There’s nothing like good food in a festive atmosphere to bring people together. With that in mind, The Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey is holding its second annual Glatt Kosher Food Expo at Englewood’s Congregation Ahavath Torah next month. Federation plans to introduce its work to more people in the Orthodox community, while also highlighting local kosher establishments and adding to the variety of Jewish events in Bergen County.
Over a dozen restaurants, caterers and beverage suppliers will provide a smorgasbord of the best in kosher cooking. This year’s Expo, which is co-sponsored by The Jewish Link, will take place on November 7 and promises to be bigger, better and definitely warmer. Last year, the event was held outdoors due to a COVID spike and capped at 250 people. This year, the Expo’s main event will be in Ahavath Torah’s spacious grand ballroom, and JFNNJ estimates that nearly 400 people will attend. Elan Kornblum, president of Great Kosher Restaurants Media Group, is again coordinating participants.
“One of Federation’s goals is to support and enhance the vibrancy of local Jewish life, and what better way than by celebrating the expanding depth and sophistication of Bergen’s kosher cuisine,” said Batya Friedman, philanthropic advancement officer at JFNNJ. “Food is a real part of our tradition, and an important aspect of Federation’s mission is helping care for those in our community who need our support.” Friedman said a portion of ticket sales is directed toward programs combating food insecurity, like Kosher Meals on Wheels, which has seen demand increase by over 50% in the last three years, to nearly 1,100 participants. Another initiative is a local Kosher Food Pantry, which has scaled up significantly since the pandemic, and now assists over 700 families each month. Overall, in 2021, Federation helped deliver 330,000 meals to local seniors and young families.
Marcy Cohen, co-chair of the Expo along with Jewish Link Publisher Moshe Kinderlehrer, said they have worked to form a diverse and enthusiastic host committee representing many shuls in the area. “This is an opportunity to get the Bergen County community together for a fun night out, tasting delicious kosher food and wine. We hope people will also learn about Federation’s important work and the key areas of focus including tackling food insecurity, supporting Israel, supporting day schools and keeping the community safe.” Cohen, a board member of JFNNJ and Englewood resident, said she hopes the event will encourage people to support the local food merchants participating in the Expo.
Excited at the prospect of building on last year’s success and the expanded venue, Kornblum is adding new restaurants to the list of vendors. “People came out last year despite COVID and being outdoors, so we anticipate a bigger crowd this year,” he said. “The restaurants who came last year were pleasantly surprised and are preparing more for this event. I am focused on creating a special evening with differentiated offerings and unique experiences, including a cooking demonstration by Chef Josh Massin of Narruto Bowl.” Kornblum is also excited about the variety of wines that will be showcased, noting that 48 of the 50 wines that Royal presented last year were top-shelf, non-Mevushal labels, poured by Royal Wines servers.
Confirmed vendors to date include Bridge Turkish & Mediterranean Grill; Coco Jolie; Eden Wok of New Rochelle; Estihana (Teaneck); Fruits by Pesha; Heimish Food & Catering; The Humble Toast; Kosoco; Narruto Bowl; R&Z Kosher Smoked Meats; Shabbat2Go; Smoked Bites (formerly Sender’s); The World of Goodies; Allied Beverage Group; FillerUp Kosher Wines, and Royal Wines.
The Glatt Kosher Food Expo will begin with a VIP hour at 6:30 p.m. with an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and a caterers’ special selections. VIP tickets are being sold as a pair for $400. Individual general admission tickets are $100 each. Multiple levels of corporate sponsorships are also available for companies looking to give additional support.
For more information or to purchase advance tickets go to JFNNJ.org/FoodExpo. For questions contact Batya Friedman, [email protected], 201/820-3909.
By Bracha Schwartz