Friday, February 26, 2021

Move over Colonel Sanders, there’s a new Chicken King (and Queen) in town.

Eli’s Homemade Schnitzel is taking the Anglo-Israeli culinary scene by storm. The demand for their delicious homemade chicken is getting so high that the dynamic fried poultry duo are expanding their work kitchen and clientele base.

Yaffa and Eli made aliyah from Teaneck, New Jersey, with their four children, settling on the warm and inclusive community of Chashmonaim. It is no coincidence that Eli’s sister, the famous Chana Speigelman, director of Camp Moshava IO, happens to live in Chashmonaim. Being with close family was definitely one of the deciding factors for their move.

Eli and Yaffa decided to make aliyah in 2014 when their children were young. As a teenager, Eli always dreamed about making aliyah. It was the summer when he went on the Mach Hach Ba’aretz program, that he felt a strong connection to the land of Israel. That summer something clicked and Eli realized that everything he was learning in yeshiva, he was now experiencing in Israel on a whole different level. Camp Moshava continued to play a strong role in nurturing his love for Israel and desire to make aliyah. And although they both experienced challenges when they initially moved, Eli and Yaffa love that their children are growing up immersed in a culture where even the bus driver and supermarket cashier wish them a “chag sameach.” They love that no matter how someone identifies religiously, there is a Jewish sense of brotherhood and community unlike anything they grew up with.

Eli is no stranger to the food industry. In America, aside from having built a career in tech, Eli was the owner of two successful restaurants. He has always loved feeding people and bringing the joy of good quality food to people’s hearts and homes.

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago, after Yaffa left her job in a real estate start-up, that Eli and Yaffa started toying with the idea of breaking into the Israeli food scene. They explored different ideas, like a pop-up burger place from their home one night a week from their home. But it was always Eli’s chicken and secret sauce that people kept coming back for.

About four years ago, in the Mandelbaum kitchen, Eli’s Homemade Schnitzel was born. Over the last year and a half, their business has taken off

Eli and Yaffa deliver pounds of their homemade chicken weekly to countless yeshiva and seminary students. Their fan base includes: HaKotel, Aish, Orayta, Netiv, Torah Shraga, Shaalvim, Mevaseret, Gush, Reishit, Lev HaTorah, MidMo, MTVA, Amit, Tiferet, Migdal Oz Nishmat, MMY, Midreshet Moriah and Midreshet Harovah. Parents overseas call Eli and Yaffa both day and night to order what they know will be delicious home cooked food for their yeshiva and seminary kids. They know they are sending a little taste of home and some love from afar.

Eli’s menu is simple yet delicious, with his pretzel chicken and saucy poppers being fan favorites among the yeshiva and seminary crowd. Eli’s Homemade Schnitzel also offers gluten-free options (which I sampled—it’s exceptional), as well as sesame-free chicken dishes. All their food is completely nut free.

Eli and Yaffa were swamped with their Superbowl orders for all the football fanatics here in Israel and now they are working on orders for their proprietary Purim Seudah-To-Go.

Simply put, Eli and Yaffa both love what they do, making quality delicious food here in Israel and bringing a taste of home to so many people. And the Chicken King and Queen of Chashmonaim have no plans of slowing down any time soon.

Want to place an order for Eli’s Homemade Schnitzel in Israel? Please call or WhatsApp 201-788-2922.

Esti Rosen Snukal made aliya from Teaneck, New Jersey 8 years ago. She currently resides in Chashmonaim, Israel with her husband, four sons and adorable puppy. Esti is an advocate and mentor for lone soldiers and a contributor to The Jewish Link documenting life as an olah. Follow Esti on instagram @esti1818 and on Facebook.