Food Holidays Israel Purim

Finding the Best Jelly Donut in Israel

Avery Robinson and Josh MillerI’m sure many people have long wondered where to get the best tasting soofganiyot (jelly donuts) in Jerusalem. Finally, one man has taken up this challenge. That man is Avery Robinson (pictured at left with my son at a Detroit Pistons game in 2005). Avery, a Detroit native and Frankel JAMD graduate, is in Israel for nine months as a participant on Young Judaea‘s Year Course. He has taste-tested the various offerings in Israel’s capital city and, through his blog, takes us on a virtual “journey through the various bakeries of Jerusalem.”

Jelly DonutThe Hebrew word sufganiyah derives from the Hebrew word for sponge (sfog) as its texture is similar to a sponge. In the month of Hanukkah (Kislev) Sufganiyot are sold all over Israel so Jews can observe the custom of eating fried foods in commemoration of the Hanukkah miracle of having enough Temple oil for eight nights.

Potato Latkes are a delicious treat during Hanukkah, but having a religious/cultural excuse to consume jelly donuts cannot be beat (is there a blessing for cholesterol?). One of these years the Krispy Kreme franchise will wise up and become the world-wide corporate sponsor of Hanukkah.

Good luck to donut maven Avery and I look forward to hearing who’s selling the best hamantashen in Jerusalem this Purim!

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |
Food Kosher

Another Kosher Subway Restaurant

Kosher-SubwayMy wife and I ate at the Kosher Subway restaurant located at the Cleveland Ohio JCC a few months ago when we were in town for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces and Cleveland Cavaliers/Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball game. In addition to getting the chance to see our friend Rabbi Steve Weiss of B’nai Jeshurun, we really enjoyed being able to order a meatball and [parve] “cheese” sub and a sub loaded with delicious deli meats.

I thought it was much better than the Subway experience I remember from Jerusalem in 1996 when there was still a Subway restaurant on Jaffa Street downtown.

Kosher-SubwayWell, it looks like a new Subway restaurant is set to open this April in Los Angeles.

Hopefully there will be more Kosher Subway restaurants opening soon in Jewish communities like Chicago, Atlanta or Detroit.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |
Food Jewish Kosher

Ohio has a new Subway!

Yes, Ohio has a new subway and I’m not talking about public transportation! Apparently some Jews in Cleveland have accomplished one of my own personal dreams by establishing a Kosher Subway restaurant in the U.S.

I’ll be moving to Columbus on Friday to begin my new position as rabbi of Congregation Agudas Achim, and I’m sure I’ll visit Cleveland a few times during the year, if for no other reason than to have a little Kosher subway.

Kosher Subway RestaurantHere is an excerpt from the article that appeared in the Cleveland Jewish News:

‘Subway guy’ helps open kosher Subway@theJ

By Alan Smason, Staff Reporter

Thanks to a strict diet of health-conscious Subway sandwiches, Jared Fogle may be less than 50% his former size, but he is still 100% Jewish and delighted to be associated with the first North American kosher Subway, recently opened at the JCC.

“I think it’s great,” says the 28-year-old Fogle, in talking about the Subway’s new location and its foray into kosher. “I’m very proud of it, and hopefully, it will be the first of many to come.”

Although he doesn’t heavily promote his Jewish background, Fogle still feels a connection to Judaism. “I grew up in Indianapolis, and the JCC was a big part of my life,” he boasts. “I spent many summers at the JCC, so to have a Subway at the JCC means a lot to me.”

Known to millions today as “the Subway guy,” Fogle became an overnight celebrity after filming his first TV commercial for Subway in January 2000. In it, he admitted to shedding 245 pounds in one year by adhering to a low-fat diet of no breakfast, two Subway sandwiches a day and diet soda or water. Fogle also added exercise – mostly walking – to round out his regimen.

“It just clicked,” Fogle said as he described his dieting experience. “I lived next door to a Subway on campus, and I basically asked ‘What if …?'” [more]

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |