Sephardic Enrichment Program

February 06, 2024

Dear Solomon Schechter Family,

We’re thrilled to introduce the new Sephardic Arts, Culture, and Culinary Enrichment Program!

Focusing on Sephardic heritage, and encompassing arts, culture, culinary traditions and history, this initiative embodies the heart of our Jewish history in a way that has not yet been fully explored at camp, and represents a vibrant addition to our summer camp curriculum.

Many members of our community proudly identify as Sephardic Jews, and they have expressed a desire for a more inclusive representation of their heritage at camp. This new program aims to connect campers with their roots, explore their creativity, and deepen their Jewish identity.

Campers will create authentic art pieces that reflect the rich tapestry of Sephardic culture. From intricate hamsas, to vibrant paintings inspired by Sephardic landscapes, our young artists will immerse themselves in this unique creative journey.

The heart of Sephardic culture is also deeply entwined with its culinary traditions, influenced by Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisines. Campers will explore Sephardic cooking through hands-on experiences. From crafting mouthwatering Sephardic dishes, to understanding the cultural significance of each recipe, our campers will embark on a culinary journey that resonates with history and flavor. A few dishes include:

  • Borekas – savory pastries filled with ingredients like spinach and feta, cheese, or ground meat. Borekas are a common Sephardic snack or appetizer.
  • Sofrito – A tomato-based sauce often used as a base for stews and rice dishes. It typically includes onions, garlic, and a variety of spices.
  • Mujadara – A comforting dish made from lentils and rice, often seasoned with cumin and topped with fried onions. It’s a staple in Sephardic and Middle Eastern cuisine.
  • Shakshuka – A flavorful dish of poached eggs in a tomato and bell pepper sauce, spiced with cumin, paprika, and chili peppers. It’s a favorite breakfast or brunch option.
  • Cuscuz – A refreshing salad made with couscous, colorful vegetables, fresh herbs, and a zesty lemon vinaigrette dressing.

Including these dishes in our curriculum not only teaches students about Sephardic Jewish culture, but also provides them with an opportunity to explore new flavors and cooking techniques. We will accompany the cooking lessons with discussions about the history and significance of these dishes in Sephardic Jewish traditions.

Our curriculum will also include in-depth lessons on Sephardic cultural history. Campers will learn about the historical roots, traditions, and contributions of Sephardic Jews to the broader Jewish heritage. They will gain a profound understanding of the Sephardic narrative and its enduring impact on Jewish culture.

We recognize that for many campers, this program will be their first encounter with Sephardic heritage. As they immerse themselves in Sephardic arts, culture, and cuisine, they will not only develop a deeper connection with their own identity, but also foster an appreciation for the rich diversity within the Jewish community.

The Sephardic Arts, Culture, and Culinary Enrichment Program offers a transformative journey for our campers, fostering a profound sense of connection, pride, and identity. Together, we can celebrate the rich tapestry of Sephardic heritage within our Jewish community!


Zach Duitch