A new festival in Jewish Atlanta aims to bring Sukkot back to the farm.
The first Sukkot Farm-to-Table Festival, scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at the Marcus Jewish Community Center, will bring together the best of Atlanta’s Jewish agriculture, farming and food scenes.
Event organizer Jonathan Tescher said the idea for a full-fledged festival developed from various dinners he has helped put together, including last year’s Sukkot farm-to-table dinner at Aluma Farm in Adair Park and the annual Heeb Christmas Eve Chinese buffet.
“We’ve been doing farm-to-table dinners for the past three years,” Tescher said. “The evolution was really wanting to reach a broader base of people. Doing a dinner for 80 to 100 people is nice, but being able to do a festival for 300 to 500 people is better. It’s a good way to grow and get more people involved.”
Keith’s Corner will serve grass-fed, kosher-certified beef hamburgers and hot dogs from Grow & Behold. His food truck is Atlanta Kosher Commission-certified.
“Almost all of our vendors have a connection to the Jewish community through their ownership or leadership,” Tescher said. “That’s the fun thing about it. It’s not just pulling in random people for this event. Everyone has a tie to the community.”
The community cook-off, which is dedicated to longtime Atlanta caterer Enoch Goodfriend, who died in 2016, will see participants enter a dessert dish or pastry. The winner will decide which charity receives a cash donation.
Spaces are still open for the cook-off; visit sukkotfarmtotablefestival.com/register to sign up.
Getting many Jewish organizations to work together for the festival was not easy, but Tescher said the task was made smoother by support from the Atlanta JCC and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. He also said that holding the event in Dunwoody gives the Jewish agriculture movement a chance to expand outside the Perimeter.
“We’ve been doing all of our events intown, but I like the idea of bringing what we do outside the Perimeter,” said Tescher, a member of the AJT’s 2017 40 Under 40. “I also like the idea of doing something around this space once a year, and I do think this is a good idea to pick up annually. But we’ll see what it’s like when it’s done, and if everyone is happy, we’ll do it again. I’m already thinking about plans for next year.”
What: Sukkot Farm-to-Table Festival
When: Noon Sunday, Oct. 8
Where: Marcus JCC, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody
Admission: Free to all; cook-off entry, $18; cook-off tasting, $10; sukkotfarmtotablefestival.com/register