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The Jewish Drinking Show

Author: Drew Kaplan

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Judaism has a lot to say about drinking - so...what does it say? This podcast focuses on Biblical, Rabbinic, and Halakhic texts dealing with alcohol-consumption.
122 Episodes
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 Having announced a first-of-its-kind Jewish tavern in America in August, Joshua Foer and Rabbi Charlie Schwartz then appeared on the Identity/Crisis podcast nearly two months ago to share further about their tavern. As their tavern, Lehrhaus, is set to open a week from today, I'm excited to share that Rabbi Schwartz is the featured guest on the 122nd episode of The Jewish Drinking Show to discuss the impending opening of this fascinating creation. Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
IntroWhile there are thousands of breweries in America and even dozens of them under kosher-certification, there is only one that is also a kosher-certified brewery! Located in Southern California, Long Beach Beer Lab and Long Beach Bread Lab is America's kosher brewery and bakery. Speaking about founding, owning, and operating these businesses on the 121st episode of The Jewish Drinking Show are Harmony Sage Fried and Dr. Levi Fried.Biography of GuestsHarmony Sage Fried, owneress and founderess of Long Beach Bread Lab is a classically-trained French pastry chef who has worked in and managed some of the finest kitchens in the world. She has a deep understanding of doughs and natural fermentation. Her training at the Ritz-Carlton and indispensable experience working in Italy and the Mediterranean allows her to maintain high quality with a cultural and creative edge, in a high-volume environment. As a bakeress, breweress, and distilleress, she is fascinated by all grain and yeast fermentation. These fermentations have brought her to be the owner of Long Beach Bread Lab and Long Beach Spirits Lab as well as the Co-Owner of Long Beach Beer Lab which she runs with her husband. Harmony obtained her Certification of Certified Bread Baker from the Bread Bakers Guild of America in January 2020. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Bread Bakers Guild of America as well as Long Beach Fresh, an NGO that promotes and educates the Long Beach area on urban and local farming. She authored Yeast Fermentation Handbook: Essential Guide and Recipes for Beer and Bread Makers.Dr. Levi Fried is the co-founder and co-owner of Long Beach Beer Lab, having previously owned Righteous Brew in Israel. He earned his PhD from Emory University and his MD from the Technion.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
 The brothers Shimon and Gabriel Weiss created the award-winning Shirah Wines over a dozen years and continue to produce quality kosher-certified wine. There are probably not too many brother winemaking teams out there in the kosher world, so it's pretty neat to hear from them on the 120th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show share about their wines. Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
IntroductionOwing to the restrictions concerning the production of ice wines, there are a very small number of countries in which they can be produced. As you can imagine, there are even fewer wineries producing kosher-certified ice wines. The 119th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show features the winemaker of the only consistently-producing kosher-certified ice wine in the world, Rabbi Avraham Gislason.BiographyRabbi Gislason is the founder and winemaker for Tzafona Cellars, where he makes multiple kosher-certified ice wines, as well as other wines. Having started Tzafona Cellars in 2014, he has produced multiple runs of ice wines, as well as other wines. He is also the rabbi of Breslov Thornhill. He welcomes you to check out its YouTube channel.DisclosureDisclosure: Review samples of Tzafona Cellars ice wines and one other wine were provided to The Jewish Drinking Show for review purposes.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
IntroductionI was surprised to hear in the course of the 118th episode that there were fewer than 45 distilleries in the US just a decade and a half ago when the founders of KOVAL Distillery sought to enter into business(!). In talking with one of the co-founders, Dr. Sonat Birnecker Hart, I was impressed to hear about how they created not only the first distillery in Chicago since the 19th century, but also about getting legislation passed to make distilleries legal in Chicago and Illinois. Dr. Birnecker Hart shares not only about starting up the award-winning and kosher-certified distillery KOVAL, but also about being consulted by hundreds of people about getting their distilleries off the ground.Biography of GuestDr. Birnecker Hart co-founded the internationally award-winning distillery, KOVAL. As its president, she has spearheaded product development, distribution, and marketing. She also co-founded Kothe Distilling Technologies, a distillery start-up consulting firm. Prior to her distilling experience, she received her doctorate from University of London with her dissertation on “History through Humor: The Evocation of the Viennese Coffeehouse Society in Friedrich Torberg’s ‘Tante Jolesch’ Books, with particular Reference to the Problems of Assimilation and Anti-Semitism” (WorldCat link), she has spent over a decade as a full professor of Jewish Studies in both the United States and Germany, holding the Walter Benjamin Chair of German Jewish Cultural History at Humboldt University in Berlin. In 2008, she gave up tenure to co-found KOVAL. Dr. Birnecker Hart also currently serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee of the JDCorps.DisclosureDisclosure: Review samples of KOVAL whiskies and gins were provided to The Jewish Drinking Show for review purposes.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
