Building kehillah across B’ham, one crepe at a time

This superhero crepe offers “A blessing with every bite.”

Many Birmingham residents are glad to live in a city that’s considered a destination for great food that includes many award-winning chefs and restaurants. The city also has benefited from the food truck trend that has grown into a $1.5-billion industry that’s driven, according to one estimate, by more than 36,000 wheeled kitchens across the nation.

And now Birmingham can add one more food truck to the mix.

Since its founding in 1889, Birmingham’s Knesseth Israel Congregation has tailored its services to Modern Orthodox Judaism. “With our roots firmly established in the beauty of our heritage, KI is always looking for creative ways to make Judaism accessible for all,” says congregation member Beth Smokey. 

Keeping their mission in mind, the congregation recently decided to jump-start a kosher food truck called Holy Crepe.

Chef Nathan Lichtenstein with Knesseth Israel’s Beth Smokey

Why crepes? “It seemed like a great way to combine our outreach efforts with delicious and affordable kosher food,” Beth says. “Because Kosher food tends to be expensive, we designed our menu to stay flavorful while minimizing costs and staying competitive.” And with crepes, it was easy to fill the menu with both sweet and savory options to satisfy a variety of palates. 

KI is betting on good food being a proven method for building kehillah, or community, with offerings ranging from Nutella and cream cheese to avocado with hard-boiled eggs, lettuce, garlic aioli, and tuna, plus a sloppy Joe option. Smoothies, beverages, and desserts also will be offered. 

The truck was custom-designed under the guidance of Chef Nathan Lichtenstein, who took care to integrate the most current equipment with the highest standards in order to maximize efficiency and cleanliness.

Partnering with The J

The J’s kosher kitchen serves as the commissary for Holy Crepe. In addition, KI will tap into the kehillah of The J’s devoted following with arrangements to cater a number of events — first of which will be a complimentary lunch at the December 15 “Honor Our Parents” shabbat service*.

After Hanukkah, follow Holy Crepe’s Instagram and Facebook accounts to see menus and find out where they’ll pop up next. “In order to make the operation sustainable, we are servicing both Jewish and non-Jewish venues,” says Beth, adding that they hope to operate weekly at area hospitals.

Enjoy a first taste of Holy Crepe Wednesday, December 13, 6-8 p.m., when they’ll be serving potato latkes and other Hanukkah treats at the Overton Road Shell Station (3170 Overton Road).

If you’re interested in advertising on the Holy Crepes video monitor, simply reach out to KI at 205.969.5913. In addition, all offers for financial and volunteer support are welcome.

*“Honor Our Parents” is made possible through JCC Association of North America in partnership with Israel’s Ministry for Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism.