The 2023 TBI New Hampshire Jewish Food Festival exceeded expectations yet again

with an 8% increase in orders over last year.  

At the conclusion of last year’s NH Jewish Food Festival, Stu Needleman, Food Festival Committee Chair, wrote, “The 2022 Food Festival went into the record books, at least until 2023, when we will try to beat our 2022 numbers.  I think we will need a few more freezers and to start the cooking tomorrow to achieve that goal.â€Â   Little did he know how prophetic those words would be.  This year, Stu Needleman credited the addition of new cooling and freezing equipment- paid for by generous donations from the congregation – and changes to the food storage area that “improved efficiency of the cooking and baking and allowed for increased productivity to achieve the tall task of producing hundreds of pounds of handmade product with a small group of volunteers.â€Â Â According to Susan Needleman, co-chair of the volunteer cooking teams, “It was great not having to schlep up and down the stairs carrying trays of food†with the implementation of the new refrigeration room that is adjacent to the kitchen.  

The continued achievement of the NH Jewish Food Festival does not come about without a great deal of hard work and long hours by the entire Food Festival team which is made up of volunteers; the men and women who are members of Temple B’nai Israel.  The cooking operations are co-chaired by Susan Needleman and Rhoda Goodman who credit the “tireless Cooking Team Leaders and cooking volunteers…we couldn’t make it up the hill to another successful food festival without you!â€Â 

While the cooking teams were hard at work, the operations team was busy improving the online menu presentation so that customers would find it easier to order, a new appointment scheduling system was implemented for order pickup, and a new picking system was developed to ease the labor required to retrieve products from their storage locations on pickup days.  Before items were priced on the website the decision was made to hold prices to 2022 levels despite the increased cost of ingredients and supplies. The team felt it was the right thing to do given the current difficult economic times.  They wanted as many people as possible to enjoy the homemade foods even if we made less money.  Initial reports indicate that customers were pleased with the newest innovations. 

Innovation, dedication, and perspiration define the characteristics of the entire TBI Food Festival team, and it is due to this special group that another record sales performance for the NH Jewish Food Festival was achieved.  We have already begun planning for 2024 with the process of reviewing and refining this year’s outcome.  The Food Festival committee looks to continue the tradition of annual improvements and providing the best Jewish cuisine in New Hampshire.