"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


10 More Jewish Punk Bands I've Never Written About

I went on hiatus from writing about Jewish punk a half-year ago, but I guess I'm on hiatus from that hiatus. Check back soon for updates about what's going on in the Jewish punk scene. Click here to read my "10 Jewish Punk Bands I've Never Written About" post from December, and click here to read my updated list of Jewish punk bands.

Punk-Slanted Klezmer and Klezmer-Slanted Punk
Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird is "far more interested in playing real Klezmer with a punk approach than 'Jewishy' punk music," says Kahn, a veteran of Detroit's punk and folk scene. The singer and accordionist cites The Pogues as a major inspiration, noting that there's no reason why The Pogues' "crashing down on you like a wave" approach to Irish folk music can't be applied to Jewish folk music. Kahn adds, "Yiddish is no more dead than punk is. They are both involved in the history of great failures and subversive triumphs. Although some people say that punk died the minute someone first said, 'Punk's not dead.' I hope the same isn't true for Klezmer music."

The band's new CD, Partisans & Parasites, features lyrics in Yiddish, English, German, and Russian. I'm partial to two songs that Kahn wrote the lyrics to, "Six Million Germans" and "Dumai." The former, allegedly based on a true story, talks about a gang of Holocaust survivors who sought to kill Germans in revenge. "Dumai" is a reflective and absolutely beautiful song about Israel. Go to PaintedBird.net to read the album's lyrics.

"Di Nigunim is definitely a punk band with a klezmer slant and not the other way around. We try to make up in furious dance energy what we lose in musicianship," says Forest Borie, a vegan Jew and the accordionist for San Diego–based Di Nigunim. The band formed two-plus years ago and has released one EP. Out of the band's "about 13" current members (they have performed with as few as seven), Borie thinks that only three are members of the tribe. "I think that makes us not a Jewish band, just people playing very Jewish music," he says.

Borie's bubbes haven't seen the band live yet, but if you live on the West Coast, you don't have to meet the same fate. Di Nigunim will be playing shows across California, Oregon, and Washington in August. Click here for tour dates, and click here to see a video of a high-energy live performance.

Josh Lederman y Los Diablos
I couldn't reach Josh Lederman y Los Diablos, the self-professed "Kings of Irish-Jewish Folk-Punk," in time for my 2006 "Is There a Jewish Connection to Celtic Punk/Rock?" post, but I did hear back from Lederman last week. Lederman, who is Jewish and Irish, says that while the disbanded Massachusetts group's "Irish-Jewish folk-punk label was tongue in cheek, ... it was pretty accurate." Lederman doesn't think that Irish and Jewish folk music are very similar in nature. The singer and guitarist adds, "The punk element really came more from the underlying musical philosophy of feel over technique, coupled with beer and screaming. But the music itself wasn't all that punk. But it was very Pogues-influenced, too, so their punk roots were certainly part of our early inspiration." Josh Lederman y Los Diablos released four albums on Nine Mile Records between 1999 and 2005.

Lederman says his new band, Josh Lederman & The CSARs, features more klezmer and less Irish-influenced music.

Jews in Skinhead Bands
A T-shirt for the French skinhead band Hard Times boasts "Paris Skinheads Glory" on the front and "No Discrimination: We Hate You All" on the back. But singer Philippe "Avichaï" Wagner says, "Deep inside, of course, we got no real hate; it's just an answer to [the] common point of view about skinheads: We're neither racist nor Communist; we're just all about music, clothing and friends! Politically correct isn't our thing."

Wagner says he is a longtime skinhead and a ba'al teshuvah Jew, but he doesn't connect the two, saying "even if I put [on] tefillin with boots & braces, well, there no link in between." The band's founding bassist was also Jewish, and the current bassist is Jewish on his dad's side. Wagner says that Hard Times formed in 2003 "to shake [up] the Parisian & French skinhead scene" and that the outwardly Zionist and anti-racist band has been targeted by Nazis and Stalinists at shows. In September, Hard Times will celebrate the release of their upcoming album with their second U.S. tour.

Illinois skinhead band Bleach Battalion formed in 2006 and is not currently playing shows. They have released one album, called Model Citizens.

