The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games invited Chabad Shliach Rabbi Shimon Freundlich to organize kosher food and supervision for the Jewish athletes, coaches, and journalists who are participating in the Olympics.
“To ensure the catering for Jewish athletes and their accompanying teams, our committee performed extensive and detailed investigations, as a result of which are interested in your extensive experience in the area of producing kosher food in China,” the Organizing Committee wrote to Rabbi Freundlich.
“I’m humbled by this invitation and honored to be part of the historical Beijing Winter Olympics 2022,” said Rabbi Freundlich, who directs Chabad Lubavitch of Beijing with his wife Dini Freundlich.
He said that China has gone “above and beyond” in their preparations for the Jewish personnel participating in the Winter Olympic games and have made sure that the highest standard of Kosher supervision as well as “5 star” quality food is available in abundance.
“China as a country, as well as the Chinese people, have always welcomed Jews even when others turned us away,” Rabbi Freundlich said. “Beijing, Harbin, Nanjing, Shanghai and Tianjin served as safe havens for Jews before and during the Second World War.”
He added, “Now once again, in a world unfortunately of growing antisemitism, China has proven to be a model country demonstrating just the opposite. A country of inclusion, understanding, appreciation and respect for all the Jewish communities across China.”
The food is being prepared by the Beijing Xinhua Airport Catering Company under the direction of Executive Chef Zhang Chunjie at a commercial kitchen certified kosher near the Beijing Capital International Airport.
Some 1500 meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner were prepared in compliance with and adherence to the highest Kosher standards as well as local and international requirements for food safety. Meals include the finest salmon to imported Glatt Kosher South American beef.
One of the people already seen enjoying the kosher meals is Hailey Kops, a Modern Orthodox Jewish athlete from West Orange, New Jersey, who is competing for Israel at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Chabad of Beijing is also coordinating other Jewish services for those who request them.
This report first appeared on the COLLive.com website.