New York…by Tova Ross, Features Editor…For kosher travelers crisscrossing the globe, the number and variety of kosher offerings continues to expand. While in years past, these new launches were in well-known Jewish centers, today it is in places that are not necessarily on the radar of kosher travelers. In Leeds UK, the new Gelman’s Bakery will begin baking a line of kosher bread and cakes, certified by the Leeds’ Beth Din. Co-owner Moira Gelman plans to add dairy baked goods, such as cheesecakes, later this year. The bakery will supply other kosher outlets with their products as well. The Gelman family has a long history in food production and catering, and the Leeds Jewish Representative Council is hopeful that the community will support the new kosher venture. Incidentally, tennis fans who are kosher who will be at Wimbledon will not be denied as the Chabad of South London Campuses, is planning to repeat a kosher café it ran last year.
Ivano-Frankovsk, a southwestern city in the Ukraine, a new kosher hotel has opened. Called Under the Temple, and located next to the city’s primary shul, the hotel also houses a museum displaying exhibits on the area’s rich Jewish history (the city was home to several Chasidic rebbes before World War II). Tzimmes Lounge, a kosher catering facility, is also on-site, and is certified by Rabbi Moshe Leib Kolesnik, the city’s chief rabbi and Chabad representative in the region.
Back home, there were many new interesting additions. Shalom Pita, a pizza and falafel store opened on the Jersey Shore, in Ventnor. Both cholov yisroel and pas yisroel, Shalom Pita serves pizza, falafel, knishes, and more, and offers summer travelers to the beaches of New Jersey – which has limited kosher menu options – a slice of the pie. In North Carolina, home to Duke University but not home to many kosher establishments, Polka Dot Bake Shop, located in Charlotte, has received kosher certification from the Star-K for its most famous product: the sweet potato cracker, baked with real sweet potatoes. The crackers are available in original; rosemary and olive oil; cracked black pepper; and chipotle with smoked paprika flavors, and are pareve and egg and nut-free.