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‎22 Adar I 5784 | ‎02/03/2024

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The Boston Chocolate Party: A Children’s Book for Hanukkah

The Boston Chocolate Party: A Children’s Book for Hanukkah

ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question:  Why was chocolate distributed to soldiers and prisoners in the American colonies?

Tami Lehman-Wilzig was born in the United States and has lived in Israel since 1977.  She is an award-winning author of children’s books. Her first book for the English-speaking world, Tasty Bible Stories, came out in 2003 and she has written a total of more than a dozen books, primarily for children ages 5 to 8.   Several of her books have been chosen as selections for PJ Library*, which has translated three of them into Spanish and one into Russian. She also has two books in Hebrew that have been published in Israel.

Rabbi Deborah Prinz is Rabbi Emerita of Temple Adat Shalom in San Diego County, California, where she held the position of Senior Rabbi for almost twenty years. She has held a number of leadership positions in the national and regional Reform movement. She has also published in scholarly, professional and popular journals.

Rabbi Prinz has done extensive research on chocolate and religion. She was awarded several fellowships to pursue her research, which culminated in her book, On the Chocolate Trail, which we did a program on in 2020. Using information gathered from travel in many countries around the world, the book explores how faith traditions share consumption, ritual and business interests in chocolate.

The Boston Chocolate Party is a picture book that was a collaborative effort by Tami and Debbie.  Set against the backdrop of Hanukkah and the American fight for independence, it is a story of friendship, freedom, and a love of chocolate. While the story itself is for children, end notes provide background about the Boston Tea Party, a brief explanation of the holiday of Hanukkah, and a description of America’s first Jews, predominantly settlers from Spain and Portugal who came to escape religious persecution and to find religious freedom and economic opportunity. Also included are recipes for Colonial-style hot chocolate and bunuelos, a Sephardic pastry typical for Hanukkah. Additional activities can be accessed on the webpage of Behrman House, the book’s publisher.

This week we are speaking with Tami and Debbie about The Boston Chocolate Party, which would make a wonderful Hanukkah gift this year for children ages 5-9.

*PJ Library is an organization that sends free, award-winning books that celebrate Jewish values and culture to families with children from birth through 12 years old.