THE HUMUSIYA: Feeding your roots

by | May 18, 2023 | Other News

They say, “we are what we eat.”  Maybe this is because food is more than just the building blocks of our physical body. . .it is also feeds our spirit.  It reflects our emotions, “I need something fried today!”  our attitude, “I am feeling bold and spicy!” and our joy, “We have to celebrate with something sweet!”   What would Jewish holidays be without food?!?  It just has this unmatched ability to transport us to a place within ourselves.

We are also “who we eat with.”  In addition to the aromas and flavors of food, the company and conversation associated with meals can be just as important.  Jews are a people, not only a religion, so just as we pray within a minyan, shouldn’t we also eat together?

The Humusiya is bringing the culinary soul of Israel to Hampton Roads.  Its website,, is live, and its daily menu is posted at the Cardo Cafe’ at the Sandler Family Campus.  Monday through Friday, 9 am until 2 pm, The Humusiya is open with sit-down or take away service, along with DoorDash delivery.  In addition to the daily menu, requests for special catering are possible via the website.

It is hoped that this food will bring people together from all walks of life:  secular, religious, Jewish, and non-Jewish. The unaffiliated will have a chance to connect to their heritage as well as increase their exposure to Jewish culture.   Plus, it could be a unique bonus for visiting the JCC or becoming a member.

Recently, my non-Jewish best friend, a good southern boy, told me he would like to get to know the Jewish community better.  He asked if I would take him to synagogue, but “not for the service, only for the food afterwards.”

A Humusiya, in this case, is exactly what my friend is looking for.  Perhaps, in these times, when so much about Jews and Israel are misunderstood, it could raise greater familiarity with the community and awareness of its perspective.

If I learned anything from my time in Israel, it is that our Jewish experience is so much more natural and meaningful when it is blended into our everyday life.  If we do this right, maybe we can foster a new way of connecting to and sharing our Jewish identities while being a model for other Jewish communities in the diaspora.

Looking forward to serving you soon!

Eitan Altschuler