On Saturday, December 13, Laura Silver, the author of Knish: in Search of the Jewish Soul Food demonstrated how to make knishes and then everyone got to compose and bake their own. While the knishes were in the oven, Laura gave a most engaging and funny talk about her intimate memories of Mrs. Stahl’s knish shop and how its closing led her on a journey to discovering the history of the knish and her surprising family connection.

Throughout the evening, we enjoyed a plentiful selection of knishes, soup and Mediterranean fare from Park Falafel, Hudson’s kosher restaurant, accompanied by kosher wines selected by Hudson Wine Merchants. The event was kosher-style.

The evening was being co-sponsored by Congregation Anshe Emeth, Hudson, NY.


After the disappearance of her beloved knish shop, Laura Silver, a journalist and native New Yorker, went in search of the roots of the humble pastry and her own family, which turn out to be more intertwined than she expected. KNISH is the chronicle of her seven-­year, three-­continent quest.

With good humor and a hunger for history, Silver mined knish lore for stories of entrepreneurship, survival, and major deliciousness. Starting in New York, she tracked down heirs to several knish dynasties and discovered that her own family has roots in a Polish town named Knyszyn.

KNISH details the four hundred year culinary and cultural history of the edible pie. The book contains back stories of several knish shops—Yonah Shimmel’s, Gabila’s, Shatzkin’s and Hirsch’s, a recipe for Mrs. Stahl’s potato knishes given to Silver by her granddaughters, and The Legend of the Knish, from Knyszyn, Poland, published in English for the first time.

Laura Silver is an award-winning journalist whose writing on food and culture has appeared in The New York Times, the Forward and on NPR. She is considered the world’s leading expert on the knish.

“Laura Silver has elevated the common knish to its rightful place in the pantheon of Jewish soul foods… She reminds us with equal parts passion and humor that the knish is much more than simple street food. It represents a whole culture worthy of admiration, preservation, and enjoyment.”
– Mark Russ Federman, author, Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes From The House That Herring Built

Congregation Anshe Emeth is one of the oldest Jewish communities in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Established in 1888, the Congregation was originally located in the historic city of Hudson, NY, on lower Warren Street. In 1968, the Congregation moved to its present facility in the Town of Greenport. The Synagogue ministers to a diverse population of interests and backgrounds. Religious services are egalitarian and contain both traditional as well as nontraditional elements. Their current spiritual leader, Rabbi Daniel Fried, has been with the Congregation since 1980.

© Valley Variety 2019