A Lecture on the History of the Jewish Deli Tonight
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I’ll be in New York in less than a week doing preparation for the upcoming Fuck the Recession Party, and you know what I’m most looking forward to? New York Jewish deli. Seriously, there’s NONE in San Francisco. Well at least no good deli. I mean really, have you ever had a pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Deli? It will forever change the way you look at sandwich meat. And for once I’m not exaggerating. I’m forever saddened by the fact that the closest place to get good deli is Los Angeles. Heartbreaking, I know.
Ted Merwin, a scholar of American Jewish culture, will discuss his forthcoming book, Homeland of the Jewish Soul: A History of the Jewish Deli. Merwin suggests that the deli occupied a status on par with the synagogue as a communal gathering space; as such it became a primary place for Jews to strengthen their connections with their roots and simultaneously move into the mainstream of American society. The overstuffed deli sandwich, named after the celebrities of the day and served in New York’s theater district, thus became a tangible symbol of their reach for the American Dream.
Damn, just reading that paragraph makes me hungry, in a kosher kind of way.
Lecture on the History of the Jewish Deli
BJE Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis St. @ Pierce [Western Addition]