Saturday, November 09, 2013
It used to be that if Jody Grinberg’s family wanted pizza, they had to schlep to Jersey and make a day of it.
The North Wilmington mom keeps a kosher home, abiding by a number of Jewish dietary laws that govern how foods are prepared and consumed.
Sadly, for the Grinbergs and other observant Jews, there is not one kosher restaurant in all of Delaware.
“If my kids are desperate, they make (pizza) out of tortillas,” she says.
To fill the void, in August the Chabad Lubavitch Hasidic movement in Delaware began selling “Heavenly” kosher pizzas to raise funds for its Hebrew school.
The Sunday sale, held from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life on Silverside Road has attracted Jews and non-Jews alike. Some pick up slices before the Eagles game. Others scoop up their kids after Hebrew school and stay for the pizza, popcorn, music and conversation.
Chabad offers free delivery with a minimum order of two pizzas, but customers typically prefer sit-down or pick-up.
Individual cheese slices cost $2.50. Whole 18-inch pies are $16. There are also meal deals with snacks and drinks. Families often take home pies to freeze and eat the rest of the week, according to Chabad Rabbi Motti Flikshtein.
Chabad imports the frozen pies from J Two Pizza, a kosher pizzeria in Lakewood, N.J. A male volunteer, wearing ritual fringes called tzitzit, heats the pizzas in a small oven in the corner of Chabad’s kitchen.
Meat and dairy can’t be mixed, according to kosher laws. Since the center operates a meat kitchen, all the surfaces and utensils must be covered in plastic wrap while the pizzas are baking. Even the heat from the pie can’t reach the counter.
As many as 40 people attend the weekly sale, held in Chabad’s makeshift pizza parlor next to the kitchen with red-and-white checked tablecloths and oregano dispensers. During the Jewish fall festival called Sukkot, the pizza feast moved outdoors to a hut called a sukkah.
Chabad leaders are not sure if the operation has turned a profit. Startup costs were high, since the group had to purchase all new utensils, plates and serving pieces. Currently, plain cheese New York-style pizza is the only option, but kosher toppings could be added in the future.
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