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Kashrut at Kol Ami

In order to meet the needs of our diverse community, we maintain three kitchens: a kosher dairy, kosher meat, and a kosher-style kitchen in our youth lounge. Kosher meat is available through the Synagogue Cooperative.

Dairy & Meat Kitchen Kashrut Guidelines

All food must be cooked at Kol Ami. All packaged or canned foods must have a hechsher (kosher symbol), except for items listed below.

No non-kosher food or home baked goods (even from kosher homes), fast food, deli, or take out is permitted.

Eggs with blood spots must be discarded. To avoid ruining an entire recipe, break eggs, one at a time, into a separate glass bowl to check for spots, prior to combining with other ingredients.

Dairy ingredients are to be used only in the dairy kitchen and include: butter, cheese, casein, lactose, milk solids, sodium caseinate, and whey. Margarine is dairy unless it is specifically marked as PAREVE (non-dairy).

Plain hard cheeses that are factory packaged and list their ingredients are acceptable. Cheeses that are cut and wrapped in specialty stores or in supermarket delis are NOT permitted. Cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, yogurt, butter, and all other dairy products, except milk, require an appropriate hechsher.

Meat must be kosher and used only in the meat kitchen. The Kol Ami Kosher Co-Op orders meat several times a year. Dan’s at Foothill and Olympus Hills Mall, Smith’s at Canyon Rim, and Trader Joe’s have selections of kosher meat and other kosher items.

All canned, bottled, and packaged products must have a hechsher. No products from China are kosher. Please note that some of the hechshers may indicate whether a product is dairy, meat or parve, but some do not—check the ingredients!

The following items do not require a hechsher: uncut fresh fruit and vegetables, unopened white sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, plain frozen vegetables (not with pasta, rice, or sauces), frozen fruits, pure fruit juices (the package must say “100% juice—hechshered grape juice must be used for kiddush), Coca-Cola products, unflavored and unopened grains, and dry beans. Factory pre-cut fruit and vegetables (but not onions) from a supermarket are permitted without any dips, sauces, crackers. Cut fruit and vegetables from home are not permitted.

Commercially packaged breads must have a hechsher. Breads may be either dairy or parve and this must be determined from the kosher symbol or the ingredients. Out of town bakeries must provide proof of kashrut certification. Parve bread or rolls (including frozen dough) must have the appropriate hechsher or be baked at Kol Ami. (Some examples of commercially packaged hechshered and parve breads include some Orowheat rye breads, Thomas’ English muffins and bagels, and Sara Lee Bagels).

Only kosher fish is permitted. For cut fish, please ask the attendant to wash off the knife and use wax paper prior to cutting any fish for use in our kitchens. Even when purchased, all fish should be re-washed prior to cooking in our kitchens. (kosher fish have fins and scales, e.g., salmon, tuna, cod, halibut, trout. Shellfish are not permitted. Also not permitted are sturgeon, swordfish, catfish, shark, monkfish, eel, and squid. If you have a question concerning fish, please ask the Rabbi.

Only one kitchen may be used for a given event (either the meat or the dairy kitchen). Food and utensils may not be transferred from one kitchen to the other or brought from home.

All grape juice requires a heshcher.

Any additional questions may be directed to the Rabbi or office.

Kosher-Style Youth Lounge Kashrut Guidelines

The Youth Lounge is kosher-style. Do not use this kitchen to cook non-kosher (treif) food.

What makes something “kosher-style” instead of “kosher”?
There are some families in our community who keep kosher homes. They do not mix milk and meat; have pork, shellfish, or other non-kosher meat in their homes; and keep the rules of cooking on Shabbat. Meals cooked in a home or commercial kitchen that follow the general outline of kosher food are kosher-style.

Some meats are kosher—can I bring those?
Please do not bring meat into the Youth Lounge kitchen even if it is kosher. We are keeping this area as kosher-style dairy. NO chicken, beef, pork (ham, bacon, pepperoni, etc.), shellfish, or gelatin.

Should I check for a kosher symbol on the foods I bring to cook with?
Please check for a hechsher (kosher symbol). Some foods that do not need a hechsher for Kol Ami are:
– Unflavored applesauce
– Unflavored canned beets
– Cocoa, unflavored coffee, tea
– Juices or lemonade
– Honey
– Fresh or dried fruits
– Vegetables
– Nuts
– Eggs
– Fish (fresh or frozen with fins/scales)
– Rice and rice pasta

Can I bring in outside food to the Youth Lounge? As a dual affiliated congregation, we have congregants with different levels of observance. For that reason we have designated the Youth Wing and the main office of the synagogue as areas where we can have kosher-style food.

Sat, May 25 2024 17 Iyyar 5784