An Easy Break Fast Menu for Yom Kippur

Entertain, Holidays, Holidays, Menu Ideas, Menus

This post comes courtesy of chefs and cookbook authors Max and Eli Sussman.


Also known as the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year in the Jewish faith. The day is spent repenting and asking for forgiveness from others and from God. Many Jews fast for the entire duration of the day and attend services at a synagogue or temple — and since the entire day is spent fasting, a meal called the “break fast” usually shared with family and friends concludes Yom Kippur. On such a long day, cooking may for some be a welcome distraction (and an excuse to sneak out of services), but for others, there isn’t much time or desire to spend hours in the kitchen preparing a meal.


The break fast is traditionally a lighter, dairy-based meal, and we’ve put together a menu below that’s simple, allowing you to relax and spend time with your family and friends.


Assortment of fruit juices, caffeine-free teas and pop

Bagels served with dill cream cheese, lox, onions, tomatoes and cucumbers


Trout, Watercress and Apple Salad

Leek, Potato & Gruyere Frittata

Couscous Salad with Saffron, Dried Fruit & Pine Nuts

Ginger Cookies

Brown Sugar-Macadamia Nut Coffee Cake


The suggested menu has elements of a traditional Jewish menu: bagels (as a general rule we believe bagels should be at every Jewish meal, just in case. Like you’d have a fire extinguisher or an extra set or car keys…you just never know); smoked fish; and hummus, but with a few new twists to surprise your guests who were probably anticipating reheated catering. Instead of a kugel or blintzes we’ve included a frittata, which is less labor-intensive — frittatas are a breeze to make. Instead of tuna fish or egg salad, we’ve included a recipe for a smoked trout, watercress and apple salad, which will be welcome at your family-style spread.


And every Jewish spread needs some something sweet. These ginger cookies will have guests hoping you’ll send them home with some extras — even the one saying, “I shouldn’t…I really shouldn’t…ok, one cookie.” Close out the meal with a slice of coffee cake and a cup of decaf, because it’s been a very long day.


About the authors: Max and Eli Sussman grew up outside of Detroit Michigan and have been cooking since high school. Max is currently the Chef De Cuisine at Roberta’s in Brooklyn which recently received 2 stars from the New York Times. He has previously worked at The Breslin in Manhattan and was the Chef De Cuisine at Eve in Ann Arbor Michigan. Eli is a line cook at Mile End in Brooklyn. He previously wrote for and is on the Board of Taste of the Nation NYC. They are both closely affiliated with Share our Strength, an organization working to end childhood hunger in America.They live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn NYC. Their website is

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