Marking 4 years since the official opening ceremony of the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, we meet one of the hotel’s veterans who is in charge of one of the most important tasks – the Kashrut in the kitchens. Introducing 39 year old Rabbi Eliashiv Nafcha.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
I was born in Rehovot Israel to an ultra-orthodox family, to a father who was a commissioner in the Ministry of Education and a very close to some of Hardi known authorities, like the Abu Hatzera family. Loving the Torah and a wish to be a “Gadol Batorah” is one of the virtues I got from my parents, since childhood. I studied in “Or Israel” Yeshiva and later on in the Jerusalem’s Bait Vegan “Kol Torah” Yeshiva with respected Rabbis like Yehuda Schlesinger and Rabi Shmuel Deutsch. I got married to Hadassah Falkivich of a most respected Hasidic family from Romema Jerusalem and we have 7 children.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE HOTEL INDUSTRY?
When I graduated the Yeshiva, the Jerusalem Rabbinical council approached me and urged me to be involved in the new “Novotel” hotel, just opened in the city. I worked there for 8 years as the hotel’s Rabbi. When the New Waldorf Astoria was built I had a dream to work in this luxury hotel. When it was opened, I guess the council wanted the most qualified and trusted man for the job, and I accepted the challenge.
HOW DOES IT WORK? HOW ARE THE STANDARDS SET?
Once I met the hotel management and the hotel owners, I set the appropriate standards. I was in charge of the Hashgaha with my 7 mashgihim. My standards are very strict – We are present in the hotel kitchens since 4 a.m. until they close all kitchens, after midnight. I am confident that the Kashrut is strictly kept with devotion and hard work.
GIVE US SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF HOW STRICT THE KASHRUT STANDARDS ARE AT THE WALDORF ASTORIA JERUSALEM.
Since the opening till this very day the Hashgaha is of Glatt quality. The meat we use is supervised by Badatz Rubin, Badatz Kehilot, and Badatz Mahadrin Yerushalim. No food and beverages are accepted in the hotel without my team’s authority. We set a separate room to wash all vegetables with a special liquid to make sure all is within Glatt standards. We keep Shabbos and Yom Tov in Mahadrin standards - Food for the relevant meals are stored in heating ovens and locked by my team. We do not heat food during Shabbos and Yom Tov.
IS THIS POLICY STILL RELEVANT?
Absolutely. These standards are kept. Hotel owners, a General Manger and management have changed over the years, but this Glatt quality Hashgaha is still valid and will continue for years to come.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE FEEDBACK FROM GUESTS?
Just before this interview I met a returning guest who encouraged me for the great supervision in the hotel and congratulated my team and myself. “There is no hotel like the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem with such a combination of luxury and glatt quality supervision. It is our home in Israel”, he just said to me. Can there be a better satisfaction than this?
Rabi Eliashiv Nafcha is available on his Mobil phone for any queries: +972-549509068