Stranger in a Strange Land

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Hey there. My name’s Michelle, and I’ll be your Ukrainian Jew for the next six months. Born and raised in New York, I never spoke a word of Russian or ate a bite of borsht, until I suddenly found myself living in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine three months after graduating from college.

I work for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a nonprofit organization that engages in Jewish rescue, relief, and renewal all over the world, but especially in the former Soviet Union. I personally am directing a volunteer initiative for eastern Ukraine called Do Good, Ukraine! In the six months that I’ve been living in Dnepropetrovsk, I’ve become conversant in Russian, active in the Jewish community, and pretty knowledgeable about traditional Ukrainian and Russian foods, both Jewish and secular.

Over the next half year, I will be sharing my culinary experience with you. Food is an important part of any culture, and Ukraine is no exception to the rule. The recipes and stories I post are not just about food, but about a people and a way of life. It has been quite an adventure living in Dnepropetrovsk, and I encourage you to participate in that novelty and excitement with me by trying some unique and delicious new dishes. S priezdom, welcome, and priatnovo apetita!

If you’d like to read more about what I’m doing in Dnepropetrovsk, check out my blog!

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