Singer-guitarist Natassja Noctis is a Jew and a skinhead, but she wouldn't call herself a "Jewish skinhead." She clarified, "A Skinhead who happens to be Jewish, yes, but 'Jewish Skinhead' sounds as if the purpose of being a skinhead is ... something to do with Judaism, which is inaccurate." While Noctis thinks that Jewish and skinhead cultures both focus on pride and tradition, she says the connection is "not really a topic that comes up a lot (unless Israel is being bombed or something)." Noctis thinks that being a skinhead could fit into anyone's "religious worldview" and concluded, "Oi! and ... Oy!"

Jay Diamond's Jewish Punk Adventures
Around 1999, singer-drummer Jay Diamond formed Fear of a Blue Planet when he was in college in Chicago. The group's name is a spinoff of the Public Enemy album Fear of a Black Planet. Diamond says that the band's songs "were about 30 seconds long and was me screaming stuff I copied down from my grandfather's collection (Talmudic discussion, Exodus, it all makes for interesting sounding metal lyrics) mixed with lyrics of a disenfranchised, angry young man."

"We were three Jewish kids who were struggling with our Jewish identity in our first years of adulthood," says Diamond. "Two of us had grown up in Orthodox/traditional households, and the other one had a typical Midwestern Jewish upbringing (Reform). Playing in a loud, fast punk band that sang about being Jewish." Two out of the three went on to become lawyers.

Following graduation, Diamond and two friends formed Shabbos Bloody Shabbos in Park Slope, Brooklyn. "We were three Jewish kids from upper-middle class families and wanted to be hardcore like Agnostic Front except wthout the tattoos and the street cred. I'm sure we would have gotten the crap beaten out of us," says Diamond. Shabbos Bloody Shabbos wrote some songs and tried to practice once, but it never got off the ground.

Diamond, a Jewish vegetarian, has interviewed The Clash's Mick Jones (himself a Jewish vegan) for Heeb.

Sinat Hinam
Sinat Hinam formed in Israel in 2005 but broke up when singer Oleg Blecher moved to Sweden. Blecher describes Sinat Hinam's music as "raw-d-beat punk" initially before "moving more and more towards a metallic crusty sound, and more serious lyrics."

In the wake of my 2008 "Jewish Punks Embrace Nazi Rhetoric and Imagery" article, I was struck by the band's logo, which looked like a swastika split apart. Blecher explains: "The logo is actually a Hebrew acronym for the band's name, which is the two letters 'shin' and 'chet,' which is almost identical to the symbol for Israeli money, the shekel, with a twist, so it almost looks like a broken apart swastika. It's like a double pun." I aslo noticed that one song had "Shoa" (the Hebrew word for Holocaust) in the title. Blecher, a vegan Jew, says that "Shoa Atzmit" is "about the meat industry, the fact that on this planet human beings and other living beings are not parts of two different entities, thus by slaughtering millions of animals we are slaughtering ourselves."

Predecessors to Other California Bands
Jews From the Valley might have been the first punk band to focus on Jewish identity. Gefilte F*ck's Web site says, "Gefilte F*ck was one of the first Yidcore bands from Los Angeles. Jews From The Valley, a punk outfit featuring Gefilte F*ck's Mark Hecht and local scenester Bob Moss (of Wednesday BBQ fame) preceded it by a few years." Gefilte F*ck formed around 1991 (and Total Passover formed in 1990), but it's possible that Jews From the Valley formed in the '80s.

Moss replied to some of my messages, but he never answered any of my questions. "There were a few silly flyers and I'm sure some photos but I have no idea who would have any of that stuff," Moss said. He suggested I talk to Hecht, who apparently wrote most of the music and some of the lyrics. Former Gefilte F*ck singer Howard Hallis said that Hecht "had a dead-animal removal business in LA called 'Under The House,'" but I was unable to track him down.

Little is known about G.I. Jew, the predecessor to California skinhead-parody Jewdriver. Jewdriver's singer, who goes by the stage name Ian Stuartstein, did not respond to my e-mails. The leading source appears to be the liner notes to Jewdriver's Hail the Jew Dawn, although it's tough to separate fact from fiction. According to the tongue-in-cheek legend, G.I. Jew formed in Oakland, Calif., around 1994 and was conceived of by Stuartstein and "a fellow named Jay Oniskinwitz," who "discussed the idea with Max Bagels that evening." As G.I. Jew, they allegedly played shows with Green Day and Rancid before those bands hit it big. Around 1996, Stuartstein supposedly "fired the entire band" and "renamed the band Jewdriver"; Max Bagels apparently rejoined Jewdriver in 2001. I simply can't say how much of this is true.