When I came across a press release announcing the end of Shmaltz Brewing Company last fall (and see also articles in Brewboundand Forward), I was sad to see Shmaltz Brewing come to an end, but also knew it would be an excellent opportunity to have a conversation with the founder of the company for an episode looking back on Shmaltz Brewing. When I reached out to the founder, Jeremy Cowan, I was surprised to hear that it was in the process of being sold(!). The 117th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show features a conversation with both Jeremy Cowan, looking back on his 25+ years of running Shmaltz Brewing Company, as well as introducing us to the new owner, Jesse Epstein.Jeremy Cowan is the founder of Shmaltz Brewing Company, about which we are discussing in this episode, and for which he had been owner and president for many years. In this capacity, he has supervised all brand development, sales, and marketing, as well as having managed relationships with wholesalers and retailers across more than 25 states. Shmaltz Brewing is not his only brewery with which he has been involved, as he is also the owner and president of Alphabet City Brewing Company, as well as having created and evolved five brand lineups with over 100 beer styles. One of these was Coney Island Brewing Company, which he founded and then sold to Boston Beer/Sam Adams (2013). He also opened and supervised multiple retail tasting rooms. He is also the co-founder and the first president of the New York City Brewers Guild. He is also the author of Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah. He also serves as an advisor and consultant for several clients including ProBrewer.com, Atmosphere TV, Great Gorge, and August Point Advisors.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
A story we encounter in the book of Genesis that, at first glance, may seem to have something to do with drinking could also be seen as having a lot to do with drinking. I am speaking about that concerning Pharoah's cupbearer (drinks-master) and his baker, whom Joseph meets in jail and interprets their dreams. Of course, the cupbearer/drinks-master clearly is a man of wine and drinks, in general, our guest for the 116th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show argues that these two figures represent a cultural conflict of wine versus beer.Dr. Jon Greenberg, our guest, runs Torah Flora, which is devoted to the study of plants and nature in Torah and Jewish tradition. He is a frequent speaker at synagogues, schools, and botanical gardens. Since 1989, he has been a science teacher and educational consultant. Dr. Greenberg was Senior Editor of science textbooks at Prentice Hall Publishing Co. Previously on the faculty of Yeshivas Ohr Yosef, the School of Education at Indiana University, and the University of Phoenix, he has taught at the Heschel School since 2008. He received his bachelor’s degree with honors in biology from Brown University and his Masters and Doctorate in agronomy from Cornell University. He has also studied with Rabbi Chaim Brovender at Israel’s Yeshivat Hamivtar and conducted research on corn, alfalfa, and soybeans at Cornell, the US Department of Agriculture, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Cancer Research.  In 2021, he published Fruits of Freedom, a Passover Hagadah with a commentary from the perspective of the history of Jewish food and agriculture.  Dr. Greenberg can be contacted at Jon [at] TorahFlora.org.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
One of the trickiest aspects when it comes to kosher wine and Judaism is when it comes up against gentile touch. While we can talk about it broadly from the Mishnah (& Tosefta) and throughout the Talmud, and we have even discussed it broadly when it comes to Medieval rabbis on the topic, how was it dealt with in specific regions? To discuss this topic for the 115th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show is Dr. Pinchas Roth.Dr. Roth is an associate Professor in the Department of Talmud and Oral Law at Bar-Ilan University, currently serving as chair of the department. Having earned his BA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he earned his MA in medieval Jewish History from Yeshiva University, and his PhD from the Hebrew University, where he wrote his dissertation, “Later Provençal Sages – Jewish Law (Halakhah) and Rabbis in Southern France, 1215-1348”. He is the author of In This Land: Jewish Life and Legal Culture in Late Medieval Provence and co-edited Responsa of Rabbi Isaac ben Samuel of Dampierre: A Critical Edition.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
As cocktails can offer a delicious enhancement to one's Shabbat experience, yet there are various challenges that present themselves with regards to proscribed activities on Shabbat, how can one go about making cocktails on Shabbat? To help us navigate these concerns in both keeping to one's Shabbat observance, as well as enjoying cocktails on Shabbat, is Dan Rabinowitz.In addition to previously appearing on the 105th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show, he is not only the chief executive officer of DEKō Cocktails, he is also the creator and publisher of The Seforim Blog. Rabinowitz is also the CEO/Co-Founder of Pre/Dicta.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
