May 23, 2016

The Human Side of the Kosher Food Industry

I had already written a column for my weekly “My Sixth Sense” when I came across a Facebook post that made me change course. Leah Cohen of Boca Raton was travelling to New York with Ari, her special needs son. She so wanted to have the experience of eating out with the family in one of New York’s fine kosher restaurant but could that work with her son often being loud and making a mess? When she contacted Elan Kornblum, he swung into action, contacting Victor Ebadi, the owner of the upscale Kasai Kosher Hibachi, where the Cohens wanted to dine. Victor’s Response: “Your son is my son!”

Ebadi opened the restaurant an hour early, catered to every need of the family. Writes Leah: “Thank you Elan and Victor and Chef Sammy for singing “If you’re happy and you know it...” at least ten times with Ari Cohen. It’s a story I have come to expect from an industry that includes grocers who frequently give away food for free to poor people in the neighborhood, restaurants who quietly pack up dinner for a poor family, and even manufacturers who discreetly drop off a case of products at the doorsteps of a family undergoing hardship. And that is only part of the story, which makes me so proud to be associated with the kosher food industry.