July 13, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

University Synagogue Hosts Vegan Luncheon

Paola from the Veggie Grill, Rose Aguero, Jessica Downey, and Jaden Elkins at the University Synagogue Vegan Luncheon
Paola from the Veggie Grill, Rose Aguero, Jessica Downey, and Jaden Elkins at the University Synagogue Vegan Luncheon

Anne Hansen

On May 18th University Synagogue hosted a 100% vegan luncheon for their teachers and staff to celebrate the end of religious school season.  Jaden Elkins, a 13-year old vegan activist, is a member of the synagogue and inspired their choice of food with his recent 100% vegan Bar Mitzvah at Veggie Grill On March 15,  promoting animal kindness.

The synagogue school director, Jessica Downey, and her assistant Rose Aguero, created the menu with Jaden’s helpful advice. The 25 plus teachers and staff enjoyed a luncheon catered by Westwood’s Veggie Grill consisting of All Hail Kale salad, Caesar salad, Chill Out Wings (Jaden’s favorite), Santa Fe Crispy Chiken’ sandwiches and a variety of veggie wraps. Anthony Blanset, Westwood Veggie Grill manager, provided complimentary vegan cookies.  Jessica Smith, marketing manager at Veggie Grill, also included free entrée cards for all the luncheon guests to use at their next Veggie Grill visit. Most of the teachers were trying vegan food for the first time and were surprised at the delicious variety of flavors in plant based foods.

Jaden is thrilled at the success of his Bar Mitzvah project and so proud that his  congregation supports his cause. With a huge smile he exclaimed, “I’m so happy that my synagogue supports me and is helping to spread the word that healthy plant based food can taste so good. I hope that large corporations like Disney, Sony, Apple and Microsoft can follow University Synagogue’s example and also host vegan luncheons for their employees. They could help save animals, the environment, and improve the health of their staff – all at once!”

You can follow Jaden Elkins on Twitter @therealvegankid.

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