SALEM – Six years ago, David and Adina Winer decided it was time that the North Shore needed a kosher vegan Israeli restaurant. David, who worked as a chef in Israel, Florida and New York, took out his recipes for hummus, falafel, baba ghanoush, and other standard Israeli dishes, and opened Adea’s on Lafayette Street in Salem. Adea’s soon became a must for locals who keep kosher, and plenty of others who had never heard of kosher food but loved hummus and falafel and everything else David made.
But over the years, the pull to return to Israel grew stronger, and David and Adina – and their three young children – recently decided it was time to move back to Israel.
“It’s really been an honor and a pleasure to be able to provide kosher food for those who need it. And not only that, and what’s even better than that, is most people don’t even know that it’s kosher,” said David. “And they come for the food and then they realize it’s kosher. And that’s a plus on a plus. To kind of change people’s minds a little bit, to introduce people to different things, to be able to be closed on Shabbat. People asked me why I closed on Pesach, and I educated them and spread the good vibes.”
David grew up in Swampscott, went to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and eventually became a chef. Along the way, he also moved to Israel, made aliyah and met Adina, who was born in Ethiopia and came to Israel in 1991 when she was four as part of Operation Solomon.
“It was nice to be here and get to know David’s life because he grew up here. It was important also for the kids to see and learn where their dad came from and to get to know the area and see how he grew up. I think it was important for them to be here,” said Adina.
Last week, the couple made it official and sold Adea’s to one of David’s closest friends, Rayun Buchanan. The restaurant will remain kosher, and closed on Shabbat, and will continue to be under the supervision of Chabad of the North Shore.
“I‘m keeping everything the same way, the recipes, everything,” said Rayun, who grew up in Jamaica and worked with David in Florida. He also plans to keep the menu the same. “David has his own secret recipes and he was happy to share them with me. The hummus, the falafel, all of it – we’re keeping it kosher and in the family.”
Rabbi Yossi Lipsker, of Chabad of the North Shore in Swampscott, said the Winers had made an enormous contribution to the community. “We are so grateful to them for bringing a kosher restaurant to the North Shore – which has really impacted the community in so many ways. And that’s why we’re going to do everything in our power to keep it going,” said the rabbi, who will continue to personally inspect the restaurant to make sure it is kosher.
Meanwhile, the Winer family got on a plane last Thursday night and returned to Israel. They plan to live in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv. “I’m one of ten children and five live in Ramat Gan, so that’s going to be fun,” said Adina.
David plans to continue to work in the food industry, and is excited about returning to Israel. “We’ve wanted to be in Israel for a long time and there was an opportunity, so we grabbed it,” he said. “You know, here and now is what we all have, and we have to do what’s best for ourselves and our families. And that’s what I’m doing.”