New York hot dog rabbi to make Qatar kosher at World Cup

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The rabbi who brought kosher hot dogs to New York baseball
stadiums wants to help the Persian Gulf state of Qatar host Jewish fans with
food they can eat at soccer’s 2022 World Cup.

Rabbi Marc Schneier, who founded Long Island’s mega-wealthy
Hampton Synagogue, says he’s been asked by Hassan Al-Thawadi –
secretary-general of the organising committee for the world’s most popular
sports event – to advise him on hosting thousands of Jewish fans expected at
the games. Visitors with Israeli passports, currently barred from the Muslim country
by law, will also be welcome, Schneier said, citing the Qatari official.

He and Al-Thawadi “have been in conversation for the
last several months about certain ideas and initiatives he would like to
implement to welcome and accommodate the many Jewish visitors they are
anticipating at the World Cup,” Schneier said – and that includes “bringing
kosher food.”

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    Schneier, an Orthodox rabbi, is well-known in New York for
    the synagogue he founded in the celebrity-studded Hamptons, his clashes with
    the Jewish establishment, and his colorful personal life, which includes six
    marriages.

    A boon

    In a phone interview, Al-Thawadi acknowledged meeting with
    Schneier but declined to comment on specific plans for accommodating Jews and
    Israelis at the World Cup. The rabbi’s office has circulated photos of his
    meetings with the Qatari official in the capital city of Doha. Israel’s Yedioth
    Aharonoth newspaper first reported that Schneier was advising Al-Thawadi on the
    games.

    An Orthodox rabbi, Schneier was head of the New York Board
    of Rabbis in 1998, when he says the city asked him to help set up kosher hot
    dog stands at the baseball stadiums where the Yankees and Mets play. The frankfurters
    also have been a boon to New York’s 800 000 Muslims because kosher meat is
    generally also acceptable under Islamic dietary laws, Schneier said in an
    interview at a kosher Vietnamese restaurant in Tel Aviv.

    As head of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, which
    seeks to strengthen ties between Muslims and Jews, Schneier, 59, has been a
    frequent visitor to the Persian Gulf and says he considers it his mission to
    help develop Jewish life in the Arab world. He was appointed a “special
    adviser” to the king of Bahrain this month and bestowed an award in
    September on Al-Thawadi, 40, whose formal World Cup title in Qatar is
    secretary-general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.

    The World Cup in Qatar is scheduled for November 21 to December
    18, 2022, according to the website for the games.

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