Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Memorable Sukkot at the Ranch

On Sunday, October 12, The Leichtag Foundation and the North County Jewish Hub hosted Sukkot at the Leichtag Ranch in Encinitas, welcoming over 1,000 community members from near and far to celebrate the joyous Jewish holiday associated with the autumn harvest. 

The daylong program was action-packed with celebrations of food, farming, and Jewish culture. Upon arrival, guests were greeted with reusable mugs, and informed of activities and educational seminars taking place that day. The food festival, one of the special highlights of the day, highlighted creative kosher cuisine from all over the world, including tasty samples from Top Chef contestant Katusji Tanabe, Mexikosher, Jeff Rossman from Shalom Catering, Michelle Grant from the Kosher Palate, and Felicia Gispman from Felicia G Catering. Another wonderful attraction was the sukkah competition, featuring three large, well-built, and aesthetically appealing sukkahs for all to experience. Attendees were asked to cast a vote on their favorite structures.

Sukkot at the Ranch was a wonderful experience for all ages, with activities for kids and parents to participate in throughout the day. The sessions were educational and fun. Laughter filled the air as parents sat with their children on bales of hay listening to the Big Tadoo Puppet Crew, a group from Oakland that creates socially, environmentally, and politically conscious shows combining storytelling, poetry, and song. Cabbage and cucumbers flew through the air at the fermentation station during the DIY sauerkraut and dill pickle lesson.

Inspiration was felt throughout the crowd in attendance of Jewish Food Justice 101, a session led by the rabbis who helped tomato workers in Florida escape abusive work conditions, explaining how food justice issues are central to Jewish values. Beer tastings and craft brew sessions for adults were held throughout the day. From the art stations, to the petting zoo, and to playing in the fields of the farm, Sukkot at the Ranch was truly a remarkable day.

About Leichtag Foundation and The Ranch:

The Leichtag Foundation honors the legacy of Lee and Toni Leichtag through igniting and inspiring vibrant Jewish life, advancing self-sufficiency and stimulating social entrepreneurship in coastal North San Diego County and Jerusalem. Purchased by the Foundation in December 2012 and located in Encinitas, the Ranch is one of the Foundation’s most significant platforms and a nexus for the Jewish community. Currently, the Foundation is supporting programs and educational activities at the Ranch inspired by ancient Jewish traditions that connect people to community, food, the land, and social justice.


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