By Shun Shueh, VRG Intern

I recently assisted with a event hosted by Beit Tikvah, a Reconstructionist Jewish congregation. Vegetarian
Resource Group volunteer Marcy Schveibinz gave a vegan cooking demonstration on
how to prepare vegan hamentashen, a Jewish pastry. They are eaten to represent
the defeat of Haman, a villain described in the Hebrew Bible.

The event started with Havdalah, a candle ceremony to signal the
end of Shabbat, a weekly day of rest. As someone who isn’t Jewish, I really
enjoyed observing the ritual, which included blessing a cup of wine, singing
Hebrew songs, and passing around spices to smell.

Marcy began her demonstration with an explanation of veganism and
how it connects to Judaism. She also discussed many of the health benefits of
eating a vegan diet before moving onto the recipe. First, she showed everyone
how to make the dough by adding flour, baking powder, vegan butter, etc. to a
food processor, then cutting the dough into small circles. Next, she showed how
she would prepare fruit preserves for the filling. The filling is spooned onto
the center of the circle dough and pinched into a triangular shape.

Meanwhile, Taylor, another VRG intern, and I handed out pre-cut
pieces of dough to each of the guests and bowls with premade fillings. The
guests had a lot of fun being able to make their own hamentashen. Everyone’s
hamentashen was collected and baked for 20 minutes before being passed out
again to enjoy eating.

The guests also received a copy of Vegan Passover recipes by Chef Nancy Berkoff, a copy of VRG’s latest Vegetarian Journal, and a guide of
vegetarian/vegan restaurants in the Baltimore area. Guests were also able to
interact with a table displaying various vegan products that can be found in
stores, a display of materials related to vegan Judaism, and a display of
various brochures and books related to veganism.

The event required a lot of planning and deliberation beforehand.
Since it was a public event, we were unsure of exactly how many people would
attend. However, it was an overall success, as many people were able to learn
more about veganism and make their own vegan hamentashen.

For
more information on vegan Passover recipes see VRG’s Passover books:

https://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=14

https://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=3

Also see this resulting article in the
Jewish Times. https://jewishtimes.com/91454/on-this-night-we-eat-vegetables/arts_life/food-feature/

To intern at The Vegetarian Resource
Group, see https://www.vrg.org/student/index.php

To support The Vegetarian Resource
Group outreach, donate at www.vrg.org/donate

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