POLICY STATEMENT REGARDING KASHRUT
INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE SYNAGOGUE*
The observance of kashrut is one of the basic tenets of Conservative Judaism. To this end, all events sponsored by Congregation B’nai Tzedek shall follow the guidelines of the Conservative movement as articulated in this document.
Food served at all events held at the synagogue, whether sponsored by B’nai Tzedek or not, shall either be prepared in the synagogue’s kitchen by a caterer or an auxiliary organization of the synagogue (Sisterhood, Brotherhood nursery or religious school, etc.). Such preparation must be done with the absolute assurance that the observance of kashrut is uncompromised, or purchased from an approved kosher vendor.1
For synagogue-sponsored events held by any organization, auxiliary group or committee affiliated with B’nai Tzedek that are held outside the facility, the following guidelines shall govern our policy:
1. It is preferable for events to be held in a restaurant that has been certified as kosher by the Orthodox Rabbinical Council or by the Metropolitan Rabbinical Kashrus Association (Metro-K) or to be catered by one of the synagogue’s approved caterers. When eating in a kosher establishment or in a facility in which a kosher caterer is catering the meal, it is permissible to eat any food item that is served, whether dairy or meat.
2. If food is to be served at a restaurant or other location (i.e., a member’s home, bowling alley, country club, sporting facility, etc.) that has not been certified as kosher per the authorities stated in item 1 above, the hosting committee or auxiliary group of the synagogue shall be required to abide by the following conditions:
a. No meat, chicken or meat/chicken by-products whatsoever shall be served or offered as part of the meal, unless the food has been purchased from an approved kosher caterer or establishment, such as Kosher Mart, Shalom or Katz’s and is sealed with the tape and “hechshar” (certification from a recognized mashgiach that the food has been prepared in accordance with the laws of kashrut). The platter should remain sealed until the time that the food is to be served.
b. It is permissible to serve/consume food from the following groups:
i. Dairy (i.e., cheese, butter, milk, etc.)
ii. Vegetarian (i.e., all vegetables, fruits, grains and pastas)
iii. Pareve (i.e., eggs, fish and other food types that contain neither meat nor dairy by-products
iv. Salads (no meat or chicken)
v. Fish products: The only type of fish that may be served and consumed is that which is kosher; i.e., those that have fins and scales. No shellfish of any type is permitted. These include, but are not limited to shrimp, lobster, clams, oysters, scallops, etc. and crustaceans (craws, crawfish, etc.).
c. A copy of the proposed menu must be emailed or faxed to the Executive Director, Alan Blank ([email protected]) at least five days in advance of the event to ensure compliance with all of the guidelines stipulated above.
Please contact Rabbi Weinblatt (301.299.0225 ext. 309 or by email at [email protected]) prior to scheduling your event should you have any questions with respect to this policy.
*Please note: under no circumstances may items be purchased for meals outside the synagogue on Shabbat or Jewish holidays, as business transactions may not be conducted at this time.
1 “The Mitzvah of Kashrut in the Synagogue, written by Rabbi Moshe Saks and Rabbi Moshe Edelman and published by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Department of Congregational Programming, 1997; page 8 (Kashrut Standards for a Synagogue).