Pass the Plate Celebrates Cultural Heritage Through Food The Weinstein Scholar annual program invited students to take a culinary trip around the world without leaving the Washington and Lee campus.
“My favorite part about working on this event was having the opportunity to collaborate with all the other student organizations and learn more about their cultures.”
~ Sophie Huber ’25
Student groups representing a variety of cultural identities brought recipes and snacks from their cultures to share with the Washington and Lee University during Pass the Plate, a cross-cultural culinary showcase held on Cannan Green on April 3.
The event, sponsored by Hillel, was the culminating project for W&L’s four current Weinstein Scholars.
“My favorite part about working on this event was having the opportunity to collaborate with all the other student organizations and learn more about their cultures,” said Sophie Huber ’25, a first-year Weinstein Scholar and incoming co-chair for speakers on Hillel’s general board. “It was so interesting discussing each dish and their histories. Celebrating those histories together was very special.”
Tyler Waldman ’24 supplied Hillel’s table with his family’s treasured latke recipe, which he debuted earlier this year at the annual Latke-Hamantaschen Debate. The German Club offered traditional German breads and cheeses. The Native American Student Organization contributed a cornbread recipe from a recently published collection of recipes traditionally used by the local Monacan tribe. The Pan-Asian American Cultural Exchange contributed dumplings and gyoza. Maria Shaw ’22 and Andrea Levan ’22, co-presidents of the Chinese Language and Culture Club, were excited to share Chinese candy and packaged snacks with other students.
“We haven’t been able to do many events as a club since we were founded right before COVID,” Shaw said.
Ian Bodenheimer ’22, Hillel’s co-vice president, said he was proud to be able to share Jewish culture with the campus while working closely with other Jewish students. “It is very rewarding to share something I care about with the rest of the student body,” he said, “so being able to participate and encourage others to do so as well was my favorite part.”
The Max and Sylvia Weinstein Scholarship was established to offer an entering first-year student who identifies as Jewish a unique opportunity to develop their leadership development skills in Washington and Lee’s vibrant Jewish community. Each year, the group collaborates to offer a new program or event to the larger campus. Past Weinstein Scholar signature programs have included speakers and cooking classes with a notable Jewish cook.
Andrew Tartakovsky ’22, who has served as lead civic engagement intern and speaker’s chair for Hillel during his time on campus, expressed hope that the event would evolve into an annual tradition that highlights meaningful cultural exchange. “I really think that there is a lot to learn from exposing yourself to different cultures,” he said, “whether that be through their food, language, philosophy or any other facet. I really hope to see more of these cultural exchanges in the future, and I look forward to seeing the next generation of W&L student leaders taking the initiative to facilitate them.”
Huber said that the Weinstein Scholars wanted this year’s event to be bigger and more inclusive than past years’ events given the breadth of cultures represented in W&L’s student body.
“I think this campus is filled with opportunities like this to learn more about other cultures,” Huber said. “I would encourage others to keep an open mind and take purposeful initiative in learning more about different backgrounds.”