Torah is discussed as being compared to wine in the Talmud (Ta'anit 7a), which then causes an intriguing story to emerge involving a parable of wine and how looks are involved. To discuss these Talmudic texts and more, the 113th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show features Dr. Elana Stein Hain.Dr. Stein Hain is the Director of Faculty and a Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where she serves as lead faculty, directs the activities of the Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought and consults on the content of lay and professional leadership programs. She teaches a periodic online learning series, “Talmud from the Balcony”, and co-hosts an ongoing podcast on Israel-related topics, For Heaven's Sake, with Yossi Klein Halevi and Donniel Hartman. Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
A term that doesn't seem to have any obvious connection with drinking חבורה (havurah) - yet, it comes up not infrequently within a drinking context in early rabbinic (tannaitic) literature. As such, the 112th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show is dedicated to exploring this connection featuring Dr. Orit Malka.Dr. Malka is a researcher of Talmud and early Jewish law. Her research focuses on the political aspects of Talmudic Halacha in its historical context, and the study of early Jewish law as a key to understanding important legal-political trends of antiquity. Orit earned her PhD from Tel Aviv University, where she wrote her dissertation, "A Set of Witnesses: Testimony and Political Thought in Tannaitic Halakhah". In 2021-2022, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Taube Center for Jewish Studies at Stanford University; this year, she has joined the faculty of the law school and the Talmud department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
 A question I have been receiving since this year is a shemittah year, is "What is the deal with Shemittah wine?" To answer this question is first-time guest to The Jewish Drinking Show, Rabbi Ezra Friedman. Rabbi Friedman is the Deputy Rabbinic Administrator of OU Kosher in Israel, the Director of the OU Gustave and Carol Jacobs Center for Kashrut Education, the Rabbi of Kehilat Musar Avicha in Maale Adumim, and he has a halacha hotline with over 6,000 questions a year. Rabbi Friedman is married to Ronit and has four lovely children. Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
When the news was released in October that the largest Byzantine-era was discovered in Israel, it widely received coverage (including The Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, NPR, The Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, and many more), which is great. One of the lead archaeologists on that excavation is Dr. Jon Seligman, who joins The Jewish Drinking Show for episode 110 to discuss this archaeological discovery.Dr. Seligman is an archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority, as well as Director of External Relations and Archaeological Licensing. His previous positions include Director of the Excavations, Surveys and Research Department, and the Jerusalem Regional Archaeologist. Dr. Seligman studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University College London, receiving his doctorate (summa-cum-laude) from Haifa University on the subject of the "Rural Hinterland of Jerusalem during the Byzantine period". Dr. Seligman has directed some thirty excavations in Jerusalem, Bet She'an, the Carmel Mountains, Yavneh, and the Great Synagogue of Vilna. He has published widely, including three books, and numerous chapters and articles in refereed books, journals and other publications.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
Following-up from the previous episode of the show on Israeli wines, the 109th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show features Jacob Ner-David on the Israeli winery he co-founded, Jezreel Valley Winery.Ner-David is a 20+year veteran of serial entrepreneurship and technology innovation with deep connectivity in the Israeli and American venture scene. Ner-David is the co-founder and CEO of Vinsent, a venture formed to positively disrupt the global wine industry, and a partner in VinoVentures, a wine-trading fund. He is the chairman of the award-winning Jezreel Valley Winery, which he co-founded in 2011. Jacob currently serves as Executive Chairman of OneSpace, a mixed reality theme park developer. In 2015, Jacob served as a Senior Advisor to McKinsey & Company, helping to build a new service line focused on early stage companies. Jacob has served as an advisor to Harmony Labs, a NY based incubator focused on big data and media influence. For the past 20 years, he has focused on the early stage tech sector as a serial entrepreneur, serving as CEO in many cases, including Ambient (NASDAQ IPO), Delta Three (NASDAQ IPO), NomadIQ (Acquired by NASDAQ listed company), 2bAnwhere, DoubleFusion, and - most recently - Zula, Inc -- along the way creating over $1 Billion in shareholder value. Ner-David is active as an angel investor, advisor, and board member to many companies and has served as an advisor to VC funds. He created and managed a $10 million seed fund, Jerusalem Capital, that was active from 2006-2010. He has volunteered intensively in the public sector, including as founding board member of PresenTense (promoting social entrepreneurship), Digital Jerusalem, Aspen Institute Middle East Strategy Group, Breaking the Impasse (initiative of the World Economic Forum), and worked closely with two mayors of Jerusalem on regional economic development. He has lectured at the Hebrew University and the Technion, as well as guest lectures in many other fora. He received a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from City University of New York, and was an Isaacs Scholar at Mansfield College, Oxford University. Ner-David is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. He is the life partner of Rabbi Dr. Haviva Ner-David; together, they are the parents of Michal, Adin, Meira, Hallel, Nachum, Mishael, and Shefa. He enjoys hiking, mountain-biking and long-distance running (has completed over ten marathons).Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
Wine in Israel

