Updated and Approved by Temple Chai Board of Directors 8/8/22 (Kashrut) and 1/16/24 (Nut and Allergy)
Kashrut Policy - August 8, 2022
The purpose of this document is to define how Temple Chai engages in the practice of kashrut (“keeping kosher”) in the purchasing, preparation, and serving of food for events sponsored by the synagogue, congregational affiliated groups, and all private rental parties and caterers that use Temple Chai for both member and non-member functions. While we recognize different members of our community observe kashrut in different ways, the goal of this policy is to ensure that everyone who enters Temple Chai, be they members of guests of our community, are comfortable in both participating in and eating at all events and programs to the greatest degree possible.
Policy This policy applies to all Temple Chai events (at the temple, on its grounds, or elsewhere), as well as all events held within the temple building or on its grounds. Private events held elsewhere by congregants (e.g., B’nai Mitzvah celebrations and other Jewish lifecycle events) are not covered by this policy; however, it is hoped that members look to this policy to inform their thoughtful decisions around food choices for their lifecycle event celebrations held off-site.
The following rules apply:
Dairy and meat must not be offered during the same meal, oneg, kiddush, or nosh (or any
other time food is offered) at temple. This includes potluck events. Please note that both poultry and red meat are considered meat whereas fish is pareve (neither dairy nor meat).
Meat served at Temple Chai events is not required to be kosher.
Treif (pork, shellfish, and other non-kosher meat or fish) are not allowed on the temple premises
or at any program held by temple including off-site. Kosher fish have both fins and scales. If you are uncertain of a product’s status, please feel free to call the temple for clarification.
A hechsher (kosher seal) is not required for dairy or milk products.
Times when individuals bring their own meals without sharing food (such as ECC student or
teacher lunches, staff meetings where each person brings or orders their own lunch, or events such as picnics which are congregational events but where there is no sharing of food and during which temple does not provide any food), it is admissible for each person or family to determine if what informed choice they will make regarding eating dairy, meat, or a combination thereof. Note that treif is still prohibited at such meals.
Pesach (Passover) During Pesach (Passover), in addition to adherence to temple’s general kashrut policy, we are forbidden to eat all leavened products except “Kosher for Passover” matzah, matzah meal, cookies, etc. To allow for greatest possible participation, temple follows the Ashkenazic tradition of Pesach kashrut. This means that kitniyot (rice, corn, beans, and other legumes including products made with those ingredients such as peanut oil or rice flour) are not permissible. For children or employees bringing meals or for events during which individuals or families bring their own food with no food shared or provided by temple, each person/family may choose to follow Sephardic (allowing the eating of kitniyot) or Ashkenazic (disallowing kitniyot) tradition based on family/personal practice. No leaven is to be brought onto temple grounds during Pesach.
Nut & Allergy Policy - January 16, 2024
Catered Food at Family Events The Temple will require that all catered food at family events be completely nut free. The Temple will ask that any caterers provide an ingredient list, to the extent possible, for review by families with allergies. At a minimum, caterers will provide a list of the Top 9 food allergens to be displayed with the catered food. The Temple will adhere to this policy but asks that families with allergies ensure that anyone with a serious allergy does not ingest anything with unknown ingredients or with known allergens. Catered Food at Adult-Only Events The Temple will permit nuts at adult-only catered events, such as the Gala and other adult-only events. The Temple will ask that any caterers provide an ingredient list, to the extent possible, for review by families with allergies. At a minimum, caterers will provide a list of the Top 9 food allergens to be displayed with the catered food. The Temple will adhere to this policy but asks that families with allergies ensure that anyone with a serious allergy does not ingest anything with unknown ingredients or with known allergens. The Temple will make reasonable efforts to ensure that leftovers containing food allergens do not remain at the Temple, but again asks that families with allergies ensure that anyone with a serious allergy does not ingest anything with unknown ingredients or with known allergens. Homemade and Store-Bought Foods The Temple will continue to permit homemade and store-bought foods, as it has in the past, but requests the following: 1. All homemade and store-bought food should be accompanied by an ingredient list for the convenience of families with allergies. 2. Peanuts and nuts of any kind should be avoided, if possible. If the recipe does include nuts, please include a clear ingredient list to accompany the dish. 3. Notwithstanding the foregoing, families with allergies should ensure that anyone with a serious allergy does not ingest anything with unknown ingredients or with known allergens.
ECC, Religious School and Youth Events ECC, Religious School and Youth Events will remain completely nut free, per their preexisting policies.
Exceptions The Annual PB & Fluff event will be excluded from this policy and all extra peanut butter will be thrown out, or donated, immediately after the event.
Approved by the Temple Chai Board on January 16, 2024
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