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About ShtetlKettle

For the past 2 years, I’ve been blogging about fermentation on behalf of my small Detroit-based pickle business, Suddenly Sauer.

While food, in general, and fermentation, specifically, are central passions in my life, I felt that more theoretical fermentations (read: thoughts) weren’t as communicable in that space.  Thus, I’ve created ShtetlKettle.

In this space I want to think about community and individual identity.  My point of entry is Detroit Jewish identity, but I’m in no way limited to any one perspective.  I see some of the most poignant inquiries developing out of the borders between identities, and I hope to explore my identity, both personal and communal, with the boundaries (real and imaginary) that we create. 

While I plan to post on a weekly basis, I also want this space to be open to any/all those who happen to share in these (rather specific) areas of interest.  Guest posts and comments welcome!

I look forward to growing with you!



Folk Shule

Blair Nosan

Follow these links:

And a response to that:

And then ruminate on this (pulled from the second article)

“There is no resurgence, no revival, no renaissance, no renewal, no retrenchment, no bringing back from the dead, no zombie Sholem Aleykhem. Genug. Shoyn. I’ve said it before, more eloquently, in an op-ed I wrote for the Forward last year, The Revival is Over, Let’s Talk Continuity.”

And this:

Yiddish deserves substantial financial support from the Jewish community. 

Jewish language literacy is a life or death matter for the Jewish community and as such both Yiddish and Hebrew should be taught, with the same seriousness and respect, in Jewish day schools.

A Diaspora-based Jewish identity is just as legitimate as a Jewish identity rooted in Zionism or anti-Zionism. 

Yiddish is essential to the lives and educations of millions of Jews around the world because it is their yerushe (inheritance). Without access to Yiddish, Jews of Ashkenazi descent are missing something absolutely vital to their identity as Jews and as global citizens. Ashkenaz, not Israel, holds the coordinates for the recent history of millions of American Jews. To denigrate that history, to reduce it to a fuzzy, abashed footnote, is to diminish our families, our histories and ourselves.

The anti-Yiddish cultural narrative is wide and deep. You can see it at work even in stories (like these latest ones) which purport to celebrate the tenacity of the Yiddish language. Despite the good will no doubt behind them, the cliches they recycle are toxic. The finished product, posted and reposted endlessly, is another drop in the poisonous cultural conversation around Yiddish. 

American Jews (and Ashkenazi Jews around the world) need Yiddish. They need to know who they are and where they came from and they need to learn it at home, not on the street, where the kids are all high on shelilat ha-golah (negation of the diaspora.)