In case you missed it (ICYMI, as they say on twitter), National Public Radio had a delightful story about Irish Jews last weekend:
“St. Patrick’s Day in New York now means parades and green beer. But 50 years ago, it also meant green matzo balls at the annual banquet of the Loyal League of Yiddish Sons of Erin. The league was a fraternal organization of Irish-born Jews.
“The major migration of Jews to Ireland started in the 1880s and ’90s, says Hasia Diner, who teaches history and Judaic studies at New York University. Thousands moved [to Ireland], primarily from Lithuania. …
” ‘Then the Irish Jews, as Jews historically did, they went to where there were better economic opportunities,’ Diner says.
“A lot of Irish Jews found those opportunities in New York. Like many immigrant groups, they kept their culture alive in the New World. And in the early 1960s, they formed the Yiddish Sons of Erin.
“According to member Rosalyn Klein, the whole thing started as a joke. … A restaurant took out a newspaper ad for a meeting of Irish Jews. Klein thinks they didn’t really expect people, but a lot of them showed up.
” ‘And most of them had lived in Dublin, so it was kind of this mishpocha getting together again,’ she says.”
For many years after, a big Jewish St. Patrick’s Day celebration was held in New York and was de rigeur for politicians and celebrities.
This is a normal matzo ball. I couldn’t find a green one.