Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester is Champion of First Annual KugelFest!

left to right- Rabbi Dahlia Bernstein from JCCMW, Debra Cohen and Hayden Cohen from Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester

The JCC of Mid-Westchester (JCCMW) awarded Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester the honor of KugelFest! champion at the organization’s ‘Day at the J’ on Sunday, March 26th. The winning kugel – cooked and presented by Debra Cohen and Hayden Cohen on the synagogue’s behalf – earned the most digital votes in a real-time taste test among Day at the J attendees.


Tasters expressed their appreciation for Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester’s sweet lockshen kugel, awarding it high scores for flavor, texture and aroma. The recipe was an authentic representation of a traditional Jewish kugel, a baked casserole usually made from potatoes or egg noodles.


According to Elise Dowell, CEO of JCCMW, the organization is instituting KugelFest! as an annual tradition: “Celebrating Jewish cooking in the form of light-hearted competition provides us with another meaningful opportunity to bring together members of our community, which is central to the mission of the JCCMW. We are dedicated to enriching the lives of our friends and neighbors here in Westchester by offering outstanding human services, and educational, cultural and recreational programs grounded in our Jewish values.”


JCCMW’s Day at the J invited local residents to explore its facilitates, try their hand at Passover-themed activities and crafts, and enjoy special performances and programming. The event, attended by more than a thousand community members, also collected shelf-stable food items for donation to a local food pantry.


JCC Mid-Westchester is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the community by providing cultural, social, educational, and recreational/fitness programs, human services, and Jewish identity-building opportunities to all people regardless of age, background, religion, or sexual orientation. They support the community by offering outstanding human services, and educational, cultural, and recreational programs within and beyond their walls.  Programs are grounded in Jewish values, and they welcome all! 


The JCCMW enriches families, connects friends, strengthens the community, and helps people lead joyful lives. Using Jewish values, the JCCMW offers participants educational, social, cultural, and recreational activities to inspire joyous lives and strengthen community. Visit at