Event fundraising

Napa L’Chaim’s Jewish Wine Event is back in a bigger venue – J.

Food coverage is supported by a generous donation from Susan and Moses Libitzky.

Napa Valley Jewish Winemaker Event, “The Chaim” is back this year, but in a whole new way. The event at Congregation Beth Shalom in previous years has celebrated regional wineries that have Jewish owners or winemakers. This time, the fundraiser for the shul’s educational program is billed as a family-friendly Jewish food and wine festival and takes place offsite, with J. as the media sponsor.

Event chair Ellyn Elson joked that she had two whole years to plan it because of the pandemic.

L’Chaim will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on August 7 at the CIA in Copia, utilizing both indoor and outdoor spaces at the Culinary Institute of America. Unlike previous years, where a much higher price included dinner and wine tasting, $45 gets you in, $90 includes wine tasting, and anyone can buy food from the vendors.

“We didn’t have enough room in the synagogue anymore, and we wanted to be more inclusive and invite the whole community to be able to enjoy Jewish food, wine and culture,” Elson said.

Many of the vendors are from North Bay, including Loveski Deli in Napa and Ethel’s Bagels in Petaluma, as well as others in the Bay Area. Four craft breweries and at least 15 wineries will participate.

In addition to live Jewish music and Israeli folk dancing, the festivities will include arts and crafts, clowning and face painting for children, and a separate fundraiser for Ukraine. The organizers are also working to make the event as green as possible.

Elson believes there is a lot of excitement in being able to come together again and says tickets go fast.

“I’ve been working on this for two years,” Elson said, “and the fact that it’s only a few weeks away gives me heart palpitations.”

Square Pie Guys, which has always been on critics’ list for its Detroit-style square pizza, has just opened its largest restaurant yet, in Ghirardelli Square. Owners Marc Schechter and Danny Stoler have been presented in this column.

And the coffee JCC Peninsula in Foster City reopens July 5 at 8 a.m., serving breakfast and lunch items including smoothies, sandwiches, bagels and salads. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends.