Iris Lehman put rolled matza balls on a tray last week in preparation for the 30th annual Jewish food festival in the Beth Israel congregation.  After rolling, they sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before being cooked.  Any parishioner who can participate in the festival in any way.

As with most Corpus Christi festivals, one of the city’s most popular fall food events is celebrated a little differently this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Beth Israel Congregation is holding its 35th annual Jewish Food Festival as a drive-through event on Saturday and Sunday in its parking lot in the church on Saratoga Boulevard.

The two-day celebration will feature the best of traditional Jewish delicatessen favorites that will be prepackaged and ready for customers to eat. According to a press release from the festival, dishes from the annual Sunday brunch menu will be included.

Some of the dishes on this year’s menu include brisket with kettle, cabbage rolls, matzah ball soup, corned beef sandwiches, salmon and bagels, cream cheese-filled blintze and various Jewish desserts.

In order to comply with health and safety protocols with the least amount of contact, customers can either pre-order ready meals and delicacies online by Friday, November 13th, or place their order on the day of the event via a menu, according to the press release.

A dedicated lane is available for those who pre-order meals in the first hour of each day. Customers waiting to collect their orders on the day of the celebration can enjoy a klezmer band playing traditional Jewish music.

Phyllis Roseman (right) and David Jacobs are working on matzah balls as they prepare for the 30th annual Jewish food festival at Congregation Beth Israel last week.  Every year they prepare 1,000 matzo balls.  The festival is Saturday and Sunday.

Marcus Lozano, the food festival’s event coordinator, said the community knew it was best to host the festival as a drive-through event to keep everyone safe during the pandemic.

“I want to say ‘mazel tov’ to the men and women of the Beth Israel Congregation for overcoming adversity and COVID-19 challenges to ensure we show the delicacies, talent, spirit of community and perseverance of our people “said Lozano. “We have worked hard for this event and hope everyone will have the opportunity to come over and support our community by celebrating with us this weekend.”

More information about this year’s festival can be found at


What: 35th annual Jewish food festival

When: Saturday, November 14th, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, November 15, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Congregation Beth Israel Parking Lot, 4402 Saratoga Blvd.

Meagan Falcon covers entertainment, activities, and breaking news. Support our subscription options and specials at