For much of the 20th century, the New York Jewish deli was an iconic institution in both Jewish and American life–a kind of homeland for the soul…with pickles on the side. As a social space, it rivaled the synagogue as the primary gathering place for the Jewish community. Today, after decades of decline, the deli is experiencing a nostalgic resurgence. In addition, delis are featured in a plethora of plays, films, TV shows, songs and stand-up routines. From John Belushi’s “Samurai Deli” skit on SNL to Rob Reiner’s 1989 romantic comedy, “When Harry Met Sally,” the deli and its fare have been embraced by Jews and non-Jews alike as a delicious emblem of Jewish culture in America. Join Ted Merwin, author of Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli, for a delicious exploration of this favorite food genre.