One of the more memorable moments in the movie
“A Christmas Story” remains the Chinese
restaurant scene. Left turkey-less, the Parkers
head to a Chinese restaurant and politically incorrect
But the movie touches upon a tradition practiced
by many Jews across our borough. People who don’t
celebrate Christmas have few options when it comes
to dining out, but Asian eateries are still open.
In the spirit of non-observance and practicality,
the two groups collide every year between Hanukkah
and New Year’s, enjoying kosher food.
“It’s just a day off for the Jews
to enjoy,” Michael Mo said. He owns Cho-Sen,
a Kosher Chinese restaurant with three locations
in New York, one in the heart of Forest Hills.
“Christmas, New Years, these are days they
Instead, people like Susan Steinberg are organizing
events around the borough that play up the Jewish-Chinese
link on the holidays.
“It’s a joke that the Jewish people
come out for Chinese food on the holidays,”
Steinberg has put in a strictly Chinese menu for
the Bellerose Jewish Center’s annual New
Years Eve gathering.
“We used to have four-course turkey dinners,”
she said. “But these are people with a fixed
income. The Chinese food is healthy, good and
Still, if people want turkey, Mo is happy to offer
it. Nearly 30 years in the Kosher food industry
has taught him to offer a diverse menu.
“Oh yeah, we still have turkey,” he
said. “But Orthodox Jews especially go for
the really meaty dishes like beef, chicken and
“Because it’s kosher, our menu isn’t
as huge as a regular Chinese restaurant.”
And the Bellerose attendees?
“They’re OK with it,” Steinberg
said. “Some want the four-course turkey
meal back, but we can’t do that.”