European Summer University for Jewish Studies
"Enjoy Your Meal! On the Significance of Food"June 30 – July 5, 2019

An event organized by the Department of Jewish History and Culture, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich; the Institute of Jewish Studies, University of Basel; the Center for Jewish Cultural History, University of Salzburg; the Institute of Jewish Studies, University of Vienna; the Chair of Jewish Studies, Otto Friedrich University Bamberg; and the Sigi Feigel Professorship for Jewish Studies, University of Zurich—in collaboration with the Jewish Museum Hohenems.

Are you what you eat? – Not only in Jewish history did food always have a highly symbolic and identity-establishing dimension. This applies not only to religious dietary laws, ethnic specialties, local traditions, or offers of identity for migrants. Nostalgic communities of shared memories are created through dishes and beverages, yet, belonging and distinction is also expressed on an individual level.

The kashrut laws have stirred the imagination of both Jews and non-Jews alike and given rise to varied speculations about symbols of coexistence and health, nutritional physiology and religious beliefs. Similarly, they have brought about crosscurrents, also within Judaism itself, all the way to the deliberate violation of the dietary laws as a political statement. At the same time, it seems difficult to talk about a “Jewish kitchen”. Rather, we might talk about a Jewish twist on the Arab or Eastern European, American, Persian, or Italian kitchen.

From June 30 until July 5, 2019, the 11th European Summer University for Jewish Studies Hohenems will delve—as usual from a broad interdisciplinary perspective—into the social, economic, religious, and cultural meanings of dishes and foods, their passing on by way of cookbooks and oral tradition, their trade and—frequently as “woman’s work” defined and, at the same time, male-controlled—preparation, their diverse symbolic worlds and their applications in everyday life in various societies.

The Summer University for Jewish Studies Hohenems is open to students of all disciplines. Students of Jewish Studies at the participating universities—Munich, Basel, Salzburg, Vienna, Bamberg, and Zurich—will be granted preferential admission.

Summer University 2019—Public Events:

Sun 30 June 2019, 2.30 p.m.
Awi Blumenfeld (Wien):
Ma nishtana… was ist der Unterschied…? Gedanken über Essen, Juden und den kleinen Unterschied! (in German) more 

Sun 30 June 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Ellen Presser (München):
Heymisches Essn, Loizelach und Majselach rund um die Polnisch-jüdische Küche (in German) more 

Tue 2 July 2019, 8 p.m.
Michael Wex (Toronto):
Who Says it has to Taste Good. How Food Becomes Jewish (in English) more 

Thu 4 July 2019, 8 p.m.
Smadar Sheffi (Tel Aviv):
Fusion. Representation of Food in Israeli Art as Signifier of Myth and Identity (in English) more 

All lectures will take place in the Salomon Sulzer Saal, Schweizer Str. 21, Hohenems.

Cover photo: © Zoya Cherkassky