Synagogue Kashrut Policy
Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue – Kashrut Policy
We acknowledge that sharing food is an important part of the Jewish religious experience. Our synagogue kitchen which is on the Bimah area is in regular use, for Shabbat and festival Kiddushim, events, hireings and for small and large-scale meals. It is therefore important that all food brought into and prepared in the synagogue, in the synagogue kitchen and the cheder block is kosher and that it conforms to the Jewish dietary laws. The rules are simple and straightforward.
Our synagogue and synagogue kitchens are dairy only. No meat can be brought into or consumed on the premises whether kosher or not. On occasions the fund raising committee have served kosher meat at a function but only under strict guidelines. People using the building for hire or for special meetings are informed of these rules by way of an Agreement.
In order to be sure that a particular food is acceptable you need to read the label and the list of ingredients on the products. You have to ensure that all processed and packaged foods contain no meat or animal products. Any product marked with the vegetarian symbol is automatically acceptable. All packaged foods from Israel are supervised and marked kosher.
Please look out for: 'Animal fat' 'Shortening' unless specifically indicated to be of vegetable origin, this should be assumed to be animal fat and is therefore not permitted. 'Gelatin' or 'gelatine' is a very common ingredient in jellies, yoghurts, Jaffa cakes, fruit tarts and pies. Unless specifically indicated to be of vegetable origin, it can be assumed to have been made from rendered bones and is not permitted. Obviously, jellies themselves are not permitted unless they are specifically marked 'Kosher' or 'suitable for vegetarians'.
Casual foods brought into the synagogue, synagogue classes or Cheder should be discouraged even for children. Namely sweets, chocolate, crisps and chewing gum. People attending services, classes and Cheder with such items should be approached by the Warden, Teacher, Leader or Madrichim and discouraged from consuming them during services, classes or events. Consuming or chewing any food sweets etc in the synagogue on Yom Kippur is prohibited.
If you have a compulsive desire to consume such goods in the buildings you must first check that the items are kosher. There are websites that will tell you whether certain foods are kosher or not.
Jews should only eat fish that has fins and scales (Leviticus 11:9-12). We therefore cannot eat rock-salmon, skate, monkfish, turbot or eel. Neither do we eat shellfish: prawns, shrimp, scampi, crab, lobster, oysters, cockles or mussels. We only enjoy the roe taken from kosher fish, such as cods-roe and taramasalata. Caviar is excluded as it is from the non-kosher sturgeon. Such items as prohibited above must not be brought into or consumed in any of the buildings.
In our synagogue we drink ordinary milk we do not require chalav Yisrael supervised milk. Be careful of cheeses and processed soft cheese with non-kosher additions e.g. smoked cheese with ham or Primula with shrimp.
We accept all cheese and do not require a mark of rabbinic certification (Hechsher). Although to make cheese you have to add rennet, that is generally extracted from animal stomachs, we follow the liberal ruling of Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs, that this rennet is in such tiny quantity and is so chemically transformed that we do not need to be concerned about its animal
In general we are happy to drink all wines we do not require wines to have rabbinic certification.
All the major supermarket and wine merchant chains sell vegetarian wines and these are clearly marked on the bottle. They are not more expensive or limited in range – in fact certain Jacobs Creek, Oxford Landing, Hardy’s, Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Banrock Station and Kumala plus some of Tesco M&S Waitrose own brand wines are vegetarian.
There are of course many Kosher wines but they tend to be much more expensive
Certain E numbers are derived from animal and vegetable sources. When present in kosher products E numbers will be of vegetable origin approved by the London Beth Din. The following numbers are not kosher:
E120 E422 E432 E433 E434 E435 E436 E441 E470 E471 E472a,b,c,d,e,f
E473 E474 E475 E476 E477 E481 E482 E483 E491 E492 E493 E494 E495 E542 E570 E572
If there are any doubts or questions, please refer the matter to: - Our Rabbi, Warden or to the Religious Activities Committee