The Jew And The Carrot

Is This Site the Kosher Seamless?

By Michael Kaplan

Brace yourself: you can now browse kosher restaurants and order food right to your doorstep at the click of a few buttons.

It might sound a bit like Grubhub or Seamless, but founder Morris Sued says his startup, which carries only kosher restaurants, “Is like going to a non-kosher supermarket versus a kosher supermarket. You can be sure everything we offer is kosher, and we even specify the types of kosher.”

The startup, called getkosher.com, claims to make ordering kosher food as easy and convenient as possible. “You just sit tight at your home or office and have the food come to you,” the website reads.

The service allows customers to browse partner restaurants in select areas of New York and New Jersey and place orders at the normal menu prices. After a successful few months, the company has just launched partnerships with about 20 restaurants in Midtown Manhattan.

On top of earning commission from restaurant sales, GetKosher also has drivers that deliver on behalf of a number of Brooklyn restaurants without their own delivery services, and generally charge about a $5 additional fee. Their FAQ page says that deliveries outside the normal range are possible, but could include a $75 minimum.

Sued, 22, launched the business about a year ago, but he said it’s only really taken off in recent months. Now GetKosher touts more than 100 partner restaurants and over 2,000 customers and is growing fast, he said.

The idea came about as Sued and his father were picking up kosher shawarma in Brooklyn and felt that in the age of the Internet, all the hassle that goes into picking up a food order could be avoided.

The website logs user information so that customers don’t need to fill out credit card details each time they place an order. Customers can also make orders by phone.

For now, the startup is limited to areas of New York and New Jersey with substantial Jewish populations. But Sued has his sight set on expanding beyond the East Coast, and even beyond the United States. “We’re providing a service to the Jewish community… how amazing would it be to serve everyone, no matter where they are [in the world]?”

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Battle for Kosher Lower East Side Ends — Sadly

By Michael Kaminer

After a prickly debate that nearly became a referendum on the Lower East Side’s Jewish character, a non-kosher diner will fill the space that once housed Noah’s Ark Deli, the neighborhood’s last full-service kosher restaurant.

The owner of Comfort Diner, an 18-year-old Midtown restaurant, was awarded the lease for the space next to the Seward Park Co-op last night.

Holy Schnitzel, a Long Island-based kosher chain, had been the presumed frontrunner for the space but lost out on the space in a 7 to 4 vote. The team behind the chain had launched a campaign that included enlisting heavy-hitters like New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to plead their case. A petition for a kosher restaurant in the spot also garnered over 1,000 signatures.

Frank Durant, the Seward Park Co-op’s general manager, did not return calls or emails for comment. But he told the LoDown that “the board anguished over this decision, and we really did try our best.”

Ira Freehof who runs the diner, told the Forward he only learned about the vacant space last week — a family friend who lives near the building had tipped him off — and had not been aware of the tempest facing the Seward Park Co-Op, which owns the space. “I didn’t realize how contentious it was,” Freehof said.

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Bacon-Flavored Ritz Crackers — Kosher!

By Adam Soclof

(JTA) — Ritz has a new bacon-flavored cracker hitting shelves.

But unlike most things bacon-related, this Nabisco product bears a kosher symbol.

“There was much discussion over the decision about this product,” said Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of the Orthodox Union Kashrut Department.

The box for the new Ritz cracker has the signature O.U.-Dairy certification symbol.

“The reality is there’s nothing close to bacon in this product,” Elefant said. “There are artificial bacon flavorings that give the ‘bacon flavor.’”

“Nobody’s going to think this is actual bacon,” he added, noting the packaging, which has the words “Artificially Flavored” in large type right below the word “Bacon.”

At least one reviewer, however, says the cracker tastes like the real thing.

“These actually taste too much like bacon,” commented Rina Raphael, style editor for NBC’s “Today” show, who sampled the Ritz crackers before they hit shelves.

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Don't Worry, Ben's Deli Is Staying Kosher

By Michael Kaminer

Keep calm: Ben’s Kosher Deli is not going treyf.

The owners of the iconic eatery on W. 38th Street in Manhattan’s Garment District were overwhelmed with panicked calls this week after Crain’s New York Business reported Ben’s is “pondering the unthinkable” and might “break with tradition to reduce costs” as it expands beyond the New York metro area.

“It’s a headache,” a person who answered the phone at Ben’s Manhattan business office told the Forward. ”People are calling to see if we’re giving up our kosher certification, which we have no intention of doing.”

