It started 71 years ago as a way to reach out to the gentile community, and it’s been a hit ever since.
The annual Temple Beth Shalom Kosher Dinner will be Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Last year, like in previous years, 2,300 people feasted on roast brisket, Carrot Tzimmes, Challah and other Jewish delicacies.
“It pretty much started as a way to familiarize people with the Jewish faith, with the practices and customs,” said David Williams, event chairman. “It was a way to get people from other cultures to recognize that we’re really no different from them. Yes, we have different holidays and such, but we’re all of the human race.”
Jews were a minority in the area seven decades ago, and they still are today. According to the Association of Religious Data Archives, there are approximately 1,500 Jewish adherents in Spokane County.
The Kosher Dinner is a fundraiser for the temple and will feature Mediterranean spiced apples, Rugelach, potato knishes and Kosher meat (which has to be shipped from the East Coast). It will also feature live entertainment, including an appearance in the late afternoon by the Spokane Community Gospel Mass Choir.
“There will be everything from Jewish folk music to Klezmer music to soloists,” Williams said.
The gospel choir, Williams added, was invited because the choir is made of people of all faith backgrounds.
He said the dinner’s been successful for 71 years because the Spokane community has proven to be supportive of other faiths.
Tickets are $16 for adults and $9 for children ages 3 to 11 and can be purchased at the door or online. Takeout will also be available.