About Lea Zeltserman

Born in St. Petersburg back when it was Leningrad, I landed on the lucky side of history to grow up in Canada. I was raised between prairies and Rockies, in Edmonton, Alberta, and now call Toronto home. I'm a writer, speaker, and cultural observer on all things Soviet-Russian and Jewish — if it's about our immigration, food or history, I'm probably interested and I've definitely got something to say.

Published Work

My short essay, "The Secrets of Soviet Cuisine," is now in a book! It's included in The 100 Most Jewish Foods: A Highly Debatable List, out March 2019 from Tablet Magazine. Notable contributors include Joan Nathan, Ruth Reichl, Darra Goldstein, Yotam Ottolenghi, Michael Twitty, and many more.

My writing has appeared in Chatelaine, HeatedForward, Tablet, Today's Parent, Walrus, Saveur and others. I also write on tech, food, gender, and parenting.

Speaking & Events

You can also find me talking about Soviet/Russian-Jewish food, answering questions like 'why the nostalgia for sosiski (weiners),' 'why did Soviet-Jews stop keeping kosher,' and 'which Soviet-era salad scares children the most?'

Learn more about my speaking events, including upcoming virtual Russian cooking classes.

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Soviet Samovar, a monthly round-up of Russian-Jews news, events and culture. Sign up.

An oral history of the Soviet Jewish immigration in the pre-collapse period. This means mostly the 1970s, but stretching into the late '80s. Learn more and share your story.

In the Media

Interviewed for Contact Magazine on tensions between Russian and American Jews. Read it. (And read my op-ed for the Forward on the same issue.)

My interview with Shalom USA Radio in Baltimore on why Russian Jews don't want to hear about "being saved":

Read my interview with Jewcy.com, who named me to their "Big Jewcy" list a while back.

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