With a mix of bemusement and frustration, Ben’s founder Ronnie Dragoon told the Forward that Crain’s reporter Lisa Fickenscher had actually asked him what he would do if kosher fabricators and processors went out of business.

“My response was that if they are no kosher fabricators or processors, I’d have no alternative but to look elsewhere,” Dragoon said. “But she took the intention away from the answer.”

Confusing readers more, the Crain’s piece noted that a chef who’d come in to audition for a spot at Dragoon’s new Westchester location —  slated to open in August — had presented a tasting menu that included a bacon-and-cheese dish.

“The chef had made up a menu for us, so there was a list of ten ingredients, including bacon and cheddar. But he never made that dish,” Dragoon said. “The way it was written, it sounded like he brought the food in, prepared it, and had us taste it. Even if he wanted something non-kosher, he couldn’t purchase it for our kitchen. All of our purchasing is done through the business office. We have ingredient and food-item lockdown.”

The chef, Scott Rabedeau, got hired anyway. He’ll be designing a menu for the 5,200-square-foot Scarsdale Ben’s that includes “dishes from yesteryear, Ashkenazi standards, and Mediterranean dishes - past, present, and future.” Rabedeau’s an alumnus of Maggiano’s, the New Jersey Italian chainlet “started by a Jew,” Dragoon laughed.

Scarsdale will become the first of three planned locations to open by 2015, including Washington, DC, and Boston. Ben’s, Crain’s reported, is on “solid footing” after a challenging few years that saw locations close in 2006; the chain now generates more than $25 million annually.

“One location in a city works very well,” Dragoon said. “It’s appreciated, you have a wider audience, and you’re a niche business with little competition for that dollar. That’s why my location in Boca Raton is very successful. On Long Island, I have three units that cannibalize each other. One each in DC or Boston will do well.”

Dragoon even told the Forward he thinks a kosher restaurant could thrive in a neighborhood like the Lower East Side, where a mini-controversy erupted over the storefront that once housed Noah’s Ark Deli, the area’s last full-service kosher restaurant. Neighbors started a petition urging the building’s co-op to seek another kosher tenant; dissidents said kosher’s time was over downtown.

“That neighborhood may not have the local population to support it, but it’s a very mobile population in Manhattan,” he said. “It’s possible people would flock to it if it’s the right kind of operation.”

Kosher eateries everywhere are facing tough times, though, Dragoon said. “Occupancy costs like rent and taxes have outstripped demand for kosher restaurants,” he explained. “Because so many fabricators are closing, food prices go up, too. The high costs across the board make it tough.”

Ben’s, however, is here to stay, Dragoon said. He also had a message for Forward readers, and anyone else listening: “Ben’s is staying kosher for as long as there are kosher fabricators or processors.”

Photo credit: Facebook/Ben’s Kosher Deli

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The Battle for .Kosher in Cyberspace

By Michael Kaplan

For months, top kosher certifiers have been battling over control of the word “kosher” in cyberspace. Now, the Internet’s organizing body — ICANN or the Internet Corporations for Assigned Names and Numbers for the uninitiated — has ruled that OK Kosher will own the rights to administer all dot-kosher web addresses.

Some of the Chabad-affiliated certifier’s top competitors, including the popular Orthodox Union aren’t happy about it, arguing that the move could lead to an unfair competitive advantage.

“We believe that kosher should not be owned by anyone,” Rabbi Moshe Elefant from the OU said. “It’s not like we’re trying to take this for ourselves. We believe kosher belongs to everyone, its not something that should be owned by only one entity.”

ICANN representatives have countered that by noting that the dot-kosher domain will be available to other kosher certification companies as well.

Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, CEO of OK Kosher, told the Jewish Week that the move was meant to keep dot-kosher out of the hands of business people.

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The Battle for .Kosher in Cyberspace

By Michael Kaplan

For months, top kosher certifiers have been battling over control of the word “kosher” in cyberspace. Now, the Internet’s organizing body — ICANN or the Internet Corporations for Assigned Names and Numbers for the uninitiated — has ruled that OK Kosher will own the rights to administer all dot-kosher web addresses.

Some of the Chabad-affiliated certifier’s top competitors, including the popular Orthodox Union aren’t happy about it, arguing that the move could lead to an unfair competitive advantage.

