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Kansas City Kosher Market BBQ


Kansas City…A city of some 19,000 Jews most definitely would be considered a secondary kosher market, certainly when compared to New York, Miami and Chicago. Yet, many of the Jews turned out for the annual Kansas City Kosher BBQ Competition & Festival (August 17, 2014), supervised by the Vaad Hakashrus of the city. The good news here is that it attracts some of the younger non-religious customers who once were a significant part of the kosher market and have in recent years been in decline. Kosher manufacturers are valiantly trying to hold on to the kosher market share in those markets

If you like kosher barbecue, you won't have to wait much longer for the annual KC Kosher BBQ Competition and Festival. This year the third annual will take place Sunday, Aug. 17, outside of the Ritz Charles in Overland Park.

Rabbi Mendel Segal, who serves as the executive director of the competition's sponsor, the Vaad HaKashruth of Greater Kansas City, said the festival outgrew the space at The Temple, Congregation B'nai Jehudah, where the first two events were held."We wanted to be able to accommodate more people and have more space for more activities," said Rabbi Segal, who noted around 3,000 people attended the event last year.

For the second consecutive year this contest and festival is the only one of its kind in the nation sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society. The event is still free; however the Vaad is asking "for a 100 percent optional donation at the door that would go straight to kosher food-based charities," Rabbi Segal said.

The event is paid for through corporate sponsorships, contest entry fees and individual donors. In addition to corporate sponsors funding is being provided by the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, the Community Legacy Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation and J-LEAD, an initiative of JCF.

"We've had a lot of very generous help this year," said Rabbi Segal. "We are exceeding our goals at the moment."