(New York Jewish Week) — My hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is world-famous for precisely two things: It’s where the University of Michigan is located — Go Blue! — and it is home to Zingerman’s, a 41-year-old Jewish deli that’s both a local icon and a national treasure that regularly makes “best of” lists.
And now, one of these storied institutions will make an appearance in New York City for one day, and one day only — and it’s not the well-regarded public university.
On Saturday, Zingerman’s Deli will host a pop-up at Chelsea’s Olly Olly Market, where the Midwestern deli masters will be slinging sandwiches from noon to 8 p.m., or until sold out. There, at 601 West 26th St. near 11th Avenue, New Yorkers can expect top-notch variations on the classic Reuben sandwich, the company’s signature enthusiastic customer service and a host of Zingerman’s-branded sides and merch.
“We had this thought about taking the Reubens on the road, just having some fun with it,” Rodger Bowser, head chef and a managing partner of Zingerman’s Deli, told the New York Jewish Week.
Saturday’s event will be the popular deli’s second-ever popup; their first was in Chicago in 2019 at a location run by 16” on Center, a Windy City-based “hospitality collective.” The experience, said Bowser, was an overwhelmingly positive one — and when 160C expanded to Manhattan last year with Olly Olly Market, the Zingermen decided to give it another go.
Zingerman’s Deli was founded in 1982 by Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig, “two friends who dreamt of creating a traditional Jewish deli that would bring very special foods to Ann Arbor,” according to their web site.
The pair, who are both Jewish, came up with the name Zingerman’s because they wanted something “that would convey the sense of a good local deli, something that would ‘sound Jewish,’ would somehow telegraph that this was a real delicatessen,” Weinzweig once wrote. (Weinzweig declined to use his own surname, calling it “unpronounceable,” while the name Saginaw evokes the mid-Michigan town from which it took Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel four days to hitchhike.)
Their concept was a hit, and over the decades, Zingerman’s resisted the siren call of expansion or franchising and instead evolved into a progressive-minded “community of businesses” across the Ann Arbor area. These include the consulting business Zingtrain, which shares “the ‘Zingerman’s experience’ with forward-thinking organizations”; Zingerman’s Bakehouse, making classic breads and pastries; a candy manufactory, a creamery, event spaces and more.
These days, “the Zingerman’s Experience is now made and delivered by nearly six hundred people — partners, managers and staff in ten different businesses in addition to the Deli — to the tune of roughly $60,000,000 in annual sales,” Weinzweig writes. (A prolific writer, the Chicago native and Russian history major pens regular newsletters and has authored several books, including “Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon: Stories of Pork Bellies, Hush Puppies, Rock ‘n’ Roll Music and Bacon Fat Mayonnaise” and the four-part “Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading: A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business.”)
Despite all that growth, popups remain a relatively new venture for Zingerman’s — and for Olly Olly Market, too. “We thought, what better time than our one-year anniversary to start introducing a little bit more of the Midwest to New York?” Tim Wickes, director of food hall operations at 160C, told the New York Jewish Week. Zingerman’s “jumped on it. So we’re fortunate and we’re super excited for the weekend.”
“We also know that there is a large population of Michiganders here in New York, University of Michigan alumni,” said Wickes, who lives in Brooklyn and is, tragically, an alumnus of rival Michigan State. “And we felt like the city would resonate well with that as our first of hopefully [pop-ups] from Chicago and the Midwest in general.”
Initially the idea was “to bring the Zingerman’s gameday experience to as many people as we can in New York,” Bowser said of Saturday’s event. (The Wolverines play the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday night.) “Clearly we have a pretty good fan base there that always can’t get to Ann Arbor for a game. And we just want to share that experience and have some fun.”
As anyone who ever worked at Zingerman’s attest — and that includes me: Working at Zingerman’s is practically a rite of passage for “townies” — and football game days are especially busy day at an already busy place; lines are long and the wait for sandwiches can exceed an hour.
Since the game and the open-to-the-public popup won’t overlap, the Zingerpeople are also selling tickets “to an exclusive tailgate experience with guaranteed seats and sandwiches.”
As for the six sandwich types on sale, all are Reubens or riffs on them, “what we like to call the Russian dressing group,” Bowser said. Among them is the deli’s most popular sandwich, the #2 Zingerman’s Reuben — made with corned beef, Swiss Emmental cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on grilled Jewish rye bread, a combination that former President Barack Obama described as “killer” — as well as the #18 Georgia Reuben, with turkey breast, Swiss Emmental cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing.
Bowser, who was a vegetarian when he started working at the deli 28 years ago, will also be making “a personal favorite”: #36 Lila & Izzie’s Skokie Skidoo, a vegetarian Reuben consisting of Swiss Emmental cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing on grilled farm bread.
As it happens, the Reuben’s origins lie neither in New York nor Ann Arbor: Legend has it the legendary sandwich was invented in an Omaha hotel in the 1920s “to satisfy a group of hungry Jewish poker players,” according to The Nosher.
