YINR – Initiative for Jewish Studies to Bring Dr. Nora Rubel via Zoom


May 7, 2024    
8:15 pm - 9:15 pm

Event Type

Women’s Initiative for Jewish Studies (WIJS) at the Young Israel of New Rochelle is proud to present Dr. Nora Rubel on Tuesday, May 7, 2024 @ 8:15 pm (ET) on Zoom.  Rubel will be the eighth and final speaker of the 2023-2024 season in the monthly scholarly programming offered by WIJS at YINR.

Dr. Rubel’s lecture is entitled: “A ‘Jewish’ Joy of Cooking? How a Twentieth-Century Cookbook Containing Frog’s Legs, Snails, and Ham Became a Beloved Jewish Icon.”

This lecture examines the ways that the 20th-century cookbook, The Way to a Man’s Heart: The Settlement Cook Book, became a beloved Jewish icon. Filled with non-kosher recipes, the cookbook has been called “unabashedly Jewish” and “a Jewish Joy of Cooking” by generations of reviewers and cooks, yet dismissed as Jewish “by association only” by some historians. Evidence suggests that the early devotees of the Settlement Cook Book were overwhelmingly Jewish, and that the heirloom quality of this book transcended generations leading to the perception of the book as a Jewish, albeit not Judaic, standard.  Drawing on close readings of recipes, nostalgic references in memoirs and fiction, as well as secondary sources that catalog the cookbook as “Jewish,” Dr. Rubel will analyze the ways in which a cookbook can be coded as such, despite having no direct references to Jews or Judaism.

Nora Rubel is the Jane and Alan Batkin Professor in Jewish Studies and Chair of the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester. Rubel teaches and writes on a wide variety of topics related to gender, race and ethnicity in American religion, particularly in relation to food and popular culture. She is the author of Doubting the Devout: The Ultra-Orthodox in the Jewish American Imagination (Columbia University Press 2009), co-editor of Religion, Food and Eating in North America (CUP 2014) and the forthcoming Blessings Beyond the Binary: Transparent and the Queer Jewish Family. She is currently completing a monograph entitled Recipes for the Melting Pot: The Lives of The Settlement Cook Book.

All WIJS programming is open to women and men.  Please visit www.yinr.org/wijs.html to view the complete WIJS 2023-24 schedule.  For more information, to be added to the WIJS email list, or for Zoom information, please call 914-636-2215 or email: wijs@yinr.org.  Individuals on the WIJS mailing list will automatically receive the Zoom information.