March 6, 2017

The Glatt Kosher Waldorf Astoria

The luxurious Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem has become the destination of choice for the vacationing Orthodox traveler to Israel as well as the businessman. Spending Shabbos at the hotel last week, I saw mostly Orthodox Jewish families from New York, London, Melbourne and even Panama City, with many participating in the luxury hotel synagogues two flights beneath the lobby. A prominent Jewish leader from Chicago said: “Who would have believed that one of the world’s most luxurious hotel brands would be the new destination for Orthodox Jews?” Indeed, the entire hotel is strictly kosher under the Mehadrin certification of the Jerusalem Rabbinate. Sara and her husband vacationed at the Waldorf with points they earned through Hilton Honors, quite a treat for a couple still teaching in New York’s public schools. Sam, a London stock broker, used to frequent the David Citadel across the street, that is until the Waldorf came into being. What I found interesting was the mix of guests that ranged from young successful New York businessmen to well-oiled Orthodox tycoons. Moshe, an acquaintance from Flatbush, seemed to enjoy hobnobbing with some of the notables that were at the hotel. Ah, to be seen at the Waldorf has become an objective in itself. If nothing else, it has become a glatt kosher status symbol.