With thousands of soccer fans descending on the Arab nation of Qatar for the World Cup games, many of the Jewish were concerned about whether they would be able to obtain kosher food, so Rabbi Mendy Chitrik, chairman of the Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States, tells Newsmax that he and his son, Rabbi Eli Chitrik, decided to help make that happen.
"This whole project came about through the efforts of Rabbi Marc Schneier of the Foundation of Ethnic Understanding in New York and myself," Chitrik told Newsmax's "National Report." "As you know, observing Jews have to travel with food, mostly they travel to other places where kosher food is not very available and where there isn't any indigenous community."
Rabbi Schneier, through his connections with the Qatari government, was able to obtain VIP visas to make the kosher food available, Chitrik added.
"The Qatari authorities also have designated to us a kitchen in the Qatari Airlines," he said. "They took care of everything. It was a really professional, wonderful way to enable us to provide Jewish fans with kosher food so everybody can enjoy the games. Whether they are Jewish, observant, kosher observant or anybody else, everybody can enjoy and participate in the game."
The initiative, he added, "brings peace between Jews, Muslims, Christians, and anybody."
"It's wonderful, working around bringing people together," Chitrik said. "It is an incredible undertaking feeding all these people."
He said it is a "tricky thing" knowing how many people will want to have kosher food at any given moment, "so we produce over 100 bagels and sandwiches every day."
Chitrik said his son Eli is at the kitchen every day for inspections, and "it's really wonderful."
"He walks around with his fedora, proudly displaying his Jewish identity, and has absolutely no problem, only respect from locals and tourists alike," Chitrik said. "It's a wonderful experience for him and a wonderful experience for everybody around. It's a good step in the right direction and direction of reconciliation between people. People-to-people relationships are maybe a key for peace."
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