Festival of Jewish Literature comes to TU

By Rebecca Kirkman on November 7, 2019

The Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University will host a discussion on Jewish migration as part of the 10-day festival

The books "Roads Taken" and "On Middle Ground"

After fleeing Nazi Germany and settling in Baltimore in 1938, Gustav Brunn worked at McCormick’s Spice Company for a matter of days until he was fired for being Jewish.

So he created his own unique spice blend for seafood, which would become an iconic seasoning in Baltimore and beyond: Old Bay.

Decades later, the Brunn family sold the business. In 1990, Old Bay was sold again—to McCormick.

Brunn’s is just one of the Jewish immigrant stories explored in On Middle Ground: A History of the Jews of Baltimore, co-authored by Eric L. Goldstein and Deborah R. Weiner.

Weiner, alongside author and historian Hasia Diner, will discuss the impact of Jewish migration on the U.S. at an event hosted by the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University on Monday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m.

The discussion is part of the second annual Baltimore Festival of Jewish Literature, sponsored by the Ivy Bookstore, JMore and WYPR.

Free and open to the public with advanced registration, the program will be held in the College of Liberal Arts room 4310.

Diner is the author of Roads Taken: The Great Jewish Migrations to the New World and the Peddlers Who Forged Their Way and a professor of American Jewish history at New York University.

In addition to co-writing On Middle Ground, Weiner is a public historian, author and museum curator, formerly working as the research historian at the Jewish Museum of Maryland for more than a decade.

Author Discussion

As part of the Baltimore Festival of Jewish Literature, the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University welcomes Hasia R. Diner and Deborah R. Weiner along with moderator Neil Rubin to discuss the impact of Jewish migration on the U.S.

In Conversation: A Discussion of the Impact of Jewish Migration in the United States
November 11, 6 p.m.
College of Liberal Arts, Room 4310

The discussion will be moderated by alumnus Neil Rubin. Holding his doctor of philosophy in Jewish history from the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at TU, Rubin is chair of the Department of Jewish History at the Beth Tfiloh Dahan High School in Baltimore.

The Festival of Jewish Literature brings readers, writers and artists from the area and across the country together in Baltimore.

In its first year, the festival attracted more than 1,500 attendees with 13 programs spread across 12 host organizations. This year, the event has grown, with 22 programs and 23 host sponsors, including TU’s Baltimore Hebrew Institute.

The festival runs from Nov. 7 – 17. For a full list of events, visit the festival website.

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: TU Matters to Maryland and Diverse and Inclusive Campus.