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SHOMREI TORAH-WCC KASHRUT POLICY 2019/5779

Throughout our history, the Jewish people have taken one of the most basic things we do as human beings - eating – and sanctified it making it holy. Just as we begin and end our meals with blessings to remind us that eating can be a religious act, so too we have certain standards of what foods are and are not acceptable.

The Ritual Committee and the Rabbi have agreed to establish these regulations for kashrut, to be applicable to Synagogue sponsored or related activities, whether on or off Synagogue premises, including but not limited to an Oneg Shabbat, events, programs and meetings, Kiddush Lunch, classroom or school (hereafter “Synagogue Function”).

These standards are a way to help our members understand the importance we give to kashrut. We also see this as an opportunity to educate members of our community about the laws of kashrut.

Packaged Foods – Require a Hechsher (a symbol of kashrut certification)

All packaged food served during a Synagogue Function must have a hechsher. Any hechsher is acceptable, even a plain K which in New Jersey must have a rabbi certifying it. The most common symbols are the OU, Kaf-K, Circle-K, Star-K, Triangle-K, RCBC, and more can be found online by search kosher symbols.

1. Packaged food includes any food, whether an ingredient or finished product, which comes in a box, can, bottle, jar, cellophane bag, or other package. This includes cake mixes, flour, noodles and cookies.

2. Gelatin – is defined as davar chadash, a “new substance” therefore all gelatins are considered kosher and are acceptable even without a hechsher.

3. Cheese -- only pre-packaged cheese with a hechsher may be used.

4. Grape Products – all grape products must have a hechsher – juice, jelly, wine, cognac, brandy, etc.

5. Beer – All unflavored beers with no additives are acceptable with or without a hechsher. This applies to American and imported beers, light, dark and nonalcoholic. Beers with additives and from microbreweries require certification.

6. Hard liquor – is permitted without a hechsher, including all scotch, the exception is grape products as noted above.

The following foods require no certification:

  • Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables (including those cut up by grocery stores)
  • Pure fruit juices
  • Dry grains, legumes and beans
  • Dried fruit
  • Dry roasted nuts and nuts still in the shell. (Oil roasted nuts should be certified.)
  • Honey
  • Olives
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Milk
  • Coffee and tea (This applies both to purchasing coffee and tea for your own preparation, and to purchasing prepared coffee from an otherwise non-kosher establishment, since the urns used for hot water and coffee handle only this item)

This list is not exhaustive. When uncertain about whether a food needs certification, please consult the rabbi.

Goods Locally Produced By Commercial Establishments

All commercially prepared food, i.e., food prepared by bakeries, delis and/or restaurants, etc., served at a Synagogue Function, must come from an “approved establishment.”

1. A list of currently approved establishments is available in the Synagogue office.

2. No commercially prepared food will be permitted unless it is from an approved establishment.

3. The Rabbi will periodically review the list of approved establishments and consider new establishments for approval.

4. “Fast Food” (such as Burger King, Wendy’s, McDonald’s) is not kosher and may not be served at any Synagogue Function under any circumstances. However, it is recognized that some individual establishments, e.g., Dunkin Donuts, have some products under rabbinic supervision that are acceptable.

Kitchen -- Social Hall

Strict adherence to the principles of Kashrut will be maintained at all times. The Rabbi is available to assist those who are unfamiliar with kashrut or the rules of the kitchen.

1. Separation of meat and dairy must be maintained at all times; especially if both are being prepared in separate parts of the kitchen at the same time.

2. Only kosher fish may be brought into the Synagogue. These include, by way of example: tuna, salmon, flounder, lox and sole.

3. Home cooked food is not allowed except as described in the Pot Luck policy.

4. Only the utensils (pots, pans, serving dishes, appliances, etc.) of the Synagogue kitchen may be used in preparing food in the Synagogue kitchen. Food prepared in the Synagogue kitchen may not be served with utensils brought from a home, unless those utensils are brand new (never been used previously) and brought into the Synagogue in unopened packaging.

5. Those planning to prepare food in the Synagogue kitchen must contact the Rabbi in advance so that the menu can be reviewed and approved.

Shabbat Observance

1. Cooking is prohibited on Shabbat; this includes boiling water and making coffee.
2. Cooked and prepared solid foods may be reheated on Shabbat.

Caterers

1. Caterers must be certified kosher and approved by the Rabbi in advance.

2. Caterers may be asked to submit a menu in advance.

3. The office must be notified any time a caterer will be working in the kitchen. The Rabbi will determine, on a case by case basis, if the caterer’s work in the kitchen needs to be supervised.

Approved by the Rabbi, the Ritual Committee and the Board of Trustees – Aug. 2019

Thu, September 19 2019 19 Elul 5779