Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli

Presented by
Ted Merwin, PhD

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.

Merwin, an associate professor of religion and Judaic studies at Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA) and a well-known writer on Jewish culture, will show how the Jewish 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 film, TV, music and comedy about the Jewish experience, from “When Harry Met Sally” to a Shelley Berman routine about a rebellious son of a Chicago deli owner.

Saturday, December 15, 2012
at 10:00 am
Kendall College, School of Culinary Arts
900 N. North Branch Street, Chicago
(West of Halsted Street, North of Chicago Avenue)
Free Parking
Cost: $3, Free to Kendall students and faculty with ID.

This program is hosted by the Chicago Foodways Roundtable. To reserve, please call (847) 432-8255(847) 432-8255 or, then leave your name, telephone number and how many people in your party or e-mail: