Kugel is a Manhattan-based Jewish org targeting “Jews in the gray zone”. What’s the “gray zone”? Those of us who don’t fit into one box when it comes to observancy, or ethnicity. Kugel unites hip, intellectual Millennials and Gen Xers with a strong Jewish soul.
Like our co-founders, many Kugelers, grew up in the Orthodox world and have now carved their own unique approach to being Jewish. Respecting tradition is very important to us. All of our food is kosher and is prepared by Upper East Side Chef Jonathan Hartig. Kugel’s religious advisor Rabbi Avi Heller leads MJE East, a modern Orthodox institution.
Kugel always keeps this data point in mind: One in seven American Jews are Jews of color. It’s a growing population that will make up 20 percent of American Jewery within the next few years. The classic thought of being white equating to being an American Jew is a trope Kugel aims to retire. Kugel is proud to have produced countless couples — of all backgrounds — who’ve met at our events since we launched in November 2018. We are also battling assimilation as nearly two-thirds of U.S. Jews define “being Jewish” with a culture, and not a religion. Kugel loves to bring people closer to Judaism through Shabbat.
who we are
Rabbi Avi Heller
how did it start?
After a broken engagement in early 2018, Simone’s friends Yossi and Daphne started to throw, boisterous, Shabbat meals to cheer her up. Throughout the summer, the meals grew larger and more eclectic. The idea for Kugel was born. Kugel captures what Simone and Yossi have been doing since they first became friends more than a decade ago: going to big, fun, Shabbat meals filled with diverse, eclectic people.
Now in their thirties, the two decided it was time to root themselves and share all they have absorbed with the community they call home — Manhattan
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