“We believe that kosher should not be owned by anyone,” Rabbi Moshe Elefant from the OU said. “It’s not like we’re trying to take this for ourselves. We believe kosher belongs to everyone, its not something that should be owned by only one entity.”

ICANN representatives have countered that by noting that the dot-kosher domain will be available to other kosher certification companies as well.

Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, CEO of OK Kosher, told the Jewish Week that the move was meant to keep dot-kosher out of the hands of business people.

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Orthodox Push for Kosher Army Meals

By JTA

Agudath Israel of America asked the Pentagon to restore kosher field meals.

The Orthodox umbrella group on Monday said that the Defense Logistics Agency had solicited a bid in April for kosher and halal “meals ready to eat,” but had recast the solicitation last month to include only halal, which adhere to Muslim religious precepts.

“As things stand now, no kosher MREs are being produced and, as previous stock has become depleted, there is essentially nothing currently available for Jewish members of the Armed Forces that meet their religious dietary needs,” Abba Cohen, Agudah’s Washington director, said in a release. “How long this state of affairs will continue is unknown.”

Cohen said he wrote Maj. Gen. Donald Rutherford, the top military chaplain, expressing his “deep concern” but also confidence “that the department will find a way to address the dietary needs of Jewish service personnel” given that the Pentagon is showing “greater interest in broadening religious accommodation” in the military.

The Pentagon announced last month that U.S. troops may accommodate religious beliefs in their garb or grooming, including kippahs and beards for Jewish servicemen, as long as it does not frustrate their mission.

Cohen told JTA that Rutherford and his staff already are looking into the matter and contacting the relevant agencies.

The U.S. military introduced kosher MREs in 1999, a result of complaints from Jewish troops during the 1991 Gulf War that such meals were not available.

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$6 For a Knish? Welcome to the Super Bowl

By Anna Goldenberg

If you have tickets for the Super Bowl at the MetLife Stadium this Sunday, and you’re planning to munch on some kosher snacks while watching the battle between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, you’d better bring some extra cash: This stuff’s not cheap.

As the Forward reported, this year’s event is likely to be the most kosher Super Bowl ever. A significant number of the ticket holders for the 82,000 seats are expected to be Jewish; the stadium features a praying area — and a solid selection of kosher food.

But it comes at a hefty price: The kosher caterers charge $13 for a turkey or chicken wrap, $13 for chicken wings and $11 for a hot dog with chips (Hebrew National, of course). And don’t forget to tip! If you want to save money, we recommend a knish: The dough snacks go for $6 per piece.

After shelling out $1,000 (at the very least) for a ticket, $13 for a wrap might actually seem a bargain. If not, you could always bring your own food.

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Kosher Grub for the Super Bowl

By Lucy Cohen Blatter

Whether you love the game or just watch for the commercials, this Sunday is really all about the food. If you’re hoping to host a kosher fiesta party, down more wings than you ever thought imaginable, order a sub as tall as a football player or even have some veggie friendly fare, we have you covered with spots around the country.

What are you eating on game day? Tell us in the comments!

New York

Courtesy of La Brochette

La Brochette
This new, upscale midtown kosher steakhouse and sushi bar is hosting its first-ever kosher Super Bowl party (we know, sushi and football, it’s an odd combo but just go with it). Game day specials include a selection of brochettes or skewered meats including beef, kafta, veal and lamb and a prime-meat sampler with a lamb chop, filet mignon, short rib and center-cut rib eye. The game will be broadcast on 55-inch flat-screen TVs around the restaurant, and a special selection of HE’BREW kosher beer will be brought in for the occasion.

RSVPs are recommended, though not required. Brochettes are $22 per serving; buy three, get one free. The prime-meat sampler is $75. 340 Lexington Ave at 39th Street, New York, NY, 212-972-2200

Gotham Burger Gotham Burger’s Manhattan location is holding an All You Can Eat and Drink Super Bowl Buffet with unlimited beer on tap for just 80 people (so make your reservations stat). Cost: $85 in advance, $100 at the door. If you’d rather munch on your snacks at home, both locations are offering take-away packages complete with game day favorites like sliders, chili, heroes and wings.

*The deadline to place orders is January 29. 726 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY, 212-335-0005; 1383 Queen Anne Rd, Teaneck, New Jersey, 201-530-7400,

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Mark Bittman's 'Kosher Before Six'

By Uriel Heilman

getty images

(JTA) — Mark Bittman is not a religious man by any stretch of the imagination, least of all his own.

