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March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘KOSHER’

The Battle for Jewish Jerusalem

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

There’s a battle going on for the soul of Jerusalem.

On one side of the battle is First Station, the refurbished, formerly abandoned, old Jerusalem train station, which was converted into an open mall and cultural center.

When First Station first opened it had only one kosher restaurant, and it still promotes itself as being open 7 days a week for food, entertainment and culture.

Interestingly enough, since its opening, and despite efforts to be the bastion of secular culture in Jerusalem, Jerusalem economics have had their say, and I’d estimate that by now, at least half the restaurants have gone kosher, and some even Mehadrin. Personally, I recommend you try Station 9, a Chinese restaurant which serves egg rolls that rivals even those of Forest Hills’ Chosen Garden.

On the other side of the battle is Jerusalem’s Cinema City.

I had the opportunity to visit it for the first time two months ago, and without a doubt, aesthetically it far surpasses anything Tel Aviv of the central region has to offer.

And to top it all off, all the restaurants and food are kosher, and the stores and theaters are all closed on Shabbat. Who could ask for more?

There are some who are fighting to force Cinema City to be open on Shabbat. Secular protesters even went as far as taking it to the Supreme Court, which eventually ruled Cinema City must be closed on Shabbat, as it is built on public land, leased from the city.

With the hustle and bustle I saw going on in the movies and the restaurants, they clearly aren’t hurting for taking off the Day of Rest. Kol HaKavod, as they say. I personally hope it stays that way.

Cinema City combines some 18 theaters with a capacity of around 2500 seats, including 2 VIP theaters and lounges. Each theater is designed with its own movie theme.

Cinema City - Iron Man Theater

The mall inside is simply astounding. It’s spacious and decorated with movie themes everywhere, there’s plenty of parking, and even the parking lot has movie theme decorations.

Cinema City Lounge

I went in and checked out every single restaurant. They’re clean, they’re gorgeous. Even branches that aren’t kosher anywhere else, are kosher here. And they have some very high end restaurants hidden away on the upper floors. Its worth it to walk around. And while they probably aren’t going to the movies, there are plenty of Hareidi Jews eating in the restaurants.

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from Simmy Allen, Cinema City’s International Marketing and Events Coordinator. He offered to take my family and me on a private tour of the new “Bible City” on the top floor of the center.

Cinema City - Noahs Ark

Taking the elevator up past the huge mural of Moses, you arrive in an outdoor museum with life-size replications of 60 different scenes from the Tanach (Bible), along with a full-size Noah’s ark, which will eventually double as another movie theater and hall for a Torah related film they are putting together.

Cinema CIty Bibile City

It’s very impressive.

The kids loved it. It kept them busy all afternoon, which was great for me.

SAMSUNG

Simi was telling me (since that was the real purpose of his invitation and tour) that Cinema City actually doubles as a party, conference and convention center.

All the different themed movie theaters can be rented out for seminars, conferences or parties, and if you want, you can select whatever movie you want to see. The largest theater holds almost 500 people, and you can project the podium speakers onto screens in the other theaters to handle the spillover.

There’s kosher catering for events (Mehadrin is an option too), from movie theater popcorn and soda to gourmet meals.

One of the big draws of “Bible City” is for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, especially from overseas guests looking for the right venue.

Not only can the party or meal be held in one of the theaters or lounges, but Bible City then adds a Jewish theme to the whole event.Noah's Ark

As I started this article off, it’s important to see in Jerusalem and Israel, fun, cultural and entertainment centers that respect Shabbat and Kashrut, despite the various unrelenting pressures on them violate those basic Jewish principles and traditions. Cinema City proves you don’t need to work on Shabbat to be a success.

Cinema City

If you want to find out more about holding a Bar/Bat Mitzva or private family event at Cinema City, I recommend you contact Simmy at Simmy@NLC.co.il or call him at (Israel) 074-752-6717 or (US) 1-917-728-1343.

Cinema City is located near the Foreign Ministry and opposite the Israeli Supreme Court.

Enjoy the show.

Israeli Chief Rabbinate Working to Lower Kashrut Costs

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Israel’s Chief Rabbinate is hoping to lower the cost of kashrut by approving more foreign kashrut certification organizations. The initiative comes in context of a general move by the Finance Ministry to lower the cost of living in the Jewish State.

In addition, it was announced Tuesday that the Chief Rabbinate will create a committee to explore new ways to supervise the kashrut and quality foreign dairies. The agency said itis hoping to use enhanced technology to reduce the price of dairy imports while improving competition in the field.

Data presented at a ministerial meeting on Tuesday indicated a wide disparity between the price of imported dairy products and those produced in Israel.

Fire it Up for the Southern New England Kosher BBQ Contest

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Kosher consumers, start your grills. You have the entire summer to prepare.

The first annual southern New England kosher BBQ championship has been set for Sunday, September 7, 2014. The competition is to be hosted by Congregation Beth El in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Local TV and radio stations will be broadcasting live on site, since the event coincides with the 375th anniversary of the town of Fairfield. More than 3,000 people are expected to attend. Admission is a donation of two canned goods, which will go to the local shelter.

