When the Beijing Olympics committee needed kosher food, they turned to Chabad-Lubavitch of Beijing, directed by Rabbi Shimon Freundlich, Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to the Chinese capital since 2001. After all, Freundlich is no stranger to preparing massive quantities of kosher food in the city of 21 million; the Chabad center operates two gourmet kosher restaurants and caters to the approximately 2,000 Jewish residents that call Beijing home, as well as an estimated 15,000 Jewish tourists and businesspeople that visit the city each year.

With raw ingredients sourced from all over the world, including kosher beef from South America, Freundlich is overseeing the Beijing Xinhua Airport Catering Company team—guided by executive chef Zhang Chunjie—to serve up some 1,500 gourmet kosher breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Olympic visitors.

It’s a mammoth task for the rabbi, who doesn’t have a team of dozens of trained kosher supervisors at his disposal. Freundlich must single-handedly inspect every head of cabbage and every lettuce leaf to rule out any bugs, and examine thousands of eggs for blood spots that would render them unfit for kosher use.

RELATED

But even before supervising the preparation of the food, he had to kosher the catering company’s facilities, ensuring that all equipment was purged of traces of non-kosher food by heating the appliances and surfaces with a blowtorch or boiling water.

“We’re committed to ensuring that every Jew living in or visiting Beijing has access to kosher food of the highest standard,” Freundlich tells Chabad.org. “While the Olympians take care of their physical fitness, we’ll make sure their spiritual fitness is kept in shape.”

Freundlich must single-handedly inspect every head of cabbage, every floret of broccoli and every lettuce leaf to rule out any bugs, and examine thousands of eggs for blood spots that would render them unfit for kosher use.
Freundlich must single-handedly inspect every head of cabbage, every floret of broccoli and every lettuce leaf to rule out any bugs, and examine thousands of eggs for blood spots that would render them unfit for kosher use.
With raw ingredients sourced from all over the world, including kosher beef from South America, Freundlich is overseeing the Beijing Xinhua Airport Catering Company team.
With raw ingredients sourced from all over the world, including kosher beef from South America, Freundlich is overseeing the Beijing Xinhua Airport Catering Company team.
“While the Olympians take care of their physical fitness, we’ll make sure their spiritual fitness is kept in shape,” says Freundlich
“While the Olympians take care of their physical fitness, we’ll make sure their spiritual fitness is kept in shape,” says Freundlich