Card-Carrying Members of the Tribe Enjoy ‘Kosher Advantage’

By Max Gross

Published December 26, 2003, issue of December 26, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Do you know Teddy Kahn? Probably not.

That’s why he carries the Kosher Advantage card. Kahn never leaves home without it. The Kosher Advantage card occupies its own special place in Kahn’s wallet, and it is always with him when he eats out.

Now two months old, the Kosher Advantage card works a bit like a kosher incarnation of a Diners Club card. Individuals pay an annual membership fee of $24.95, and then receive a discount of roughly 10% at a growing number — now around 50 — of kosher restaurants, butchers and Judaica shops in New York and New Jersey, as well as a smattering of restaurants in Washington, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

“It seemed to me a no-brainer once I found out about it,” said Kahn, an undergraduate at Columbia University who keeps kosher. “If people keep kosher and they’re working, or families go out to dinner, over the course of 25 meals… you’ll get your money back. That was my rationale.”

The card — a small, white plastic rectangle with the words “Kosher Advantage” emblazoned across the front in blue — is the brainchild of Michael Frankel, who graduated last spring with a degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

“I keep kosher, so it was already in my mindset,” Frankel said. Frankel began thinking about the idea of a kosher discount card over the summer. “There are programs for other [dining discounts] like Diners Club; there aren’t such things for kosher places.”

So, why not start his own?

In August, Frankel, who is toying with the idea of hiring a staff, began drawing up business plans and contacting establishments as well as schools and synagogues to help promote Kosher Advantage. “Some are very open to the idea…. [They] think it’s great,” Frankel said.

Key among Frankel’s plans was getting places outside New York agree to participate. “The New York person traveling in Washington has a place to get lunch,” Frankel said. Currently, all of the card’s holders are New Yorkers, but Frankel hopes to change that. Frankel said that the card has gotten off to a good start.

“People are coming in and showing the card,” said Murray Weltz, who runs Park East Kosher Butcher on Second Avenue. “Not as many as I [initially] thought, but people are starting to” use the card.

But Frankel’s aspiration is not just to save people money or help out restaurant owners. His driving goal is to encourage members to be better Jews. “There’s a whole group of people who eat [nonkosher] dairy out,” Frankel said. “This will be the incentive to keep kosher. They’ll go to place X over place Y.”

The Kosher Advantage card: It’s everywhere Jews want to be.

For a list of businesses that take the Kosher Advantage card, please visit www.kosheradvantage.com.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.