ALLENTOWN, PA — Allentown Jewish Community Center held their 38th Annual Kugelfest this Sunday at a park downtown; the day featured contests of over 75 kugel recipes, as well as strudel bake-offs, cholent eating contests, matzah ball workshops, and even a station where the kids could bob for gefilte fish in a bucket of borscht. The event has naturally sparked outrage within the Sephardic community.
Spokesman Yossi Abravanel expressed his dissatisfaction: “I knew it wasn’t going to be my kind of party,” said Abravanel, “but frankly, I was surprised by the rampant Ashkenormativity of this year’s Kugelfest.”
“Ashkenormativity” is a phrase used to describe situations where Ashkenazi Judaism overrides and overtakes the multifaceted cultures that make up Judaism. The Sephardic community has strongly voiced their belief that Kugelfest is no place for such an exclusionary show of Eastern European culture.
Abravanel said, “I showed up with my grandkids, and suddenly there’s guys shoving knishes in my face. And yet, no lahm bi’ajin, no sambusak. Where’s the love for Sephardim? What are we, chopped liver?”
Arnie Zuckerman, this year’s Kugelfest chair, commented, “Oy vey! I know bupkis of ashkenormativity! Yossi’s mishugeh. I’m sorry he felt the need to kvetch, but I saw him noshing on kreplach with the kinder.”
Zuckerman’s son Dr. Steven Zuckerman, who ran the festival’s complementary Tay-Sachs and diabetes testing booth, added, “He’s just plotzing because the Sephardim don’t have schtick like we do.”
“Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard Arnie’s shpiel before,” Abravanel remarked. “They can have their fun. I just wish I had known to expect Kugelfest to be so, well, Polish. Wait and see how they feel during Passover at Kitniyot-palooza.”