J. (SAN FRANCISCO) -- Gross, 35, who came to the Bay Area in 2016, is an assistant professor and the John and Marcia Goldman Chair in American Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University, where her course topics range from U.S. Jewish history to Jewish food and Jews in popular culture.
For her book, Gross wanted to look at the Jews today who are connecting deeply to their Judaism, but in nontraditional ways. They may not attend synagogue, but they have a religious experience nonetheless through other vehicles. In addition to synagogues-turned-museums, she focused on how Jews learn about their ancestors through genealogy, the study of Jewish foodways and how children learn about Jewish nostalgia through books and toys.