Rabbi Deborah Prinz will speak about the delectable journey through the Jewish history of chocolate. Rabbi Prinz draws from her world travels on the trail of chocolate to enchant chocoholics everywhere as she unwraps the role of religions in the trade, retail and manufacture of chocolate since it was first introduced to Europeans. Explore the surprising connections to chocolate in this gastronomic adventure, based on her book, the first ever on this topic, On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao, (2nd Edition, Jewish Lights Publishing, 2017). It also forms the basis for a museum exhibit which Prinz co-curated. “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate,” at the Bernard Museum of Temple Emanu-el, New York City, which now travels around the world. The exhibition features historical and contemporary art, artifacts and memorabilia portraying stories of Jews and chocolate. Pick up a piece of chocolate and partake in an expedition into the past through cultures, countries, centuries and convictions.
Prinz lectures about chocolate and religion around the world. The book, On the Chocolate Trail, is used in adult study, classroom settings, book clubs and chocolate tastings. Prinz blogs at The Forward, The Jewish Journal, The Jewish Week, onthechocolatetrail.org, and elsewhere. She was awarded a Starkoff Fellowship and a Director’s Fellowship from the American Jewish Archives as well as a Gilder Lehrman Fellowship from the Rockefeller Library to pursue this research. The project stirs age-old passions for chocolate and religion using information gathered from travel in several countries, including Belgium, England, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.
Rabbi Prinz has held a number of leadership positions in the national and regional Reform movement. She has been a Senior Fellow at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Center for the Study of Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems (2015-2016). She has consulted for HUC-JIR, the Union for Reform Judaism and other organizations. She served the Central Conference of American Rabbis as Director of Program and Member Services and the Director of the Joint Commission on Rabbinic Mentoring for seven years. She was honored to conduct the worship services at regional and national biennials of the Union for Reform Judaism. Elected by her colleagues, Rabbi Prinz held each office of the Board of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis and assumed its presidency in 2005. For many years she served as a member of the Executive Committee of the U.R.J.-C.C.A.R. Commission on Outreach & Synagogue Community.
The Rabbi Emerita of Temple Adat Shalom, Poway, California, she was its Senior Rabbi for almost twenty years. Prior to that she was, for seven years, the Rabbi of a synagogue in Bergen County, New Jersey, and also the Assistant Rabbi of Central Synagogue in Manhattan. She has delivered many talks to community organizations.
Rabbi Prinz lives in New York City with her husband Rabbi Mark Hurvitz. She is the proud mother of Avigail, Noam & Rachel and is the amazed grandmother of Amiel, Lior, Pele, and Ziv.