat the baking dish with oil or Pam.
- Pour the kugel batter into the baking pan.
- Bake until top is brown and crisp, about 1 hour.
Notes from Linda:
- Kugel is a side dish, often associated with Passover and other holidays, but enjoyed all year round.
- Starting with potatoes, any vegetables may be added to this recipe to boost the health value. Feel free to add mushrooms, kale, spinach, or whatever you like and have on hand.
- If you have a child or helper, have them grate the vegetables.
Local Jewish Museums, Research Centers, & Cultural Organizations
Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives