My pal MarocMama kidded me that I should do a post entitled “Matzo in May” after I bemoaned having so much matzo (and matzo meal) left over after Passover. Instead I am writing about the Streit’s matzo company this month and this post has nothing to do with my leftover matzos, Passover, or even Jewish cooking.
I’ve never been a brand loyalist when it comes to matzo and other Passover foods. I don’t keep kosher, so I don’t look at the religious certifications displayed by Streit’s and other companies producing kosher foods. Up until this year, I’ve bought matzo to eat and for matzo pudding, matzo meal for my Passover rolls, and other products such as matzo farfel (small broken up pieces of matzo that I use for pseudo-granola during Passover) from whichever company’s products I found at my local grocery.
But this year, after a rather random call to the Streit’s consumer number for help with a question, I made a special effort to reward that company with my business. I blogged about my experience with Streit’s and Rabbi Kirchner, but after Passover, I thought little about Streit’s or matzo, despite the 2 leftover boxes in my cupboard. Until last week.
Then I saw this:
I’ve funded the project (spoiler alert for my own mom) – as a Mother’s Day present. My mother’s family also came from the Lower East Side and my mother’s mother went to the Hester Street Settlement House not too far from Streit’s Rivington Street factory. That’s nice, but not the real connection between the Streit family, this documentary and my mom.
Why fund this project, why make the donation in my mom’s honor, and why should you care about all this?
It’s all pretty simple. I’ve never seen a better example of people living the Golden Rule; the members of the Streit family treat others as they would want to be treated. They have given back to their community in the simplest and best way possible – by respecting others, especially those in the community who work for the Streit family business. My mom taught me those values the same way the Streits have taught their kids – by living the values they espouse in a quiet way, by actually doing good not just talking about it.
So I’m going to honor both the Streits and my mom with a Kickstarter donation to this documentary about the Streit family business. I hope that family’s legacy and their contributions to the Lower East Side community continue for many years to come and that the documentary brings their story to the attention of many who don’t eat matzo and don’t know their neighborhood, but who care about family, community, and respect. My wishes for my own mom – health, happiness, and many more years in which to teach me life lessons.
How will you honor and celebrate the mothers in your life this Mother’s Day?