July 2016

Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli
by Ted Merwin '90

Patrami on Rye cover

"Try reading Ted Merwin's new book, Pastrami on Rye without having your mouth water. Merwin offers plenty of delicious descriptions as he traces how delis rose up first as take-out services for Jewish immigrants, to gathering places for Jewish communities, to symbols of integration — as pastrami piled high became popular nationwide."- New York Post

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. In popular culture it has been the setting for classics like When Harry Met Sally. And today, after a long period languishing in the trenches of the hopelessly old-fashioned, it is experiencing a nostalgic resurgence.