Like nearly a quarter of students in the College, rising third-year Max Teplitz is an economics major. But he’s minoring in modern Hebrew. “My Jewish identity has always been pretty important to me,” he said.
Last summer, with a research grant from the University’s Joyce Z. and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies, Teplitz got the chance to explore that identity by making a short video about an essential slice of Jewish (and New York) culture: delis.
Teplitz grew up in Manhattan making comedy shorts with friends. For his first foray into the documentary genre, he used a simple Canon point-and-shoot camera with video capabilities. He borrowed a friend’s microphone to record the voiceover. A good chunk of the Greenberg Center funding went toward purchasing video editing software, he said, “because I’ve kind of exhausted my iMovie knowledge.”
The resulting eight-minute video, Kosher Style, digs into the histories and menus of three New York eateries: Katz’s Delicatessen (on the Lower East Side), Pastrami Queen (Upper East), and Barney Greengrass, also known as “The Sturgeon King” (Upper West).