NYC’s Kosher Dining Scene is Going Vegan

Experts say that younger Jewish generations are ditching animal products in favor of vegan restaurants such as Beyond Sushi.

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A recent feature in media outlet Forward explained that consumers that follow a kosher diet are increasingly interested in vegan restaurants. Menachem Lubinsky, CEO of kosher-focused market-research firm Lubicom, explained that vegan restaurants such as Beyond Sushi—which opened its sixth location last month—are attractive to a younger sector of the Jewish population. “We’ll definitely be seeing more thematic restaurants like this, because the younger set is looking for new and different experiences,” Lubinsky said. “It fits the profile of what they’re looking for in dining. Dairy doesn’t fall under that classification.” Moshe Elefant, a rabbi and chief operating officer of kosher certification company OU Kosher, agreed with Lubinsky and explained that the generational shift toward veganism is a symptom of a general modernization of food. “Today’s kosher consumer is very sophisticated, and what was satisfactory to their parents and grandparents is not satisfactory to them,” Elefant said. “For their parents, kosher meant a pastrami sandwich—or maybe a steak, if you were lucky. But the trend in food in general now is that kosher consumers want to eat whatever their friends and colleagues are eating. They just want it to be kosher.” Last year, a group of 74 prominent rabbis from around the world collaboratively issued a Rabbinic statement to encourage Jewish people to go vegan, which stated that foods that involve cruelty to animals cannot be considered truly kosher.

Photo courtesy of Beyond Sushi