Crossing Delancey offers a view into the changing world of modern Jewry, providing a powerful heroine who, along with her friends, highlights both the incredible opportunities available to contemporary women and the price that such freedom affords. Her aging grandmother remains linked to a Jewish traditional world of the New York Lower East Side, even as waves of new immigration have displaced the Jewish dominance of the area. Her parents have fled to Florida, where they live in an idyllic retirement world, suggesting the affluence of middle-class suburban expansion that started to occur for Jews during the 1950s, while Isabelle Grossman is making her own contemporary life in a world where her close childhood friends are still Jewish but her work colleagues orbit in other worlds, offering her a glimpse into societies that generations of earlier Jews from her social class would never have seen or imagined.
Made in 1988, the film's questions remain relevant for young Jewish women today. What is the balance between a traditional Jewish domestic family life and our work lives; can women raise Jewish children alone; to what extent can Jewish women own their sexuality, and is the pickle merchant really what he seems? In a world of JDate, speed dating, surrogacy, Birthright, and alternative prayer services some questions remain the same: can a Jewish woman have it all?