Chosen Food: Cuisine, Culture and American Jewish Identity (4 sessions)

Date: October 7, 2014  - Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Merage JCC
Contact: Geri DormanPhone: (949) 435-3400 ext. 303Email:

Tuesdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. • Four Lunch & Learns, Oct. 7-28

Do you eat Chinese food on Christmas? Bagels when you visit New York? Deli platters at a Jewish funeral? Do you ever think about the cultural messages in your meals? This series explores the convergence of Jewish food and Jewish identity. We will examine Jewish foods as symbolic markers of identity, reveal historical and invented American Jewish food traditions, and discuss the ethics of eating. Each lecture concludes with a luncheon reflecting the day's topic.

JCC Members: $130, Public: $140. Includes 4 lectures and 4 kosher lunches.

October 7

Eat, Pray, Learn: Food and Religion in American Jewish Life
Luncheon experience: dairy kiddush

October 14

Shalom Hunan: An Historical Exploration of American Jews and Chinese Food
Luncheon experience: Chinese, of course!

October 21

It's Deli-cious: The Past, Present and Future of the American Jewish Deli
Luncheon experience: traditional deli with a modern twist

October 28

Food for Thought: Jewish Environmentalism and Food Justice
Luncheon experience: sustainable, fresh and organic


Joellyn Zollman holds a Ph.D. in Jewish history from Brandeis University. She has worked with the Jewish material culture collections at the Smithsonian Institution, the Skirball Museum, and The American Jewish Historical Society. Locally, she has taught classes on Jewish history, American religion, and religious art and architecture at San Diego State University, UCSD, and the Center for Jewish Culture.