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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘KOSHER’

Berlin’s Newest Kosher Supermarket Ignores EU Anti-Israel Orders

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Germany’s answer to the European Union’s order to label “Green Line” goods was to allow the nation’s biggest kosher supermarket, Daily Markt, to open in Berlin.

In the heart of the nation where Jews once feared to tread, one can shop “blue-and-white” – and find quite a few products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.

The initiative comes as a joint effort by German business owner Asan Mytev – who is not Jewish – along with several Jewish entrepreneurs and the assistance of Berlin Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal.

Located in the Chartlottenburg district, the store stocks only kosher items – a boon for those who until now have had to really search for such products.

“We will not be deterred by the security situation,” said Evgeny Bort, co-partner and store manager. “It doesn’t scare us and we don’t linger on it or pay attention to it. We cannot let terrorism stop us and interfere with our lives.”

Rabbi Teichtal likewise noted, “Although in the past our people have faced very difficult times in Europe in general and in Germany in particular, the necessary arrangements for maintaining Jewish life were always made. Although the situation today is quite different, we are still facing security challenges – but they do not discourage us.

“The new supermarket is another addition to the current line of Jewish institutions in the Berlin community which together enable us to maintain a full Jewish life in the city. As observant Jews we see this not only as a duty but also as a privilege.”

Bort acknowledged that some customers were critical of the decision to stock Israeli items, but dismissed the feedback.

“We have many customers who respond negatively … We tell them that this is none of our concern and that we are here to assist all those who wish to shop for kosher products but find the task to be very difficult.”

Why would a non-Jew want to open such a store? Mytev explained, “Until now, anyone who wanted to buy kosher products was forced to visit several different stores in order to find them all… In fact, for all of those customers who wish to buy only kosher products, the seemingly simple task of grocery shopping is actually a very difficult one.

“The Daily Markt provides them with a solution to this problem, enabling them to buy all kinds of kosher products under one roof.”

Due to the size of the business, the partners say they can also afford to offer “decent prices” despite the cost of imports.

“We have decided to sell everything here and to import goods from all over the world – from Europe, the U.S. and also from Israel,” explained Bort.

Surprisingly, almost half of the store’s non-Jewish clientele shop there “because of our affordable prices, regardless of the kosher issue… Also a large number of our non-Jewish customers come here because of our ‘parve’ products, which are known to be lactose-free.

“Like in the United States, the local population in Germany is also starting to realize that kosher is a standard for high-quality and healthy products.”

Hana Levi Julian

Some Ultra-Orthodox Troubled by Bazooka’s New Kosher Certification

Monday, November 30th, 2015

For religious Jewish kids growing up in America, Topps’ Bazooka bubble gum was the ultimate forbidden candy, along with the Topps’ bubble gum that was packaged along with the Topps’ baseball cards (you bought it for the baseball cards, right?). In Israel, Elite sold the gum with a standard kashrut certification and many a package of Elite Bazooka gum was shipped to America over the years.

Only recently did the Israeli ultra-Orthodox kashrut service of the “Badatz” (Hebrew acronym for Court of Justice) award the Elite Bazooka gum with a Mehadrin certification, classified as “Megadim” which is a fancy biblical word for sweets. But upgrading the certification from standard kosher to ultra kosher apparently hasn’t helped a few among the Israeli ultra-Orthodox reverse their attitudes. Yael Kliger, writing for Kikar Hashabbat, in a piece titled “Kosher but Smelly,” said she just cannot accept this chewy product, which she had been taught was made from pig’s fat.

Even the American Bazooka, which has been kosher certified for years now, was unacceptable to Israeli Haredim. “It was the treif of treifs, darkness within darkness,” Kliger recalls. The comic strip inside the gum wrapper was sought by her and her peers “to try to read the joke, often feeling bad and sinful for stupidly daring to touch the powdery wrapper of the treif gum.”

Ask any middle aged ultra-Orthodox man or woman, Kliger wrote, “they all remember some drama or horror story related to this product. Someone wrote that he remembers his grade school rabbi taking a lighter, igniting the gum in front of the students, and telling them that the dripping red liquid was the blood of the ‘other thing’ from the gum.”

“And now, unanimously it’s been decided bazooka is in?” Kliger argues that the Badatz, known for its assaults not only against unreliable kosher certifications, but also against smartphones, publications, all the many elements that they deem not to belong in an honorable Jewish home, now, for the money they received from the Elite candy maker, they see fit to reverse decades of group behavior?

There are many opinions on the reason for singling out the Bazooka as treif in the Haredi community in Israel, and to some extent abroad—as many views as there are talkback comments on Kliger’s article. Some believe it had to do with the fact that the Bazooka gum presented a challenge in terms of control — it’s so easy to grab and stuff in your mouth, so the rabbis had to put the fear of God in kids’ hearts. Others suggest it came down to the comics and the jokes — rabbis don’t like their kids reading jokes without a measure of control.

One talkbacker said the kashrut certification is meaningless, because of the halachic concept of “minhag hamakom,” the local practice. If it’s been forbidden, it should stay so.

In fact, Kliger was calling on the Badatz to demand some changes in the product, so it wouldn’t appear as if what has been so decidedly treif for so long is suddenly permissible. Like Mad Magazine and Cracked.

