Travel: Berlin beckons

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Travel SupplementKosher Germany

Travel: Berlin beckons

If keeping kosher has kept you from visiting the German city, it won’t any more

Louisa Walters is a features writer

Berlin skyline
Berlin skyline

Summer in Berlin.  Not an obvious choice for the time of year, but the history and architecture of the German city demands to be seen. This year, those who keep kosher can do so in five-star luxury with Kosher by Shula at The Intercontinental. 

The initiative is a first by mother-and-daughter team Shula and Dana who have worked closely with the hotel to create a package for kosher families this August, which is when Berlin truly flourishes.  From 11 August to  1 September, Kosher by Shula will occupy 100 bedrooms, an exclusive dining hall and a VIP lobby in the luxurious hotel, which sits next to the Tiergarten Park and walking distance of Brandenburg Gate.

There will be Shabbat services, a large Friday night dinner, a  Kiddush, evening entertainment and a series of talks by illuminating speakers.

Milky breakfast and meaty dinner will be laid on in the hotel with a packed lunch for when guests go out.

It goes without saying that there is a lot of Jewish history in Berlin as well as the cultural legacy provided by writers, artists and musicians.The Jewish presence is everywhere from the cobblestones chequered with Stolpersteine (golden plaques engraved with the names of Holocaust victims) and  the impressive Jewish Museum, which opened in 2001, to the Neue Synagogue
and the Holocaust Memorial. There are many options for Jewish heritage tours, all of which Dana knows and can recommend.

Shula and Dana

Shula was born in Russia and emigrated to Israel in the 1970s where Dana, now 32, was born, before the family moved to Germany. They still have friends, family, business interest and a home in Israel, but they  play an active role in the 20,000-strong Jewish community in Berlin.

“I grew up in a traditional modern Orthodox home,” says Dana, who lives in a smart suburb with her husband Eddy, and four-year-old son, Noah.

“However, a few years ago, my mother started to do some studying and has now become Charedi. She is extremely creative and full of great ideas.

The Intercontinental is where many Jewish functions and events take place, so it seemed the natural fit for this three-week kosher takeover.”

Dana’s father passed away last October, but had been extremely supportive of his wife and daughter’s plans and gave the project his blessing.

With only two kosher supermarkets and two kosher restaurants, keeping the laws of kashrut in Berlin is a challenge, but one that Dana embraces. She does, however, love coming to London to eat out. “There is so much choice!” she says. Thanks to Dana and her mother, Berlin will have
a wider selection, too.



Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

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