Miami Beach…Harding Avenue in Surfside was crowded with people hoping to get a reservation at one of the upscale restaurants on what some call “kosher restaurant alley.” Getting a coveted reservation was like winning the lottery during Yeshiva week which begins in late January and extends through the second week in February. “Yeshiva Week” replaced what was commonly referred to as mid-winter vacation. Since different schools and neighborhoods have different vacation dates, Yeshiva Week extends for almost 3 weeks, although typically schools allocate from a few days to a week for the obligatory vacation.
Dining out with a family has become a rather expensive experience as beef prices rose by some 15% - 20% since last year’s Yeshiva Week. It is most stressful time for restaurant owners as they try to accommodate the throngs that descend on South Florida during Yeshiva Week. Mendel Segal of Backyard BBQ with his fascinating array of smoked dishes says that he practically sleeps in the restaurant during Yeshiva Week. At next door’s Street Kitchen, a waiter was busy explaining that they had hundreds of would-be diners that they could not accommodate and therefore could not seat a walk-in couple. Kosher overall was doing a booming business at the growing cadre of kosher supermarkets, with somewhat of a resurgence on Arthur Godfrey Road where the new Yes market was crowded with vacationers.
Nor was Miami the only destination for Yeshiva Week as many vacationers headed for the Bahamas with its new kosher option, Cancun, a growing kosher destination, and several skiing resorts.