A longtime food writer for The New York Times who three years ago shifted from cooking to food policy columnist, Bittman has made a living eating the kinds of things frowned upon by Jewish tradition.

As he told me recently, “Pork cooked in milk is an amazing dish.”

Though he was born and raised a Jew – going to synagogue, religious school and Reform youth groups at Manhattan’s East End Temple – Bittman says he pretty much has had nothing to do with Judaism since he graduated from high school in 1967.

But read his columns on food sustainability and the book he published last April, “VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health… for Good,” and you might see some religious echoes in Bittman’s food philosophy.

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Quinoa Ruled Kosher for Passover

By Hody Nemes

Rabbi Shoshan Ghoori meets with South American farmers during quinoa fact-finding mission

Jews around the world can breathe a sigh of relief: Quinoa is kosher for Passover.

The Orthodox Union (OU), the world’s largest kosher certification agency, announced last week that it would begin certifying the popular food for use during the festival of freedom.

Quinoa’s status on Passover has been a source of debate in observant Jewish communities. The plant is not among the five grains – wheat, spelt, oats, barley, and rye – prohibited on Passover by Jewish law. In fact, quinoa is not a grain at all, but a member of the goosefoot family related to spinach and beets.

The OU’s competitor Star-K certified the food as kosher for Passover in 2007. But the OU refused to give its own stamp of approval to quinoa out of fear that the plant is a kind of kitniyot, a group of grains and legumes which could be confused with the five forbidden grains. Ashkenazi Jews of European origin have refrained from eating kitniyot on Passover for centuries, though Sephardic Jews (hailing from the Middle East and the Mediterranean) have no similar prohibition.

With beans, rice, corn, and peanuts forbidden as kitniyot, many Ashkenazi Jews eagerly embraced quinoa as a protein-rich substitute in their Passover cooking.

The OU’s refusal to endorse quinoa’s Passover use until now caused confusion over the plant’s status – and even a backlash. A tongue-in-cheek “Quinoa Defense League” formed on Facebook in March, with the goal of preserving quinoa’s kosher-for-Passover status.

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Israel Approves Female Kosher Supervisors

By Michael Kaplan

In a landmark decision earlier this month, the Israeli Chief Rabbinate agreed to allow women to take the necessary steps to becoming certified kosher supervisors.

The decision comes after a lawsuit filed with the High Court of Justice by Emunah, an organization which offers an array of services including vocational schools and a women’s college.

The petition argued that their program, which passed 16 women last year, conformed to the national requirements, and demanded an explanation for why the women had been refused certification.

Course graduate Avivat Rabi was a co-petitioner in the suit.

Kosher supervisors are responsible for overseeing food production facilities, including kosher kitchens in places like restaurants and factories.

Though Jewish Law is typically thought to allow women to serve as mashgiachot, some have argued that it violates general principles of modesty. In 2010, the Chief Rabbinate began requiring that kosher supervisors undergo at least four years of yashiva training, making it unfeasible for women to fulfill the requirements.

Though rare even before the 2010 decision, there are a small band of women – hired prior to the new guidelines – who have been working as mashgiachot for years.

In the United States where certification laws are considerably more relaxed, the field has seen an upshot of women in recent years. In 2009 the Orthodox Union began offering women kashrus seminars according to The Jewish Week.

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Life, Death, and Kosher Slaughter

By Sarah Kornhauser

Alyssa Kapnick

Yadidya Greenberg is a certified shochet (kosher slaughterer), animal welfare educator and blogger. He has given live kosher slaughter and animal welfare presentations at The Portland Meat Collective, Urban Adamah of Berkley and the Hazon Rocky Mountain Food Festival just to name a few. Yadidya will also be featured in the upcoming documentary “Farm and Red Moon”. He has been an active member of the Colorado Hazon community and is slowly making headways onto the national stage. After making this video he teamed up with Director of Hazon Denver, Sarah Kornhauser, to write up this short interview which gives a bit more information on the video, Yadidya, and his message.

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Israel Sets Example on Kosher Animal Cruelty

By Jeffrey Cohan

(JTA) — Diaspora Jews often find themselves exasperated with the Israeli rabbinate. But on one significant issue, an Israeli rabbinic authority is looking far more enlightened and merciful than his peers in the United States.

Recently elected Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau surprised more than a few people last week when he reportedly threatened to terminate the kosher certification of a slaughterhouse belonging to Soglowek, one of Israel’s largest meat producers.

