Despite Jewish security concerns throughout Europe, Berlin is about to get a new kosher supermarket, this one serving customers located in the former West Berlin.
The “Daily Markt” kosher supermarket in the Charlottenburg district adds a new option to those already existing in Berlin, including the Kosher Life supermarket, which opened in 2008 in the former East Berlin, as well as a few smaller shops and bakeries.
They are designed to meet the needs of small but growing communities of observant Jews in the German capital, but draw non-Jewish customers as well, owners say.
The newest addition is the result of a cooperation between the non-Jewish businessman Asan Mytev and entrepreneurs within the local Jewish community, assisted by Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, head of Chabad Lubavitch and an official rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin.
A partner in the Daily Markt, store manager Evgeny Bort, said in a statement that he was optimistic that, despite security concerns and the recent European Union decision to require relabeling of products made in the West Bank and Golan Heights, people would patronize the shop.
“We can’t let terrorism stop us and interfere with our lives,” Bort said. He also said that he does not worry about the politics of labeling, and is only concerned with making it easier to purchase kosher food in Berlin.
For Mytev, it made sense to “bring all kinds of kosher products under one roof.”
He also noted that many customers are non-Jews who “want to be sure that their food doesn’t have any traces of insects and other health hazards in it.”
The partners plan on opening more “Daily Markt” kosher supermarkets in other cities in the country.
Berlin’s Jewish population has about 11,000 official members; it is estimated that at least twice that number live in the city but are unaffiliated with the Jewish community.