Wine in Israel

2022-06-2748:45

Having explored modern Israeli wine history (in episode 92 and episode 93), what about contemporary wine in Israel? For this conversation, the 108th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show welcomes first-time guest Erik Segelbaum to the show to discuss wine in Israel.Erik Segelbaum is the founder & chief vinnovation officer at SOMLYAY hospitality consulting, as well as an advanced sommelier, consultant, and wine educator. Segelbaum is a wine educator with ongoing sessions at Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. as well as private and corporate events. He also serves as the Vice President of the United Sommeliers Foundation. Segelbaum’s hospitality experience includes 10 years as a fine dining chef and nearly two decades in front-of-house.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
The 107th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show features one of the world's preeminent kosher vintners, Jeff Morgan, speaking about his highly-decorated winery. The co-owner and founding winemaker of Covenant Wines created the winery 19 years ago. Prior to that, he was a wine writer, including writing for Wine Spectator, leading to serving as their west coast editor for most of the 1990s. He has also published multiple cook books with his wife.Disclosure: Samples were sent for review purposes for this episode from Covenant Wines.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
Golden Moon Distillery

Golden Moon Distillery

2022-06-1444:44

Welcoming an award-winning distillery and master distillery to The Jewish Drinking Show, I am pleased to share the newest episode. Stephen Gould, the master distiller and proprietor behind Golden Moon Distillery, winner of the 2019 distillery of the year award by the American Distilling Institute, is the featured guest for the show. While numerous products of the company were already certified kosher as of the recording of this episode, since then, almost all of their products have now become certified kosher.In addition to his work at Golden Moon Distilling, he has been distilling off and on for over 30 years. He lectures and teaches courses on distillation, including use of botanicals in the production of liquors and liqueurs, production of brandies and whiskies, craft-distillery start-ups and the history of spirits. He consults and provides tailored training for distilleries in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He also writes for several industry trade publications, including Distiller Magazine and Artisan Spirit Magazine. He is an experienced whiskey and spirits judge, judging in a variety of spirits competitions in the United States and Europe. Disclosure: Samples were sent for review purposes for this episode from Golden Moon Distillery.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
With new products coming out in the ready-to-drink cocktails category, especially those that are kosher-certified, it is a wonderful time to be alive!For the 105th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show, we are joined by Dan Rabinowitz, the chief executive officer of DEKō Cocktails, who shares with us about their ready-to-drink cocktails, which are certified by Star-K. Disclosure: Samples were provided to The Jewish Drinking Show for review purposes. Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
While not typically considered in terms of drinking, the practices concerning menstrual impurity are a topic not yet explored in this show. For the 104th episode, The Jewish Drinking Show considers how physical distancing regarding a menstruating Jewess intersect with drinking.  For this episode, we welcome first-time guests Yamit Alpern Kol and Dr. Alon Kol.Yamit Alpern Kol (she/her), LMSW, has worked in social services since 2005, has been in practice as a Licensed Master Social Worker since 2012, and is currently the Program Director for Geriatric Mental Health Clinics at JASA. Alon Kol (he/him), DPM, has been in practice as a Podiatrist since 2009, and is currently an Attending at NYC H+H Bellevue Hospital. Yamit & Alon have also been kallah and chatan teachers since 2015 after taking The Chatan and Kallah Teacher Training Workshop.Yamit & Alon have been living in Washington Heights, New York City, since 2006. They are members of Mount Sinai Jewish Center, where they, combined, have served as trustees for eight terms, from 2014 to present. For recreation and self-care, they enjoy spending time with Hondo, their retired racing greyhound, cooking and cocktail-making, watching Jeopardy, meditation, The Great Courses, Call of Duty, photography, playing guitar, urban indoor farming, yoga, boxing, travel, and scuba diving.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
Having focused on recovery in the previous episode of The Jewish Drinking Show, for those less aware of addiction - with alcohol, for instance - it may be hard to know how to help or otherwise relate to people going through these experiences. To discuss raising awareness about addiction in the Jewish community, episode 103 of The Jewish Drinking Show features Marla Kaufman, the executive director and founder of Jewish Addiction Awareness Network (JAAN).After her own family’s decade-plus experience of navigating resources to support their son’s journey from addiction to recovery, Marla has dedicated her life’s work to silencing stigma and raising awareness. Since beginning JAAN in 2016, Marla has traveled to Jewish communities across the United States to share innovative programs, proven strategies, and best practices to help communities collaboratively address addiction and related mental health challenges from a Jewish perspective. She provides support to Jewish families in crisis and those desiring to integrate their recovery with their Judaism, and leads Jewish cultural sensitivity trainings for medical and addiction treatment professionals.Support the showThank you for listening!If you have any questions, suggestions, or more, feel free to reach out at Drew@JewishDrinking.coml'chaim!
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