From The Forward:
On a recent Tuesday night at the Chabad House Bowery on the Lower East Side, a crowd began to form. Tables covered in craft paper filled the room, tea lights flickering in mason jars. At a long table at one end, servers set up paper plates and jugs of ice tea — but no food. “Jazzie’s running late,” explained Matt Glick, the Chabad House chief of staff.
“Jazzie” is Jasmine Einalhori, the 27-year-old chef and co-owner of Sage Kitchen , a new kosher catering business. Tall, with curly brown hair pulled into a messy ponytail, Einalhori dresses casually in jeans and a T-shirt, not unlike her young clientele. Every other Tuesday, she and her business partners host a pop-up restaurant at Chabad, as they seek to fill what they see as a void in the kosher dining world: high quality, healthy, modern kosher food at a reasonable price.
Chabad House Bowery is a community center and Orthodox synagogue that “hosts Jewish gatherings of all kinds,” said Zach Novetsky, a partner in Sage Kitchen. Founded by Rabbi Dov Korn, Chabad House Bowery seeks to support NYU students while they are at NYU, and then convince them to stay in the area after graduation. “The Lower East Side historically was a Jewish area, with a synagogue on every street,” said Novetsky. “And over time that dissipated. Now Chabad is targeting young professionals, and many are staying downtown.”
Novetsky and Einalhori, who met at summer camp as children and reconnected as NYU undergrads, want to be part of that effort. “Chabad was instrumental in bringing us all together,” said Novetsky. “The Rabbi sat us all down and said, ‘There weren’t so many Jews here for a long time, but now people are staying down here because the Jewish life is really flourishing, and one thing we are missing is a restaurant for people to go to.’”