To bring Zingerman’s Reubens to NYC, Bowser and his team will be driving two trucks packed with food and supplies from Ann Arbor to Manhattan — a distance of 621 miles, or 9 hours and 24 minutes in traffic at the time of this writing. “Obviously you can’t make a Zingerman’s sandwich without Zingerman’s Bakehouse bread,” said Bowser. “And it’s gonna take quite a few loaves of that.”
Bowser estimated the road crew of three will likely leave on Thursday, which would give them a day to set up the space on Friday. (Three other Zingerman’s employees will travel by plane.)
When asked if he had any qualms about bringing deli sandwiches to the birthplace of American deli culture — a place whose denizens are known to be “kind” but not exactly “nice” — Bowser demurred. “I’m not throwing shade at anybody,” he said, emphasizing the main impetus was to have a fun time.
Wickes concurs. Acknowledging that New York “is the mecca of Reuben sandwiches,” he said the pop-up will have a “humble approach.” “We’re certainly in tune with the fact that there’s plenty of fantastic Reubens in the city,” he said. “We just wanted to showcase Zingerman’s.”
As for Bowser, he conceded to one possible challenge: “Navigating two big trucks though traffic sounds daunting,” he said. “But I’m sure we’ll figure it out.”
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‘We Are Tearing It Apart’: Half of Hamas Battalion Commanders Killed, Netanyahu Says
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday evening that Israel has successfully eliminated half of Hamas’ battalion commanders during the Israel-Hamas war.
The Palestinian terror group, which launched the current war in Hamas-ruled Gaza with its Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, is known to have 24 battalions.
“Hamas wanted to tear us apart; we are tearing it apart,” Netanyahu said.
The Israeli premier added that Gaza will “never again pose a threat to Israel.”
Netanyahu has refused to expand on Israel’s desired “day after” security situation in Gaza once the war ends, but he has maintained that Israel will need to maintain a robust security presence in the Palestinian enclave.
Gaza “must be demilitarized,” he said. “And the only force that can ensure this is the IDF [Israel Defense Forces]. No international force can be responsible for this … I’m not prepared to close my eyes and accept any other arrangement.”
Estimates put the number of Hamas terrorists killed during the war at between 2,000 and 5,000.
Israel has been engaged in some of the heaviest fighting of the war in recent days, as forces enter the Hamas strongholds of Khan Younis and Shujaiyeh in Gaza.
Arab media sources have reported that Israeli tanks are advancing on the city from both the north and the east.
Israeli intelligence sources believes that Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif may be hiding in southern Gaza.
The post ‘We Are Tearing It Apart’: Half of Hamas Battalion Commanders Killed, Netanyahu Says first appeared on Algemeiner.com.
Susan Sarandon Dropped From Indie Film Consideration After Comments About Israel, Jews at ‘Free Palestine’ Rally
An indie film production company announced this week its decision to no longer work with American actress Susan Sarandon after she made inflammatory comments about Israel and Jews at a “Free Palestine” rally last month.
“As a company, PTO Films would like to make it clear that Susan Sarandon’s views do not reflect the opinions of our organization,” David Barroso, the co-founder of the indie film production company, told Page Six. “We were considering her for a short film, but due to her recent statements, we have decided to pursue other options.”
Barroso added that although PTO Films was pursuing the Oscar winner, 77, to play a part in their short film, there were never any formal “negotiations with her.” Another actress has not been cast yet to take on the role since the production has “fallen behind schedule,” he said.
Speaking at a pro-Palestinian rally in New York City last month, Sarandon accused Israel of war crimes and compared Hamas’ massacre of civilians in southern Israel on Oct. 7 to the difficulties Palestinians are facing in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
“So many people don’t understand the context in which this Oct. 7 assault happened,” said the Thelma & Louis star, trying to explain the Hamas massacre in which Palestinian terrorists murdered 1,200 people and kidnapped 240 others. “They don’t understand the history of what has been happening to the Palestinian people for 75 years … it’s time that Palestine be free.”
The actress also said, “There are a lot of people that are afraid, that are afraid of being Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country.” She apologized for her comments about Jews on Saturday but did not mention her remarks about Israel.
Sarandon was set to appear in PTO Films’ short movie Slipping Away as Dr. Sylvia Mansfield, according to Page Six, which reported that the film was mentioned over the weekend on the actress’ IMDB page in her “upcoming” projects list under “pre-production,” but has since been removed. The thriller is about a schizophrenic who “struggles with his own psychosis and his wife’s extramarital affair as the lines between his violent hallucinations and reality become increasingly blurred,” according to the film’s description on IMDB. Her role in the film was reported on in 2018.
This is the second hit to Sarandon’s career following her comments at the “Free Palestine” rally. She was also dropped as a client by United Talent Agency.
Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, Sarandon has shared a number of anti-Israel posts on social media. Even after the scandal following her comments at the rally in November, she has continued to criticize the Jewish state online. In one such message, shared on Tuesday on X/Twitter, she reposted a tweet that accused Israel of carrying out “a deliberate campaign of terror” in the Gaza Strip.
