Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Food

Titanic’s Kosher Butcher Shop To Be Preserved

Galkoff’s kosher butcher in Liverpool that once supplied the Titanic with meat hasn’t sold a Shabbos brisket — or anything for that matter — since it closed its doors 35 years. But, the building’s historic façade, won’t be going anywhere anytime soon thanks to a donation from philanthropist Isaac Wolfson.

English Heritage recently ruled the building to be of national importance. It sold kosher meat to the Merseyside’s Jewish community from 1912 until it closed in 1979 and, importantly, to the famous Titanic ship.

Discussions are still underway between the Tropical Medicine Institution, which recently purchased the building, and English Heritage on how to best preserve the iconic and historic site.

But, hold up a minute… there was kosher meat aboard the Titanic?

Despite the ship’s famous yet tragic voyage, most have probably never even heard about its Jewish passengers, let alone the ship’s kosher meals service — complete with separate utensils and rabbinical inspection. But reportedly among the 2,225 people aboard, there were enough Jewish passengers to warrant a “Hebrew cook,” Charles Kennell, according to an article in the Dayton Jewish Observer.

Kosher food option on ships wasn’t uncommon in 1912 — midway through the great wave of Eastern European Jewish immigration, when major passenger lines crossing the Atlantic began offering kosher services to their Jewish passengers.

Before then, the faithful, most often riding in third-class steerage, would pack their own kosher food, sometimes making for dangerous or even deadly voyages.

Little is known about the Jewish passengers aborad the Titan. But the day after the ship went down, an article published in The New York Times reported that “A score of the Titanic’s steerage were taken to the Hebrew Sheltering Home and Immigrant Aid Society, 229 East Broadway for the night.”

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.