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Russ & Daughters Honored with the 2013 Jewish Cultural Achievement Award

July 25th, 2013 · 1:06 pm - russanddaughters

The Foundation for Jewish Culture honored Russ & Daughters with the 2013 Jewish Cultural Achievement award – which honors ”luminaries who keep contemporary Jewish culture rich, vibrant, and relevant.”

RussDaughtersAwardSquadronState Senator Daniel Squadron was on hand to present the award to Josh Russ Tupper, Niki Russ Federman, and Mark Russ Federman.

The other recipients this year were Pulitzer prize-winning author Michael Chabon, Bard College President and conductor Dr. Leon Botstein, philanthropist Scott Berrie, and historian Dr. Deborah Dash Moore. The award has a rich history, and past recipients include: Elie Weisel, Philip Roth, Maurice Sendak, the creators of Fiddler on the Roof, Tony Kushner, John Zorn, Joan Micklin Silver, and many other distinguished figures in the worlds of art, architecture, culture, and scholarship.

Russ & Daughters is the first ever honoree from the food world. In his presentation speech, State Senator Daniel Squadron said:

Good evening.

It’s truly a great honor to be here. It’s an honor and the sort of privilege that one doesn’t necessarily expect to get in one’s career — especially not when one’s relationship with that which he is honoring is one of the small child or young man, desperately excited and privileged just to participate in the place… which is naturally my feeling about Russ & Daughters.

And it’s especially meaningful to do it here at the Foundation, connecting my feelings — and the feelings reflected throughout the city and the diaspora — about Russ & Daughters and what it represents, and giving it the appropriate depth that it deserves.

So I have to admit something. When I first ran for the State Senate, I was fairly young and I was a long shot candidate. And the first day I really realized I was running was during Erev Yom Kippur in 2007, when I was in line at Russ & Daughters…for a very long time.

I got there early, as I’d done for a long time. You see, my wife and I — my girlfriend at the time — host the Yom Kippur break-fast every year. I’m the youngest of five children and the youngest of nine cousins, and so the other holidays were taken. My brother hosts the first night of Passover, my cousin the second night. One brother hosts that time between Chanukah and New Years that isn’t called Christmas. Another cousin hosts a get-together in the middle of the summer. So by the time I came along, the break-fast was what we got — and thank goodness we had Russ & Daughters.

I waited in line, I ordered what I order (about twice as much as the number of people justifies), and I went home. And I said to my girlfriend, “I really need to win this race because, if I do, I will represent Russ & Daughters. Can you imagine?”

And she said, “No – and even if you win, you better still wait in line.” She’s the wiser of the two of us.

So, I was successful in that campaign. And I’ve been really proud of representing Russ & Daughters in the Senate and continuing to wait in line — and not just because I lobbied to have my sandwich added to the menu: the roe cream cheese with salmon, whitefish salad, shredded whitefish, and wasabi roe on an everything bagel. I hope you’re taking notes!

But I’m also so proud to represent Russ & Daughters because it’s really about more than food.

For the Foundation for Jewish Culture to honor Russ & Daughters as the final award of the evening is appropriate because, in many ways, food — in our culture and in our families — is the foundation in a true way. And this story and this family — Niki, Josh, Mark, the generation above, the daughters, and the original founder — represent a foundational part of what it means to be Jewish, living in the diaspora, living in a city that has meant so much to the Jewish people — because of the continuity, because of the connection to history and legacy, and because of the extent to which, as secular Judaism expands, the culture and the food, and the history is such an important touchstone for the next generation and the generation after that.

It really is the foundation to so much that’s at risk and that must not be lost. It’s particularly true when you think about the spirit of charity and giving back that we saw after Sandy. The first store open on the Lower East Side, while there was still power out across the area, was Russ & Daughters. When there were hundreds of seniors stuck in their buildings without power or any way to get out and get water, it was Russ & Daughters that built care packages and worked with my office to deliver them them door-to-door in the neighborhood. And it was Russ & Daughters, Niki and Josh, who called and said, “What more can we do?”

