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Carrot festival is a celebration with a crunch

Congregation Agudat Achim will be holding its 31st Annual Carrot Festival on Sunday, Sept. 13, on the grounds of the synagogue from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The event, which will be held rain or shine, is open to the entire community. For many, including L.J. Goldstock, owner of the Niskayuna-based L.T.'s Grill and a sponsor of the festival, it is something that he has looks forward to each year.

I think it's a festival that's not just for the synagogue itself but for the community, said Goldstock. "I think it brings the community together."

Goldstock's family has been living in the Schenectady and Niskayuna area for more than 100 years, and while his restaurant won't be providing food for the event, which is all kosher, he will be using his skills as a master chef to help make sure everything runs smoothly and deliciously.

"With my background in the food business for over 30 years, they talk to me about, 'Hey how can we make it better?'" said Goldstock.

He purchased a new grill for the temple so that they can have a larger, more powerful grilling area and he is also helping them out with fountain drinks and other equipment for cooking and entertaining. He also helped them out with a financial contribution.

"It's a great organization. They've just asked me to help make it better," said Goldstock.

"When something has been running for 30 years, you don't want to walk in there and say, 'This is the way it's going to be.' I'd have a bunch of the ladies in there hitting me with a frying pan."

Goldstock reiterated that the event is for the entire community.

"We welcome his interference. He's been a big help. He's been a really good advisor to us," said Hillary Fink, who co-chairs the festival with Andy Gavens.

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