Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus is a Professor of Religion and Coordinator of Jewish Studies at Wheaton College (MA). His research focuses on meals and religion, especially on the cognitive sensory and communal dimensions of meal rituals. He has published numerous articles on ancient, medieval, and modern Jewish food in the Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery (several co-authored with his Wheaton colleague Professor of Biology Betsey Dexter Dyer); Studies in Jewish Civilization (annual Proceedings of the Klutznick-Harris Symposia); Meals in Early Judaism: Social Formation at the Table; Writing Food History: A Global Perspective; encyclopedias, and in journals. His book on Jewish food and identity, Culinary Midrash: What Makes Jewish Food; What Makes Food Jewish? is forthcoming from Reaktion Press. He translated Rabbenu Bahya ben Asher’s 14th century Hebrew mystical manual on food, Shulhan Shel Arba (Table of Four) into English. In addition to holding a Ph.D. in Religious Studies (New Testament) from Vanderbilt, he is ordained as Reconstructionist Rabbi.
Rabbi Professor Brumberg-Kraus lives in Providence, RI with his wife, Maia, and has two grown children. He cooks, ferments, gardens, performs holiday and life cycle rituals, and teaches, and is often lucky enough to get to combine them all. For over 20 years he has taught a First Year Seminar at Wheaton College on “The Rituals of Dinner,” which has been a kind of lab in which he has learned much from his students and colleagues about how to put the theories into practice about the friend-making power of food to make and sustain meaningful and ethical communities, as well as how to put the practice into theory. For the next two years he will co-chair the Wheaton Interdisciplinary Institute in the Humanities with his colleague and playwright Charlotte Meehan in the English and Theatre Department, focused on the topic of Interpretation and Its Expressive Modes in the arts, religions, and secular cultures.