CUJF invites you to participate in a series of activities and events during the month of November that explore how food can connect us to our history, traditions and community while also bridging across cultural divides.


Film Breaking Bread

November 1 – 4


Purchase a ticket ($15) from the JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival for an at-home viewing experience. Learn about Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, a former microbiologist and the first Muslim Arab winner of Israel’s MasterChef, and how she has been using food to promote social change in Haifa, a city where Jews and Arabs live alongside each other. For more details and to purchase the movie ticket click here.


Discussion about Breaking Bread

November 5 @ 7:00 pm


Listen to film director Beth Elise Hawk. (The ticket for viewing the movie gives you access to this discussion.)




Film Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles

November 6 – 13


Learn about renowned Israeli-born chef, Yotam Ottolenghi, the important role that food played in the French royal court between 1682 and 1789, and the parallels to today’s world of haute cuisine. This movie is available for rental ($6.99) through various websites. For more details click here.


Interview with Gil Hovav, Israeli chef, food critic, and author 

November 6 – 13


Learn about his family, growing up in Jerusalem, and how food has been a central part of his family traditions, as well as Israeli society. Several interviews and short clips are available for free on YouTube. We recommend two interviews: a 2012 fifteen-minute interview by Culture Buzz Israel  and a 2017 one-hour interview by L’Chaim, Jewish Broadcasting Service.




Conversation about Israeli culture, food and social life

November 14 @ 8:00 pm


Join a presentation and discussion with Dr. Liat Maggid-Alon, 2019-2020 Israel Institute Visiting Scholar at UIUC Program in Jewish Culture & Society. Learn about Israeli culture, food, and social life, highlighting the work and lives of Atamna-Ismaeel, Ottolenghi and Hovav. (This is a stand-alone event that does not require participating in the previously suggested activities.) Please register to get access information.




Third Virtual Ladies’ Night

November 22 @ 8:30 pm


We will continue the conversation about food, its social and cultural aspects, and the work and lives of Hovav, Ottolenghi and Atamna-Ismaeel. (This is a stand-alone event that does not require participating in the previously suggested activities.)  Please register to get access information.