Chabad of Korea Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of questions that people often ask us about Jewish life in Korea.
What hotels are near the Chabad House?
There are a number of hotels near the Chabad House.
The most expensive hotel in the area is the five-star Grand Hyatt. This hotel is approximately 300 meters from the Chabad House.
The most popular option for visitors to the Chabad House is The IP Boutique Hotel. This newly renovated hotel is only about a 5 minute walk from the Chabad House and we recommend it to visitors who wish to stay near us for Shabbat. Guests can receive a 30% discount when mentioning that they are staying there in conjunction with Chabad. The hotel's room doors are electronically operated but can be opened by hotel staff in order to avoid violating the rules of Shabbat.
Other tourist-class hotels within walking distance include the Hamilton Hotel, Hotel Crown, and the Capital Hotel. Please note that the Hotel Crown has two locations in Seoul. The Itaewon Location is the one near the Chabad House.
How can I get to Itaewon and the Chabad House from the airport?
There are many transportation options to get to Itaewon from the airport. Probably the best is the direct Airport Limousine bus, which takes around 70 minutes and costs 15,000 Korean Won. A regular taxi might cost around 50,000 Korean Won. Black Taxis are more luxurious but quite a bit more expensive. For more precise details on how to reach the Chabad House once you arrive in Itaewon, please consult the map on this website or call us.We do not answer the phone on Shabbat or Yom Tov so try to arrive at other times if you need to contact us by phone.
How can I get Kosher food in Korea?
Feel free to visit the Kosher store at the Chabad house to discover the hundreds of items we sell from all over the world.
Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday from 10 am - 7 pm.
I'm staying in a hotel for a few days and can't cook or shop. Is it possible to have Kosher meals prepared?
Yes, you can. We are now offering Kosher meals on the weekdays. You can enjoy them at our restaurant and we can also deliver it to your hotel. Click here to order.
Is soju Kosher? What about other Korean foods?
The honest answer to questions about the Kashrut status of Korea's most common alcoholic beverage is simply that we don't know. Some of our community members have been led to believe that animal products may be used in the preparation of soju. While this is unconfirmed, we must err on the side of caution and consider soju to be NOT Kosher. Additionally, we must note that many traditional Korean foods, even those that appear to be vegetarian dishes, are also not Kosher due to the use of brine shrimp and other animal products in the pickling process. This includes kimchi.
Do you have services and meals on Shabbat?
Absolutely we do, and they are the highlight of the week for many of our regulars! You are invited to join us every Shabbat for delicious home cooked food in a wonderful family atmosphere. While reservations are not mandatory, please let us know if you are coming so we can prepare accordingly.There is no charge for these meals, but, of course, donations are welcome. Every Shabbat, meals are sponsored by members and guests of our community.Contact us for information on how you can sponsor meals.
What is the schedule for religious services?
We have regularly scheduled services every Friday night and Saturday morning. The time for Friday night's service is 25 minutes before sunset and Shabbat morning service begins at 10:00 am. Contact us if you have special need to arrange a minyan at another time.
Does Korea have any Jewish schools for my children?
We have a great preschool! contact Mussy@jewish.kr for details.
Is there a mikvah in Korea?
Although Seoul, is near seas and rivers which can serve the functions of a mikvah, we, unfortunately, do not yet have a man-made mikvah in Korea. Just like with the situation regarding a Jewish school, we sincerely hope to have one in the near future IY''H. The nearest mikvah in Asia is in Tokyo, which is a one-hour and fifty-minute flight from Seoul. Other mikvahs in Asia are located in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok.