"The kitchen is the soul of the Aleppian Jewish home, and I feel truly honored and blessed to be able
to bring you Aromas of Aleppo, which conveys the warmth and love at the heart of our cuisine".
About the Author
Poopa Dweck is an expert on the food and customs of the Jews of Aleppo, one of the largest and most flourishing communities of Sephardic Jews. She is best known as the author of the stunning cookbook Aromas of Aleppo: The Legendary Cuisine of the Syrian Jews, featured in the New York Times Magazine and winner of the National Jewish Book Award in 2007.
Aromas has led Poopa to lectures, book tours and cooking demonstrations in venues all over the world. Syrian ambassador Imad Moustapha requested a meeting with Poopa, and a signed book for President Bashar Assad. He praised the authentic recipes and noted that the shared cuisine and traditions of Syrian Arabs and Jews make a good starting point for positive dialogue. A Hebrew-language edition is due in Israel this fall.
Poopa and her husband Sammy raised their family of five children in Deal, N.J. In 1975, she co-founded the Sephardic Women’s Organization of the Jersey Shore. She is passionate about preserving Syrian culinary traditions, serving as Executive Editor of Deal Delights (1976) and Deal Delights II (1985). These Syrian community cookbooks are now standard in Sephardic kitchens worldwide and have raised thousands of dollars for charity. In 1995 Poopa joined the Board of Sephardic Bikur Holim and founded a woman’s division, “Daughters of Sarah.”
In 2003, when Poopa’s son, Jesse A”H, passed away at only 18, the Dwecks founded the Jesse Dweck City Learning Center, offering Torah classes for Syrian-Jewish men and women in Manhattan and New Jersey.
Poopa appreciates the spiritual richness of Jewish observance and the role of the Jewish woman within it. The Arabic concept of suffeh, she explains, refers to a woman’s intelligence and intuition, allowing her to create a welcoming, well-ordered family life that allows the Divine Presence to dwell within. By documenting and preserving the foodways and customs of her heritage, Poopa hopes to inspire ethnic groups everywhere to revisit their roots and celebrate the concept of family.
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