June 29, 2009

New Kosher Accommodations for Shabbat Layover Passengers and at Wimbledon

Jerusalem…KosherToday Middle East Bureau Chief…El Al, Israel’s national airlines, has reached an agreement with the Committee for the Sanctity of the Sabbath enabling observant passengers in transit on Friday afternoon to layover at the airline’s expense when a flight’s departure may violate the Sabbath. One such flight scheduled to leave from Bangkok, Thailand to Israel was delayed for technical reasons. Rabbi Nechemia Wilhelm, Tourist Liaison at the Chabad House in Bangkok arranged accommodation for the passengers at a hotel nearby where they remained until Saturday night. 120 people flew out after the Sabbath ended. Finding kosher accommodations should not be a problem in the cities El Al flies to. And at the Wimbledon tennis championships, kosher food is available for the first time in the 122-year history of the games. Rabbi David and Sara Cohen are operating a kosher kitchen near the site of the matches. Rabbi Cohen who co-directs Chabad of South London Campuses told the Chabad website that when they found a house near the Wimbledon’s Center Court they knew they had to do something like this during the tournament. They are offering barbecue as well as sandwiches to kosher tennis fans.

The Cohens also held an open house on Shabbat featuring a strawberries and cream kiddush. There will also be a special Shabbat Friday night program at the end of the tournament on July 3rd.