Kashrut Policy

June 9, 2015

Our shul has created policies for making sure that our kitchen and food service are well managed and to ensure the highest level of kashrut standards.

The purpose of this page is to inform members, and others using our shul, about how these policies will affect them.

The following are terms which will be used throughout the document.

  • Packaged foods: foods prepared and packaged in industrial conditions and typically purchased at supermarkets, pharmacies, or warehouse stores.  Contrast: prepared foods.
  • Prepared foods:  cooked or baked foods prepared in commissaries typically local bakeries, restaurants or caterers. Contrast: packaged foods.
  • Sealed: foods in their original tamper-proof packaging or bearing a kosher certifier's tamper-proof label.
  • Personal consumption:  eating food oneself or sharing it with one's young child i.e. not shared with others.
  • Mashgiach temidi: a kashrut supervisor who will remain in the kitchen / preparation area and at the event throughout food preparation and food service

Food for Personal Use     
Packaged and prepared foods may be brought into the building for personal consumption under an honour system that these foods have proper certification and meet all Jewish dietary laws.  This rule generally does not apply on Passover.  Please see the Passover section below for Passover policies.  
Food to be Served at a Synagogue Event Including Breakfast, Kiddush, or Snack      
Please inform the synagogue office about any foods that will be entering the synagogue to be served at a synagogue event.  This does not apply to an event being catered by Shaarei Shomayim's caterer.
When delivering any food to the shul that will be served at an event (i.e. not for personal use), synagogue members should inform the superintendent or a member of the House staff.  They will receive the food from you and will record the product, the number of trays and containers, and the time of receipt in a tracking binder stored at the door to the walk-in refrigerator and dairy kitchen.  Food should be delivered during regular business hours, except if special arrangements have been made in advance.  A member of the clergy and/or executive director will review the tracking binder once a day and sign off on the deliveries.
This policy applies to all foods and drinks served at a synagogue event including alcoholic beverages that are brought into the synagogue for breakfasts and kiddushim.
Food deliveries can only be accepted if the required seals are in place and have not been tampered with.  All deliveries must arrive prior to Shabbat and Yom Tov.  Food arriving on Shabbat will not be accepted into the shul.
All prepared foods (as opposed to packaged food) must be ordered from a COR establishment.  All packaged foods must bear an approved kosher certification and arrive in a sealed container. The synagogue will hold a list of approved kosher certifications in the synagogue office, kitchen and shipping area.  Fruits and vegetables must be prepared according to COR guidelines.  No food may be brought in from any other sources. Food for a meat event must not come from a dairy establishment.  Food for a dairy event must not come from a meat establishment.
Kitchen Access        
The synagogue dairy kitchen and the walk-in refrigerator in the shipping area will remain locked at all times.  Please inform staff or clergy if you find that it is left inadvertently unlocked. If a member requires food from the kitchen, they should approach a staff member and the staff member will provide it, as appropriate.
Synagogue Events In Which Participants Will Be Involved In Food Preparation       
A member of the clergy, the executive director or an officially designated mashgiach temidi (a kashrut supervisor who will remain in the kitchen / preparation area and at the event throughout food preparation and food service) will be assigned to oversee all use of the kitchen or event space for both safety and kashrut reasons.
Meat and Dairy Kiddushim and Events       
All meat kiddushim (Teen Minyan, Kiddush clubs, and YP Kiddushim) and meat events require a mashgiach temidi to be present during preparation, plating and service.
All dairy and pareve kiddushim and events require a clergy member, executive director or mashgiach to spot check that the appropriate food is being prepared and heated properly and served in the appropriate utensils.  Clergy members will do regular walk-throughs on Shabbat and Yom Tov mornings to make sure that synagogue kashrut policies are being observed.
These rules apply to all events that are run in the shul whether they are official shul events or events run by outside organizations.  They do not apply to events catered by the shul's caterer.
During Passover, only food purchased by the synagogue will be allowed into the building.  No individuals will be allowed to bring their own food into the building over Passover.  An exception is made for medical need and for parents bringing food into the building for their own small children.  In this case, food for personal consumption may be brought into the building under the honour system that these foods have proper Passover certification and meet all Jewish dietary laws.     
No meat food will be served in the synagogue over Passover.  
A mashgiach temidi will be required for all Passover food service.
While this policy will be predominantly implemented by clergy and staff, your help is required in making sure that our synagogue properly observes the mitzvot relating to kashrut.  By observing these rules, you make it possible for us to have a consistent and well run kashrut system.  But more than that, we need you to be the eyes and ears of an effective kashrut and safety conscious community.  Please inform a member of the staff or clergy if you see something that indicates a kashrut or safety violation.
If you have any questions about this policy, please contact Rabbi Strauchler, 416.789.3213