Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Jewish World Cup Fans Can Keep Kosher in Brazil

Ahead of this summer’s World Cup, one Jewish family in Brazil is making sure visiting fans can keep kosher and find religious services.

By: Emma Mazerall

Published: June 6th, 2014 in Sports » World

This summer, Brazil will play host to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Soccer fans from around the world are making the trip to Brazil to cheer on their teams, and have already been warned about the sweltering heat of the Amazon jungle. For Jewish soccer fans in an unfamiliar country, things can get even more complicated: how to find religious services and kosher food so far from home?

Rabbi Arieh Raichman and his wife Dvorah have lived in Manaus, Brazil with their family since 2009, and have taken it upon themselves to become a resource for visitors.

As less than 1000 Jewish people currently live permanently in Manaus, the Raichman family have had to get creative when it comes to maintaining their lifestyle. All their kosher food is either flown in from Sao Paulo, or makes a weeklong trip by boat up the Amazon River from Belem.

Anticipating the influx of Jewish fans to the remote area, Raichman says he will place a massive order of kosher food before the World Cup. To feed the incoming guests, he’ll also have a full time chef at his Chabad House, Chabad-Lubavitch of Manaus.

Aside from kosher meals, Raichman has also been trying to help Jewish visitors find local hotels and religious services, even opening his home to the incoming fans:

“I’ve been helping them find where to stay, and some whose accommodations will be too far to walk over for Shabbat services will be guests in our house for Shabbat.”
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