The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's author Steven Beeber has written that Jewdriver formed "out of the ruins of the briefly lived GI Jew," but he says he didn't have a better source than what I'd found. Beeber notes that a book called GI Jews "discusses the experiences of American Jewish soldiers during WW II, and how their fighting against the Nazis helped them to form a new, perhaps prouder image of themselves." While this could conceivably explain the meaning behind the band's name, GI Jew the book was published a decade after G.I. Jew the band formed. Of course, the name might have just been a silly Jewish knockoff of G.I. Joe and nothing more.

Note (1/4/10): The original version of this post misidentified Bleach Battalion singer Natassja Noctis. Her name and pronoun references have been corrected, and a link to the band's new Web site has been added.


'For Some Local Jews, Kosher Isn't Enough'

The following article appears in tomorrow's issue of the Austin American-Statesman.

For Some Local Jews, Kosher Isn't Enough
Ethics of food production is key part of 'ethical kashrut.'
By Joshunda Sanders
Sunday, June 28, 2009

Malka Dubrawsky and her husband, Robert Trent, decided to go vegetarian after she heard a radio show about mad cow disease, she said.

By keeping a vegetarian diet, she and her husband are also keeping kosher, a Jewish dietary law spelled out in the Torah that prohibits mixing meat with dairy and requires that birds and mammals be slaughtered in a way that ensures they do not suffer.

"Eating that way makes you more mindful," Dubrawsky, a freelance textile designer, said. "Just like in Judaism, what you say to and about people is very important; it's really bad to deride people or insult them. What you put in your mouth is as important as what comes out of it."

Dubrawsky and Trent, both 42, are part of a trend among Jews to combine their religious views with the goal of consuming local, organic food. Called ethical kashrut, it's the idea that adherence to Jewish dietary laws is as important as the ethics and social justice involved in the creation and processing of food.

In the past, "the idea of how you would slaughter an animal was connected to the idea of appreciating that the animal was God's creation, and you're lucky enough to have the sustenance from eating it, but you are required to kill it as humanely as possible," Dubrawsky said. "It's an old idea that fits into the new idea" of ethical kashrut, she said.

A major catalyst for Jews who now practice ethical kashrut was a scandal at Agriprocessors Inc., the largest provider of kosher meat in the United States.

May 12 marked the anniversary of federal immigration raids at the Postville, Iowa, company, where 389 immigrants were arrested in the Bush administration's largest crackdown on illegal workers at a single site. For years, the company faced allegations of worker abuse and violations of labor laws. It was also criticized over code violations and slaughtering practices not in line with kosher rules to minimize animal suffering.

"I was horrified because those people know what Jewish law says about that," Dubrawsky said. "They, of all people, who put forward this righteous face, should have known better."

The Agriprocessors raid and allegations of violations reverberated at the Kosher Store at the H-E-B off Far West Boulevard, Cross said. It's the grocery chain's only dedicated kosher store statewide, and it has relied on Agriprocessors for the bulk of its meat products for years. The 2008 raid caused a flurry of questions, said Frank Efrayim Brock, the food supervisor at the store.

"People in Texas are curious about where food comes from now," he said.

The discussions prompted by the raid created "a growing pain in the kosher community, the first big moment in kosher," Brock said. "Now, kosher has to reflect the values in society. Ultimately, this was going to happen, and it's for the good because we can have relatively inexpensive meat that doesn't have a stigma attached to it."

Cross said the store stopped doing business with Agriprocessors in November. "But there was no one to fill the void," he said, so he had to search for new suppliers.

He selected Wise Organic Pastures in Pennsylvania, which supplies kosher meat both to the H-E-B Kosher Store and to Central Market stores in Austin. He also chose meat suppliers in Minnesota and South Dakota.

Rabbinical authorities in charge of kosher standards, referred to as mashgichim, are developing a seal for ethical foods. The new and traditional stamps are called hekhshers. Even before the raid, Rabbi Morris Allen of Mendota Heights, Minn., started work on an ethical kashrut symbol — called Magen Tzedek, which means seal of justice. He is director of the Hekhsher Tzedek Commission, which has worked to get the seal placed on products since 2006. He said that the commission hopes to have the seal on at least three products before Rosh Hashana in September.

Adoption of the proposed seal would be one way to make ancient Jewish practices fit a more modern society, said Lisa Goodgame, 37, the director of the Jewish Community Relations Council with the Jewish Community Association of Austin.

