Temple Beth El celebrates Passover with annual fundraiser

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 27, 2013

 Around 20 tables will be elaborately decorated for the annual Passover Tables event at Temple Beth El. These tablescapes were among the many created for last year’s event.

Around 20 tables will be elaborately decorated for the annual Passover Tables event at Temple Beth El. These tablescapes were among the many created for last year’s event.

Photo provided

BIRMINGHAM — Martha Stewart, eat your heart out. On March 13, Temple Beth El will host its annual Passover Table fundraiser with plenty of food and elaborate table décor created by some of the area’s most talented designers.

The event, now in its fourth year, will serve as a lavish cocktail party to raise money for the religious school and lifelong learning endeavors at the temple, according to event chairperson Karen Borenstein.

“In the past four years, it’s become this really sort of fun and whimsical event at the temple. (Passover) is a very happy holiday. It’s a very rejuvenating, springtime holiday to celebrate,” said Borenstein.

The concept of the event is to take plain dining tables and turn them into works of art with colorful and creative place settings and décor. In the weeks leading up to the event, temple members, neighbors and even professional designers begin planning their tablescapes, which, according to event cofounder Elyse Foltyn, are meant to not only impress guests but also to inspire them to create their own elegant designs for their holiday table at home.

“Passover is one of the most traditional holidays in the Jewish religion, and it’s great to see the different ways a Passover table can be presented,” she said. “What I most enjoy about this event is that it provides an opportunity for people who like to entertain to see the various ways that Passover can be represented.

“We really come out with a really nice mix of professional designers, moms and daughters working together, sisters and sisters, friends working together — really a good mix of artistic ideas and generational traditions,” she said, explaining that, in the past, when she’s designed tables with her friend, they’ve changed designs but have always incorporated a set of 88-year-old silverware belonging to her friend’s mother.

Though dinner won’t be served on the tables, which Borenstein said are used more as art pieces verses actual table seating, there will be plenty of food and drinks to go around. Chef Zack Sklar, owner of Social Kitchen and Bar in Birmingham, will prepare food for the event with his catering company, Cutting Edge Cuisine.

“We’ll have heavy bites with different food stations and a couple of bars. It’s really a cocktail evening just to come in and enjoy the tables, a bit of music and some yummy food and do some socializing,” said Borenstein, who added that the party is open to guests of all religions, not just members of the Temple Beth El Jewish community.

“It’s really starting to get its legs, and people are starting to look forward to it,” she said. “There will be quite a few new designers, which is exciting. It’s just a really nice way to prepare for the holiday of Passover, get excited about it, and start thinking about your own family traditions.”

The fourth annual Temple Beth El Passover Tables event will begin at 6:30 p.m. March 13. Tickets can be purchased for $75 by calling (248) 865-0617 or mailing checks to the temple.

Temple Beth El is located at 7400 Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Hills.