Exploring connections between people and chocolate
Book In Second Printing!
My book, On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao is already in its second printing! To purchase your copy or additional copies of On the Chocolate Trail you may do so from the publisher, Jewish Lights. Bulk rates and signed books are also available there. Thank you to everyone who has bought a copy or more for gifts, teachers, book clubs, adult study and other.
Beth Chaim Reform Congregation, Malvern, PA, September 14, 2014
Center for Jewish History, New York City, NY, October 27, 2014
College of Jewish Studies Event, Binghamton JCC, Binghamton, NY, October 30, 2014
Lions of Judah and Pomegranates Event, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Portland, OR, November 13, 2014
Women's Impact Event, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Portland, OR, November 13, 2014
Congregation Kol Ami, Vancouver, WA November 14, 2014
Temple Beth El, Tacoma, WA, November 15, 2014
Suffolk Y JCC, Commack, NY, December 19, 2014
Scholar-in-Residence, Congregation Dor Tamid, Johns Creek, GA, January 23-25, 2015
Temple Solel, Paradise Valley, AZ, February 6, 2015
Limmud Arizona, Phoenix, AZ, February 8, 2015
Scholar-in-Residence, Congregation Beth Israel, Houston, TX, February 13-15, 2015
Scholar-in-Residence, Temple B'Nai Shalom, Fairfax, VA, March12-15, 2015
Scholar-in-Residence, Congregation Shaarey Zedek, East Lansing, MI, March 27-29, 2015
Scholar-in-Residence, Congregation Bet Ha'am, Portland, ME, May 1-2, 2015
Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel Jerusalem, ISRAEL
URJ Biennial San Diego, CA
Yom Limmud, Lawrence Family JCC, San Diego, CA
Scholar in Residence - Beth Tzedec Calgary Congregation, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA
Jewish Center of the Hamptons, East Hampton, NY
NY Public Library - Mid-Manhattan Library, New York, NY
West London Synagogue, London, ENGLAND
Chocolate Show, New York, NY
Jewish Genealogical Society, Center for Jewish History, New York, NY
Scholar in Residence - Congregation Achduth Vesholom, Fort Wayne, IN
Hazon Food Conference
Newport Historical Society, Newport, RI
Magnes Museum, Berkeley, CA
"Chocolate's connection to religion" by Susan Rife in Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, FL February 7, 2014.
"A delectable journey" by Benji Rosen in The Jerusalem Post Magazine [subscription] January 30, 2014.
"Exploring religious connection to the edible delight" by Mario Toneguzzi in Calgary Herald August 23. 2013.
"A Traveling Chocoholic" by Rebecca Bratburd in The Wall Street Journal July 16, 2013.
"Spilling the beans on chocolate" by Victoria Prever in The Jewish Chronicle Online June 20, 2013.
Walter's World: Israel National News; New Book: Mouthwatering Book: Jews May Have Brought Chocolate to France Sunday, April 29, 2013.
“Chocolate’s Jewish History” by Emma Goss in The New York Jewish Week Friday, April 17, 2013
“Raising The Chocolate Bar” by Emma Goss in The New York Jewish Week Friday, March 22, 2013
“Rabbi Shares her Love of Chocolate” by Kylie Jane Wakefield Jewish Journal February 7, 2013
“Walk Down the Jewish Chocolate Trail” by Leah Koenig at The Jewish Daily Forward January 25, 2013
"On The Chocolate Trail" Jewniverse January 10, 2013
“Rabbi tracks ‘Jewish connection’ to chocolate confection” by Dan Pine at the J Weekly January 3, 2013
Ken Chitwood: "Chanukah gelt, St. Nick and the chocolate trail" in Houston Chronicle December 4, 2012
Marjorie Ingall: “Gelt Without Guilt” in Tablet November 27, 2012
Reviewed in "12 Best Books for the Holidays" by David Crumm at Read The Spirit November 26, 2012
Mentioned in "On the Chocolate Trail" by By Laura Blum in JCC Greenwich Friday, November 23, 2012
Reviewed in "Gifts for Literarily Everyone: Holiday Book Guide" by Jonathan Kirsch in the Jewish Journal November 20, 2012
“The Long-Lived Jewish Relationship With Chocolate” by Vered Guttman in HaAretz Thursday, August 2, 2012
“Bittersweet History” by Amy Spiro at The Jerusalem Post Magazine January, 2012
"Ethics-Minded Confectioners Work to Keep Chocolate Sweet" by Deborah Prinz at the Forward's The Jew and the Carrot, October 28, 2010
"Shanah Tovah u'Metukah! But, Where is the Chocolate?" cross posted at The Jewish Magazine, September 2009
Leah Koenig "Jews on the Chocolate Trail" at My Jewish Learning
Nonna Gorilovskaya "The Mostly Sweet Tale of Jews and Chocolate" in Moment Magazine
Randi Sherman "On A Chocolate Chai" The Jewish Week, May 14, 2008
“A joy for history and chocolate buffs…. Traces the exciting and curious aspects of the evolution of chocolate. The reader is rewarded with fascinating nuggets of chocolate lore, as well as several yummy chocolate recipes.”
—Carole Bloom, CCP, author, Intensely Chocolate and Truffles, Candies and Confections
“Meticulously researched and whimsically presented. Fascinating facts, amusing anecdotes and mouth-watering recipes…. An instant classic for chocolate devotees of all faiths!”
—Francine Segan, food historian, chocolate expert and James Beard nominated cookbook author of Dolci: Italy’s Sweets
“Bravo! ... Takes us on a roller coaster roll through the history of chocolate, from the beginning when it was only used as a drink to the present day…. A great read.”
—Joan Nathan, award-winning cookbook author, Jewish Cooking in America; Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France; and other books
“Yes, separate milk from meat. And wool from linen. But do not separate Jews from chocolate. They shall be yoked together for all time. And now we have the definitive book on the topic, an eloquent and astutely researched history.”
—A.J. Jacobs, editor-at-large, Esquire magazine; author of the New York Times bestseller, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, and other books
“This engaging journey into the extraordinary past of a much-loved product is packed with fascinating stories and thrilling bits of information.”
—Claudia Roden, food writer and author of almost twenty classic works on Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cookery; most recently, the award-winning The Book of Jewish Food
“Calling all chocoholics…. I devoured this book. Readers beware! Stash fine chocolate in your pack before setting off on this delicious journey across time and space.”
—Pamela S. Nadell, Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History, American University; author, Women Who Would be Rabbis: A History of Women’s Ordination, 1889–1985
“A treat! Part history, part travelogue, part cookbook, [it] … will tantalize all readers and delight chocoholic ones.”
—Jonathan D. Sarna, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University
“A knowledgeable, surprising and, of course, delicious book. Chocolate lovers (and that includes just about everyone) and Jewish historians alike will be delighted.”
—Leah Koenig, author, The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook
“Fascinating and entertaining… if you’re interested in Jews or chocolate, you’re gonna like this book. If you’re interested in both, you’re gonna love it :-). Like chocolate itself—wonderful as a gift, or you could just get one for you yourself.”
—Nigel Savage, founder, Hazon: Jewish Inspiration, Sustainable Communities
“A fascinating ramble through the history of chocolate and the roles—sometimes central, sometimes peripheral—that Jews have played in bringing it from the forests of Africa and Spanish America to your table. The recipes are a tasty bonus.”
—David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson, authors, A Drizzle of Honey: The Lives and Recipes of Spain’s Secret Jews
“A delightful, fascinating read full of history, religion, ethics, anecdotes and recipes that will make you hungry.”
—Paula Shoyer, author, The Kosher Baker: 160 Dairy-Free Desserts from Traditional to Trendy
I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about our program yesterday. Thank you for lending your expertise, creativity and charm to our event.
It was a delight to have you with us — your presentation is excellent and your research is remarkable. Moreover, I appreciate the kind interaction with my members, and how they responded to your warmth. I am sure they will think differently about every bite of chocolate from now on.
Thank you so much for the wonderful presentation. The participants clearly enjoyed sharing their own stories, hearing your insights and learning about all of the Jewish connections as well as the cultural and religious aspects of chocolate. You are a warm and engaging speaker.
Thank you for your teaching last night. It was delightful, informative, and fun, and we’ve already received some excellent feedback.
You are such a terrific speaker. So comfortable and conversational. It was a treat to listen to you. Everyone had a great time.
Thank you very much for presenting a superb lecture at Beth Tzedec. I am hearing many wonderful comments from the audience, who truly enjoyed your excellent presentation.
Just recently, several participants told me that they started reading your book and are enjoying it. The lecture generated a lot of interest on the topic and I already have a number of requests for the book.
Our students are still talking about your presentation to them! I don't think they'll ever look at a candy bar wrapper and not ask the question, "What's Jewish about this candy bar?" Thanks for helping them learn and ask important questions!
Thank you for taking us on the Chocolate Trail yesterday and enriching us with your stories and passion for Chocolate. The program was a huge success. You connected so well with our religious School students too.
You shared with us a special Rabbinic teaching, may the words of the Torah be sweet. Together we tasted the Torah of our wonderful culture, traditions, Jewish life, and history.
Thanks for helping us to have a great program!! I am thrilled that we needed additional books!
Your program with our students was a home run. I loved how you were able to engage them from the beginning with your informative chocolate bar wrappers!
Thank you so much for your wonderful talk at the Skirball Cultural Center last week! We truly enjoyed having you here to share your knowledge and enthusiasm for chocolate with our audience. They were all highly engaged and appreciative of your presentation.
Thank you for a most delectable and delicious talk!
You and your topic were truly captivating. I have already started the book and I am finding it fascinating!!! My only concern is the cravings that follow!!!
Please know how grateful all of us were for your presence and inspiration. You provided a special evening of learning and noshing for all present.
Thank you so much for being here on Yom Limmud, Everyone loved you… and chocolate!
We had a delicious adventure connecting Jews, religions, history, travel, rituals and recipes to the Magic of Cacao.
You tempted our taste buds and we loved sampling the chocolate treats.
The next time you pick up a piece of chocolate, consider that you are partaking in an aspect of Jewish history. There are some surprising Jewish connections with chocolate, including Jews in the early chocolate trade and early Jewish chocolate makers. Jews, Pre-Columbians, Catholics, and Protestants also connect in Jews on the Chocolate Trail through its exploration of chocolate’s religious narratives and rituals. Jews on the Chocolate Trail uniquely melds a popularity of chocolate with a fascination about Judaism. Those interested in Judaism and religion will enjoy this unique approach. In combining age old passions for chocolate and religion, Jews on the Chocolate Trail unwraps delightful new themes.
As we travel my husband, Rabbi Mark Hurvitz, and I explore local chocolate opportunities and culture, two Jews enjoying the trail of chocolate around the world.
2009: Recipient of the Gilder Lehrman Fellowship of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library
2008 (Fall): Director's Fellowship from the American Jewish Archives to research Jews and chocolate in the colonial period
2008 (Spring): Recipient of The Starkoff Fellowship from the American Jewish Archives to research Jews and chocolate in the colonial period