The annual hareidi religious women’s convention in Jerusalem this week has broken the myth of “women’s suppression” - and the stigma that the hareidi religious community’s main culinary dishes on the Sabbath are gefilte fish and “cholent.”
The convention on Monday at the Jerusalem Convention center (Binyamei HaUma) is a literal window on the hareidi religious women’s world.
One highlight of the convention was a cooking contest, in which 1,500 recipes competed. The top three finalists' recipes varied from a duet of sweet potatoes and meat to a meat dish with potatoes and wine.
And what about gefilte fish and cholent, the latter the traditional Shabbat lunch of slow-cooked meat and beans? “Those are over and done with,” says Leah Meizel, chief judge of the cooking contest. She adds that hareidi women are good cooks and that nutrition – and price – are very important considerations when they cook.
But will their husbands eat the new concoctions? Truth is, says Meizel, they don’t have much choice, since they usually do not do the cooking.