Beyond Chicken Soup: Ashkenazi Herbalism

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022

Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Doors at 6:30 pm, Event at 7:00 pm ET
In person at The Weitzman in Philadelphia

$18 / $13 Members – Click Here

With the autumn harvest holiday of Sukkot this month, join us for an event that will surely inspire ideas for the fall garden and sow new ideas for gardeners planning the year to come. Learn about the native plants, practices and practitioners of the Jewish medicinal plant healers of Eastern Europe.

When faced with the reality that the natural medicine practices of her Jewish ancestors had been erased by war like most documentation of European Jewry, Deatra Cohen, a clinical herbalist and research librarian, took it upon herself to piece back together the history of Ashkenazi healers.

Philadelphia’s Jewish Farm School co-founder, Nati Passow will lead the discussion and unearth the history of Eastern European folk medicine with authors Cohen and Adam Siegel. 

About the Book
Authors Cohen and Siegel turn back time to explore the vast treatments within Eastern Europe’s Pale of Settlement herbal tradition that from the Middle Ages through today has been shrouded in mystery. Cohen, a clinical herbalist and research librarian, with the help of Siegel, a research librarian and literary translator, was able to uncover European Jewish medicinal traditions that go beyond today’s ever present “chicken soup” theory.

About the Authors
Deatra Cohen is a research librarian and clinical herbalist, having trained with the Berkeley (formerly Ohlone) Herbal Center in Berkeley, California. She is a member of a Western Clinical Herbal collective, and holds the title of Master Gardener at the University of California.

Adam Siegel is a research librarian at the University of California, Davis, and a historian of Central and Eastern Europe, specializing in issues concerning cultural contact and plant knowledge. Siegel was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Literary Translation Fellowship in 2014 for his work as a literary translator, having translated works from Russian, Czech, German, Croatian, Serbian, French, Italian, Swedish, and Norwegian. He reviewed and translated literature and scholarship in Yiddish, Ukrainian, Russian, German, Polish, and Hebrew for “Ashkenazi Herbalism: Rediscovering the Herbal Traditions of Eastern European Jews.”

Nati Passow

About the Moderator
Nati Passow has been a leader in the Jewish environmental movement for the past two decades. He co-founded and served as Executive Director of the Jewish Farm School for 15 years, overseeing hundreds of programs for children, college students, and adults. From 2019-2020 Nati was an Assistant Professor of Sustainable Food Systems at Temple University, and currently is the Director of Operations & Finance for Dayenu: A Jewish Call for Climate Action. When not working, he can be found biking, tending his garden, and sharing food with family and friends in West Philadelphia.

Purchase a Signed Copy Today
Interested in purchasing a copy of the book signed by the author for yourself or as a gift? Visit our online Museum Store and order your copy today – Click Here.

Safety / Covid 19:
*This event will occur in the DELL THEATER CONCOURSE LEVEL.
Masking in the auditorium is mandatory.


Live at The Weitzman
101 South Independence Mall East (Corner of 5th & Market)
Philadelphia, PA 19106