Jewish Food Symposium: Invited Panelists

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Symposium Registration Cooking Class Film Screenings Co-sponsors


Sunday, March 5:

Symposium with four panel sessions and Keynote Lecture

register-here-button9:30 am – 6:30 p.m. – four panel sessions and keynote lecture.

The Sunday, March 5 symposium is now sold out and has a wait list. Visit the registration page and click the green “ticket” button to be added to the wait list.

9:30-9:50am Registration with coffee and bagels for all registered attendees, catered by Bagel Bar.
9:50am Welcome
Terry Rhodes, Sr. Assoc. Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, UNC-CH
Panel 1
The Jewish Kitchen: History and Politics
Sit. Relax. We begin with a ‘nosh’ and conversation in the ‘kitchen’ (ok, we’re in a lecture hall, but we can pretend) with Jewish foodways scholars and writers to explore the core culinary ‘grammar’ of American Jewish cuisine that central and Eastern European Jewish immigrants adapted in the evolving consumer marketplace and racial landscapes of the United States.Panelists:
– Joan Nathan, food writer/journalist (Jewish Cooking in America, 1998);
– Nora Rubel, Associate Professor, University of Rochester, Recipes for the Melting Pot: Reading the Settlement Cook Book (forthcoming, Columbia University Press);
– Eve Jochnowitz, folklorist (NYC), Eastern European Jewish Foodways
– Laura Lieber, Associate Professor and Director of Jewish Studies, Duke University;
– Kelly Alexander, food writer/journalist, doctoral candidate in cultural anthropology, Duke University
11-11:15am Break
Panel 2
11:15am -12:15pm
The New American Deli: Reimagining Tradition
Take a number, and grab a seat. These three deli authorities—a visionary culinary entrepreneur, a kosher baker, and a historian—will consider the history and changing scene of the American Jewish delicatessen.Panelists:
– Ari Weinzweig, owner/founder, Zingerman’s, Ann Arbor, MI,
– Zak Stern, Zak the Baker, Miami, Florida,
– Ted Merwin, Associate Professor, Judaic Studies, Dickinson College (Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli, 2015).Moderator:
– Gabrielle Berlinger, Babette S. and Bernard J. Tanenbaum Fellow in Jewish History and Culture and Assistant Professor, American Studies, UNC-CH
Alright already. LUNCH. Provided on-site by Mediterranean Deli for all registered attendees. Plus, klezmer music entertainment by Lt. Blank and his Simcha Chimps.
Panel 3
2:00- 3:00pm
The Jewish Kitchen: Evolving Ingredients and Dishes
Have some more. Eat—again! Jewish foodways scholars and chefs discuss iconic foods and dishes at the center of Jewish American cuisine, examining the ways in which their preparation, consumption, commodification, region, and reinvention, have both nurtured and challenged Jewish social and religious cultural expression over time both at home and at restaurant tables.Panelists:
– Laura Silver, author of Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food (Brandeis, 2014);
– Ari Ariel, “Hummus Wars,” Visiting Professor, University of Iowa;
– Liz Alpern, co-founder, The Gefilteria, NYC (The Gefilte Manifesto, 2016);
– Pati Jinich, PBS chef/writer, Mexican-Jewish foodways (Mexico Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens, 2016)Moderators:
– Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, NPR radio/podcast documentary team, “The Kitchen Sisters,” have also been invited to create a podcast from the symposium.
3:00-3:15pm Break
Panel 4
The New American Deli, Global Southern-Style
You look hungry. Grab a pastrami biscuit.  Hear from an artisan pickler/preserver, our own Carrboro, NC-deli owners, and an African-American/Jewish culinary writer/historian as they consider the contemporary expression of Jewish global southern cuisine and its dynamic relation to taste, place, memory, race, cultural resilience, and creativity.Panelists:
– Matt Neal, chef/owner, Neal’s Deli, Carrboro, NC;
– April McGreger, chef/owner, Farmer’s Daughter Pickles and Preserves, Hillsborough, NC;
– Michael Twitty, culinary historian/writer (The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, forthcoming 2017).Moderator:
– Marcie Cohen Ferris, Professor, American Studies, UNC-CH.
Reception, on site, catered by Bagel Bar, for all registered attendees.
New York Times journalist Kim Severson will moderate an evening salon on contemporary American Jewish cuisine with special guests and James Beard award winners:
– Joan Nathan, author & NYT’s journalist, and
– Chef Alon Shaya of Shaya Restaurant, New Orleans, Louisiana.


FedExBuildingThe symposium will be held at the UNC FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.