Luncheon proved that old traditions are still meaningful

holocaust luncheonThe “Cooking Up Tradition” luncheon took place in December at the Lerner residence in Quail West to benefit the education programs for the Holocaust Museum & The Education Center of Southwest Florida.

Recipes from the cookbook attendees received contained extraordinary content from Jewish and Eastern European cooks and some of the items were featured on plates during the luncheon, including a dish from keynote speaker Rosette Gerbosi. Gerbosi is a well-known local survivor of the Holocaust.

Amy L. Snyder is the executive director of the Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida. She stresses the luncheon was a celebration of the survivors of the Holocaust and remembrance of victory.

holocaust luncheon2“That these survivors were able to carry on the family tradition and that those are still there is really a triumph,” she says. “The Holocaust Survivor Cookbook (Vol I) and Miracles & Meals (Vol II) together contain over 200 favorite recipes from Holocaust survivors.”

Snyder says the cookbook project was conceived by Joanne and Harvey Caras as a means to support the Carmei Ha’ir Soup Kitchen in Jerusalem.

“They collected the stories of these Holocaust Survivors, now living around the world, along with their favorite traditional recipes,” she says.  “The second volume, Miracles & Meals, contains the story and recipes from two of our local survivors, Sabine vanDam and Rosette Gerbosi.”

Some recipes weren’t linked to old world dishes, but merely favorites of Jewish people who contributed to the cookbooks that mean something to them. The Holocaust Museum has been using the cookbooks as the basis for an education program entitled Cooking Up Hope: How Tradition Builds Community, used in the local schools.

“This was the Museum’s first luncheon event and it was an opportunity to share this particular education program with the ladies in our community,” says Snyder.

About 115 people attended the luncheon, held at the home of Maureen Lerner in Quail West. The event raised $30,000 toward the Museum’s education programs.

For more information, contact 239.263.9200 or visit the Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida website at

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