PHOTO ALBUM: Thanks, y’all, for another fabulous Food Fest

Our sincere thanks to everyone — guests, sponsors, volunteers, and staff — who participated in Sunday’s Jewish Food and Culture Fest, with special appreciation for everyone who helped make the event happen.

People browse inside a tent that attempts to recreate an open-air Israeli shuk market
Our recreation of an open-air shuk market stall and its free food samples was once again very popular with Food Fest attendees.

“This year’s event was truly wonderful,” says Executive Director Brooke Bowles. “After Iran’s attack on Israel the day before, I wondered, ‘Should we really be having a festival?’ It turns out Sunday’s event was exactly what we needed,” she explains. “We gave Birmingham’s Jewish community a reason to gather and celebrate Judaism.”

Brooke also stresses that this event is The J’s gift to the Birmingham community: “We can’t think of a better way to show our appreciation for everything that the Jewish community, our members, and our neighbors do for us.”

The event would not have happened without this year’s 33 sponsors, led by the Bernstein Family as our presenting sponsor, who were all crucial to the day’s success. 

In addition, it took an all-staff and volunteer effort to get the day’s countless details right.

We were excited to see the return of our shuk market, where visitors were treated to free food samples in a recreation of a typical open-air Israeli market. And this year saw a huge increase in our exhibitor fair, which featured 20 vendors from Birmingham and as far away as New Orleans.

Entertainment was also on point, with solid performances by our own Drew Tracey on guitar and headliners Bigfoot County Revue. Local martial arts expert Bobby Dixon also performed a demonstration of the Israeli martial art Krav Maga.

By the numbers

Some 2,000 people passed through the gates of Levite Field for the event. Of all the delicious menu items, the most popular were:

  1. The sampler plate once again reigned supreme, and for good reason: it’s piled high with brisket, a cabbage roll, whitefish salad, a potato bureka, and matzah ball soup
  2. Brisket plate. But was it too much sauce… too little sauce… or simply the best you’ve ever tasted? This age-old controversy may never end.
  3. Corned beef sandwiches — so simple and delicious (and don’t forget the Gulden’s!).

Special note: Last year’s third-place pomegranate-walnut chicken was doing great in our rankings… until we ran out — despite our having prepared more this year than in 2023. 

See you next year… as a volunteer??

Put next year’s Food Fest on your calendar now: April 27, 2025. We’re even already going to let you sign up to volunteer! Just look at how much fun the volunteers are having in the pictures.

Food Fest 2024 photo album

Enjoy these images by Kristina O’Quinn and David Gonnerman. Simply click on each image to see a pop-up of the uncropped original.