Sambassador to Greek Life

When my son Sam was born, we lived in New York City. I used to take him to the playgrounds in Central Park and it was only a matter of time before Sam would find another kid to build a sandcastle with or join in a game of tag. The great thing about those days was the variety of kids Sam played with, all reflecting the melting pot of New York City.

When Sam moved into a fraternity house this year, his sophomore year, it was like those playground days all over, with Sam becoming friends with a lot of peers from diverse backgrounds. Sam brought his own uniqueness to the mix as the only Jewish kid in his fraternity house.

I suppose it was the Jewish mother in me that relishs sending him packages of challah and holiday goodies to nourish not only his stomach but also his identity. For example, a couple of weeks ago, for Purim, I sent him a big package with one of our Purim Bakery Towers—6 lbs of Hamentashen, rugelach and mini black and whites, along with a Purim Candy Platter and challahs. And I dreaded the day when, in one of our weekly video chats, he’d say, “Mom, enough with Jewish treats!”

Imagine the thrill I got last night when he reported that he and his 14 house mates LOVED the stuff. Not only that, but Sam wants Josh and me to come to the fraternity’s family picnic in May. While visiting, he wants me to cook a “Jewish meal” for the house. He wants to help and thinks maybe some of the other guys will want to, too.

I’m fairly certain Sam has no idea how happy this invitation makes me. He’s an ambassador of Jewish culture by introducing Jewish food and traditions to his housemates. Some of them had never met a Jew before Sam, and now they are loving our culture and traditions (or just free food, and who wouldn’t?). Once again, in my Challah Connection journey, the universe has proven that no matter our religion or our background, no matter if we are from the Middle East, the Midwest, or the Upper West Side, we all come together over food.

Now I am planning what I’m going to cook and where I am going to shop in this small town in Western PA where the greatest shopping attraction is Walmart. So far I am thinking of challah, brisket, latkes, chicken soup, matzo ball soup, and noodle kugel. But first and foremost, I am planning a terrific Passover Gift to send to him—Passover Traditions in a Box–one of our kosher college care packages, along with a Decadent Dark Chocolate Covered Matzo Platter.

What are you sending your Sambassador? Email me and I’ll give you some recommendations.

Happy Jewish Mothering—whether you are a Mom or a Dad!



  1. Rima Said,

    March 22, 2010 @ 7:56 am

    What a wonderful blog. I love this story. I guess having two boys makes the story evn closer to home. How lucky you are to have your son appreciate and experience our culture with his friends at school. A little care package can go a long way. 🙂

  2. Christine Said,

    March 22, 2010 @ 10:10 am

    Yum! I think Sam and his housemates are very lucky to enjoy all those gourmet goodies. It would be great if this started a tradition in his house…kind of cultural food exchange.

  3. Shari Said,

    March 22, 2010 @ 10:58 am

    Wonderful post! Great that your son appreciates his cultural background, loves to share, and invites his parents to further explore traditional foods with friends. It will be a great meal and a great time!

  4. tami Said,

    March 26, 2010 @ 6:25 am

    scrolling through your blogs and this one really caught me. I also have a first born Sam and when he is off to college i will certainly encourage maintaining our traditions with something wonderful and nourshing for soul and tummy- yummy food! nice thoughts!

  5. Bonnie Said,

    March 26, 2010 @ 8:38 am

    I love this story! My children have a ways to go before college but I am confident they will hold onto their traditions in their new environment – and hopefully be happy to share them with new friends. This also makes me realize how important it is to establish traditions at home before our kids fly away from the nest!

  6. College Care Packages–Send Them At Your Own “Risk” | Challah Connection Blog Said,

    April 23, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

    […] to take this to the next level” and as the Social Chair of the fraternity, Sam, aka Sambassador (to Jewish Culture), asked to me prepare a “Jewish Meal” for 50!! It was a truly momentus occasion as this […]

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