Israeli restaurant opens in Krakow’s old Jewish quarter

Israeli restaurant opens in Krakow’s old Jewish quarter

Unlike competitors, new eatery features only Middle Eastern food, without references to period before WWII

JTA — An Israeli restaurant has opened in the heart of the old Jewish quarter of Krakow.

Hamsa Hummus and Happiness Restobar opened recently in a historic building on Szeroka, the main square of the Jewish quarter, Kazimierz, in the Polish city.

Hamsa is being called the first Israeli-themed restaurant in Krakow, and unlike most of the other Jewish restaurants and cafes in Kazimierz, it features a contemporary decor that avoids nostalgic evocations of prewar times. In addition, the menu features hummus, salads and other Israeli and Middle Eastern specialties rather than traditional East European Jewish fare.

“There is nothing kitschy about it,” said Jonathan Ornstein, the director of the Krakow JCC. “It could be in Neve Tzedek [Tel Aviv].”

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