3/20/07

Hooters in Israel will not be kosher

Darn, not kosher. I bet quite a few young rabbis would've applied to be their mashgiach, rabbinic supervisor, if you know what I mean.
Restaurant chain Hooters is heading for Holy Land
By Steven Scheer Mon Mar 19, 10:11 AM ET

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. restaurant chain Hooters, known for waitresses in low-cut blouses and short skirts, will open its first branch in Israel this summer, in the Mediterranean seaside city of Tel Aviv.

"I strongly believe that the Hooters concept is something that Israelis are looking for," Ofer Ahiraz, who bought the Hooters franchise for Israel, told Reuters on Monday. "Hooters can suit the Israeli entertainment culture."

At Hooters, scantily clad waitresses the company calls Hooters Girls serve spicy chicken wings, sandwiches, seafood and drinks.

Ahiraz said a specific location in Tel Aviv, Israel's most cosmopolitan city, had yet to be chosen, but he said it would not open restaurants near large religious populations, and they would not be kosher.

2 comments:

Bryce said...

"I bet quite a few young rabbis would've applied to be their mashgiach, "

I bet a few Writers, Professors, Talmudists, technologists, humorists, sagittari, humanists, feminists, liberals, and swimmers would too.

Anonymous said...

Apparently there's some support for kosher food at Hooters....

Fairfield Jewish Sentinel
Friday May 30, 2008

Hooters Israel Should be Kosher
"The Rabbi's Corner"
by Rabbi Dovid Zev-Yad
It was recently announced that the restaurant chain Hooters has opened a franchise in Tel Aviv. Hooters, for those of you who do not know, is a popular American restaurant chain famous for its waitresses who dress in low cut shirts and short tight skirts. It goes without saying that these establishments demean women and should not be patronized by any Jewish man. But there remains the halachic issue of their kashrut status. Given that many Jewish men do frequent Hooters, it would certainly be better if they were at least eating kosher, rather than treif, while ogling scantily clad women.
Some readers are no doubt thinking that no Torah Jew who keeps kosher would dare set foot in such a place, so the question is irrelevant. But of course many Jewish men are not Torah Jews, and we need to help them keep all the mitzvot nonetheless. This includes kashrus. Each Jew practices religion according to his or her ability and it is the job of us engaged in kiruv to encourage them in their observance as much as we can. To this end, we need to press the management of the Hootersin Israel to make their establishment kosher.
In addition, the sad fact is that many otherwise Torah observant Jews do frequent immoral businesses like Hooters. I can tell you that I have personally seen many of my own Yeshiva students patronize Hooters in the past. I have made a habit of visiting Hooters in Manhattan on a regular basis to find out just which talmidim might be there. I often have to wait two or three hours on a given night before I see someone I recognize. These are agonizing periods for me as I must endure the temptations of uncountable nubile young women. It is all I can do to avoid their flirtations and keep my mind on Hashem. The only thing I have found that works is to repeat to myself the words from Eshet Chayil, "Shecker haChen, v'hevel ha'yofi." or "Grace is deceptive, beauty is illusory." My trial is made even worse since I have nothing to consume except water. I have asked the manager if I could bring my own food, but he told me that it is not allowed. He offered me a Snickers bar once. But he wanted two dollars for it and it can be purchased at a vending machine for less than half that. Besides, since I keep chalov yisrael, I would not eat it anyway.
When I finally do encounter a student of mine, as is usually the case, it is all worth it. I invite him to sit at my table, and together we talk for an hour or two. I ask him to point out which waitress is most tempting to him, and which of her features awakens his yetzer harah (evil inclination). We study each and every employee and talk about why God tests us. And in the end, I always reach the boy. But it would be a lot easier if I had something to eat while I engage in this most holy of tasks.
I dined at home of my Rosh Yeshiva recently and I asked him about the possibility of giving shiurim at Hooters. He initially said that such a thing would be unacceptable. But later that day, privately after Mincha, he told me that he had rethought the idea and that it might be worth trying. After I took him to Hooters myself, and he had seen it first hand, he told me that he was in complete agreement. He even offered to help me teach the shiurim. But there is still the nagging issue about the Kashrus of the food. God willing, the management will be able to work with us to provide for our needs.

In addition to writing his weekly column for The Sentinel, Rabbi Zev-Yad teaches at the Pinsker Yeshiva in Monsey. He is also in the process of finishing a book entitled, "A Thousand Ways to Test Your Yetzer Harah", which will be published in 2009.