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Adult Ed Guest Scholar - Homeland for the Jewish Soul: The Jewish Deli in America

Sunday, December 6, 2020 20 Kislev 5781

10:45 AM - 11:45 AM

In Chicago, New York, L.A., and other American cities, the delicatessen was the lifeblood and the linchpin of the Jewish community. The "soul food" and atmosphere it dished up became a quintessential part of American culture for Jews and non-Jews alike.  But as Jews moved into the suburban middle class, the deli lost its bite, giving way to other ethnic restaurants and cuisines. Can the deli be resurrected?

Dr. Merwin will show how the deli, which originated in Germany and Eastern Europe, developed in this country into a neighborhood institution on par with the synagogue. He will also discuss how the deli became an icon of TV shows and films about the Jewish experience, ranging from John Belushi's "Samurai Deli" on SNL to Rob Reiner's When Harry Met Sally.

Ted Merwin is a native New Yorker who now lives in Baltimore. A former professor and Hillel Director at Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pennsylvania), he is the author of two books: In Their Own Image: New York Jews in Jazz Age Popular Culture and Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Delicatessen, which won a National Jewish Book Award. He is currently researching the evolution of the U.S.-Israel relationship through representations of the Jewish State in film, TV, photography, music, and other forms of pop culture.

This event pairs well with takeout from a local deli. Here are a few Temple staff favorites:

Kaufman's (Skokie)
Manny's (South Loop)
The Bagel (Lakeview)
Steingold's (North Center) 
Eleven City Diner (South Loop) 
Milt’s Kosher BBQ (Lakeview)
Jeff & Jude’s
Homestead Meats
Sam and Gerties (Vegan Jewish Deli, Uptown) 
JB's Deli (Andersonville)




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Thu, December 3 2020 17 Kislev 5781