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Kashrut Guidelines for Our Members and Guests
General Principle: Except during Passover, all food served at B’nai Emunah will follow the kashrut guidelines for PAREVE or DAIRY – no meat will be brought into the Synagogue or served under any circumstances.
See the special Passover Potluck Kashrut Rules for events during Passover.
The following food items are ALLOWED in the kitchen:
- Food prepared in a kosher kitchen (home or commercial) as PAREVE or DAIRY (Level 1 - code blue)
- Raw intact fruit, vegetables, or eggs (i.e., not precut or otherwise prepared)
- Packaged food with kosher certification (“hechsher”), pareve or dairy
- Pure dairy products, such as milk, cream, unflavored yogurt, cheese with no added food items
- Single item ingredients for cooking, such as flour, salt, sugar, dry herbs, spices (check for added ingredients on package)
- Juice, soft drinks, distilled spirits, wine [NOTE THAT ONLY KOSHER WINE OR GRAPE JUICE MAY BE USED FOR KIDDUSH.]
- Beer and non-kosher wine may be stored in the small refrigerator. See note above.
- Fresh or frozen fish that is permitted under Conservative kashrut, (that have fins and scales in their anatomy) including salmon, tuna, whitefish, halibut, herring, trout, bass, mahi mahi, and tilapia [CANNED OR PREPARED FISH MUST BE HECHSHERED.]
The following food items are NOT ALLOWED in the kitchen:
- Meat products of any kind
- Food prepared in a kitchen that is “not yet” kosher with kosher ingredients only (Level 2—code purple)
- Food that contains non-hechshered ingredients or from a commercial source that is not kosher (Level 3—code yellow)
How to bring food to B’nai Emunah for a kiddush or for the monthly potluck: If you have a kosher kitchen, follow kashrut practice for preparing a pareve or dairy dish. You may bring your customary serving bowl and/or utensils and bring your food into the kitchen. It should be marked Level 1—code blue.
If your kitchen is “not yet” kosher, please abide by the following:
- Use only kosher ingredients for pareve or dairy dishes, including permitted raw items, packaged items with kosher certification (“hechsher”), and single item ingredients as described above.
- If possible, use a pot, pan, and utensils that have been purchased specifically for preparing food to be brought to B’nai Emunah. Clean with a scrubber or sponge that is similarly set aside to clean only these kitchen items.
- Bring the food in a container or serving bowl or platter used exclusively for bringing food to B’nai Emunah. Good quality “caterware” is inexpensive and ideal for this purpose.
- When you arrive at the shul, leave your food OUTSIDE the kitchen. It should be marked Level 2—code purple. If your food requires warming, use the microwave oven that is outside the kitchen. Use the disposable serving utensils that are located outside the kitchen (i.e., do not take utensils from the kitchen to serve this food).
- After the event, do not bring your food container or serving bowl or platter into the kitchen for cleaning. If you wish to clean them before leaving, use the sink that is located in the office. Any leftover food must be removed from the Synagogue.
If you are ordering in food from a non-kosher source (such as takeout pizza) or bringing prepared food without a hechsher (such as non-meat lasagna), do not bring it into the kitchen. Assure that it contains no prohibited ingredients. It should be marked Level 3—code yellow. Do not bring the food, containers, or packaging into the kitchen at any time.
If you are ordering in food from a kosher source (pareve or dairy), it may be brought into the kitchen and prepared further for serving, using our kitchen equipment and utensils.
You may use our kitchen to prepare food under these guidelines, such as preparing and mixing salads from raw intact fruits and vegetables or preparing other items that meet the guidelines for food permitted in the kitchen. However, such use of the kitchen must be arranged in advance with the kashrut committee and requires that at least one member of the committee be present when food is brought in and preparation takes place to assure compliance with kashrut (“hashgacha”).
If you have questions or concerns:
- Please do not ask Robin. Robin is busy; her responsibilities are clearly defined and do not include monitoring levels of kashrut. Any member of the Ritual Committee is available for direction and clarification. If in doubt about any procedure or process, it's probably best to stay out of the kitchen.
- Do not ask for an exception from these guidelines. Any such exception is likely to compromise the kashrut of our kitchen.
- You may direct your question or concern to the following members of the committee:
- Rabbi Mark Melamut
- Cantor Linda Semi
- Batshir Torchio (kashrut sub-chair)
- Frank Kurtz (Ritual Committee Chair)
Final determination of policies and procedures related to kashrut are the responsibility of the Ritual Committee.
Levels 1, 2 and 3 defined: We value the B’nai Emunah tradition of allowing members to bring food for Kiddush on Shabbat and to our monthly Friday night potluck. In order to continue that tradition and still maintain a kosher kitchen, we have set up the following kashrut levels:
- Level 1 (code blue): Food which has been prepared in a kosher kitchen (home or commercial), using the dietary laws for pareve or dairy. This means that all ingredients are permitted in terms of raw components and packaged foods have kosher certification (hechsher).
- Level 2 (code purple): Food which has been prepared in a home kitchen that is “not yet” kosher and contains all kosher ingredients, including permitted raw components and packaged foods that have kosher certification (hechsher). Please bring this food in a special container or serving platter used exclusively for use at B’nai Emunah.
- Level 3 (code yellow): Food which contains non-hechshered ingredients (not otherwise prohibited) or which was purchased from a non-kosher commercial vendor, such as take-out pizza or packaged prepared foods without kosher certification, that contains no prohibited ingredients. Please ask members of the committee if you have any questions about these definitions.
Rev. 5/20/08 - These policies are subject to change.
Rev - 3/2/11 - Added Rabbi Mark.