Buckeye Kosher BBQ

Bruce Cohen, from left, Fred Salutsky and Paco Bataller grill kosher meats at the fifth annual Buckeye Kosher BBQ Festival Sept. 8 at Capital University in Bexley. 

The Columbus Buckeye Kosher BBQ for the fifth year brought barbecue fans together to try a range of foods and activities, all while having a chance to connect with their friends, neighbors and new acquaintances.

The barbecue Sept. 8 on Capital University’s front lawn in Bexley for the first time featured local band North to Nashville, and for the second year in a row likely broke its attendance record with approximately 1,380 people attending. Last year, about 1,200 attended.

While in the past, the event had been run by Buckeye Kosher and volunteers, namely Stuart Appelbaum and Daniel Newman who started the barbecue in 2015, this year JewishColumbus partnered on the event. Such support has become crucial as the event grows, said JewishColumbus CEO Joel Marcovitch.

“It just brings people out, meeting each other and just having a great time. You see the old friend you haven’t seen in a while, and as we come to the end of the summer it’s an opportunity for everyone to catch up,” Marcovitch said. “Kids are playing in the bounce houses, face painting (and) a lot of Jewish agencies are here so you get some information as well.”

Contributions to JewishColumbus’ annual campaign help support community programming like the barbecue, Marcovitch said.

His favorite food at the barbecue? The ribs.

“They just melt off the bone,” he said.

Brisket tacos were among new offerings this year and a new pit master, Matthew Stellrecht, executive chef at Hollywood Casino Columbus, took charge of the grills.

Rabbi Josh Finegold, administrator of Buckeye Kosher, said the event continues to attract new attendees and add menu items each year.

“I don’t think there was ever an event like this that really brought the community together,” he said.

The Columbus Jewish News was the media sponsor of the barbecue.

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