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A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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Novellus’ Kosher Night in St. Charles is sold out, but you can still support the effort!

Bill Motchan
Novellus is an American restaurant on Historic Main Street in St Charles.

Reservations for Novellus Kosher Night are now sold out. Supporters can still donate to the effort, which will be matched dollar for dollar, through Cole Chabad.

A St. Charles restaurant will change its entire menu, and kosherize its kitchen for one day, in support of Israel. Novellus, at 201 N. Main Street in St. Charles, announced that all proceeds from dinner service on Wednesday, Oct. 25, will go to support the people of Israel. In addition, all donations will be matched by the owner of Novellus, up to $50,000.

Bob Affholder, owner of Novellus, will transform the eatery into a completely kosher restaurant for 24 hours. Affholder, who is not Jewish, said he was motivated to act after watching news coverage from Israel.

“When I saw the images and videos on TV, I knew I couldn’t sit idly by — I had to do something,” Affholder said. “I want to be there for the people of Israel, and show my support to Jewish people everywhere, now, in their time of need.”

Funds raised during kosher night at Novellus will go to Colel Chabad, an Israeli ​​charity with St. Charles connections. Colel Chabad provides food, medical care and support to widows and orphans. It also supports Israeli families in shelters.

Affholder came up with the idea for the fundraiser and contacted Rabbi Chaim Landa, co-director of Chabad Jewish Center of St. Charles County.

“What Novellus is doing is beyond touching and we want the place packed — wall to wall — and let the world know that St. Charles stands with Israel,” Landa said. “The process of kosherizing a restaurant is extremely involved, and it’s very unusual for a business to do it just for a day, which makes this all the more heartwarming and meaningful.”

The logistics of kosherizing a full-size restaurant is far from simple. It’s similar to scrubbing a home of chametz prior to Passover, but on a much larger scale. The process is essentially a deep clean, of every area where food has been prepared and served. Surfaces must be scrubbed with hot water or in some cases a blowtorch. That is followed by what is known as “kashering,” which means bringing every surface up to the highest temperature. For example, a stainless-steel counter will have boiling hot water poured over it. After all those steps, there is a 24-hour wait period.

According to Landa, the Vaad Hoeir of St. Louis has been involved with the plans for Novellus kosher night. The time involved in kosherizing a restaurant means at a minimum the entire establishment must be shut down for a day and a half prior to dinner service. So Novellus will forego all business on Oct. 24. The prep doesn’t end with kosherizing the kitchen and dining area — there must also be careful planning when sourcing ingredients of dishes to be served.

Novellus declined to provide a cost estimate for the modifications.


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About the Contributor
Bill Motchan, writer/photographer
Bill worked in corporate communications for AT&T for 28 years. He is a former columnist for St. Louis Magazine. Bill has been a contributing writer for the Jewish Light since 2015 and is a three-time winner of the Rockower Award for excellence in Jewish Journalism. He also is a staff writer for the travel magazine Show-Me Missouri. Bill grew up in University City. He now lives in Olivette with his wife and cat, Hobbes. He is an avid golfer and a fan of live music. He has attended the New Orleans Jazzfest 10 times and he has seen Jimmy Buffett in concert more t han 30 times between 1985 and 2023.