BOISE -- Deli Days is coming back to Boise, but this year, it's part of a larger festival.

The first Idaho Jewish Cultural Festival started Wednesday night, and it aims to expand the cultural learning beyond just the food, in several days of events.

People gathered to nosh on some Jewish food and kick off the festival Wednesday night, with a meal that was accompanied by traditional Klezmer music.

We have a Klezmer band, which is playing Yiddish music from about the turn of the century into the 1940s. Music from Jewish immigrants that came to the United States and made their music part of popular American music, said festival organizer Oliver Thompson.

The festival this year will also include dance, film, music and art. These events are aimed at sharing the Jewish culture with members of the faith and anyone else who might be curious.

We really wanted to showcase more aspects of Jewish tradition beyond just the food, said Thompson.

With the expansion of the event, they invited folks from across the state and some neighboring states.

Rabbi Daniel Fink said he has been looking forward to expanding Deli Days to a full-blown festival.

We have an incredibly rich culture, and history and heritage that has played a vital role in shaping Western culture and American culture, Fink. For people to know a little bit about Jewish culture, a little bit about our traditions is a lovely, lovely thing.

He is excited to be able to bring more Jewish culture to the Treasure Valley.

It's just one small piece that we bring to the table that we're happy to share, Fink said.

They hope to make the Idaho Jewish Cultural Festival an annual event.

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