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Go hungry to Jewish Food Festival in York

The York Jewish Community Center will become a kosher deli for a day April 17 at its annual Jewish Food Festival.

The menu is filled with traditional dishes and desserts from beef brisket to black and white cookies.

“Everybody should come hungry,” recommends festival coordinator Rachel Singer, the JCC’s Cultural/Contemporary Adult Director.

The event runs 12 to 4 p.m. April 17 at the York Jewish Community Center, 2000 Hollywood Drive, York.

“The majority of our food is made in-house in our kosher kitchen,” Singer said, including the beef brisket, a festival favorite.

Pick up the brisket in a platter or as a sandwich on the traditional rye bread -- available in seeded and unseeded versions.

Corned beef, pastrami and turkey -- purchased already prepared from the kosher food section at Wegmans in Baltimore -- are also served up on sandwiches.

On the side, try their homemade matzo ball soup, coleslaw, kugel (a sweet casserole made with flat egg noodles, pineapple, cinnamon and sugar), and knish (phyllo dough stuffed with mashed potatoes and onions -- especially delicious with deli mustard, Singer says).

Save room for dessert, namely the made in house kichel (a twist pastry with cinnamon and sugar on it), mandel bread (similar to a biscotti), strudel and lemon cookies. Rugelach, chocolate tops, mini black and white cookies and chocolate babka will also be sold.

New to the baked goods lineup this year will be rainbow cookies. These chocolate covered bite-sized squares are three layers and tri-colored, with jam between the layers.

Vendors will include local and regional merchants of cosmetics, handmade jewelry, home repair services, women’s clothing and more.

The Philadelphia Mummers will return in their elaborate costumes to parade around the festival and perform three sets.

Planning for the food festival takes months of preparation, Singer said, with efforts starting in January.

“It’s a huge undertaking and a gift to the York community,” she said.

Part of that gift is a cookbook, included in the day’s program, which includes the menu, price list and collection of recipes from the local Jewish community. The cookbook features new dishes as well as staple recipes from various contributors each year.

Admission to the festival and the cookbook are free. Parking is available on-site.