Yes, New York City Really Is a Great Place to Be Jewish and Vegan
For Jewish groups and events in New York, I often ask myself, “Where do I even begin?” I expect that by the end of this coming Shabbat, I will have gone shul-hopping at Conservative (I identify as a Conservative Jew), Orthodox, Renewal, and nondenominational synagogues, sometimes because of religious observance, sometimes for social reasons, and sometimes because of vegetarian potlucks. (And of course, there’s considerable overlap.) Last month, I attended a workshop for Jewish social justice activists called Inside the Activists’ Studio (check out the post about it on JVoices). I attended the CD release show of Luminescent Orchestrii (they aren’t a Jewish band per se, but they play some klezmer songs in Yiddish) on Saturday, and I can’t wait to see Moshiach Oi and Golem live in the next couple weeks. I’m also looking forward to Hazon’s organic Tu B’Shvat seder on February 8; I enjoyed doing my own thing for my favorite holiday in years past, but this is the real deal.
I’ve joined numerous vegetarian MeetUp groups and eaten at quite a few delicious vegetarian and vegan restaurants. On the last night of Dubya’s presidency, I attended a “Soy, Sake, and Sayonara” gathering at a vegetarian Japanese restaurant called Soy and Sake. I’ve also had the pleasure of dining at Candle 79, Zen Palate, Red Bamboo, Sacred Chow, Vegetarian Paradise 2, and Ayurveda Cafe. I’m looking forward to checking out others over time, and of course, there are terrific vegan options at tons of NYC restaurants that aren’t exclusively vegetarian. I’ve had a tough time balancing my desire to cut back on mock meats with my enjoyment of ubiquitous, tasty mock-meat restaurants with cheap lunch specials. But whenever I dwell on that too much, I can hear my parents saying, “That should be your worst problem in life!” and try not to worry.