Cooking is second-nature to Miri Cohen. She grew up in Israel helping her family prepare the traditional multicourse Passover meal, known as a seder. She loves having people over...

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Cooking is second-nature to Miri Cohen. She grew up in Israel helping her family prepare the traditional multicourse Passover meal, known as a seder. She loves having people over for dinner at her Bellevue home.


Now Cohen is sharing her family recipes at Kafe Kineret, the kosher eatery she and her husband, Yechiel, recently opened at Mercer Island’s Stroum Jewish Community Center.


“I was looking for a place to connect the Israeli community and Jewish community,” Cohen said, emptying cardboard boxes packed with Israeli sweets. “I think food is the first thing that can do it.”


The cafe’s kitchen recently was inspected and certified kosher — meaning food storage and preparation follow Jewish dietary laws — by the Va’ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle, a local Rabbinic authority.


Only three other eateries on the Eastside, among roughly a dozen in the entire Seattle area, are supervised by the Va’ad and share this distinction. The restaurants are listed on the Va’ad Web site: www.seattlevaad.org


Cohen, 38, who came to Washington in 2000, will serve homemade cakes, Greek salad, falafel and burekas, among other Mediterranean/Middle Eastern eats. Both community center members and the general public are welcome.
















Eating kosher


Kosher Eastside eateries supervised by Va’ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle:


• Kafe Kineret, Stroum Jewish Community Center, 3801 East Mercer Way, Mercer Island, 206-275-2777


• Albertson’s Mercer Island, 2755 77th Ave S.E., Mercer Island, 206-232-0244


• Krispy Kreme Donuts, 6210 East Lake Sammamish Parkway, Issaquah, 425-391-8011


• Namasthe Cuisine of India, 16650 Redmond Way, Redmond, 425-558-7858

Josefin Kannin, the Stroum center’s marketing and membership director, said she expects the cafe will be popular with the many families who frequent the community center for fitness, child care and cultural opportunities, and with people who miss the cuisine of Israel.


“We wanted to have an on-site gathering place for years. We felt it was the one thing that was missing,” Kannin said. “It’s something our members have asked for.”


The cafe’s name stems from the Hebrew name for the Sea of Galilee, a hour’s drive from Cohen’s hometown of Haifa. A grocery section is stocked with various Israeli pastries, candies, teas, crackers, hummus and dairy products that customers can take home to enjoy.


Kafe Kineret is open from around 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, closed Saturday for the Jewish Sabbath, and is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The Cohens said they still are adjusting the hours. For more information, call the cafe at 206-275-2777.


Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or kgaudette@seattletimes.com