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Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli

Ted Merwin

For much of the twentieth century, the New York Jewish deli was an iconic institution in both Jewish and American life. As a social space it rivaled—and in some ways surpassed—the synagogue as the primary gathering place for the Jewish community. Ultimately, upwardly mobile American Jews discarded the deli as they transitioned from outsider to insider status in the middle of the century. Now contemporary Jews are returning the deli to cult status as they seek to reclaim their cultural identities.

Ted Merwin, Ph.D. is a well-known professor, blogger, journalist, humorist, collector and public intellectual. Ted is one of the foremost authorities on Judaism in America. He is the author of two acclaimed books: In Their Own Image: New York Jews in Jazz Age Popular Culture, and Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli, winner of the 2015 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Education and Jewish Identity.

The lecture is sponsored by Ithaca College’s Jewish Studies Program and is free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Rebecca Lesses, Coordinator of Jewish Studies, at or (607) 274-3556. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact her by email or phone. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.


Time and Place
October 25, 2018, 7:30 pm
Ithaca College, Textor 101