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Thanks, y’all, for another fabulous Food Fest

Our sincere thanks to everyone who was able to participate in Sunday’s Jewish Food and Culture Fest, with special appreciation for everyone who helped make the event happen.

“After months of preparations, it felt so good to host such a successful event,” says Brooke Bowles, executive director at The J. “And a huge shout-out to Katie Hausman Grace’s stellar organizational skills. It’s her coordination of hundreds of volunteer hours to prepare the thousands of pounds of food she ordered that made the preparation of this year’s delicious dishes — the soul of this event — possible.”

The 29 sponsors who stepped forward were also crucial to the event’s success. In addition, it took an all-staff effort to get the day’s countless details right.

New at this year’s event was the recreation of an open-air shuk market that is found throughout Israel and the Middle East. The project, which was funded by a grant from the Birmingham Jewish Foundation, was part of this year’s celebration of the 75th Yom Ha’Atzmaut, or Israeli Independence Day. Visitors to the shuk were treated to free samples of nuts, dried fruit, spices, and snacks, plus collectible recipe cards and Israeli-themed giveaways.

Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebrations also included students from the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School singing the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah, and a birthday party with cake.

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

  1. The sampler plate (piled high with brisket, a cabbage roll, whitefish salad, a potato bureka, and matzah ball soup)
  2. Brisket plate (oh, that sauce!)
  3. Pomegranate-walnut chicken, a new item that unseated last year’s third-place corned beef sandwich