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Current Exhibition

“I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli

Snack at Manny’s Delicatessen, Chicago, IL, 2010. Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Location

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

Tickets

  • $15 Adult
  • $12 Ages 65+
  • $10 Ages 21-13
  • Free Ages 12 & Under
  • Free for Members

Tickets

‘No pickles? No deli’: archetypal American ‘secular Jewish space’ gains due regard    The Guardian

 

“I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli explores how American Jews imported traditions, adapted culture, and built community through the experience of food. In addition to showing how the Jewish deli forged an entirely new, quintessentially American cuisine by combining Central and Eastern European dishes with ingredients abundantly available in the United States, the exhibition traces the larger arc of the Jewish experience in the US during the twentieth century.

On view will be store signs, menus, advertisements, fixtures, historical footage, film and television clips, and artifacts that illuminate how delicatessens evolved from specialty stores catering to immigrant populations into the beloved national institutions they are today.

For the Washington, DC, presentation, the Capital Jewish Museum incorporates new research and works from its collection to highlight the local Jewish community’s contributions to deli culture. Additions to the galleries include photographs, menus, and ephemera from local Jewish-owned delicatessens.

The exhibition is organized into the following sections:

Food of Immigration

The Food

Mid-Century Heyday

No Substitutions

Who’s at the Table?

Survivor Communities

Pop Culture on Rye

Shifting Landscapes

DC & the Deli

Select Images

“I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli was co-curated by Skirball curators Cate Thurston and Laura Mart, and Lara Rabinovitch, renowned writer and producer, and specialist in immigrant food cultures.

The Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum’s presentation was coordinated by Lauren Hoffman, Curatorial Assistant, with Jonathan Edelman, Collections Curator.

Exhibition organized and circulated by the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

With Thanks to Our Sponsors:

Partial support for the exhibition is provided by Dr. Brown’s Beverage Company, L.P., Connie and Jay Krupin in memory of Mel Krupin, Melanie Nussdorf, Occasions Catering, and Windows Catering DC.

Support for CJM After Sunset, Family Day, and Salon Nights is provided in part by HumanitiesDC. Support for Salon Nights and the Lab Takeover with Jews United for Justice are provided in part by the Morse-Loeb Fund.

Associate Sponsor: Kol Foods

Media support provided by Nycci Nellis and TheListAreYouOnIt.com.

Related Programs

Anne Russ Federman serving customers at New York’s Russ & Daughters, with Hattie Russ Gold in the background, 1939. From the collection of Russ & Daughters.

Member Program

Members Previews for “I’ll Have What She’s Having: The Jewish Deli”

Saturday, May 11, 2024 11am–4 pm

Anne Russ Federman serving customers at New York’s Russ & Daughters, with Hattie Russ Gold in the background, 1939. From the collection of Russ & Daughters.

Member Program

Members Previews for “I’ll Have What She’s Having: The Jewish Deli”

Sunday, May 12, 2024 11am–4 pm

Member Program

Author Talk: Ted Merwin, Pastrami on Rye

Wednesday, July 10, 2024 6pm

Image credit: Jessie, Louis Belkov, Joe Adler, Abe Hofberg, Louis Maizel, and Ben inside Hofberg's Kosher Deli at 116 Kennedy Street, NW, 1943. Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum Collection. Gift of Ann Hofberg Richards.

Public Program

CJM After Sunset: Deli Nights  

Thursday, May 30, 2024 6–9 pm

Family Program

Family Day: Delicious Deli 

Sunday, June 2, 2024 9:30am–1 pm

Nycci Nellis, Host of the Industry Night podcast, January 2024

Drop-In Program

In Residence: Industry Night Podcast with Nycci Nellis

Thursday, May 16, 2024 2–3 pm

Nycci Nellis, Host of the Industry Night podcast, January 2024

Drop-In Program

In Residence: Industry Night Podcast with Nycci Nellis

Thursday, May 23, 2024 2–3 pm

Nycci Nellis, Host of the Industry Night podcast, January 2024

Drop-In Program

In Residence: Industry Night Podcast with Nycci Nellis

Thursday, May 30, 2024 2–3 pm

Nycci Nellis, Host of the Industry Night podcast, January 2024

Drop-In Program

In Residence: Industry Night Podcast with Nycci Nellis

Thursday, June 6, 2024 2–3 pm

Member Program

Meet & Greet with Nycci Nellis, host of the Industry Night podcast

Thursday, May 23, 2024 3–3:30 pm

A young volunteer with the DC Jewish Community Center works to assemble sandwiches at Martha's Table, 1993. Photograph by Lloyd Wolf. Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum Collection. Gift of the photographer.

Public Program

Salon Nights: Homemade Sandwiches for Good

Wednesday, August 7, 2024 6–8 pm