JEWTICA festival to be held in Utica on June 12

JEWTICA, Utica’s new Jewish cultural festival, will be held on Sunday, June 12, from noon-8 pm, at the Jewish Community Center, 2310 Oneida St., Utica. Admission is free. There will be games and activities for children, food trucks, cooking demonstrations and rabbis who can answer questions at the “Ask a Rabbi” tent. The event will be held rain or shine. 

Headlining the musical acts will be the Isle of Klezbos, who have been called “one of New York’s finest klezmer bands.” The six female musicians swing with traditional and updated music from eastern European shtetls such as those found in Ukraine and Poland. The Village Voice said, “These women will make you shake your tushies!” Musicians from the local Jewish community will also perform. 

Jeffrey Yoskowitz, co-author of “The Gefilte Manifesto” cookbook, will be on hand to demonstrate how to make kosher dill pickles and cheese blintzes. He’ll also teach how to make the cheese for the blintzes from scratch. Yoskowitz is also a scholar of historic Jewish foodways and will give a presentation on “Food from the Shtetls.”

“Everyone is welcome to this festival to explore Jewish culture and life,” said organizers of the event. “As your bubbe (Yiddish for Jewish grandmother) would say, ‘If you miss this event, it will be a shanda (a sin)!’”