Temple Beth El to host Jewish Food Festival BY PAULA WOLF, Staff Writer
Temple Beth El's Jewish Food Festival will celebrate twin milestones next month: the 10th year of the popular annual event and the state of Israel's 65th birthday.
The festival -- featuring several dinner selections, a range of a la carte items, Israeli jewelry and gifts, raffle prizes, tours of the synagogue and travel information about Israel -- will be held 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 5 at Temple Beth El, 1836 Rohrerstown Road.
Last year, the event drew about 1,200 people, chairwoman Sherry Ostroff says.
"It's an opportunity to reach out to the entire Lancaster community," she says. "That's a major goal" of the festival.
And it's a big endeavor, with food preparation starting in February. Ostroff says that on the day of the festival, she'll be "going crazy" making sure everything's running smoothly.
The roots of the event go back to when the congregation was on Lime Street in downtown Lancaster, and participated in Town Fair. The former annual event was established in 1968 by Temple Beth El, First Presbyterian Church, St. James Episcopal Church and the YWCA to promote a common heritage and to provide a framework for experiencing Lancaster's cultural and religious traditions.
Temple Beth El has been at its current site, near East Petersburg, since 2002.
A "Sights and Sounds of Israel" program, sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, will be shown at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the sanctuary. Representatives from the Ministry of Tourism also will be on hand to present information about Israel, its history and culture, and travel opportunities there.
Israel was officially declared a state in May 1948 by its first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion.
Tours of the Temple Beth El sanctuary will be conducted at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. In addition to the Israeli jewelry and gifts for sale, the synagogue's newly renovated gift and wine shop will be open.
As for the food, a third dinner choice will be offered this year -- A New York-style corned beef sandwich, which includes sides of colesaw, pickles and chips.
The other two meals are Bubbie's Chicken Dinner, with honey-orange chicken, noodle kugel, Israeli salad, coleslaw and challah bread, and the vegetarian Israeli Falafel Dinner, with a falafel in a pita, hummus, baba ghanoush and Israeli salad.
The dinners are available for eat-in or takeout. There's also a drive-through option.
Among the a la carte foods for sale are knishes, matzo ball and mushroom barley soup, hot dogs and sauerkraut, kosher pickles and a variety of baked goods. These include apple strudel, rugelach, hamantaschen, babka and three kinds of macaroons: chocolate chip, coconut and walnut.
And then there are the poppy seed cookies, which are "out of this world," Ostroff says.
Temple Beth El also will provide Mitzvah Meals to Water Street Mission. In Jewish tradition, performing a mitzvah means doing a good deed and helping others in a meaningful way.
The meals are paid for and donated by congregants and supporters. Last year, more than 125 of them were delivered to the shelter.
Food tickets are $12 in advance or $13 at the door. Each is redeemable for a complete dinner or $13 worth of a la carte items.
To purchase an advance ticket, call Temple Beth El at 581-7891 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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