So it’s a great honor to end the evening with the foundation of our culture and, in my view, the foundation of all things good: food, and the way that it connects us to who we are. By that I mean this tradition and institution — Russ & Daughters — and what it means to our city and our people. And of course I mean those three to five hours every year, erev Yom Kippur, that mean more to me and to hundreds of others — all of those who got there first — than just about anything else, and that help connect us to the real depth of our history. Many of us don’t get to experience that every day; but when we do, it really connects us to what matters most about our community, our culture, and our history.

So it’s a great honor to call up Niki Russ Federman, Josh Russ Tupper, and Mark Russ Federman.

 

Niki Russ Federman spoke when she, Josh, and Mark accepted the award.  She said:
A man walks into an appetizing store on the Lower East Side. He breathes in, taking in that characteristic aroma that can only come from the co-mingling of smoked fish, pickled herrings, fresh breads, dried fruits and sweets. He breathes out. “Ah” he says, “I smell Judaism.” True story. And stories like that happen pretty regularly at Russ & Daughters.This coming year, Russ & Daughters will celebrate its 100th anniversary. That’s 100 years and four generations worth of slicing fish, kibbitzing across the counter and obsessing over quality. But it is also 100 years worth of history– history on the Lower East Side,  history with our customers and our staff. It’s 100 years worth of brises, bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, and inevitably, shivas.  We have been honored to serve as a touchstone in people’s lives and to share in these important life events through our food. Because, really, how else do Jews say “I love you,” “I’m sorry for your loss,” or “Mazel tov!” than with a fatty whitefish, a nice herring, bagels and babka?

In a city such as ours, where everything is always changing, Russ & Daughters offers a counterpoint: a sense of continuity. It is the reassuring feeling you get when the pickled lox still tastes the same way it did when you were a child, or the comfort that comes from seeing that Russ & Daughters is still there, its doors open for anyone to enter, whether you’re coming for the first time or for fifty years. There is the saying that, “All roads lead back to Rome,” but when it comes to the Jewish American experience, it appears to us that the roads double back to the Lower East Side and to that tiny storefront on East Houston Street.

Running an appetizing business, is a lot of hard work. So, why would four generations of our family be meshugge enough to do it? And by family, that includes not only the Russes, but our incredible team, some of whom are here tonight. Because, though Russ & Daughters may be small in space, it’s big in soul. There is something going on there that is more than a commercial transaction, more than the mere buying and selling of food. It’s a place where relationships are forged, stories are shared, memories resurface and traditions are celebrated.We thank the Foundation for Jewish Culture for honoring us today and for the incredible work that you do. But frankly, you are honoring us for something we love: keeping our culture alive and vibrant through our food.

 

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Russ & Daughters is Open on Independence Day

July 3rd, 2013 · 12:18 pm - russanddaughters

Russ-Daughters-July4open

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New store hours on Saturdays: in the shop at Russ & Daughters

June 15th, 2013 · 7:17 am - russanddaughters

Did you know that Russ & Daughters now opens at 8:00 a.m. on Saturdays?

We’ve extended our regular Saturday hours:  8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

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THE START OF THE NEW CATCH HERRING SEASON – AN UPDATE

June 4th, 2013 · 1:30 pm - russanddaughters

Dutch authorities have announced that the start of the New Catch Holland Herring Season has been postponed for a few weeks. The 2013 season will now begin soon (not June 5th, as previously reported).

Exploratory fishing determined that the herring have not yet reached their peak Omega-3 fat level – the level necessary to be considered the famed Hollandse Nieuwe (New Catch). Recent weather, resulting in low plankton levels, has been cited as the cause. This is only the second time in history that the New Catch season has been postponed.

The Russ & Daughters Herring Celebration on the evening of June 18th will be the kick-off for this year’s season, and the first opportunity to taste the New Catch. Tickets are still available.

Throughout the season, the New Catch Herring will be available for enjoying in the shop, for shipping nationwide, and for delivery throughout all five boroughs of New York City. *Please call Russ & Daughters for availability and for placing orders: 212-475-4880*

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Announcing the New Catch Herring Season and the Annual Russ & Daughters Herring Celebration

May 27th, 2013 · 6:16 pm - russanddaughters

Russ&Daughters Herring2013 announcement

 

CELEBRATE NEW CATCH HOLLAND HERRING SEASON IN THE SHOP STARTING JUNE 5, AND AT THE RUSS & DAUGHTERS HERRING CELEBRATION ON JUNE 18

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THE SEASON

The New Catch Holland Herring (Hollandse Nieuwe) is a piece of gastronomic heaven, a fabulous buttery and mild matjes (young) herring unlike any other, due to its exceptionally high and healthy omega-3 fat content. Traditionally, the New Catch Holland Herring is eaten by holding the whole herring by the tail and dropping it into one’s mouth. Visitors to Russ & Daughters are likely to see aficionados partaking of this food ritual right at the counter, starting on June 5.

• New Catch Holland Herring are $4.49 each or $39.95 for a tray of 10 herring.*
• Each herring is two fillets attached at the tail.
• Herring can be purchased at the Russ & Daughters counter.
• Russ & Daughters delivers the herring by courier in all five boroughs of NYC.
• Russ & Daughters ships the herring nationwide.
• Please call us at 212-475-4880 to place an order for pick-up at the shop, courier delivery in NYC, or nationwide shipping.
• Shipping orders may be placed online at www.russanddaughters.com. (http://shop.russanddaughters.com/store/product/862/Holland-Herring-Tray/)

The New Catch Holland Herring will be available at Russ & Daughters for the duration of their prized, yet limited, season. Russ & Daughters urges customers to place orders to guarantee that they can partake of this ephemeral gastronomic experience. Russ & Daughters is a direct importer, and receives herring from the first delivery of this New Catch to New York, and then continuously throughout the year.

(*The price of the Hollandse Nieuwe is set at auction, and is thus subject to change.)

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THE CELEBRATION

The New Catch Herring season is also a time of celebration. On June 18th, we’ll explore the wonders of herring at the annual Russ & Daughters Herring Celebration. Join us for an evening filled with a dizzying and delectable array of Russ & Daughters herring preparations, including the New Catch. The herring will be paired with wine, spirits, and cocktails, specifically chosen by our friends, the experts at Astor Center.

Accompanying the festivities, Mark Russ Federman will read excerpts from his best-selling memoir, Russ & Daughters: The House That Herring Built. We will also screen selections from Raw Herring, a beautiful film that recently had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. With breathtaking visuals and soundtrack, Raw Herring captures a look at the lives of Dutch fishermen as they work to catch the Hollandse Nieuwe. Our guest chef, Linda Steen, hails from Holland; she will create one dish for the event, putting a creative spin on a Dutch classic. And, of course, the ever popular herring photo Shootbooth will return.

The Russ & Daughters Herring Pairing
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
At Astor Center (399 Lafayette Street immediately north of East 4th Street, NY, NY 10003)
Tickets: $75. Tickets can be purchased at Russ & Daughters (179 East Houston Street, NY NY 10002), by calling Russ & Daughters at 212-475-4880, and online (http://bit.ly/RussHerringAstor) .

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Phones are fixed!

May 24th, 2013 · 9:24 am - russanddaughters

Our phones are working again, and we’re excited to start taking your calls again!

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Our phones are down today, but you can order in the shop or online! You can e-mail us with questions too.

May 20th, 2013 · 8:10 am - russanddaughters

Russ&Daughters Verizon phones down

 

Unfortunately, our phones are down right now. (Verizon is doing some work in the area.)

However, you can certainly place your order in the shop or online at www.russanddaughters.com.

And, of course, you can email us with orders/questions!  info(AT)russanddaughters.com.

Thank you for understanding. We’ll update here and on Twitter when the phones are back up and running.

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Save the dates! Russ & Daughters New Catch Herring Season and Celebration

May 7th, 2013 · 11:04 am - russanddaughters

2013-russ-daughters-herring

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Russ & Daughters is hiring: Customer Relations & Merchandise Coordinator

April 22nd, 2013 · 3:27 pm - russanddaughters

Russ&Daughters-job41013

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Holiday Hours: Easter – Sunday, March 31

March 29th, 2013 · 11:42 am - russanddaughters

On Sunday, March 31, Russ & Daughters will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

The shop will return to regular business hours on Monday, April 1.

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