Ted Merwin, Ph.D. has given more than a hundred public lectures on Jewish culture in the last several years. He is the author of In Their Own Image: New York Jews in Jazz Age Popular Culture, as well as of a forthcoming book on Jewish food, Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli.
“People fall into two distinct categories…people who like delicatessen and people who don’t like delicatessen. A man who is not touched by the earthy lyricism of hot pastrami, the pungent fantasy of corned-beef, pickles, frankfurters, the great lusty impertinence of good mustard—is a man of stone and without heart.”
–Herb Gardner, A Thousand Clowns
In addition to numerous scholarly articles in a broad array of academic journals, Ted has published journalistic articles in the New York Times (Arts and Leisure), Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Haaretz, Forward, Moment, Hadassah, and many other newspapers and magazines across the English-speaking world.
For the last fourteen years, Ted has penned a weekly theater column for the New York Jewish Week, the largest-circulation Jewish newspaper in the nation. (He has published more than 500 columns to date.) He now also writes a popular bimonthly “back of the book” column for the same paper; it investigates overarching themes in American Jewish culture.
Ted teaches religion & Judaic studies at Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA), where he is also the founding director of the Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life. His courses at Dickinson include “Jews and Food,” “Jews and Fashion,” and “Jews and Money.” He lives in Harrisburg, PA (3 hours from NYC, 2 hours from Philly and D.C., 75 minutes from Baltimore) with his wife (author Andrea Lieber) and three daughters.
Jewish Humor and Seinfeld
Ted Merwin on Jewish humor and food in “Seinfeld”