Trefa Banquet(Redirected from Trefa banquet)
The "Trefa Banquet" was a dinner held on July 11, 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Held in honor of the first graduating class of Hebrew Union College (including David Philipson, a major source on the event) and the delegates to the eighth annual meeting of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, it offended a number of guests by featuring non-kosher (treyf) foods. It was a crucial event leading up to the split between Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism.
The menu, which eschewed pork but included other non-kosher foods such as littleneck clams, soft-shell crabs, shrimp, frog legs, as well as dairy-based desserts to follow the meat-based meal, reflected the dining tendencies of Reform Jews at the time, who maintained the prohibition against pork but commonly ignored others, such as the one on shellfish.
It is unlikely that Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, the president of Hebrew Union College and leader of American Reform Judaism, was aware of the menu plans of the banquet committee. However, he declined to apologize and condemn the banquet, and instead dismissed "kitchen Judaism" and argued that the dietary laws were obsolete and cheapened the religion in the eyes of others.
- Appel, John J. (February 1966). "The Trefa Banquet". Commentary.
- Sarna, Jonathan D. (2005). American Judaism: A History. Yale University Press.
- Sussman, Lance J. (2005). "The Myth of the Trefa Banquet: American Culinary Culture and the Radicalization of Food Policy in American Reform Judaism" (PDF). American Jewish Archives Journal.