Catering Suggestions

Procedures for Catering/Ordering/Serving Food for Synagogue Events

  1. Food – Cheryl Gross ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , 212-677-4144) is in charge of catering/food for the shul.  At least three weeks in advance of an event, contact Cheryl about any food providers to be used to confirm they are acceptable.  Cheryl will tell you if you need to obtain an updated kashrut certificate from the provider.  Certificates of kashrut are issued every 6 months or annually (depending on the inspectors) and each certificate has an expiration date.  Cheryl will provide as much guidance as you need in planning food service for special events but you are responsible for communicating with the provider, obtaining the kashrut certificate if necessary, picking the menu, ordering the food, making billing arrangements.  Remember to order at least two challah breads for a Shabbat dinner.
  2. Complete and submit an Event Planning Form to Esther Schwalb, Executive Director ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) This form includes all kinds of logistical prompts for you to consider when planning an event. Contact Julie or Esther for a copy.
  3. Scheduling Deliveries – Inform Carol Slotkin, T&V administrator (212.677.8090 x0) about  every delivery to the shul, including name of company, time of delivery, and list of items being delivered.  No deliveries are allowed on Shabbat (after 4pm on Friday through Saturday) so arrange for deliveries to occur by 1pm on Friday to allow a few hours to deal with problems and to give Julie the time to track down the delivery if necessary.  This also allows time for Taras, our custodian, to take inventory and put things away.  A list/description of what was ordered helps to tell if something is missing and then have enough time to replace missing items.
  4. Accounts Payable – Checks are cut once a week.  If you need to have a check ready to hand over at the time of a delivery, plan for it at least two weeks in advance and contact Esther Schwalb about timing ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ).  Esther must sign off on each check for the bookkeeper in order to assign payments to the proper budget line item.  Ideally, providers will invoice the shul at time of delivery and allow us to cut a check later.  Some providers will only do so if the shul sets up an “account” with the provider.  Each provider has its own rules for setting up an account and if this is necessary, you should plan well in advance for it.
  5. Kitchen Help – Esther Schwalb is in charge of arranging for kitchen help for Shabbat meals (Friday night and Saturday).  Typically, a dinner requires hiring at least 2 helpers.  They also make sure that kitchen facilities are maintained/used according to kashrut.  Make sure to tell them the time of the event, the number of people, whether it is dairy or meat, buffet or family-style service, and any other details that will help with planning.
  6. Room Set-up – Three days in advance of the event, provide a floor plan or other guidance for room set-up to Esther .  This can be done by faxing the floor plan to the office at 212-677-1049 or scanning and emailing it to Esther ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ). .  The floor plan should indicate the number of attendees, location of dining tables and number of chairs per table, wash stations, buffet tables, Kiddush wine/challah tables.   Taras will set up all the tables and chairs but you will need to arrange for volunteers to do anything more.
  7. Volunteers – Volunteers are needed to dress the tables that    Taras has set up.  This includes tablecloths, plates, utensils, cups, and all the things necessary for wash stations, making Kiddush, etc.  Make sure volunteers understand kashrut.  Typically for a Shabbat dinner for 100 people, 2-3 volunteers can accomplish set-up in under two hours.  You can often find volunteers among members who reserved in advance to attend the event.
  8. Pricing the event, Taking reservations, and Billing Attendees – For events that have a fee, if you need to recoup event costs when setting the price, that means adding around $6.00/person on top of the food/beverage costs to cover kitchen help, overhead, stocked supplies, etc.  For most meal events, reservations should be required, and if there is a charge, advance payment should be requested because it reduces billing costs and administrative burdens.  For most Shabbat dinners, we suggest an R.S.V.P./payment deadline of the Monday before the dinner and an event charge of at least $20.  Members who reserve can always be billed later.  Non-members who reserve should be asked to pay in advance and also provide contact information including address, phone and e-mail.  Anyone who has reserved should be billed regardless of whether they show up since food has been ordered based on their commitment.  For Shabbat meals, if non-members show up who did not reserve, they should be asked to mail in payment and provided with an envelope for doing so.
  9. Stocked Items – The shul stocks certain items in bulk and replenishes them automatically so ordinarily you do not need to order these for your event:  Kiddush wine and grape juice; soft drinks such as colas, diet sodas, seltzers; paper goods such as tablecloths, plates, cups.  In addition, many caterers provide paper goods as included in the cost and you should always ask for them.  Walter is available to replenish supplies from the basement if necessary.
  10. Sponsoring a Kiddush for a Simcha – This can be arranged directly with Cheryl Gross, and there is a form available in the synagogue office to assist with this.
  11. Insurance – When outside caterers are also staffing and running an event (e.g., Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Kiddush), they must fax us a certificate of insurance naming T&V as additional insured.
  12. Miscellaneous – contact Sharon Steinberg with any questions not addressed by this memorandum ( ) This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ).
  13. Established Vendors – Here are some caterers/vendors that T&V has used in the past. For a full list please contact the office:
    1. Y&Y914/885-6736 (Yossi cell); 212/304-4852 office; 646/ 207 1051 (Yitzi)
    2. Village CrownSash Maharaj (O) – 212-307-3888 (C) – 347-996-8101
    3. Fairway (Kosher Catering) Ari Kogan
    4. Main Event 201/894-8710
    5. Murray’s Kosher Falafel 212/533-1956;