Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Israel News

Subway Pulls Into New (Kosher) Station

The restaurant chain Subway prides itself on serving fast food that’s good for you. But now, for the first time, one of its sandwich shops is answering to a higher authority.

The world’s first kosher Subway has opened at a Cleveland JCC, the Mandel Jewish Community Center — and the man who ultimately made it happen is a Lebanese Christian, Ghazi Faddoul.

The restaurant — which launched several weeks ago but had its official grand opening Tuesday — looks like the world’s 25,000 other Subways, but the chicken is kosher, the cheese is soy based, and the ham is actually smoked turkey. In addition to the chain’s usual fare, the Subway at the JCC offers shwarma and corned beef.

Because of the increased expenses associated with kosher products and preparation — kosher roast beef costs twice as much as nonkosher roast beef, according to Faddoul, the store’s main owner — prices tend to be 10% to 15% higher than usual.

The idea for the first kosher Subway came several months ago from Charles Zachowski, a member of the JCC and a friend of Faddoul. The JCC was looking to upgrade its food services with a well-known brand, so Zachowski approached Faddoul, a Subway development agent.

It “feels great” to be a Lebanese Christian responsible for the first kosher Subway, Faddoul told the Forward. “I believe in the rules. I’m very glad that [Cleveland Kosher, a supervisory authority, was] able to lead us and help us and direct us to the right things.”

Subway, which has yet to open a store in Israel, has several outlets throughout the world, including one in New Jersey, that offer special halal (Islamically permissible) options for devout Muslims alongside the regular menu choices.

For the JCC in Cleveland, Subway’s health-conscious reputation was crucial.

“It promotes what the JCC is about,” said Michael Hyman, the institution’s executive director.

Okay, so the food’s healthy and kosher. But what about the taste? Hyman reported long lines and personal satisfaction: “I’ve eaten there a number of times. The food was very good,” he said, adding, “Many of the rabbis in the community have been over.”

The grand opening was attended by Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, who boasts of losing 245 pounds by living on what he dubs the Subway diet. During his visit, Fogle spent time at the JCC’s aerobics and yoga facilities. At press time, his Subway order was unknown.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

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.