Kosher in Lakeview? Who Knew?

| October 21, 2010 | Comments (1)

Kosher cheeseAs I was sizing up the crowd at a media tour for Jewel-Osco’s newest urban renovation at 3630 N. Southport, I was surprised to see an employee who looked more like he belonged in West Rogers Park, home to the city’s largest concentration of Jewish residents, than Lakeview. After all, isn’t Lakeview all about the young and hip?

I guess Kosher is hip. Or the population of Lake View has gotten older. Or both.

Apparently, when the Jewish community learned of Jewel-Osco’s plans to re-open a store, some of its members made a point of letting those in charge know they wanted a convenient neighborhood resource for Kosher food. And that store is all about convenience.

With the help of Yakov Yarmove, in the Ethnic Marketing and Specialty Foods division (AKA the guy with the kippah), the community’s wishes came true. Not only is there a dedicated Kosher Gourmet Cheese section (next to a surprisingly attractive display of other gourmet cheeses), but the store carries a variety of packaged meats and other products, some of which are local favorites like soups from The Sandwich Club in Skokie (I thought it had closed) and hot dogs and kishkes from Romanian (Bubbe’s favorite!).

They also sell packaged a brand of Kosher chicken that’s raised without hormones and antibiotics. Um, I’ve been fantasizing about a chicken like this for years. I didn’t know they existed. Though, yes, I am aware my fantasy life is lacking. Chalk it up to motherhood.

And they will cut fresh Kosher meat, twice a week!

Why am I so excited about this? Partly because I never thought of Lakeview as a particularly Jewish neighborhood. I hail from Skokie, a town that was once home to the largest concentration of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel and is now home to the Illinois Holocaust Museum. In fact, back in the day if you visited Israel and said you were from Skokie, there was always someone in the room who called out, “Skokie? I have a cousin there. You know him?”

Skokie and Jewish go together like falafel and pita; Lakeview and Kosher, I just didn’t know about.

Based on some tweets I exchanged last night there is indeed an eager crowd of Kosher consumers waiting for the store to open today. I think it’s great that the store and the community worked to bring this to fruition. And with a 120-car underground parking facility, I just might run over this weekend for one of those chickens.

Disclosure: I attended a media preview at the new store and received a bouquet of flowers from Jewel-Osco, but as noted above, did not receive a hormone-free Kosher chicken.

Category: Cooking, New Posts

About Kim Moldofsky: Kim Moldofsky is a Chicago-area Social Media Mom of tween boys. Blogging since 2005 at Hormone-colored Days and around the web, she has a reputation as an insightful blogger who supports the momblogger community. She connects brands and bloggers for conversations, events and product reviews at MomImpact. View author profile.

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  1. Selfmademom says:

    This is incredible. As a Lakeview resident, the lack of Kosher meat is astounding. As a parent of a child at a Jewish Day School a mile away, it will really make a difference hem searching for a kosher snack to bring the kids. Great community relations effort. You’d be surprised how many of us there are in Lakeview!

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