From a Polish Shtetl to a New York Institution
Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum, NYC
Co-chairs: Danielle Capalino, Danielle Rehfeld Colen, Susan Fromm, Shari Levy, & Liz Rueven
What does HOME mean in the Jewish communal narrative? In conversation moderated by Liz Rueven, Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper, the fourth generation co-owners of Russ & Daughters will share how the idea of home has shaped Jewish cuisine over the generations.
Join JDC Ambassadors for a mouthwatering exploration of the Russ family’s culinary voyage from Strzyżów, Poland to the Lower East Side, the Upper East Side, Brooklyn, and beyond. Niki Russ Federman and Joss Russ Tupper will discuss their family’s story and personal journeys of how they came to join their family’s business. Russ & Daughters is a fourth generation family business that has helped sustain the body and soul of Jewish life in New York City for over 103 years.
Niki Russ Federman
4th Generation Co-owner of Russ & Daughters
Niki Russ Federman was pretty much born in a herring barrel, with a sharp knife in her hand and a penchant for caviar. Educated at Amherst College, Niki worked in a variety of professions — from the art world to international development — before realizing that her appetite was fulfilled by continuing her family’s 103-year-old culinary legacy at Russ & Daughters: the landmark appetizing shop known for the best bagels, lox, caviar, herring, babka and other traditional baked goods and smoked fish. Today, along with her cousin Josh Russ Tupper, she owns and runs Russ & Daughters, Russ & Daughters Cafe, Russ & Daughters Bagels & Bakery, Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum, and the forthcoming Russ & Daughters at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Niki has been featured in a variety of media, including The New York Times, NPR, Food Network, The New Yorker, Martha Stewart, Travel Channel, and Vogue. She is also one of the subjects of The Sturgeon Queens, a PBS documentary about Russ & Daughters. Niki is a board member of the Lower East Side Business Improvement District and Chair of the Friends of the Educational Alliance. She is fluent in several languages, but alas, Yiddish is not one of them. In 2016, Niki was named one of Crain’s New York Business’s “40 Under 40.”
Josh Russ Tupper
4th Generation Co-owner of Russ & Daughters
In 2009 Josh Russ Tupper took ownership of Russ & Daughters along with his cousin Niki Russ Federman. In 2014 they opened Russ & Daughters Cafe (on Orchard Street, near where their great grandfather founded the business out of a herring barrel and pushcart a century ago). They have begun baking their own bagels, babka, and traditional Jewish breads at Russ & Daughters Bagels and Bakery, and in the Spring of 2016, they opened Russ & Daughters at The Jewish Museum (a kosher restaurant and retail appetizing counter). In 2018, they will open Russ & Daughters at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Josh started his career as an engineer, working in semiconductors, before moving to New York City to continue his family’s 103-year-old culinary and cultural legacy. Josh has appeared on TV on Martha Stewart, in Louis CK’s Louie, and in the feature film Lola Versus, as well being featured in a variety of media outlets, including The New York Times, NPR, Food Network, The New Yorker, Travel Channel, and Vogue. He is also one of the subjects of The Sturgeon Queens, a documentary about Russ & Daughters that has aired at film festivals worldwide and on PBS.
Founder and Editor of Kosher Like Me
Liz Rueven is founder and editor of the food blog, Kosher Like Me, providing a resource for food enthusiasts who nosh like she does. Her readers are health-minded, kosher keeping or vegetarian/pescatarian eaters who live locavore lifestyles and eat in step with the seasons. Kosher Like Me provides readers with a tempting array of unique seasonal recipes, holiday inspiration, restaurant, book and product reviews and profiles of food innovators.
Tickets: $54 per person, includes drinks and a delicious Russ & Daughters tasting menu.
About Russ & Daughters
Purveyors of the highest quality smoked fish, caviar, and specialty foods, Russ & Daughters is New York’s premier appetizing shop. Since 1914, this landmark New York City institution has been continuously owned and operated by four generations of the Russ family. In the same spot on East Houston Street, and run by the same family for 103 years, Russ & Daughters continues to provide the tastes and traditions of a true New York experience. In 2014, upon the 100th anniversary of Russ & Daughters, 4th Generation Owners Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman opened Russ & Daughters Cafe – a restaurant on Orchard Street, the street where their great grandfather peddled herring from a barrel and a pushcart. In 2016, Russ & Daughters opened a new space combining a take-out appetizing counter and restaurant: Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum. 2016 also saw the launch of Russ & Daughters Bagels & Bakery, where Russ & Daughters makes all of its own bagels, bialys, shissel rye bread, pumpernickel, babka, black and white cookies, challah, and other traditional baked goods. In 2018, Russ & Daughters at the Brooklyn Navy Yard will open: featuring a 17,000 square foot hub for the company’s food-making, baking, and shipping, an event space, and a retail counter.
Niki and Josh Russ, and Russ & Daughters, have been honored with awards from the New York City Mayor’s Office, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, The Foundation for Jewish Culture, and State Senator Daniel Squadron who introduced a resolution that was unanimously passed by the New York State Senate “Commending Russ and Daughters upon the occasion of celebrating its 100th Anniversary.”
Russ & Daughters has received praise in countless national and international publications, and the Russ & Daughters Cafe was named #2 on Pete Wells’s New York Times list of “The 10 Best New Restaurants of 2014.” Russ & Daughters has been featured in the PBS documentaries: The Jews of New York and The Sturgeon Queens — highlighting the contributions of multiple generations of the Russ family during the past century. The Sturgeon Queens, an independent feature documentary by Director Julie Cohen, has received many outstanding accolades and has also been screened and honored at prestigious film festivals across the country and around the world.
Joel Russ, an Eastern European immigrant who arrived in America in 1907, started the business from a herring barrel and a pushcart to cater to the throngs of Jewish immigrants settling in New York City’s Lower East Side. In 1920, he opened his store at 179 East Houston Street, after a few years of operating out of a storefront around the corner. He renamed the business “Russ & Daughters,” after his three daughters who joined him as the second generation in the business. Mark Russ Federman succeeded as the 3rd Generation, and is now retired. Mark Russ Federman is the author of a celebrated memoir: Russ & Daughters: The House That Herring Built (published by Schocken/Random House).
Russ & Daughters is owned and operated by the 4th Generation of the Russ family: Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper.
For more information on this and upcoming events, email us at ambassadors@JDC.org.
Photo credit: Russ & Daughters