Presented by Deatra Cohen and Adam Siegel

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Click here to purchase a copy of Ashkenazi Herbalism from Afikomen Judaica.

The practice of herbal healing has seen a resurgence in the last few decades in the United States. Many who study these ancient traditions look to their ancestral plant knowledge for guidance and inspiration. But what if your ancestors didn’t leave a written legacy or even a hint that they themselves had folk healers among their ranks? That’s where Deatra Cohen and Adam Siegel found themselves when they began to study European herbalism. Not only was there no written evidence of plant medicine among their more recent ancestors, the Ashkenazim of the Pale of Settlement at the turn of the twentieth century, there seemed to be no record of any folk healers themselves. Their new book documents the uncovering of Jewish natural and herbal medicine, and this talk will trace the path they traversed to reveal a hidden world of medicinal plants and the Jewish healers who knew them well.

Co-presented by KlezCalifornia.

Deatra Cohen is an author, herbalist, and artist. She holds degrees from UC Davis, San Jose State University, and the Berkeley Herbal Center, and lives in Northern California.

Adam Siegel is an author, translator, and bibliographer. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, UC Berkeley, and San Jose State University, and lives in Northern California.