Twenty years after the inauguration of the first Kosher McDonalds outside Israel, Buenos Aires will be home to a kosher fast food stand – in a soccer stadium.
The stand will open next week in the Boca Juniors’ “Bombonera” stadium, a city landmark. Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona played for the team early in his career, leading the team to the league title in his first year on the team.
It is believed to be the first kosher fast food stand in a soccer stadium in Latin America.
“Bocasher” will open on August 8, when the Boca Juniors host Paraguay’s Libertad squad for the regional Libertadores cup.
Boca, a team founded in 1905, has played in the First Division since 1913, becoming the most successful team from Argentina, with 67 titles, 22 of them internationals cups. It is also the champion of the two last national first division league cups, the Superliga.
The idea for the shop started four months ago when Boca Juniors President Daniel Angelici was watching a basketball game at Miami Heat stadium with a Jewish friend and ate at its Kosher Kingdom kiosk set up for Jewish Heritage night.
The initiative is led by Chabad Lubavitch of the La Boca neighborhood, the area close to the Buenos Aires port in which the stadium and the museum of the club are located.
For the last three years, Chabad emissaries have stood outside the stadium and offered visitors a change to put on tefillin, or phylacteries. “Here come fans from all over the country. For many of them it is the first connection with their Judaism. Some made their Bar Mitzvah and donned tefillin for the first time in their life at the entrance of the stadium,” Rabbi Shneor “Uri” Mizrahi, who is in charge of the new stand, told JTA.
Rabbi Daniel Oppenheimer, an Argentinean expert in the field of kashrut, will supervise the stand. He also opened the first Kosher Mc Donald’s outside Israel in the Abasto shopping mall of Buenos Aires exactly 20 years ago, in 1998.
The innovative kosher spot will have the words “Boca” and “Kosher” in its name: “Bocasher.” In Spanish the sound also mixes the two words because Kosher is pronounced “Casher” with an “a.”
The stand will serve hamburgers, hot dogs and “choripan,” an iconic local sandwich made up of a grilled sausage called chorizo and the bread, which in Spanish is pan, at the same price of the non-kosher food at the stadium.