This policy sets out points, issues and questions relating to Kashrut in our kitchen. In the Torah, Kashrut is connected directly with the concept of holiness, kedusha. So the holiness of our community does not only reside in the Sanctuary itself with its prayers and words of Torah. It also is present in our connection through ensuring that the food consumed in our Synagogue meets a high standard of Kashrut. The standard we hold in the Synagogue should be higher than what we privately practise. This for instance means that although Kingsmill bread is kosher, we should have a higher standard and only allow bread made by a Jewish baker in our kitchen - this is known as pat yisrael.
The oven is usually used for milky use. There will be times when it will be needed for meaty use, such as a hot catered meat meal, or a Kiddush where we will heat up a meaty food. We will need to KASHER the oven from milky to meaty usage and then back again. The oven should not be used 24 hours before the koshering. After this period it should be cleaned using an oven cleaner which will make any food areas inedible. The oven will then be left on its highest temp for one hour. The same process will be needed to return the oven from meaty to milky usage.
We use the fridge for meat and milk products. Please ensure that any milky or meaty products are stored separately in the fridge space.
These are well separated into meaty and milky.
Glasses used with milky cutlery and crockery are washed in the dishwasher.
The following protocol should be followed regarding food products:
– The latest Kashrut guide should be easily accessible in the kitchen
– Food products allowed in the kitchen should be listed in the guide.
– Bread should be supervised and also pat yisrael (so bread should come from a supervised baker)
– Milk and all milk products such as chocolate should be Chalav Yisrael. Cheese products should be with a supervision hechsher. Kosher butter should be purchased.
– Vegetables and fruit should be washed well before use.
CATERED EVENTS IN SHUL
If a member would like to run a private event in the community, then they must set down in writing exactly what food they would like to bring in and how this would be organised as per the options below. This would be agreed by Rabbi David regarding the kashrut aspect, and Synagogue Board member responsible for the kitchen regarding use of the kitchen.
Internal Catered Events
Any event involving food which is run by a Synagogue group or committee does not require an external Shomer but MUST be coordinated and supervised by Rabbi David. This would mean that an email should be sent to Rabbi David listing exactly what will be served and brought in. Rabbi David would then sign off on the event and would arrange to supervise cooking that was taking place in the kitchen.
Privately catered hot meal
Any such event should be catered by a London Beth Din caterer and an external Shomer will need to come in and ensure all kashrut issues are dealt with.
Privately catered cold meal
Differentiate between a midweek and Shabbos event
Level 1 – This could be a brit mila, pidyon haben or small event where the private individuals hosting will bring in for instance platters of bagels/bridge rolls as well as drinks and crisps. This would not require a shomer. The Rabbi will however require a list of all products that are being bought, so he can check them, and agree them. This list would then be signed by the Rabbi and private host.
Level 2 – this situation is where a proper cold meal is served. It could be meaty or milky and the chances are that the kitchen would be required to store things in the kitchen, use of surfaces, sinks. Nothing would however be hot. It would be preferred that this would be catered using a LBD shomer. It is not possible to always rely on the Rabbi, as he is understandably busy and so will not be always available to adequately supervise.
Updated 2/07/2017 by Rabbi David Mason and Linda Cohen on behalf of Board of Management