Wine & Dine

Fleishik festival in Phili


Famous for its namesake cheesesteaks, Philadelphia might be one of the last places you’d expect to find a Kosher barbecue smackdown. That, however, is what patrons can expect on Sunday, Aug. 27, at the first Ha NaGrillah Smoke BBQ Festival in the city of brotherly love.

The Philadelphia event is the first of its kind in the mid-Atlantic region, joining kosher BBQ competitions in Dallas, Kansas City and Memphis. As at the other festivals, Ha NaGrillah’s offerings will extend far beyond food to include a range of family-friendly activities including a children’s science fair, mechanical bull, arts and crafts stations, live music, bourbon and scotch tastings, and a pickle-eating contest. 

The BBQ competition will include over 20 teams from across the country with participants hailing from places ranging from Long Island to Florida and Crown Heights to St. Louis. Each team will be tasked with grilling up such delicious dishes as brisket, short ribs, turkey and chicken thighs. Entries will be evaluated by four celebrity judges. Other flavorful foods will be available from local vendors as well as Ari White of “Wandering Q” fame who will be grilling his award-winning famous fleishik dishes.  Keystone-K will provide kosher certification for the event.

“The mission of the event is to bring the Jewish members of all sects within our community together with beer, barbecue and music” organizer Stuart Gordon told The Jewish Star. “We want to strengthen the heart our community.”

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Mitzvah Food Project of the Jewish Federation of Philadelphia. Kosher canned food donations to the food bank will be accepted at the event.

With organizers anticipating over 3,000 attendees, visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance and arrive early for a good parking spot. The festival, a project of the Men’s Club of Temple Beth Hillel Beth El in Wynedwood, is certified by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Overnight accommodations at local hotels for out of town guests are available at group rates. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit