Hundreds of bagels, blintzes and people ushered in the 25th anniversary of Blintzapalooza on Sunday, the annual event hosted by the downtown Olympia synagogue, Temple Beth Hatfiloh, which raises money for local charities.
The four-hour event, which features the sale of bagels, blintzes and books, raised about $11,000, said Oscar Soule, a longtime member of the congregation. Soule also organizes the judging for the baked-goods contest and serves as a Blintzapalooza committee member.
Rabbi Seth Goldstein, who took home first place in this year’s baked-goods contest, said Blintzapalooza is a highlight of the year for the synagogue.
“It’s another opportunity to welcome in the community,” he said.
The doors opened at 10 a.m., welcoming the first wave of visitors who lined up for food or to peruse the books for sale.
Shortly after 11 a.m., three judges — Michele Helfgott-Waters, Michael Krasnokutsky and Michael Marchand — got to work judging 15 entries in this year’s baked-goods competition. Past Blintzapaloozas have judged challah, kugel, blintzes and bagels, but this year’s bake-off focused on kuchen, the German word for cake.
The Yiddish meaning is a baked good resulting from a yeast-based dough, so the entries ranged from coffee cake to a chocolate torte.
Soule said Rabbi Goldstein, to the amazement of the crowd, took home first place for his “yetta-kuchen,” which looked like a loaf of bread but was layered with raisins, cinnamon and chopped nuts. The other winners were Bernie Friedman of Tumwater, Sarah Yamasaki of Olympia and Ivan Zbaraschuk, whose city of residence was not immediately known.
GRuB, which is short for garden-raised bounty, and SideWalk were selected to receive money from this year’s Blintzapalooza, but they also announced a third winner Sunday to mark 25 years. That winner was the Thurston County Food Bank, said Hannah Lidman, who also was involved with the Blintzapalooza committee.
To pick the third beneficiary, a website called “choose-a-palooza” was created, and the community got to vote from a list of past recipients, she said.
The site attracted about 2,000 votes and the food bank came out on top, Lidman said.
In its history, Blintzapalooza has raised $125,000 for 50 different projects at 30 organizations, she said.
Longtime food bank volunteer Fran Potasnik, and Kelsey Hulse, the food bank’s new development director, attended Sunday and said money from Blintzapalooza will be applied to its FORKids program. The program serves homeless children throughout the county by giving them food they can take home for the weekend, bridging the gap between school meals.Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 firstname.lastname@example.org theolympian.com/bizblog