Elmira, N.Y. (WENY) - With the city of Elmira having a small Jewish community, it still does not stop them from bringing in several others with an interest in the Jewish culture.
Over seven hundred people were packed inside Congregation Kol Ami to celebrate the 10th annual, "Jewish Food Festival". The festival was decorated to look like the 20th century of the Lower East Side of New York City and included, traditional, authentic Jewish foods.
"We have various stalls, there's a deli stall and probably the most popular thing there is pastrami sandwiches. We have a bakery where we sell challahs, baklavas and lots of sweet treats," said Harriet Sweet, one of the organizers for the festival.
The festival also offered, Israeli foods, along with a Klezmer band and discussions about the Jewish community by a local Rabbi. All of the proceeds that the Congregation makes are spent on the Festival, making it a year-round effort. For one of the volunteers, she says it is something that she looks forward to every year and has been helping out since she was eleven years old.
"It just kind of brings people to our culture and let's people learn about it. I just love the Jewish Food Festival, it is just one of my favorite events at the temple," said Neila Goldwyn, a volunteer.
The festival does not only draw in people from the Twin Tiers but, folks from Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton even make the drive.
"I just enjoy it, its different. I'm not Jewish myself, so its nice to come here and enjoy it," said Anita Woodhouse, a resident of Painted Post.
In June the committee at Congregation Kol Ami will vote on whether or not they will continue the annual event for next Spring. If the committee does volunteer to have it, it will mark the festival's eleventh year.