Beijing…And the gold medal for kosher food at the Olympics goes to Chabad-Lubavitch of Beijing, directed by Rabbi Shimon Freundlich, Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to the Chinese capital since 2001. The Chabad center operates two gourmet kosher restaurants and caters to the approximately 2,000 Jewish residents that call Beijing home, as well as an estimated 15,000 Jewish tourists and businesspeople that visit the city each year. With raw ingredients sourced from all over the world, including kosher beef from South America, Freundlich is overseeing the Beijing Xinhua Airport Catering Company team—guided by executive chef Zhang Chunjie—to serve up some 1,500 gourmet kosher breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to Olympic visitors.
Seasoned world travelers know that when there is no availability of kosher food in many places, you can always count on the local Chabad. A Philadelphia couple that routinely travel to exotic places even got kosher food delivered to Manaus, a city on the banks of the Negro River in northwestern Brazil, where they were for an Amazon wildlife adventure. Rabbi Arieh and Rebbetzin Devorah Lea Raichman, Chabad emissaries to Manaus for more than 10 years, came through. Said the couple: “Thanks to the Raichmans, we received special kosher meals, delivered to us by boat. After a day of swimming with pink dolphins, exploring wildlife vegetation, playing with baby crocodiles, and fishing for piranhas, we returned to our hotel to partake in the hot, double-wrapped, delicious kosher dinner.”