"Ethical kashrut may make keeping kosher relevant again for my generation because it helps blend how we eat with spirituality, which is very important," Goodgame said.

The seal benefits everyone involved, Allen said. "More people will be buying kosher products, because they're kosher, they're ethical or for both reasons," he said. "It will be a win for food producers, the workers who will be treated better, the animals that will be treated better and the environment. Our product is ultimately the antidote to the horrific tragedy in Postville."



Swine Flu
In Sunday's "Swine Flu: It Can Happen to Jew, Part Deux" post, I noted that there'd been 94 cases of swine flu in Israel, including three Americans on a Birthright trip. BBC News reported that Israeli President Shimon Peres met with a 5,000-person Birthright group last week and that 20 of the Birthright participants and 18 accompanying soldiers have tested positive for swine flu; President Peres has tested negative. "Swine flu the anti-Semite" was the title of a Los Angeles Jewish Journal blog post on the subject. Israel's number of swine flu cases is up to 219, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Today, the JTA reported that the start of camp was delayed at Camp Newman-Swig in Santa Rosa, Calif., after some staff members got sick. According to CNN, at Camp Ramah Darom in Clayton, Ga., three campers have been diagnosed with swine flu and about 60 more campers and several staff members have shown flu symptoms.

Top photo courtesy of Doris Lin, AnimalRights.About.com

Tav HaYosher Update
I mentioned last month that Uri L'Tzedek had launched a Tav HaYosher ethical seal for six restaurants and one supermarket in New York City. Two restaurants have been removed from the list, and four have been added. (Hat tip: Jewschool)
I'm pleased to point out that two of the additions are entirely vegan. Uri L'Tzedek announced that it had bestowed the Tav HaYosher on Sacred Chow earlier this month. I enjoyed a delightful Tempeh Reuben at Sacred Chow this evening, and I can't say enough great things about this place. The food is consistently delicious, and the restaurant recently featured special menu offerings for Purim and Passover. I have not yet tried Little Lad's, but the restaurant's Web site says it is "built on the principles of making quality food products and providing reliable service to improve the health of our customers and the planet earth with nutrition in food."
The Power of Dialogue
Last week, The Jew & The Carrot featured a hypothetical dialogue between a Jewish vegetarian activist and a rabbi. The post was authored by Jewish Vegetarians of North America president Richard H. Schwartz and noted, "Below is a fictional dialogue that he hopes readers will use ... as the basis of similar dialogues with local rabbis, educators, and community leaders. Richard would also welcome an actual dialog with a rabbi."
Animal Rights Advocacy Holds Back Sunstein
In January, I noted that President Obama had nominated Cass Sunstein, a renowned legal scholar and a Jew, to be the White House regulatory czar. Sunstein has apparently still not been confirmed because of objections to his past animal rights advocacy. On Monday, CongressDaily reported:
In May, nine farm and ranch groups that produce products such as milk and veal -- including the American Farm Bureau Federation -- wrote to Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and others to "express concern" about three academic papers in which Sunstein urged regulation of animals used in industries, including agriculture.

The letter included a paper in which Sunstein raised the possibility of animals winning the right to be plaintiffs in lawsuits. Noting that "the U.S. animal agriculture has long done political and social battle with the animal rights movement," the groups asked senators to seek assurances from Sunstein that he does not plan to regulate animal husbandry.

Roberts said he raised that question in a meeting with Sunstein last week and came away confident Sunstein does not plan such regulations. Roberts said he still might vote against Sunstein but had not placed a hold on the nomination. He also said he has not insisted on a roll call vote, as one Democratic aide tracking the process said.

On May 20, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., cast the only vote against Sunstein in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee after what aides from both parties said was an uneventful hearing.
Proposed Fur Ban and Shtreimels
In March, I mentioned that a bill in the Israeli Knesset would ban the production, importation, and sale of fur in Israel. Vos Iz Neias noted that one MK was concerned that this would affect shtreimels, fur hats commonly worn by Hassidic Jews. "I request that the law include an appropriate exception stating that import for religious purposes will not be infringed and will not be considered a violation of the law," the MK said. The post said faux-fur shtreimels are most common among Hassidic Jews in Israel, compared to Hassidim overseas.
An update to the original Vos Iz Neias post reported, "The Knesset ministerial committee approved the banning of imported rabbit, dog, and cat fur from eastern Asia due to reports of animal cruelty. And the proposed law will not affect shtreimel fur importers, as the manufacturers use fur from other animals not included in the bill."


Swine Flu: It Can Happen to Jew, Part Deux

On Thursday, the World Health Organization declared that swine flu is now a phase 6 pandemic, affecting nearly 30,000 people in 74 countries. I wrote a post in April saying that vegetarians and kosher-keeping Jews were just as susceptible to the newly announced swine flu as people who consume pork products. As swine flu continues to take its toll, the proof is in the pudding.

The first swine flu victim in New York State was a Jewish assistant principal at a school in Queens. At least a half-dozen yeshivas in Brooklyn temporarily closed because of reported swine flu links, as did yeshivas in New Jersey and Baltimore. Even a friend I first met in Hebrew school has swine flu; he suspects he got it from his students at a public school in Manhattan.
There have reportedly been 94 cases of swine flu in Israel, including three Americans visiting on a Birthright trip. "Traveling to Israel, I thought he might be more at risk of (terrorist) violence if something tragic happened," the father of one Birthright participant with swine flu told The Sacramento Bee. "I never even thought of swine flu."

Apparently, the fast against swine flu declared by Israel's chief Sephardic rabbi Shlomo Amar last month didn't rid the world of this emerging plague.



Jonathan Safran Foer Discusses Vegetarianism, New Book
Last month, The Young & Hungry featured an interview with Everything Is Illuminated author Jonathan Safran Foer. (Click here to read my 2006 post about Foer's video "If This Is Kosher ...") Foer called falafel the "ideal parent-kid meal," and he mentioned that he's been vegan on and off but is giving veganism a try once again. He also discussed his new nonfiction book, Eating Animals, which will be released in November:
I wanted to write it because I was very uncertain about how I felt [about eating animals] and I had been uncertain for a long time and felt no urgency to get it right, but with my wife being pregnant with our first child, I suddenly felt an urgency because I would have to make decisions on his behalf, not just my own and that's different. It's a different kind of responsibility.

Mayim Bialik: Heeb and Vegan
Former Blossom star Mayim Bialik was recently asked, "Are you vegetarians? Kosher?" on People's Celebrity Baby Blog. She responded, "I’m technically a vegan, but I do eat egg if it’s in things. And that’s how we raise [her son] Miles, too. I cook meat for my husband, which is Kosher, but we don’t have a vegan house, just Kosher house that has vegan options for everyone."

Vegetarian Festivals
Yesterday, The Jew & The Carrot featured a post about vegetarian festivals. The list is far from exhaustive, but I did enjoy the graphic from the 2007 Los Angeles Tofu Festival.

Not So Chosen
Yesterday, the U.S Air Guitar Blog ran a post titled "Air Guitar: The Chosen Show." The post noted, "Ma’ariv, one of the largest newspapers in Israel, had a reporter at the NYC show. He just did us a mitzvah." Why is it that organizers scheduled the NYC competition on the first night of Shavuot, thus preventing me from attending? Did they think that there were no Jews in New York City? My guess is that they never bothered to check a Jewish calendar, which is par for the course for many secular events but less acceptable when you profess to be "the chosen show." (Note: My criticism is almost as fake as an air guitar.)


The Kidney Matchmaker

When my father needed a kidney transplant because of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) in 2003, he was blessed to have his brother step up as the donor. Tens of thousands of Americans are in need a kidney transplant and have not had any donors step forward. Many people don't realize that even though we were born with two kidneys, we can live perfectly healthy with just one.

Chaya Lipschutz is working hard to help people in need of a kidney transplant, as much as any one person can. Lipschutz, a Jewish vegetarian, calls herself the "Kidney Matchmaker." She has donated a kidney to a stranger, and through her direct interaction with kidney donors and recipients as well as her publicity efforts, she has performed the mitzvah of saving people's lives time and time again.

Here's Chaya Lipschutz in her own words. For more information, please visit http://www.kidneymitzvah.com/.

Suppose someone is content living his/her life and doesn't know anyone who needs a kidney. What would you say to that person to make him/her understand the need to donate a kidney?
There are about 80,000 people in the USA who are in need of a kidney. Thousands are dying each year because there is a great shortage of cadaver kidneys and not enough people becoming a living donor. If someone donates a kidney - they can save someone's life.

I have donated a kidney and it was the greatest experience of my life. My brother donated a kidney as well. I am in touch with many other people in the Jewish community who have … donated a kidney, as well - all are doing great, Boruch Hashem - and some of us wish we can do it again!

Most of the people I know though who donated a kidney are Ultra-Orthodox - and most of the Ultra-Orthodox, are Chassidim. There are 2 Satmar women with 9 children who both donated a kidney. Another Satmar man who donated a kidney when his wife was expecting their 9th child. And a Rabbi of a Chabad house, a 41 year old father of 9, also, will be donating a kidney - to a father of 10! This is one of my upcoming matches. And I have found matches for non-Jews as well. One of my matches - the donor heard me on the radio and the recipient is an African-American person from Brooklyn. This match will be taking place soon.

How many people in the U.S. need a kidney transplant? How urgent is the need for kidney donors?
As mentioned above, about 80,000. How urgent? Some people are on dialysis many years and also … many have a very hard time finding a match because of high antibodies. I had matches for 2 people but their recipients are no longer eligible to have a kidney transplant and another person who was a match - her recipient died before a kidney transplant date was made. Tragic.

What are some of the reasons why people need kidney transplants?
One of the leading causes is diabetes, then high blood pressure. And many times [the cause] can be ... obesity - which often can lead to both health issues. Others may have PKD - like your father ….

Have you met with any resistance to organ transplantation in the Jewish community?
Maybe 75% of the Jewish community realizes that it is halachically allowed to donate a kidney while alive. That part is not an issue. But so many objections - most people are not educated about kidney donation and don't realize one can live with one kidney as well as two. Then when you have people who are interested - they sometimes get back to me - if they are married - their spouse doesn't allow them to donate a kidney. Or parent.

Why are you vegetarian? Do you see a connection between your life-giving/life-saving work as a kidney matchmaker and your vegetarian diet?
I am a vegetarian because I don't like meat or chicken. Not crazy about fish either. I have been like this since I was a kid. I am against cruelty to animals. ...

Many years ago - over 20, in fact (my how time flies) - I went to a Jewish Vegetarians weekend event at a hotel in the Catskills [in upstate New York]. It was awesome. It was nice to see all kinds of Jewish Veggie people - all different Jewish backgrounds, different levels of Judaism all together, under one roof. ...

I don't know if they have had anything like that since. Then, it wasn't so expensive, now to have such an event could be a big expense.


Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Vegan Brunch

Isa Chandra Moskowitz is "something of a superstar in the subculture of folks who abstain from all animal products," as The Jewish Week recently put it. When I told friends I'd be meeting the widely revered vegan cookbook author on Saturday and attending the launch party for her new book, Vegan Brunch, tonight, "something of a superstar" seemed like an understatement. One wanted me to call her from tonight's event and put Moskowitz on the phone. One said, "So jealous. Please tell her that I’d love to have her sweet, sweet, cupcake babies." And my friend Amanda, who recently launched the vegan food blog Wegebles and Other Noms, said, "Omg Michael, I might GEEK OUT too much if I [went to the launch party]. Like, I would be tempted to bring my copies of ALL of her cookbooks for her to sign and/or leave lipstick prints on."

Moskowitz drew a devoted crowd of fans to Moo Shoes in Manhattan this evening. The menu featured lots of delectable wonders from Vegan Brunch, including Bakery-Style Berry Muffins, Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, Herbed Whole Wheat Drop Biscuits, Smoked Almond Gravy, Pink Grapefruit Mimosas, Italian Feast Sausages (which were out of this world!), and various cream cheeses with bagels.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention some kind of Jewish connection, especially since Moskowitz wrote a Passover guest post for heebnvegan in 2007. In the following excerpt from Vegan Brunch, Moskowitz amusingly introduces her Matzoh Brie recipe:

If you're Jewish or a New Yorker at all, you'll be really happy to have a workable vegan matzoh brie recipe. Maybe your mouth is already watering at the thought of the softened matzoh, lightly fried and spiked with just a few fried onions. If you aren't Jewish or a New Yorker, I am going to be honest and say that sometimes I have a really hard time explaining Jewish food in a way that makes it sound appealing to non-Jews. Often I read things on the Internet that say some of my recipes are "weird" and "ethnic." I'll just invite you skeptics to loosen up and try this—it is classic Jewish comfort food!
Vegan Brunch is on sale now. Moskowitz will be serving food from Vegan Brunch at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary's June Jamboree on June 13. For more information about Moskowitz, Vegan Brunch, and her other cookbooks, visit PostPunkKitchen.com.