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Holiday Hours: Memorial Day | Mon, May 27 | 11 am-5 pm

Upcoming Event

Author Talk: Ted Merwin, Pastrami on Rye

Wednesday, July 10, 2024 6pm

Location

  • Capital Jewish Museum
    575 3rd Street, NW, Washington, DC

Tickets

Free

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Noted historian and author, Ted Merwin, presents an interactive conversation on the ever-shifting place of the Jewish delicatessen in American life for members of the Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum. Become a member today to attend this members-only event.

For much of the 20th century, the corner Jewish deli was an iconic institution in both Jewish and American life—a kind of homeland for the soul, with pickles on the side. As a social space it rivaled the synagogue as the primary gathering place for the Jewish community. At the same time the deli became an icon in popular culture, featured in a plethora of plays, films, TV shows, songs, and stand-up routines. From John Belushi’s “Samurai Deli” skit on Saturday Night Live to Rob Reiner’s late-1980s rom-com, When Harry Met Sally, to the scenes in the Stage Deli in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the deli and its fare have been embraced by Jews and non-Jews alike as a delicious emblem of Jewish culture in America. But does the deli have a future in an age of health-consciousness, gourmet food trends, and fusion cuisine? And what, if anything, has taken the place of the deli as a “secular synagogue” for Jews to get together in a non-religious space?

 

This lecture is inspired by the special exhibition on view May 15 – August 20, 2024 at the Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum, I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli, organized and circulated by the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles. Learn more about the exhibition.

Partial support for the Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum’s presentation of “I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli is provided by Dr. Brown’s Beverage Company, L.P., Connie and Jay Krupin in memory of Mel Krupin, and Occasions Catering.

Support for CJM After Sunset, Family Day, and Salon Nights is provided in part by HumanitiesDC.

Media support provided by Nycci Nellis and The List Are You On It.

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