Deli Man is a documentary film produced and directed by Erik Greenberg Anjou. This is the third work in his trilogy about Jewish culture. The others are “A Cantor’s Tale” and “The Klezmatics – On Holy Ground,” which have screened at more than two hundred international film festivals and have been broadcast in the U.S., Israel, Canada and Poland. The principal guide of Deli Man is Ziggy Gruber, a third-generation delicatessen man, owner and maven (as well as a Yiddish-speaking French trained chef) who currently operates one of the country’s top delis, Kenny and Ziggy’s in Houston.
According to a “Deli Man” press release: “The story of the American deli is the story of Jews – their immigration, migration, upward mobility, and western assimilation. New York may always be the most populous, celebrated and redolent Jewish node. But substantial and influential Jewish tides also flowed from Chicago to Detroit, San Francisco to L.A., and Galveston to Houston and Dallas. How they moved and thrived from city to suburb and from suburb to strip mall, and in the process created a legacy and new generations of wealth, is the sunny topside of the Jewish-American journey. The shadowy understory is how that very success engendered the deterioration of the old, traditional urban block and neighborhood – the epic synagogues, Mom and Pop storefronts, and nucleus of Jewish cultural life at which deli was the succulent heart.”
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.