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Future of Jewish Food


ADMISSION: $8 Members; $16 general (includes Museum admission)

What might Jewish food look like in the age of lab-grown brisket, cricket-flour babka, and algae bagels? How will the rules of kashrut apply to foods that the rabbis never imagined? Professor Nathaniel Deutsch, Faculty Director of The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz, moderates a conversation between professor Rachel B. Gross, the John and Marcia Goldman Professor of American Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University; and Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft, author of Meat Planet: Artificial Flesh and the Future of Food, as they explore how we might approach our new food technologies. A selection of kosher food bites will be available before the program and are included in the ticket price. This event is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the UC Santa Cruz Center for Jewish Studies Annual Diller Lecture.

About the Speakers
Nathaniel Deutsch
Nathaniel Deutsch

Nathaniel Deutsch is a professor of history and director of The Humanities Institute and Center for Jewish Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he holds the Baumgarten Chair in Jewish Studies. Deutsch has written award-winning books on Gnosticism, Jewish mysticism, African American Islam and eugenics, and a Hasidic holy woman known as the Maiden of Ludmir. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship for The Jewish Dark Continent: Life and Death in the Russian Pale of Settlement. His forthcoming book (with Michael Casper), A Fortress in Brooklyn: Hasidic Williamsburg from White Flight to Gentrification, will be published by Yale University Press. 

Rachel Gross
Rachel B. Gross

Rachel B. Gross is an assistant professor and John and Marcia Goldman Chair in American Jewish Studies in the Department of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University. She is a scholar of religious studies whose work focuses on the lives, spaces, and objects of twentieth-century and contemporary American Jews. Her book, Beyond the Synagogue: Jewish Nostalgia as Religious Practice, is forthcoming from New York University Press in January 2021.

Ben Wurgaft
Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft

Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft is a writer, historian, and visiting assistant professor of history and social studies at Wesleyan University. His books include Thinking in Public: Strauss, Levinas, Arendt and the recently-published Meat Planet: Artificial Flesh and the Future of Food. Trained as an intellectual historian of modern Europe, Wurgaft has also written about food for magazines and newspapers since the early 2000s, and is keenly interested in food and the important philosophical, anthropological, and political questions it raises.


The CJM strives for a welcoming environment for all of our visitors. In addition to ample space for wheelchairs and a friendly environment for service animals, sign language interpretation (ASL) can be scheduled for all programs with at least two weeks notice.

FM assistive listening devices (ALDs) for sound enhancement are available for all talks and tours. Please note that we would like to maintain this as a scent-free environment, and encourage visitors to refrain from using scented products out of respect for visitors with allergies or chemical sensitivities. For additional accommodation requests, please contact The CJM’s Access and Community Engagement Manager at or 415-655-7856.


Public Programs at The CJM are made possible thanks to generous support from Grants for the Arts and the Walter & Elise Haas Fund.