Challah Nov. 17, 2010 (Eyal Toueg)
Challah (illustration) Photo by Eyal Toueg
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In the desert of Peru, there is no challah bread and definitely no kosher wine. That, however, didn’t stop the participants of AJWS’s volunteer summer program from sanctifying the Sabbath in a special way. They found their kosher substitutions in a sweet bread called bizcocho and a drink made from purple corn known as chicha morada. In an ever-shrinking world, an increasing number of opportunities are appearing for kashrut-observant Jews who wish to visit exotic foreign locales. But the age-old question for the wandering Jew remains: Where can we eat?

American Jewish World Service, which runs 25 service-learning programs each year in rural communities in countries such as Burma, Liberia, and Cambodia, often venturing where no Jews have previously set foot, has devised ways to eat local and kosher food in some of the most remote parts of the world.

Refusing to bring in food from abroad, AJWS works with local cooks, who they train in the rules of kashrut to set up a kosher kitchen at each project site. The organization’s basic guidelines, which it sends to it’s local non-governmental organization partners, stipulate that no meat or dairy will be served to participants, all packaged foods must be “ingredient kosher” and a fresh set of pots and pans must be purchased.

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