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Buenos Aires pushes to be ‘kosher capital’ of Latin America


The Buenos Aires city government has launched a program to make the city “the kosher capital of Latin America.”

The program, Buenos Aires Kosher Friendly, is a result of a year of work with hotels, restaurants, tour services providers and Jewish institutions, according to the Buenos Aires city government, which announced the initiative this week at the Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center.

“We established an untold governmental experience of kosher club offering” the coordinator of the program, Jacqueline Zeitune de Levy told JTA.

The city is home to some 240,000 Jews, according to the North American Jewish Data Bank.

The local market for kosher food already is around $25 million a year, according to the city.

Under the program, representatives of five hotel staffs have been trained about kosher rules and needs: the Sheraton Libertador Hotel, the Panamericano Buneos Aires Hotel and Resort, the InterContinental Buenos Aires, Hotel Regente and the Hotel Savoy.

More than 280 employees participated in the first round of training. The consortium has 11 hotels and 23 food providers.

Organizers said the program also will focus on increasing the supply of kosher products and services in the city.

Buenos Aires already has the first kosher McDonald’s outside Israel, which was established in 1998 with the supervision of Rabbi Daniel Oppenheimer, who also is coordinating the kosher rules in the Kosher Friendly program.

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