November 21, 2011

Buenos Aires Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Kosher Travelers

New York … Kosher travelers to Buenos Aires will find a city that has gone to great lengths to make kosher travelers comfortable in a city that been called the “Paris of South America.” At a reception in the offices of the Consulate General, Ing. Hernan Lombardi, the Minister of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires, outlined the city’s “Shalom Buenos Aires” program that included training the city’s hospitality workers about the needs of kosher travelers. The city published a special brochure and map with a listing of shuls, kosher establishments, and hotels that cater to kosher travelers. In its training of hotel personnel, lists of nearby kosher establishments were provided, guidelines on how to deal with timers and electronic locks on the Shabbat were distributed, and the overall culture of Orthodox Jews discussed. Nearly 80% of Argentina’s 220,000 Jews (7th largest Jewish community in the world) live in the capital city. The kosher market in the city is believed to consist of $25 million in sales. Argentina was one of the few countries with a large kosher pavilion at Kosherfest earlier this month. Amongst the participants at the reception was Jay Buchsbaum of Kedem, a frequent visitor to Buenos Aires, who presented the Minister with a bottle of Argentine wine. Buchsbaum praised the Buenos Aires initiative “as an important contribution to the kosher traveler.” Many kosher visitors to Buenos Aires find the city a center of kosher and fondly recall their visit to the only glatt kosher McDonald’s in the world.