Entertainers and entertainment will be the theme of the eighth annual Jewish Fair and Expo at the YM-YWHA of Union County, Union, on Sunday, Nov. 22.
The fair is not a fund-raiser but a chance to celebrate Jewish culture and community. True to their commitment to make it an affordable day for the whole family, the organizers have lined up entertainment for every age, all free of charge.
For grownups, highlights of the program include a talk at noon by Moshe Schreiber with a the deadpan title “Is Jewish Humor Really Funny?”
At 1 p.m., Kean University history professor, Dr. Dennis Klein will discuss “The History of the Jews in the Motion Picture Industry.” He will describe the little-known battle royal that raged in the early years of the century right here in New Jersey, as independent Jewish film makers took on the might of the Edison Trust — Thomas Edison’s conglomerate of studios — and fought for the freedom of the fledgling industry.
The only places to spend money at the fair will be for food and at the array of vendors. As organizing committee chair Marc Hilton pointed out, that can be a chance to save money on Hanukka shopping. He said there will be fewer vendors than in past years — a possibly reflection of the economy — but those coming will offer Judaica, art, health and beauty products, jewelry, clothes, and gift novelties.
This year, for the first time, there will be a chance to actually earn some cash: One of the dealers will be offering cash on the spot for gold, silver, old jewelry, and watches.
The fair will also feature a kosher wine tasting and raffling of wine. Musical entertainment will be provided — as has become a tradition at the Y Fair — by the Hester Street Troupe and by choirs from the Jewish Educational Center Yeshiva and Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union. Scouts from SSDS will perform a flag ceremony.
To make sure they are in fit condition to make the most of all that activity, seniors will be able to make use of the health screening provided by Trinitas Regional Medical Center.
Y program director Jani Jonas said the Fair and Expo is one of the top three events of the Y calendar. “The committee works on the program about 30 weeks a year to produce the event,” she said. “We need community support to keep it going, and all they have to do is show up and have fun. How easy is that?”
The Fair and Expo is cosponsored by the Union Y and the Tri-State Region B’nai B’rith, with additional assistance from Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael of Springfield and Congregation B’nai Ahavath Shalom of Union. The event also received a grant from the U.S. 2010 Census.