If you grew up Jewish, you know how important food is.
At every holiday, bat mitzvah or family gathering, the meal is at the center.
And this spring, the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys is ready to capitalize on our love for a good noshing session at the second Jewish Food Festival.
If last year’s inaugural event—a smashing success— was any indication, you won’t want to miss this foodie-friendly event on Sunday, April 26 at Monrovia Library Park.
“It really was a great way to showcase Jewish culture,” Jewish Federation Executive Director Jason Moss said. “Our mission is to strengthen and enhance Jewish life and this was a great example.”
What can you expect?
There will be all types of foods to try, from falafel, blintzes, mandlebrot and babka to brisket sandwiches, kosher hot dogs and more.
This year, the Jewish Federation is planning to expand on last year’s offerings, after 2,500 attendees ate everything the festival’s 17 vendor booths had.
That means more booths, more unique options and more fun to be had.
“Last year was phenomenal,” Moss said. “We ran out of food because no one knew what to expect. We’re not letting that happen again.”
He added, “The community really rallied around this idea. It was amazing to see.”
It’s not just Jewish people who love to eat. Moss said the festival is a great way to bring in other communities to share in the joy.
“Everyone loves to eat,” Moss said. “And thankfully Jewish food is delicious.”
Admission is free and food tickets are sold individually, so you can try as many items as your tummy can fit and stay within your budget. What you do spend goes directly to support Jewish Federation programs.
And it’s all made by local synagogues and organizations with that special homemade touch.
Each group picks an item they want to bring and either makes it themselves or commissions a restaurant, food truck or chef to help them make it happen.
Involving local groups makes the event even more special and is another way to promote all the organizations and synagogues that make up the fabric of our community.
In addition to the food options, the festival also features a beer and wine garden for those of age.
For the little ones, enjoy a kids’ zone with games, face painting and other activities. This year they’re adding a rock climbing wall for some added fun.
The Pasadena Humane Society will be there with cute puppies, plus there will be artisan booths and music.
There will also be food demonstrations so you can learn how to make some of the most popular Jewish recipes. Last year, attendees learned how to make pickles, for example.
“We want an environment where people are able to celebrate and feel pride for being Jewish,” Moss said.
You can also get a jump on your summer planning, as all the Jewish camps will have information and registration booths.
There’s something for everyone at this festival. Moss said last year’s event drew people of all backgrounds, ages and relationships with Judaism.
“The Jewish Federation is working very hard to continue to make people realize there is a vibrant Jewish community here and this is one of those types of events that showcases that,” Moss said.
And it’s the type of event that strengthens that community even more.
The Jewish Federation also hopes to make this year’s event even more streamlined for attendees. And security will be a top priority, working closely with Monrovia Police.
Join us for the second Jewish Food Festival on Sunday, April 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Monrovia Library Park, 321 S. Myrtle Ave. in Monrovia.
Lauren Gold is A contributing writer to JLife Magazine.