Temple Israel affirms the value of our people that there is a religious dimension to the consumption of food. This is expressed most powerfully when we eat together as a congregation. When the congregation partakes in a meal within any of the Temple facilities, we create a Mikdash Katanah (a small sanctuary), through the recitation of B’rachot, our choice of food and our respect for the practices of Kashrut.
As Reform Jews, we respect the principles of acceptable foods and the separation of meat (including fowl) and dairy products and we honour the choices made by individual congregants in the area of Kashrut.
Temple Israel does not provide a kosher kitchen, dishes or utensils and does not require that food served be labeled Kosher. Members wishing to host functions certified by the Va’ad Ha Kashrut will be supported by the Rabbi and administrative staff.
While outside of the Temple facilities, individuals are free to choose to observe in accordance with their personal beliefs and conscience; within the Temple facilities, the following rules for the serving of food will be respected.
Separation of Meat and Dairy Products
Meat and dairy products, as described below, may not be mixed together at any meal including individual dishes, side dishes, desserts and condiments including whiteners. This means, for example, no chicken and cheese. Cheese is a dairy product. Poultry, including chicken, is a meat product.
A meal is defined as:
- Congregational meal: any food served to the entire congregation as part of a worship service or other event where one menu is available to all such as congregational onegs, Kiddush, banquet, etc.
- Group meal: any food served by a group as part of an event or program where one menu is available to all participants such as Prime Time luncheons, FROSTY dinners, private party/oneg/kiddush, etc. Where there is more than one group meal, such as at different meetings or events held at the same time, each is individually defined as a separate meal.
- Individual/family meal: any food brought into Temple by an individual or family for their own personal use including Shabbat dinner service meals, bag lunches, school snacks, etc.
Only poultry, beef, lamb or veal may be served at Temple. Pork products, or other meats of non kosher species, may not be served. Meats containing any excluded meat ingredients may not be used such as cakes made with lard, soup made with ham, spring or egg rolls made with pork or shrimp, etc. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese butter, cream, may not be mixed in or used in preparing meat dishes and meat may not be cooked, fried or basted with dairy products.
All dairy products may be used in the preparation of dairy foods including milk, cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream and butter. If a meat meal is served, desserts containing dairy products or dairy creamers may not be served.
Only fish species that have both fins and scales may be served such as salmon, sole, trout, etc. Shellfish such as shrimp, crab, oyster, lobster, clams; etc. may not be served. Fish are not meat. Dairy products may be used in preparing fish dishes, for example, salmon with cream sauce, etc.
Pareve products are neither meat nor dairy and are usually indicated as such on the label or package. Fruits and vegetables are considered Pareve. Pareve products may be used in the preparation of meat dishes such as 100% vegetable oil, non-dairy whitener or eggs.