Klez do lunch!
Young and old made locally-sourced knishes and danced their tuchuses off to the traditional toe-tapping klezmer tunes of the Aaron Alexander Kapelye at Bay Ridge Jewish Center on Feb. 28. Organizers chose to highlight traditional tunes and nosh as a way to bring together the temple-goers young and old, the center’s rabbi said. The afternoon really resonated with one youngster, her mom said.
“[My daughter] really liked dancing to the music — it was her first encounter with klezmer,” Jodie Cohen said. “I really enjoy knishes and klezmer too, its like ‘Fiddler on the Roof 2016!’ ”
Klezmer is a generally upbeat folk dance music of the Eastern European Jewry. Violins and clarinets commonly play the lead melody, accompanied by bass, accordion, and brass instruments. The style dates back centuries and gained popularity in the American musical tradition co-mingling with jazz in the early 20th Century. The knish also originated in Eastern Europe.
Each attendee got to make three of the fluffy, potato-filled treats. Event co-organizers the Jewish social justice organization Workmen’s Circle sourced all of the ingredients from local businesses and farms in the Metropolitan area, and discussed the benefits of buying local, the synagogue’s rabbi said.
The center is about to start renovating its kitchen and ballroom, so knish-makers brought their creations home to cook, but organizers with the Workmen’s Circle pre-baked knishes for everyone, so no one left hungry.
The rabbi plans to source more local goods for the center this year, and she plans to include reminders and tips in its weekly newsletter about what local produce is in season and which to buy and what time of the year, she said.
“Now we’ve been connected with two local farmed and our goal is to have a relationship with them throughout the year,” Rabbi Dina Rosenberg said.