Anyone trying to program for and engage Jews in their 20s and 30s understands some of the challenges: different levels of interest in Jewish content, different educational backgrounds, the fact that rarely do traditional structures or denominations hold the resonance we may be looking for in our connections to Jewish life and identity.
But did you know that Jews under 40 actually eat differently than those over 40? I did not, until reading a press release from Kosherfest, which invades the Meadowlands this week:
Most probably your mother’s kosher kitchen didn’t contain Chorizo Mexican style sausage, Sangria in a box or sriracha sauce……fast forward to 2010, where today’s kosher pantry reflects the gourmet tastes and health conscious diets of the under 40 set. There’s even a new Kosher iPhone app.
We can eat iPhone apps now? Rad. And as for sangria in a box, I think I speak for us all in saying, that's what every under 40-something's been clamoring for. I do prefer my sangria in a small box, like a juice box or perhaps in a Capri Sun-style pouch, as they freeze extremely well and are portable - perfect for my busy lifestyle.
According to Menachem Lubinsky, founder and co-producer of the largest and longest running kosher food trade show, Kosherfest, “With 60% of the market believed to be under the age of 40, the kosher food industry is producing gourmet and enhanced food products. At the same time, it is producing an unprecedented number of gluten-free, spelt, organic and natural foods, a reflection of a growing health consciousness by all classes of consumers.”
So another reason to look forward to 40? I imagine a ceremony, in which late 30-somethings trade in their organic, natural or gluten-free foods and the class of most-recently aged 40-somethings step forward and present the newbies with honorary knishes, pointing them toward a table of deli meats and potato salad, as well as a panel of doctors shaking their heads disapprovingly.
All kidding aside, I'm sure that there are some really awesome products at Kosherfest this year. If anyone goes, please report on your favorites. I'm particularly curious about VEGETALI Vegetarian Hot Dog in a Blanket (at Booth 311), and as to whether it more resembles the franks-in-blankets of many an hors d'oeuvre cocktail hour, or more like the corn dog, kosher versions of which still somehow evade us. Send us your reports!