Wasserman Kosher Kitchen Dedicated
“More than the Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.” Citing Asher Ginsberg, Tina Wasserman, a renowned Kosher chef, food scholar and author paid tribute to the importance of food in sustaining Jewish identity during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Wasserman Kosher Kitchen in the Abbe Center for Jewish Life. The Kosher kitchen is named in honor of Wasserman by her husband, Dr. Richard L. Wasserman ’70, a trustee at Hobart and William Smith.
“Today is a day of new beginnings,” said President Mark D. Gearan at the dedication. “Not only do we have accomplished incoming first-years joining the community, but we also have our very first kosher kitchen wonderfully named in honor of Dr. Wasserman’s wife, Tina. This kitchen, an integral part of the Abbe Center, adds significantly to the rich Jewish life on campus.”
The new kitchen allows residents and HWS cooking staff to make an endless array of home-style kosher dishes using separate kosher cookware, utensils, stoves and dishwashers. “We’ve had a rabbi supervising the setup of the kitchen,” Tina Wasserman explained. “Supplies in the kitchen have been marked blue for milk, red for meat and green for pareve.”
Students will be able to enjoy typical kosher dinners, like falafel and brisket, but, says Tina Wasserman, “They will also be able to enjoy a broader range of meals from throughout the Diaspora.” This will occur in large part through the continued advice and involvement of Tina Wasserman, a respected cooking instructor who has taught in her own cooking school as well as in schools and community centers throughout the United States for three decades. She is a food columnist for Reform Judaism Magazine, the largest circulated Jewish magazine in the world. In 1994, she was elected to Les Dames d’Escoffier, an International Culinary Society that honors women in the food and beverage industry.
“I’ve always thought the kitchen was the heart of any home,” Hillel Director and Director of the Abbe Center for Jewish Life Lorinda Weinstock said. “With that in mind, it’s so important that we now have the ability to offer kosher meals to our Jewish and non-Jewish students.”
The kitchen will be used on a regular basis by residents but will see its greatest use for weekly Shabbat dinners.
“It’s our privilege to welcome you to our little part of Jewish life at Hobart and William Smith,” said Richard Wasserman. “I’m especially honored to be able to recognize my wife’s life-long commitment to promote the Jewish people by educating and bringing food to many people in many circumstances.”
The ribbon cutting was preceded by the affixing of the Mezuzah to the right side doorpost of the kitchen by Temple Beth-El Cantor Richard Rosenfield who offered a blessing of the space.
“The Wasserman’s are an important part of our campus,” said Gearan. “Their kind donation to the Colleges today embodies their involvement throughout the years, from the time Richard served on the Alumni Council to his present service on the Board of Trustees where he offers his counsel, thoughts and insightful ideas. We are truly fortunate to have their support.”
“We really want everyone to feel comfortable and included,” Tina Wasserman said. “A kosher kitchen allows all students – Jewish and non-Jewish – to feel a sense of community, especially on Shabbat. Shabbat is all about coming together to relax and regroup from a hectic week. There is no better need for that than the busy world of studies, tests and activities of a thriving college campus like Hobart and William Smith. This kitchen allows the people of that busy world to come together, at least for one meal each week.”
“I look forward to being able to wander by some Friday night and hear Jewish songs coming out the door,” added Richard Wasserman.