Just what Wall Street trader Jonathan Katz always wanted: a slice of the action.
Katz, who deals with hedge funds on weekdays, will handle pastrami and turkey on weekends this NFL season as a partner in Kosher Sports Inc., which will operate a pair of kosher food carts in Giants Stadium, in East Rutherford, N.J., during Giants and Jets game. The teams’ home season starts Sunday, Sept. 7, with the Giants hosting the St. Louis Rams.
The kiosk-on-wheels, which was completting negotiations this week to offer sandwiches and knishes and a pickle-on-a-stick and soft drinks, will be the first kosher vendor at Giants Stadium in recent memory. "Everyone else has it," Katz says. By everyone, he means Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium in New York City, as well as ballparks in such cities as Baltimore, Cleveland and Phoenix. "It’s all over the country."
Why has it taken so long in metropolitan New York, which has the country’s largest Jewish community?
"Nobody pursued it," Katz says. So he brought his proposal to Giants Stadium. "They thought it’s a great idea."
The number of kosher-observant fans at the local NFL games "absolutely" warrants a kosher cart, Katz says, pointing out that fans are barred from bringing individual food packages into NFL stadiums under post-9-11 security regulations.
The kiosks’ pre-packaged food (the cart is slated to appear at nearby Continental Airlines Arena during NHL and NBA games) will be under the kashrut supervision of the Rabbinical Board of Bergen County. A washing station for the blessing on bread will be provided.
In addition to the regular Sunday games, the kiosk will be open at two Monday night games and a Sunday night contest; it will be closed during three games scheduled on yom tov this season, on Rosh HaShanah, Sukkot and Simchat Torah. It will be open for the post-season playoffs, "if there are games" at the stadium.
Katz, who lives in Englewood, N.J., is a Jets season ticket holder. This season, at work at the kiosk, he won’t be able to watch his team. "I’ll have to give the ticket to somebody," he says.