As Reform Jews, Congregation Shomrei Torah members hold a wide range of attitudes towards traditional Jewish practices including the laws of Kashrut—forbidden and permissible foods, slaughtering and cooking practices. As a Reform Congregation, Shomrei Torah seeks to balance personal choice with a fidelity to Jewish Tradition while creating an environment as inclusive and welcoming as possible to all people, including those with more traditional practices. Read more from Rabbi George Gittleman and our congregants regarding this policy here…
Food is essential to life. Not surprisingly, Jewish law and tradition place a great emphasis on food. In fact, the basics of Kashrut can be found in the Torah, which lists forbidden foods as well as the source for the prohibition of mixing milk with meat. Since the Torah was codified some 2,000 years ago, Judaism has developed various laws around those original commandments that comprise the whole of the laws of Kashrut today.
As a Reform congregation, we are not bound to the full array of laws pertaining to Kashrut. We do however, find value in embracing the spirit of those laws, recognizing both the importance of food and the benefit of a heightened awareness of what we consume, as well as the value of connecting authentically to our Jewish heritage. This Kashrut policy reflects these values.
Kashrut: The Jewish laws pertaining to forbidden and permissible foods, slaughtering and cooking practices. What it means to “Keep Kosher.”
Meatmeal: Excludes basic forbidden foods (pork and pork products, shellfish, fish without scales and fins, animals that don’t have cloven hooves and chew their cud).
Dairy Meal: Includes all dairy products, fruits and vegetables.
Parve: Foods that do not fit into either the dairy or meat category like fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish, mayonnaise, etc. “Parve” foods can be served at either “dairy” or “meat” meals.
Potlucks and onegs
All Congregation Shomrei Torah (CST) oneg and potluck events will be “dairy.”
Fish, eggs, and other parve ingredients are allowed as well (see definition above).
CST special events
All Congregation Shomrei Torah “special events” will chose to be either “meat” (see limitations below) or “dairy” meals. This includes, but is not limited to: B’nei Mitzvah kiddushes, fundraising events, parties, etc
General CST facility use
The following foods are not to be served at any time at Congregation Shomrei Torah’s facility:
- All foods from animals without split hooves or those that do not chew their cud. Those include but are not limited to: pork, pork products—ham, bacon, lard—bear, rabbit, venison, etc.
- Shell fish and fish that do not have scales and fins. Those include but are not limited to: Shrimp, scallops, oysters, clams, prawns, lobster, shark, monkfish, calamari, catfish, etc.
- Any processed foods that contain lard, pork, shellfish or other ingredients listed above.