Annapolis may be known, at some future date, as the City of Peace - if the international conference currently under way there results in any significant progress in the Israeli-Palestinian problem. But it is never going to be known as the City of Kosher. In fact, a recent article by the Associated Press makes the point that Annapolis is better known as the City of Crab Cakes and Oysters than any kind of a source of kosher food.
"I have no idea what they're going to eat," Rabbi Ari J. Goldstein of Temple Beth Shalom, a Reform synagogue in Arnold, Md., told the AP. "They can either buy their stuff at Trader Joe's and borrow someone's kitchen ... or they can just go vegetarian, which is what they're probably going to do." The proprietors of Chick and Ruth's Delly (they can't even seem to spell it correctly) concede they are "kosher-style" only (We note, of course, that "kosher style" is not a term generally permitted in advertising or promotional material, as it can be misleading.).
The story, surprisingly, offers no answer as to how the various delegations - both Israeli and Arab - are going to satisfy culinary and dietary needs. It quotes a White House chef talking about kashrut at the White House, but that famous residence is more than an hour from Annapolis.
The US Naval Academy has a lovely Jewish chapel for its small cadre of Jewish midshipmen (about 120 out of more than 4,000), faculty members, and community members who attend services at the Commodore Uriah P. Levy Center and Jewish Chapel. The Academy's Jewish chaplain, Cmdr. Irv Elson, once told me that the Jewish middies who want to keep kosher at the Academy's dining rooms, usually eat vegetarian food .
So, other than calling Kosher.com, what will the delegates do?