Camp cooks kosher foods from around the world: Recipes cater to vegetarians, avoid nuts and seeds

Most kids love to cook, but many cooking camps don’t take into consideration Jewish dietary laws and food sensitivities. That leaves some Jewish children unable to participate in culinary summer camps.

Mindy Myers (left) helps kids make cookies at a winter session of Cooking Round the World Camp at Temple Israel.

That’s not the case with Cooking Round the World Camp, which is expanding into two new locations this summer. “I want Jewish children to have an opportunity to cook healthy, delicious recipes without worrying about whether pork, shrimp, nuts or sesame seeds will be added,” said Mindy Myers, who started the camp with 10 kids last summer at Alameda’s Temple Israel, where she is religious school principal.

Meyers first introduced cooking into the religious school curriculum as a way to broaden students’ cultural ties to Judaism and to make school more fun. “They went crazy,” she says, “they loved it!”

That led to the summer program at Temple Israel, which was such a success that two new locations have been added: at Kehilla Community Synagogue in Piedmont, and at Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito, where a vegetarian cooking camp will be offered.

The camp’s mission is for children to learn about countries around the world — and taste their food.

Each day children ages 7 to 13 cook 4 to 6 recipes from the day’s selected country. The El Cerrito camp’s recipes contain no treif. All recipes are vegetarian. All nuts, seeds and sesame oil are eliminated because of food allergies, and food is served on compostable plates.

Cooking Round the World Camp offers weekly sessions in June and August, starting June 18. For more information visit