SPARK – The Good Old Days
2 Lake Street, San Francisco, CA
The Good Old Days: Buying and Selling American Jewish Nostalgia
Today, American Jews make, buy, and sell nostalgia, a sentimental longing for a past that cannot be recovered. This course will examine how American Jews express nostalgia for eastern European Jewish immigration history and connect to it emotionally through visiting historic American synagogues, buying children’s books and dolls, and consuming trendy interpretations of Ashkenazi cuisine.
Educator: Rachel B. Gross is the John and Marcia Goldman Professor of American Jewish Studies in the Department of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University. She writes and teaches about American Jewish food and popular culture. She is currently working on a book that examines the religious nature of contemporary nostalgic representations of American Jewish immigration history. She received her PhD from Princeton University.