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Thousands Gather For Kosher BBQ Championship

Temple Beth Torah (TBT) once again played host to the Long Island Kosher BBQ Championship and Kosher Food Festival, an event designed to combine the love of BBQ with charity and hunger relief on Long Island. Created last year, the Long Island Kosher BBQ Championship is now a cornerstone of the Kosher BBQ circuit which includes cities such as Atlanta, Birmingham, Kansas City and Memphis. The title sponsor, Fairway Market, as well as a host of local and regional businesses and TBT members, lent their support. Over 3,000 visitors came to the Westbury temple on June 9 to watch the spirited BBQ competitition and take part in an array of fun family activities and music. 


This year’s BBQ featured an expanded roster of 22 teams, including some that traveled from Atlanta, Kansas City, Washington DC, Albany and Connecticut to compete for trophies and bragging rights. On hand to judge the event were 12 Kansas City-certified BBQ judges and a veritable “who’s who” of kosher cuisine including professional chefs, culinary experts, the editors of the Joy of Kosher and Great Kosher Restaurants magazines and bloggers from “Yeah, That’s Kosher” and “At Your,” all who volunteered their time, talents and expertise. Kicking off the day’s festivities, TBT member Harvey Schaffler welcomed guests and led the ceremonial ribbon-cutting. Joining Schaffler was Assemblyman Charles Lavine, Oyster Bay Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia and District Court Judge Rhonda Fischer. Taking part again this year were senior staffers from Long Island Cares, The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network), Hatzilu, Rock Can Roll and M’Yad L’Yad, the five hunger relief charities selected as beneficiaries of the event.


The day’s activities included live music performed by Jericho’s own “A’s & J’s” band and culminated with pickle and hot dog eating contests that let both kids and adults test their gastronomic limits under the supervision of world competitive eating champ Don “Moses” Lerman. TBT member David Damon successfully defended his hot dog eating crown by once again eating five hot dogs in the shortest amount of time. Finally, the awards ceremony recognized winners in each barbecue category—Best Chicken, Best Ribs, Best Beans, Best Brisket, Best Team Name and Best Booth Design—and named “Grillin’ Tefillin” of Atlanta this year’s Grand Champion.