The War Against Israel Came to My Campus, But We Won’t Be Silenced
On Wednesday, November 15, the Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO) hosted an educational event in the university’s lecture hall with a pro-Israel speaker from StandWithUs. As members of the BUZO executive board arrived to prepare the space for the event, they were met with a shocking sight: The room was littered with posters and flyers denouncing Israel and Zionism.
This wasn’t surprising. Since the horrific attack on southern Israel by Hamas on October 7, and the subsequent war against Hamas, anti-Zionist student groups at BU, including Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), have participated in a campaign to disseminate anti-Israel propaganda on campus.
While we can’t prove who placed the anti-Israel propaganda flyers in the lecture hall, it is undeniable that these student groups have contributed to a hostile climate on campus.
One of the flyers pasted across the lecture hall stated the following, “the brave students standing up for Palestine are taking action, united and intransigent, against a US-backed genocide.”
The lie that Israel is committing “genocide” is a common trope deployed by haters of Israel. An October 9th statement by the Binghamton University SJP chapter makes a similar assertion, calling the October 7th Hamas massacre the result of “more than 75 years of ethnic cleansing,” among other falsehoods.
Israel is not committing genocide in Gaza. Israel has one goal: to eliminate the threat of Hamas so that October 7th can never happen again. It is Hamas that intentionally places civilians in harm’s way. For instance, Hamas put tunnels and a command center underneath Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Since taking over the Gaza Strip in 2007, the terrorist group has used schools, homes, mosques, and hospitals for military purposes.
This constitutes a major war crime because it places Palestinian civilians, including those hospitalized, at risk. Hamas is entirely responsible for the practice of using civilians as human shields. Hamas has even tried to stop Palestinians from leaving the war zone. They must be held accountable for the loss of civilian lives, not Israel.
In fact, Israel does everything that it can to minimize civilian casualties, including ensuring the migration of Palestinian civilians to the southern Gaza Strip last month to reduce the number of casualties; warning civilians to flee areas and buildings that it intends to bomb; and conducting targeted strikes on military targets, such as locations where Hamas is storing weapons and firing rockets into Israel.
If Israel wanted to commit genocide, it would not take measures to protect Palestinian civilians. What’s more, the Palestinian population has drastically increased over the past few decades. As authors such as Daniel Pomerantz have noted, Israel has actually shown remarkable restraint in Gaza. If it wanted to target civilians, it could kill untold numbers of innocent people. But that is not what the Jewish state is doing.
On the other hand, Hamas blatantly states that its goal is the genocide of Jews in Israel. Hamas has said that October 7 was part of this plan, and that it hopes to repeat the attack.
Hamas targeted Jewish-majority communities solely for being Jewish, and had they not been stopped by the Israel Defense Forces, they would have killed thousands more. In fact, in a November t video, a Hamas official stated, “We will repeat October 7th again and again until Israel is annihilated.”
Israel is in an extremely unfair position. If the Jewish state defends itself against Hamas, it will be condemned; if they do nothing, its citizens will be slaughtered.
Israel rightly chooses to defend itself and rescue its people from the clutches of an evil terrorist group that is as reprehensible as the Nazis.
It’s ironic that SJP calls Israel’s response to Hamas’ crimes a “genocide,” but has remained silent on the nature of the massacre committed on October 7th. Israel protects civilians; Hamas targets them. There is no equivalence between the two.
Another one of the flyers posted at Binghamton read, “Stop the witch hunt of pro-Palestine activists in universities!”
This is a fallacy, considering that pro-Palestinian “activists” are prevalent on college and university campuses. In fact, much of this “activism” crosses the line into antisemitism. We have witnessed the justification of terror, the attempted burning and desecration of Israeli flags, the praising acts of violence against Jews, the propagation of antisemitic tropes, and the targeting of Jewish and pro-Israel students on campus.
A few campuses, including Brandeis University, have taken SJP’s threat seriously by banning them. Unfortunately, anti-Israel sentiment and aggressive action continue to thrive on American college campuses. At Tulane University, pro-Israel students were physically assaulted as they were counter-protesting an anti-Israel demonstration.
At Cornell University, a student was arrested for posting horrifically violent antisemitic threats on a student chat platform. He threatened to “bring an assault rifle to campus and shoot all of you pig jews.” On October 25, Jewish students at the Cooper Union sheltered in a library as pro-Palestinian students banged on the doors and shouted common anti-Israel cries.
This has led to major Jewish donors distancing themselves from the universities they previously supported. One such philanthropist is Henry Swieca, who asserted, “With blatantly anti-Jewish student groups and professors allowed to operate with complete impunity, it sends a clear and distressing message that Jews are not just unwelcome, but also unsafe on campus.” Administrators, students, and fellow donors should heed this warning and be mindful about how their institutions fund or support SJP.
The investigation into the lecture hall’s propaganda display at my school is ongoing. So, too, is the tension felt on campus between the Zionist and anti-Israel camps. I call on all of the anti-Israel groups at Binghamton University to root out this kind of behavior, and identify and bring those involved in this despicable act to justice.
Aviad Levy is a Senior at Binghamton University, and a CAMERA Fellow for the 2023-2024 academic year.
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