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Kashrut Policy

Temple Beth Ora Kashrut Policy

Revised July 15, 2019 / 12 Tammuz 5779

Statement of Policy: It is the policy of Temple Beth Ora to adhere to the ethical teachings of the Torah concerning food and drink in Temple facilities and at official congregational events. These teachings include many of the provisions that the rabbis have, over the centuries, defined as kashrut but also exceed those standards.

 

Policy Objectives

Temple Beth Ora wishes to augment community-building opportunities in our calendar by scheduling occasional and periodic meals of varying size (ranging from simple onegs to Passover seders) in conjunction with worship services and festival celebrations. This policy would offer assurance that food served at Temple Beth Ora events adheres to the deepest ethical principles of kashrut, which is more than a set of ritualistic guidelines for food preparation. Ethicists from across the full spectrum of Jewish denominations bridge the gap between Torah-inspired ethical principles and rabbinic halakhah by aspiring to an expanded kashrut that avoids cruelty to animals, exploitation of producers, degradation of the environment, and harm to the health of consumers. We at Temple Beth Ora aspire to transform our congregational meals and snacks into moments of sacred consumption, and we recognize that adhering to principles of kashrut is not, and has not ever been, (intended to be) easy.

Implementation

1. Because, under current conditions of food production, virtually all commercially available meat and fish inflicts significant pain upon the animal and exposes the human workforce to an elevated risk of physical harm and psychological trauma, TBO congregational meals will normally and normatively be vegetarian.

2. However, under the strict supervision of the rabbi, it will be permissible to serve meat or fish as part of a major congregational feast such as a Passover seder. In these cases, those responsible for acquiring the relevant non-vegetarian ingredients will be tasked with attending to the full range of Torah-inspired ethics surrounding food production. This will be done on a case by case basis.

3. Members are encouraged to consider the ethical questions and global implications surrounding their consumption choices when contributing to communal meals, and to balance those concerns with their own preferences and financial capacities. TBO welcomes contributions from all members, and places a higher value on communal solidarities than on certifications and labels.

4. We do not require the use of certified kosher wines either for meals or for ritual purposes.

5. Utensils, dishes, etc used for TBO meals and snacks should normally and normatively be reusable or, if that is for some reason impossible, recyclable (and recycled). Staff and volunteers will always seek to minimize waste (both of garbage and of the actual food) in connection with congregational meals.

( Supersedes Kashrut Policy February 2012)

Approved by Temple Beth Ora Board of Directors

Tue, 20 October 2020 2 Cheshvan 5781