Pesach at home like never before is the slogan of Pesach Hometel, but they might just as easily have borrowed a line from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”: “Be our guest, be our guest. Put our service to the test. Tie your napkin ‘round your neck, And we’ll provide the rest.”
The concept is simple. Why pack up the family and schlep to a hotel for Pesach where everything is done for you, when you can have that same experience right in the comfort of your own home?
Hometel will take care of as much or as little as you’d like them to. Hate cleaning the house and kashering the kitchen but love cooking? They’ve got a cleaning package. Love cleaning but hate cooking? They’ve got a gourmet menu package. Love cooking but hate having to prepare, serve and clean up Seder night? They’ve got a waiter service package.
Hometel has certified mashgichim who will oversee the kashering of your home whether you choose to cook yourself or order gourmet meals prepared under the supervision of the RCBC. Erev Yom Tov your meals will be delivered to your home in sealed, taped containers and all you’ll need to do is heat the food up. They will provide the meals for the first and the last days of Pesach including the shmura matza, the wine, the fancy plastic plates and cutlery, the drinks and most importantly, the Seder plate. Won’t be home for the last days? No problem, they’ve got a package for that as well. Special requests like glatt, chalav Yisrael, gluten-free and non-gebrokts, as well as hand-made matza are all available upon request.
Hometel is the brainchild of siblings Yechiel Fishbain and Shaindel Tapick, both of Passaic. Rabbi Fishbain, who is a Judaic studies teacher at the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, shared with The Jewish Link, “We come from a very large family and we learned to think outside the box. Our father is a shul rabbi and he makes an annual melava malka for about 200 people. For the last 20 years I’ve been the caterer. I got so much experience cooking and organizing as well as making all of the logistical arrangements such as finding waiters, caterers, cleaning staff, mashgichim and more that I really learned a lot. All my siblings have a streak of catering in us. My sister runs a small business with her husband and is a great organizer.”
Tapick elaborated, “Last year we were talking and came up with this crazy idea. But the more we talked the more we decided it really wasn’t so crazy. Sometimes you need a vacation from taking a vacation. By the time you pack up and shlep and the kids are off schedule and you don’t have the comfort of your own home or your own bed, it’s not such a vacation. We wanted to allow people to feel away from home at home. That led us to thinking how about if we could make a hotel in your home. It’s about half the price and you get to stay in your own home.”
This is Hometel’s first year and they are starting in northern New Jersey. So far the feedback has been very positive and reservations and inquiries keep on coming in. The cleaning and kashering services will begin being offered April 8 and will run as late as April 18. Meals must be ordered by April 11.
Fishbain reflected, “We are offering personalized service. Each family will need something different and it will be our mission to meet those needs so that people need to feel comfortable spending Pesach in their own homes.”
By Sara Kosowsky Gross