The Israeli Bazooka jokes, by the way, are even less amusing than the original, and are often plagued by bad translation from the English. Shahar Ilan, who reported on the new Haredi certification in Ha’aretz, used as an illustration a Bazooka comic strip in which a waiter serves Bazooka Joe soup, and the latter complains that it has “ta’am matzhik” which in Hebrew means “hilarious taste,” to which the waiter retorts: “So why aren’t you smiling?” — leaving the Hebrew reader scratching their head wondering why the soup was so hilarious.


‘Bad Timing’ of Christmas Hurts Chanukah Sales

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

Observant Jews cringe every year that Chanukah and Christmas overlap, leading to sacrilegious combinations of customs, but the kosher industry is losing out when the two holidays are totally separate, such as this year

Chanukah beings next Sunday night, December 6, and ends eight days later, almost two weeks before the Christians holiday.

Industry experts say that Chanukah is the third most important holiday on the Jewish calendar, following Passover and the High Holy Days, according to Kosher Today.

It reported:

Some industry officials believe that the calendar is not in their favor and prefer a Chanukah date that is close to Christmas. Next year, for example the first day of Chanukah falls on Christmas eve, the reason many non-traditional kosher customers buy kosher as gifts for Jewish friends and co-workers.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Businessmen Want Rabbinic Boycott of Palestinian Authority Food Items

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Food industry executives are calling for a boycott of Palestinian Authority items, some of which carry a stamp of approval as kosher by respected rabbis.

One food manufacturer told Globes Business newspaper:

They stab us. The world boycotts us, and we act like idiots and help them [Arabs] make a living.

One of the products on the potential boycott list is the Medjool date, a high-quality and relatively expensive date.

The Medjool dates in packages stamped as “Made in Palestine” carry a kosher certificate of high standing under the approval of “Rabbi Efrati.”

The Gatestone Institute reported this week that Palestinian Authority farmers in the Jordan Valley are able to grow Medjool dates thanks to a Jewish resident in the area whom they told that salty soil was not suitable for growing the fruit.

The farmer, Inon Rosenblum, used techniques to improve the soil so that it produces dates, grapes and herbs for export. His employees are Palestinian Authority Arabs, and he gave date palm seedlings to his Arab neighbors so they could grow them

Jews and Arabs living in the Jordan Valley account for approximately 40% of Medjool dates around the world.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

54% of American Jews Eat Pork, Says Pew Poll

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

“God Bless America” is becoming “Godless America,” if a trend reported by a Pew poll continues.

Its latest survey that was released Wednesday indicates that the number of Americans who are “absolutely certain” that God exists has dropped to 63% from 71% in a similar poll in 2007.

An overwhelming majority of 89% still believe in God, a three-point decline from the last poll, but millennials are much less religious than the older generation.

Pew stated:

As older, more religiously observant generations die out, they are being replaced by far less religious young adults

Two-thirds of members of the Silent generation (67%) say religion is very important in their lives, but only 38% of the youngest members of the Millennial generation – those born between 1990 and 1996 – say the same.

Just 28% of these youngest Millennials report attending religious services at least weekly, compared with about half (51%) of their Silent generation counterparts.

Another interesting, and perhaps not surprising, statistic in the poll is that there are more people in the Democratic party than in the Republican party who are not affiliated with any religion.

The survey also shows that homosexuality is much more accepted by all religions, especially Jews, than in previous years.

It also revealed that 54% of Jews now eat pork, one of the strongest prohibitions in the Torah and which  has been associated with Jewish identify over centuries.

No less significant is that only 39 percent of Jews expressed a deep feeling of spiritual peace and well-being at least once a week, compared with 68 percent for Protestants, 57 percent for Catholics and 64 percent for Muslims.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Top Jewish Foodies at ‘Devil’s Thumb’ in Colorado

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Top restaurateurs, chefs, farmers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, cookbook authors and other Jewish food world stars are at The Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains for a three-day “Harvest” festival.

The learning and cooking event is aimed at serving up Jewish cuisine as the next major global food movement, and Jewish food leaders will explore such critical challenges as humane meat and kosher dietary guidelines as part of a dialogue aimed at enriching Jewish cuisine as a global food trend.

The Harvest issued applications by invitation to 60 participants who represent a Who’s Who of Jewish food professionals, including writer and tour guide Katharine Romanow; acclaimed chef and author Ann Cooper; Goodie Girl CEO Shira Berk; wine expert Alexander Fox; cookbook celebrity author Joan Nathan; Gefilteria founder Jeffrey Yoskowitz; Nigel Savage, founder of Hazon, one of The Harvest’s partner organizations; and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation Vice President Lisa Eisen.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Heathrow Goes Kosher

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Kosher meat and dairy sandwiches now are available at four Heathrow Airport terminals, according got Kosher Today.

The London international hub offers kosher food at the White House Smith stories in terminals 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Kosher food increasingly is available at major international airports, and travel experts said that the London airport can support kosher fare, just as travelers in American airports have gobbled up kosher food from New York to Boston and Florida.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/heathrow-goes-kosher/2015/09/24/

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