Monday, February 25, 2008

Aroma NetCafe Is Now Kosher-Certified

It always was kosher, but could not get certification, because they were an internet cafe. What internet access has to do with hashgacha is questionable. Presumably, people taking the opposite position would say that kashrut certification conveys a sort of rabbinic imprimatur on the entire enterprise, which would constitute an endorsement of the internet. Kind of like if a brothel sold food as well, and they got hashgacha on the food.

Of course, people all have Internet in Kew Gardens Hills, and in a public place like a Net Cafe, people are not going to be going to truly inappropriate sites. Of course, the fact that people all have Internet in their homes, and this is a residential neighborhood, calls into question the utility of an Internet Cafe in the first place. And the library, with free internet access, is just down the block. (Though of course you cannot eat there.) Not to mention the prices -- $7.50 for one hour -- meant that after 4 hours, you have paid for home Internet access for the month, such that I wonder whether it was a good business model.

Anyway, they caved, and eliminated their Internet access. And so now they have certification.

A pity in the general sense. I hope it works out for them.


bob rhodes said...

Remind me again why we have mitzvos. Surely a koshser internet cafe would be a place where Jews would eat kosher food even if they did not intend to. And it would be a great place to do kiruv. It's not a perfect world yet.

Anonymous said...

I have a few comments for you mr. waxman. The idea behing aromanetcafe was not overcharging on intrnet but rather a "home away from home" experiance under strict supervision on the computer usage and the food, unfortountly the concept of the place was not accepted well by the community, but as i see it this is a result of negetive marketing on behalf of many organizations. Aroma Net was all about getting jewish people toghter in a safe enviornment. Most of the community is very religious and it would have been in many's intrest that kids would use the cafe's internet which was filtered compared to the liberary internet which is completely not filtered. What about people who dont have a computer and want to learn how to use it. There was also a big after school programm planned to be launced but could not work without internet support. Aroma Net is not a regular internet coffee shop, it was ment for those jewish customers who wanted to enjoy a kosher quality coffee while doing some work or checking e-mail, and I think jewish people do that. There is no way to know if this was a bad concept, it was just accepted with a riot and it was not given the chance to develop properly. It is a very conservitive place and is much safer then other locations on main street flushing.

joshwaxman said...

you are saying nothing bad here, but rather something to be proud of. I wish you would post with your real name.

To clarify, some of what I said above was tongue-in-cheek. I was not calling a brothel from *my* perspective, but rather perhaps from the perspective of those who did not give it a hashgocha.

I agree that it was a good place. Some good friends of mine made sure to learn there and buy food there once a week.

I have to run right now, but perhaps I will continue with another comment a bit later.

All the best,

Parker Bic said...

All we can do, while waiting for the Mafi... I mean. the Queens Va'ad to come to their senses about things such as this, is enjoy sites like at home, and eventually they'll know we could do those there too


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