Let my people go (to Dodger Stadium’s new kosher hot dog stand)!
The Red Sox have done it. The Yankees have done it. Even the Kansas City Royals have gone kosher.
Now — finally — Los Angeles baseball fans can enjoy a glatt kosher dog.
Jeff’s Gourmet Sausage Factory began offering a decidedly Jewish twist to the Dodgers’ traditional ballpark menu July 28, when it set up shop and began selling specialty items like jalapeno dogs and sweet Italian sausage with grilled onions and peppers. It will continue for 14 more games this season, including tonight’s.
WATCH: Do people prefer Jeff's Gourmet Sausage over Dodger Dogs? Story continues after video.
A native Angeleno, sausage master Jeff Rohatiner said he is excited to now serve fellow Dodgers fans with some consistency, after only doing so on occasion in the past.
“I hope that the option of kosher food will allow more Jews to fully appreciate the American pastime without worrying about any extra preparations,” he said.
The stand is located in the right field plaza next to Tommy Lasorda’s Italian Trattoria. If it proves to be a hit — or, Rohatiner hopes, a home run — the menu options could expand in the future.
Rohatiner had seen the need all the way from his restaurant in Pico-Robertson.
“Dodger fans regularly stop in to Jeff’s before a game and bring our food to the stadium, even if they have to eat it cold,” Rohatiner said. “Now they can have the pleasure of a fresh-cooked kosher dog at their seats.”
Hebrew National hot dogs are served at Dodger Stadium, but for more observant Jews, the dogs still don’t cut the mustard. With Jeff’s grand opening, the Jewish community no longer has to worry about mixed facilities and the possibility of non-kosher buns.
This culinary development makes sense for a team that currently has a Jewish player in center field, Joc Pederson, and other members of the tribe in the front office — President and CEO Stan Kasten and president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman.
Fans have repeatedly lobbied for kosher food options at the stadium, but logistics have made it difficult. Michael Berenbaum, professor of Jewish studies and director of the Sigi Ziering Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Ethics at American Jewish University, has been a strong advocate for bringing kosher dogs to Chavez Ravine, and he visited the Jeff’s stand on its opening night.
“It was inconceivable to me that the second largest Jewish community in America does not have a kosher dog stand,” Berenbaum said. “It felt absolutely terrific to have a hot dog with all the trimmings.”
The Lou Barak Memorial Kosher Hot Dog Committee joined in the rejoicing. Named after group founder Paul Cunningham’s late father-in-law, the committee is made up of multiple professionals who have continuously fought for selling kosher hot dogs.
“After wandering through the concession stands for years at Dodger Stadium, our people can finally eat,” Stuart Tochner, president-elect of the committee, wrote in an email to the Journal. “Given the Jewish fan base in L.A., we knew this day would eventually come. Let’s just say Sandy Koufax had an easier time pitching four no-hitters.”
Jewish and non-Jewish fans alike can enjoy these sausages at every home game except for those that fall on Shabbat and holidays. These dates include July 29; Aug. 2, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 30 and 31; and Sept. 1, 2, 20, 21 and 24.