Millennial Jews Do An About-Face, Start Keeping Kosher | KUOW News and Information

Millennial Jews Do An About-Face, Start Keeping Kosher

Sep 30, 2014
Originally published on September 30, 2014 10:46 am

Many millennials — people born after 1980 — have embraced vintage items: vinyl records, thick-framed glasses ... and now, dietary laws.

"I'm 21 years old, and, yes, I do keep kosher," says Lisa Faulds.

She says she ate whatever she wanted growing up: "bacon, ham, all that fun stuff. Seafood, shellfish."

But that all stopped a few months ago.

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, nearly a fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher.

That's almost twice the rate of their baby-boomer parents — so this is not necessarily because of their parents' influence.

Millennial Margo Smith says it's about values, "taking the root idea of keeping kosher as an idea of being respectful and knowledgeable about the way in which your food is prepared and where it comes from and kind of combining it with the farm-to-table philosophy."

The Atlantic has reported that millennial kosher-keeping Jews are having a big influence on kosher cuisine.

There's now kosher grass-fed beef and kosher free-range chicken — organic, of course.

In uber-hip Brooklyn, a restaurant serves kosher banh mi — that's a Vietnamese sandwich.

And then there's The Gefilteria, a New York company offering small-batch, high-end versions of Bubbie's classic gefilte fish.

Call it kosher cool.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And now this. It's a story of millennials - people born after 1980, who came of age in this century.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Many millennials and near-millennials have embraced vintage items.

CORNISH: You know, vinyl records.

INSKEEP: Thick-framed glasses.

CORNISH: And now dietary laws.

LISA FAULDS: My name is Lisa Faulds, I'm 21 years old, and yes, I do keep kosher.

INSKEEP: She keeps kosher. According to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, about one-fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher.

CORNISH: That's almost twice the rate of their baby boomer parents, so this is not necessarily because of their parents' influence.

INSKEEP: Now, that millennial we just heard, Lisa Faulds, says she ate whatever she wanted growing up.

FAULDS: Bacon, ham, all that fun stuff - seafood, shellfish.

CORNISH: She dropped all that a few months ago. Another millennial, Margo Smith, says it's about values.

MARGO SMITH: Taking the root idea of keeping kosher as an idea of being respectful and knowledgeable about the way in which your food is prepared and where it comes from and kind of combining it with the farm-to-table philosophy.

INSKEEP: The Atlantic magazine is all over this story, saying millennial kosher-keeping Jews are having a big influence on kosher cuisine. There's now kosher grass-fed beef and kosher free-range chicken - organic of course. In uber-hip Brooklyn, a restaurant serves kosher banh mi; that's a Vietnamese sandwich, in case you were wondering.

CORNISH: And then there's the Gefilteria, a New York company offering small-batch, high-end versions of bubbie's classic gefilte fish. Call it kosher cool. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.