Netivot Shalom Kashrut Policy
Adopted: Kislev 5769 / December 2008
For any question of Kashrut, please contact Rabbi Levy.
Kavanah (our approach): The term kosher is a statement of purposefulness. Torah Scrolls, food, and choices can be kosher (or not). This document deals primarily with our food guidelines but reflects the larger approach of healthy and holy living we teach and live at Netivot Shalom. In other words, our integrated commitments to ethical, environmental, and ritual elevation are kashrut standards by which we abide as a community. While individual members of the congregation have a wide variety of observances in their own homes, we have adopted the following rules as our kashrut policy for events, and expect everyone who purchases or prepares food for shul functions to follow this Kashrut policy. Netivot Shalom allows only dairy and pareve food at events held on our premises.
ALL processed food products need to have a recognized hechsher* (kashrut certification): A hechsher is a symbol of approval stamped on the packaging of a product, which certifies that the facility manufacturing the product is under supervision of a rabbi who attests to the kashrut of the product. The only exception to this rule is hard cheese. All wine, juices, and purchased baked goods must have a hechsher. *Note: If a label has simply the letter “K”, that alone does not signify that a product has a recognized hechsher.
The hechsher with the Tablet-K symbol is not acceptable. Click here for a list of all food-related items that do not require kosher certification (list provided by KosherQuest). For the Trader Joe’s list of kosher products, click here (except don’t use those with Tablet-K hechshers).
Kashrut standards for the synagogue kitchen: Netivot Shalom members are welcome to cook pareve and dairy meals in the synagogue kitchen, provided all ingredients adhere to our kashrut standards. We encourage members to cook together and to use the synagogue kitchen to prepare food for Netivot Shalom functions. This is one way we build community and share fun experiences together!
HOME COOKED KASHRUT RULES
Kashrut standards for food cooked in a member’s home for a synagogue event in the synagogue or elsewhere:
If you keep a kosher kitchen: You can bring dairy or pareve food cooked in your home that adheres to our kashrut standards using hechshered ingredients where required. If your home is kosher and you keep “ingredient kosher“, or if your home is vegan or vegetarian, use only hechshered ingredients when preparing food for community use and prepare and bring them in new recyclable/disposable containers. You are responsible for determining that your kitchen is kosher. Feel free to approach Rabbi Levy with any questions.
If you do not yet keep a kosher kitchen: You can still bring food cooked or baked in your kitchen by using hechshered ingredients and by following these guidelines, (which, in effect, describe how easy it truly is to have a kosher kitchen):
- Begin by creating a separate space in your kitchen by scrubbing and cleaning your work area.
- Use only new utensils, pots, pans, and cutlery.
- Stovetop Cooking: You may cook on an electric or gas stove, using a new or kosher pot.
- Microwave Cooking: You may cook in a microwave after kashering it by cleaning the inside thoroughly and then bringing a glass of water in it to a boil.
- Baking: You may bake in the oven, after running the cleaning cycle. If the oven does not have a cleaning cycle, you can clean it thoroughly and run it at its highest temperature setting for 15 minutes prior to cooking.
- Cleaning: Use only new sponges when cleaning implements.
- Transporting: Foods should be brought to shul in new recyclable/disposable containers. Food should not be transported on Shabbat or Holidays.
If you would like to kasher your home kitchen – MAZAL TOV!! – please contact Rabbi Levy for guidance.