New York…by Tova Ross…Kosher restaurants open in Manhattan every other week, it seems, and to a lesser extent in Jewish communities like Brooklyn and Teaneck. Kosher products abound and kosher cooking and baking classes offer aspiring chefs or passionate cooks the opportunities to elevate their kosher culinary creations to gourmet. Recently, however, an international spate of kosher announcements traversed the globe. Last month The Golden Café opened in St. Petersburg, Russia, to serve local Jews and Jewish visitors both meat and pareve items. Golda Tolochinskaya, the café’s manager, said the wide variety on the menu reflects Ashkenazi, Israeli, and Georgian cuisine, under the strictest kashrus requirements. St. Petersburg’s Chief Rabbi Menachem Mendel Pewzner, who is also a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in the region certifies the kashrut of the eatery. And for the first time since before the Holocaust, kosher consumers in Germany will now be able to purchase dairy products that are certified chalav yisrael (higher standard kashrut for dairy). Koscheremilch, a dairy farm near Hamburg in the North of Germany launched by Ze’ev Lluz, is now producing a line of dairy products that are certified kosher and chalav yisrael. Previously those who ate chalav yisrael had to ship products in from France, or have Chabad emissary Rabbi Shlomo Bistritzky personally supervise the whole milking process.
In Dorset UK, the Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation (BHC) opened a market on its premises. Shop@theShul sells kosher meat, poultry, dairy products and baked goods, including challah. For the recent Shavuot holiday, the market offered soft cheese and dairy cakes. The market is open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sunday mornings, and is run by a team of volunteers. BHC has been open for over 100 years and serves hundreds of Jewish families in the area. Since 1976, the shul has offered an on-site mikvah, and now, it provides kosher food as well. And at the Prosserman JCC in Toronto, kosher cooking classes based on French cuisine are now being offered, with a long-term goal of forming a certification program for kosher chefs. The program is coordinated by Nancy Weisbrod, a graduate of Le Cordon Blue in London, with the participation of Chef Eran Marom, an Israeli who trained in French cooking schools. Chef Marom told the Jewish Tribune that he finds his work to be fun and a big challenge.” He said that he has to constantly search for new items. “ We want to educate [future students] about other products that are out there, other stuff that is available,” he says. Also in Toronto are two new restaurants set to open this month. Delicacies is an upscale eatery serving meat dishes, and My Zaidy’s Pizza and Bakery will be the city’s most northern restaurant. Both restaurants are under the supervision of the COR – the Kashruth Council of Canada.