Roger Horowitz to speak on ‘Kosher USA”

How Coke became kosher

Print More

LAWRENCE, N.Y. – Have you ever wondered how mainstream products like Coca-Cola achieved kosher status? Dr. Roger Horowitz, Director of Hagley’s Center for the History of Business, Technology and Society (Wilmington, Delaware), will answer this question and more as he delves into the subject of kosher food during a book and author talk on Friday, December 16, 2016, at Temple Israel of lawrence, 140 Central Avenue, Lawrence, N.Y.

Horowitz’s talk is based on his recently published book “Kosher USA: How Coke Became Kosher and Other Tales of Modern Food.” The book follows the journey of kosher foods through the modern industrial food system; their encroachment, conquests, limits and exclusions. “Kosher USA” is interspersed with stories from Horowitz’s own family, who played a pivotal role in the creation of the book.

“I began writing the book in 2006, in response to a question from my Uncle Stu,” Horowitz recounted. “With family and work commitments, it took more than a decade for me to finish the book, but I am honored to have something that reflects on the history of Jewish Americans and their influence on the food we eat today.”

Horowitz’s book traces how iconic products such as Coca-Cola and Jell-O tried to become kosher; what made Manischewitz the very first kosher name-brand product to gain a wide non-Jewish audience – and one that was principally African American; the techniques used by Orthodox rabbinical organizations to embed kosher requirements in the very production systems for modern food; and the grave difficulties encountered by kosher meat and other kosher foods that fell outside of the culinary consensus of America’s predominantly non-Jewish consumers.

The talk begins at 10:30 a.m. The cost is $18.00 pp for Temple Israel of Lawrence members and $20.00 pp for non-members, kosher dairy lunch is included. Reservations are recommended: call (516) 239-1140, or email


About Roger Horowitz
Roger Horowitz, Ph.D., is Director of the Center for the History of Business, Technology and Society at the Hagley Museum and Library. He is an historian of American business, technology and labor and an expert on the nation’s food. In addition to “Kosher USA,” he is the author of two other books, “Putting Meat on the American Table: Taste, Technology, Transformation,” and “Negro and White, Unite and Fight!: A Social History of Industrial Unionism in Meatpacking.” He also serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the Business History Conference, the leading academic organization for business historians.


Alan Freedman, Temple Israel of Lawrence Executive Director
(516) 239-1140

Comments are closed.