Esther Fest: The Best Latke Demonstration in Town

Posted on December 9, 2011 by

A blog post by Outreach Coordinator Rachael Binning.

Esther entertaining the crowd.

The day I bought my mezuzah from Esther.

On December 1, the first Thursday of the month, Elena Rosemond-Hoerr and I hosted our sixth Brews & Schmooze event called “ Esther Fest: Cooking with Bubbe.” Since I began working at the JMM a little over a year ago I have to admit that seeing Esther has always been a highlight of my day. Although I am Jewish both of my grandmothers were not so I like to consider Esther to be the bubbe (or Jewish grandmother) I never had. From needing a good laugh to buying a mezuzah, she’s always been there for me. When I first moved to the area she even set me up with her granddaughters who live inWashingtonDC because she knew that I was new to the city and needed friends. Her instinct to introduce us was right on and I continue to be good friends with her granddaughters today.

Playing Apples to Apples under our festive decorations.

Elena and I knew right away that Esther needed to be our star attraction for the December Brews & Schmooze because her latke’s are known to be the best in town. In years past Esther performed her latke demonstration for a variety of groups both at the museum and off-site. She is one of the most requested speakers from our Speakers Bureau. Esther is also famous throughout the staff for being an amazing entertainer and knowledgeable chef so she was our clear choice when deciding on who should be the main event for our Hanukkah program.

Esther and her grandchildren, Jackie and Laura.

Our decision to focus on Esther and her latke’s was clearly the right one. We had a huge crowd (around 80 people) attend the event all of whom were clearly vying for Esther’s attention and delicious latkes. Elena and I made an effort to make the JMM’s lobby look festive with handmade decorations, which we enjoyed immensely. We also made the smart decision of providing other entertainment including dreidles games (how can you have a Hanukkah party without dreidles) and the card game Apples to Apples. Apples to Apples ended up being a huge success and we plan on having more games and crafts at future Brews & Schmooze events.


My sister, Sarah, eagerly signing up to receive Esther’s latke recipe.

As you can see from the photos, the event was high energy and very fun. We hope that all future Brews & Schmooze events will be as entertaining as Esther Fest was. If you would like to learn more about Brews & Schmooze and other young adult events you can visit the JMM young adult webpage at www.

Esther’s famous latkes!

Finally, Esther was such a hit that she was invited to perform another latke demonstration and talk about the story of Hanukkah on WYPR’s The Signal. The radio segment airs 12/9/11 and 12/10/11. It is already streaming here: http:/// If you missed Esther’s Brews & Schmooze presentation or you want to relive the experience again you must check this out.

I hope to see you all at the next Brews & Schmooze!

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