Photo Credit: HaKosem website screenshot.
HaKosem meat in pita dish, ready to be bitten into.

As of the recent addition of HaKosem Restaurant on Shlomo Hamelech Street, half a block away from Dizengoff Center, the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization now certifies 50 Kosher establishments in Tel Aviv – out of some 500 restaurants in the First Hebrew City that bear a kosher certificate.

This marks a significant step for the Tzohar Kashrut service which was launched in February 2018 and has been growing significantly around the country in recent months.

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Tzohar Kashrut CEO Yehuda Ziderman said, “Last year we saw the Cafe Kadosh effect in Jerusalem as dozens of new eateries in the city have been attracted to Tzohar (It’s a Trend: Israeli Restaurants Switching from Rabbinate to Tzohar Kosher Supervision), and now we’re seeing a similar trend in the greater Tel Aviv area.”

The Alegria restaurant on Shlomo Ibn Gabirol St 165, Tel Aviv, with the Tzohar Kashrut emblem superimposed. / Courtesy of Tzohar

“The growth we are seeing proves that consumers are interested in eating kosher, and reaching this 10% mark in Tel Aviv is a result of our approach to working in tandem with the restaurants respectfully and compassionately, together with our commitment to carefully address any halachic challenges that arise,” Ziderman explained. “In every relevant case, we have been able to find workable halachic approaches that provide working solutions to specific challenges. We are deeply grateful to the restaurant owners and their customers for the faith they have placed in us and together we will continue to work tirelessly to expand kashrut observance throughout Israel.”

In response to the growing interest and demand, Tzohar Kashrut is in the process of recruiting new supervisors around the country with a specific focus on Beer Sheva, Ashkelon, and Haifa.

Hakosem was praised by Walla in a March 2018 review that called it “The temple of street food.” Reviewer Avi Efrati wrote (הקוסם: המקדש של אוכל הרחוב): “The line for falafel in a pita at the Kosem that lingers on King Solomon throughout the afternoon, has been a well-known phenomenon for years. Those waiting in line are always refueled by the owners with a falafel ball. That way it’s a little more pleasant to wait. High-quality speakers play electronic music, which surrounds the street corner and makes the waiting experience up-to-date in every sense of the word. Behind the stalls stand servers in white robes and chef hats handing out the orders. Exemplary order and cleanliness. The place is bright. This is exactly what an upgraded street food station should look like.”

And now it’s Tzohar kosher.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.