Lau issued the warning after an undercover investigation produced video footage showing routine and egregious abuses of chickens and turkeys at a Soglowek slaughterhouse in northern Israel. The graphic video, aired on national television in Israel, showed chickens packed in filthy cages without food or water, writhing turkeys tossed into metal boxes with their throats cut, and several other forms of cruelty.

“As a human being and as a Jew, I was shocked by the footage, by the brutal behavior of those employees toward helpless animals,” said Lau, according to Israel’s Ynet website. “Such things shouldn’t happen. The Torah forbids us to act in this way and obliges us to be extra vigilant with regard to animal welfare. We cannot remain silent in the face of such things. We will act firmly and sternly against this factory.”

Lau summoned Soglowek officials to a meeting and urged all slaughterhouses nationwide to take additional steps to avoid abuses. The Soglowek slaughterhouse was shut down temporarily by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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What's 'Kosher' Worth? A Hell of a Lot

By Maya Shwayder

thinkstock

How much is a kosher website worth? Apparently, half a million dollars. Kosher.com sold earlier this week for that full sticker price.

But wait: It wasn’t owned before? Well, it was, but brace yourself for the actual shocking part: There is no website present at kosher.com. Navigating to kosher.com takes a netizen to a blank, generic search side. This is pretty surprising, given that the kosher food industry is a $12.5 billion per year business (yes, billion, with a “b”).

The site was previously owned by Rosalind Davidowitz of Lawrence, NY and is in the hands of Los Angeles lawyer Eli Perlman. Perlman’s client — an unnamed company — purchased the site and plans to lease it out. (Sadly, Perlman isn’t interested in sharing any more details).

Other domain names that are surprisingly unpopulated include kosherfood.com, Jew.com, and Hannukkah.com. Sadly, thanksgivukkah.com has already been claimed.

Jewish.com looks to have the makings of a site, but is actually nothing more than an a depository of ads for “Jewish Jewelry,” how to pick Jewish names, and where to find the best Jewish dating websites.

Israel.com is also, shockingly, a very simple blog site with aggregations of Israel-related news from around the Web.

RoshHashanah.com is another that doesn’t exist, and YomKippur.com redirects to a sub-site of Shabbat.com, a social network for connected Jews who are looking to spend Shabbat with someone.

So there you have it, web entrepreneurs! A whole host of Jew-related domain names, just ripe for the taking.

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A Jewish Chef in Fiji

By Gerri Miller

inter-continental fiji

There are few Jews living in the South Pacific island nation of Fiji, aside from a small Jewish community in the capital city of Suva who are mostly descendants of Australian merchants who arrived in the 1880s. One of them is Ofir Yudilevich, executive chef at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa on the main island of Viti Levu. Responsible for four restaurants, catering and room service for an average of 3,000 guest and staff meals a day, Yudilevich has come a long way from his family’s restaurant in New Zealand.

Born in Israel in 1974, Yudilevich grew up in Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv, but moved to Auckland, New Zealand after his bar mitzvah, when his parents divorced and his father was remarried, to a Kiwi. (His mother and sister remained in Israel.) Yudilevich Sr., an Israeli army vet who became a property developer and restaurateur, opened New Zealand’s first Israeli, kosher-style restaurant, Le Haim (kosher certification wasn’t available). The menu, including falafel, shawarma, Grandma’s potato latkes and over 30 salads, was a hit with the Jewish community.

RECIPE: Fiji-Style Pickled Fish

It was also a training ground for Ofir Yudilevich.

“It hooked me on the love of food and working in a kitchen, and I have not looked back since,” he says. With that experience under his belt, he worked at Sheraton Auckland and the chain’s hotels in Sydney, Bangkok, and Tel Aviv. Moving up in the culinary ranks, he spent a year at the Ivy in London. Now he gets to feed visitors to paradise, a dream job if there was one.

Gerri Miller: How does an Israeli-born New Zealander wind up in Fiji?
Ofir Yudilevich: I came here by accident last October. I had finished (a job) in Cebu, the Philippines, and was taking a year’s sabbatical. I became a dive instructor there. The chef happened to resign on the same day, so it was meant to be.

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Save Eli's!

By JTA

WASHINGTON — Eli’s Restaurant, a popular kosher eatery in Washington D.C., frequented by politicians, lobbyists and government workers, may have a date with the wrecking ball.

According to a petition being circulated on Change.org, its “current storefront will be demolished as part of a redevelopment plan.”

The petition, which had 100 signatures as of Tuesday, wants the owners to know “how important it is that they find a new location in DC and continue to serve the downtown Jewish community.”

The restaurant has been serving corned beef sandwiches, hamburgers and soups at its location near DuPont Circle, at the southeast corner of the intersection of N and 20th streets, NW, since 2004.

Efforts to speak with the restaurant’s management were unsuccessful.

At least one other kosher eatery is open in downtown Washington — in the local JCC.

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Michael Solomonov's Culinary Tribute to Slain Brother

By Liz Steinberg

liz steinberg
Michael Solomonov puts the final touches on dinner commemorating the 10th anniversary of his brother’s death.

For Israeli-American chef Michael Solomonov, this weekend’s dinner in an Israeli park had been in the making for 10 years – ever since his younger brother David was killed on duty in the Israel Defense Forces.

Michael Solomonov, the owner of Zahav, an award-winning Israeli style restaurant in Philadelphia, was just launching his culinary career when David Solomonov was killed by a sniper just days before he was scheduled to complete his military service. His brother’s death is one of the main factors that pushed him to focus on Israeli food, he says.

A picture of his brother hangs in the room of Michael Solomonov’s 2-year-old son, also named David. The father and son say “good-bye to Uncle David” every time they leave the room, the chef says.

“That ‘good-bye, Uncle David’ thing we say every morning, that’s what we’re doing here tonight,” he told the crowd of 120 at the dinner in the Tel Aviv suburb of Kfar Sava.

Solomonov. 35, was born in Israel to a Bulgarian-Israeli father and an American-Israeli mother, and grew up moving between Israel and the United States. He and his brother had lived on different continents in the years prior to David’s death, but they reconnected a month beforehand.

That’s when Solomonov visited Israel for the first time in four years, “and got to sort of rekindle a very meaningful relationship.” He and his brother spent several weeks together, which happened to include a lot of eating.

Then, on Yom Kippur 2003, shortly before David was due to be discharged, he was killed while patrolling on the Lebanese border, near Metulla. A few months later, Solomonov, then sous-chef at Vetri, hosted a dinner for David’s army unit in partnership with his employer, chef Marc Vetri.

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Conservative Wine Not Kosher Enough for Rabbis

By Judy Maltz (Haaretz)

haaretz

The Chief Rabbinate has issued a warning that wine produced by the first Israeli winery to be supervised by the Masorti Movement, as the Conservative Movement is called in Israel, is not kosher.

“The Conservative Movement is forbidden by law to authorize kashrut,” the Rabbinate wrote on the page devoted to kashrut updates on its website. “[These] Products … should not be sold in stores under the supervision of the local rabbinates. Let the public know and be warned.”

A month ago, Haaretz published the story of Rujum, a tiny boutique winery in the southern town of Mitzpeh Ramon that had decided to challenge the Orthodox Rabbinate’s monopoly on kashrut supervision, and specifically, the very strict laws that pertain to winemaking.

Rujum does not claim that its wines are kosher by Orthodox standards; its wines do not bear the kashrut label of the Rabbinate, which is the sole authority recognized in Israel on the matter.

The Masorti Movement requires that all ingredients used in wine be kosher, and most of the commandments specific to produce grown in Israel are observed.

For more go to Haaretz

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Could Science Create a Kosher Cheeseburger?

By Talia Lavin

thinkstock
Could this burger be kosher in the future? Maybe — with the help of science.

(JTA) — When the world’s first lab-grown burger taste-tested on Monday, the event seemed full of promise for environmentalists, animal lovers and vegetarians.

Another group that had good reason to be excited? Kosher consumers.

The world’s first in-vitro burger, made using stem cells and soaked in a nutrient broth that might make Upton Sinclair shudder, was triumphantly declared “close to meat” by two taste-testers in London. Five years in the making, the meat patties were essentially an “animal protein cake”, according to one taster.

The burger was created by harvesting stem cells from a portion of cow shoulder muscle that were multiplied in petri dishes to form tiny strips of muscle fiber. About 20,000 of the strips were needed to create the five-ounce burger, which was financed partially by Google founder Sergey Brin and unveiled by Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

PETA hailed the event as a “first step” toward humanely producing meat products. A University of Amsterdam study shows that lab-grown meat could significantly reduce the environmental impact of beef production.

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  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
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