October 21, 2013

Upscale Israeli Hotels and Restaurants Take Fresh Look at Kosher

JERUSALEM — Israel’s hotel industry continues to expand as the country prepares for what officials hope will be a dramatic uptick of tourism to the Jewish state in years to come. While projections are for an increase in Christian and other non-Jewish tourism, there is also the expectation that Jewish tourism will include a large number of tourists who eat kosher. Most of the new hotels slated to open in the next year or two will include kosher kitchens. Several classified ads looking for executive chefs clearly indicate that knowledge of kosher is essential. London’s Jewish Chronicle reported that Yonatan Roshfeld, who made Israel’s version of Master Chef, one of the most viewed television programs in the country’s history, is going kosher. 

“Every five-star hotel in Israel has a kosher kitchen capable of meeting the tastes of the most sophisticated guests, and the new Ritz-Carlton opening in Herzliya in December will be no different — the jewel in its crown will be a kosher branch of Herbert Samuel,” says the Jewish Chronicle. Rabbi Yosef Lishner of the David Citadel said that he has found that more executive chefs in Israel are knowledgeable about kosher. Orthodox businessmen often complain about the lack of quality kosher restaurants in Tel Aviv, but if current trends continue, that may be changing.