By Deb Silverthorn
The Legacy Midtown Park will fully open its kosher kitchens, one for meat and one for dairy, Oct. 3. Eldad Jacobson, a certified chef and mashgiach (kosher supervisor) under the auspices of Dallas Kosher, joins The Legacy Midtown Park on Sept. 30.
“We are so excited to finalize this last detail of our kosher kitchens,” said Wesley Helms, The Legacy Midtown Park associate executive director. “Chef Jacobson will bring his greatness to our tables and enhance our already first-rate dining experience. We have set clear, high expectations for our entire community. We will continue to bring only our best every day.”
Jacobson, who was born in Israel and who moved to the United States in 2005, has worked in kosher restaurants specializing in Asian cuisine, barbecue, Mexican fare and more. Since moving to Dallas in 2012, he has worked as head chef and caterer at the Aaron Family JCC and in other roles at Frontier Meats Kosher slaughterhouse in Fort Worth, in the kosher deli of Tom Thumb at Preston and Forest and most recently at the Palate Grill at the Kosher Palate in North Dallas. He is married to Sara Abosch Jacobson, museum education director at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.
“I couldn’t be more excited. It is an absolute reward to serve, to laugh, to learn, and to even share a little Yiddish with the residents,” said Jacobson. “The Legacy has it all, and together with Dallas Kosher, we can ensure that any Jewish resident will feel comfortable and feel at home here.”
The Legacy Midtown Park’s executive chef, Victor Jaime, welcomes his new partner, who will also provide support to the overall dining program. Together, the two have begun working on new kosher menus, as often as possible having them similar to the general menu.
“From generation to generation,” said Jaime, “we are all children of God and respect each other’s traditions. I am thrilled to be working with Chef Eldad and to learn more about kosher dining.”
Offering kosher dining options has always been in the plans for The Legacy Midtown Park as a way to accommodate the needs of everyone in the Dallas Jewish senior community.
“This is the terrific result of much careful and thoughtful planning,” said Rabbi Michael Tevya Cohen, director of Rabbinical Services and Pastoral Care at The Legacy Senior Communities. “Together, so many have committed to make this dream a reality.”
The Legacy Senior Communities team, including Executive Director Melissa Orth, Helms and Dining Services Director Alex Gonzalez; Midtown Park board members and lay leaders, including a committee of Jack Baum, Liz Liener, Stephanie Prescott and Ruthy Rosenberg; largely engineered by Marc Stanley, partnered with Dallas Kosher in guiding the decisions to bring the Kosher program together.
“As Jews, we have a responsibility to be a light unto other nations. This is an example of nations coming together. Everyone said, ‘tell us what we need to do,’ and they’ve made it happen,” said Baum. “The leadership of Dallas Kosher helped in every way working with The Legacy in this collaborative effort. It was a challenge taken on, embraced with serious care, and this is an absolute win-win for everyone.”
At both Legacy campuses, residents come together on Shabbat with traditional blessings over candles, wine and challah. Jacobson will bring tasteful traditions to Shabbat and holiday meals; in the future his delicacies will also reach the tables at The Legacy Willow Bend.
“It is at the brachas of many that Dallas can proudly say it hosts the only kosher dining services, certainly of this extent, in Texas, said Rabbi Sholey Klein, Dallas Kosher’s kashrut administrator. “Wesley is a true professional who is doing the right thing and our working relationship is excellent. It’s the right leadership, the right staff, and the right attitude. Each resident has their own religious concerns, and expectations, and we will provide to the highest consideration as best as we can. The Legacy is a five-star establishment, with five-star cuisine, and this program is one more reason for the loved ones of our own Jewish senior community to move here.”
Originally from San Antonio, Chaike Charles said her decision to move to The Legacy Midtown Park was based on the news of opening the kosher kitchens. “This is such a beautiful thing and it is so meaningful. I really can’t express how here, they treat me like a queen with the caring and goodness. It’s really so very special.”
Charles, and the hundreds more at The Legacy Midtown Park are in for a treat, many treats, as the menus and meals unfold.
“The Legacy is a very special wonderful community, within our already wonderful Jewish community,” said Jacobson. “To create meals, and memories here will be my honor.”