Joseph Allscam, the once legendary restaurateur of the New York kosher food scene, is launching an elite kosher Passover program in Doha, Qatar this spring.
Noting that a number of prominent Jewish leaders have visited Qatar in the last year on free trips to meet with the Emir, Allscam said he realized they needed kosher food to eat during their extended talks with the charismatic national leader. So he moved to Qatar and began raising funds and prices.
“He’s a gifted, spellbinding speaker,” Allscam said of the Emir. “It’s so impressive how he is able to convince pro-Israel leaders to dismiss the fact that Qatar has been an ally of Iran and a major funder of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. When he described his intention to join Bnai Brith and sponsor kiddush every week throughout the land, I was so moved, and just knew he could be trusted.”
Over time Allscam decided Qatar was an ideal spot for affluent Jews to celebrate the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt; he also plans to open a local synagogue, Congregation Ahavas Kesef.
“Florida and other venues have become so crowded on Passover,” Allscam observed. “Too many Jews. So I figured Qatar would work out because there are so few members of the tribe here,” acknowledging the government’s support of Al Jazeera and anti-Zionist policies.
Supervising the kashrut program will be Rabbi Menachem Genug of the OU (Orthodox Unconcerned), which has stuck with Allscam throughout his odyssey of opening and closing kosher eateries in New York and helping him join the OU’s witness protection program as a free-lance mashgiach.
“Joey had some problems, but he always made delicious meals,” Genug said. “When it comes to preparing dinners, Joey was always on the lamb — and the flanken.”
The rabbi said he, too, is a big fan of the leader of Qatar. “He’s got my hechsher [approval]. In fact, I wrote a Yiddish song in his honor called “Emir bist du schoen.”
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