She’s Jewish and He Is Muslim, United on the Issue of Pork

18 11 2007


 Brooklyn, NY – Sam Habib and Cindy Gluck opened their first Dunkin’ Donuts in 2005. Mr. Habib, 47, is a Muslim immigrant from Egypt, and Ms. Gluck, 34, is a Orthodox Jew from Borough Park, Brooklyn. Both had sunk their entire savings into buying the franchise, on a busy stretch of Church Avenue at East 17th Street in Flatbush.

It was a terrifying gamble. The two had known each other only a few months when Mr. Habib, asked Ms. Gluck, a real estate broker he had met while looking for a location, to join him in business. He knew she was an Orthodox Jew but said he didn’t care.

Cindy Gluck (her real name is Hindy) grew up in Hasidic Williamsburg. At 20, she was married off to a man of her parents’ choosing; four children later, she went into real estate to try to make some money.
“I had never met a Muslim before,” Ms. Gluck said. Mr. Habib chimed in with a laugh: “All her friends told her that she should be careful that her crazy terrorist Arab partner doesn’t put bombs in her packages.”

Under their ground rules, Ms. Gluck takes off Saturdays to celebrate the Sabbath, and Mr. Habib worships at the mosque every Friday. The doughnuts come from a kosher bakery in Borough Park. On Jewish holidays, Mr. Habib technically owns the entire business because Ms. Gluck is not allowed to earn money on those days.

And there is one edict they both obey. “Neither of us is allowed to enjoy the profits of the pork,” Ms. Gluck said. Any money the business makes on the sale of bacon, sausage or ham, is split and given away, hers to her synagogue and to Israel, his to the workers as bonuses.

The pair’s hard work has paid off; last year they opened a second franchise, on Flatbush and Sixth Avenues in Park Slope.

Because of a contract dispute, Mr. Habib and Ms. Gluck are in the process of selling the stores back to Dunkin’ Donuts. And when their doughnut days are done, they plan to continue working together.

“She’s Jewish and I’m Muslim,” Mr. Habib said. “That doesn’t stop us from creating a business.” [NY Times]




One response

29 01 2009
Hey you

nice article

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