A Taste of the Peter H. Schweitzer Collection of Jewish Americana reveals different aspects of American Jewish life by looking at food and its practices in a range of settings: in the kitchen, during celebrations, at the deli. The exhibition explores the role food played in helping immigrant Jews adjust to life in the United States and illustrates how Jewish foods, like American Jews themselves, have become a part of the American mainstream.
The flavors of American Jewish life include dishes that American Jews brought with them, primarily from Eastern Europe, during the great immigration between 1880 and 1924; cuisine that Jews coming from other parts of the world ate regularly or created when they came to this country; and foods connected to Jewish rituals and practice.
The National Museum of American Jewish History recently acquired the Peter H. Schweitzer Collection of Jewish Americana. Consisting of nearly 10,000 items gathered over twenty-five years, the collection captures the daily lives of American Jews from the 1880s to the present. Objects among Rabbi Schweitzer’s findings have been displayed in numerous museums, but this is the first exhibition dedicated exclusively to these artifacts.