Open to barbecue ‘enthusiasts’ as well as ‘casual backyard grillers’ the contest will be held outside in a day-long event sanctioned by the World Kosher BBQ Championship in Memphis Tennessee.

US Jews Crunch More Hand-Made Matzah

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

American Jews are increasingly buying more hand-made matzah as well as American-made manufactured matzah. All at the expense of Israeli exports, according to Kosher Today.

Israeli exports used to hold approximately 40 percent of the American market but has declined by 11 percent.

Sales of hand-made “shmurah matzah” have soared by nearly 15 percent.

One of the reasons for the decrease in exports of Israeli matzah, which once was 30 percent cheaper than those made in the United States,  has been a shrinking difference in prices.

The hand-made matzah is more expensive than machine-made matzah but has become more popular not only by more religious Jews but also by some secular Jews.

“While shmura matzah was believed to be at about 20 percent of national matzah sales, there are indications that it may be inching towards 30 percent. In domestic sales,” Kosher Today reported. Manischewitz remains the leading seller with Streit’s a strong second.

Speculated Safeway Acquisition May Increase Kosher Sales

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Sources in the kosher food industry are speculating that a new major supermarket deal will have a positive effect on kosher food sales.

Cerberus Capital Management appears to be making a major investment into the supermarket industry by acquiring Safeway in addition to the Albertson’s chain which it already owns. Together, the two grocery chains will operate more than 2,000 stores and will be second only to Kroger which has 2,640 units.

The sources say that the two chains already have many stores that cater to the kosher market and that they expect the new owners to aggressively seek to expand the stores which would include kosher food sections.

Sources in the know were unwilling to confirm this information until the acquisition was finalized. The deal still has to pass muster with anti-trust regulators.

(This article was written by Kosher Today.)

The Giraffe Mezuzah

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Here’s an interesting question. In Denmark they banned Shechitah – the humanitarian method of slaughtering kosher animals for food, while simultaneouslyslaughtering two perfectly healthy, beautiful giraffes – because the giraffes were “unsuitable for breeding”.

As JewishPress.com readers probably already know, the giraffe is actually a kosher animal, and the myth that we don’t know where to cut it along the neck, is just that, a myth (anywhere is fine).

Here’s the question: Would Denmark have permitted the kosher slaughter of the giraffes which they brutally and pointlessly murdered because they were inconvenient?

I ask the question because Professor Zohar Amar of Bar Ilan University managed to recover and restore the ancient method of processing giraffe hide to turn it into kosher parchment, according to a report in Makor Rishon, a method that was lost to all Jews, except those from Yemen (those guys remember everything).

Giraffe hide is particularly thick, making it perfect for transforming it into parchment and writing Mezuzot (plural of Mezuza) and Torah scrolls.

According to the Rambam and Rabeinu Tam, the kosher animal does not even need to be slaughtered by Shechitah in order to be used as a kosher parchment, so the researchers at Bar Ilan used a giraffe from the Ramat Gan safari that had died for the purpose of their research.

British Vets Want Ban on Ritual Slaughter

Friday, March 7th, 2014

The president-elect of the British Veterinary Association called for a ban on slaughtering cattle without first stunning it, which in effect would outlaw traditional kosher slaughter.

In an interview with the Times, John Blackwell called for prohibiting kosher and halal slaughter because it causes pain to the animal for “five or six seconds,” according to reports.

“They will feel the massive injury of the tissues of the neck,” Blackwell said in the interview. “They will perceive the aspiration of blood. They will breathe in before they lose consciousness.”

Blackwell, who has been accused by religious leaders of “inflaming prejudice,” says animals must be stunned before the cut.

“We are looking for a meeting of minds to review the evidence base which clearly shows that slaughtering animals without stunning compromises welfare,” Blackwell told the Daily Mail. “If that can’t happen then I would like labelling at the point of sale that gives the consumer informed choice. If that is not possible we would be looking for a ban for killing without stunning.”

“There is no insensibility for these animals by cutting its throat and these remain conscious for seven seconds for sheep and two minutes for cattle and that is not acceptable,” he insisted. “As a vet and scientist welfare is top of our list.”

Jonathan Arkush, vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, responded: “I really regret John Blackwell’s remarks, which are completely misleading. Animals that are killed for the Jewish or Muslim markets do not bleed to death. Animals that are killed for the general market or the Muslim and Jewish market are killed in exactly the same way. A large animal has its throat cut and this renders it insensible to pain and unconscious. The Jewish method is designed to bring that about instantly, and using tendentious language is not helpful.”

You’ll note that neither Blackwell nor Arkush are able to offer real evidence to their claims, other than observations from a safe distance. It is impossible to discern objectively whether the animal is experiencing pain or not as its life is fading, and certainly not whether the animal is experiencing the same level of pain throughout the process.

Shimon Cohen, the campaign director of Shechita UK, which aims to preserve kosher slaughter, or shechitah, said the initiative was a “dereliction of duty.”

“Of the countless pressing animal welfare issues that we are faced with today, he has chosen to focus on an issue which is not supported by scientific consensus and which affects a tiny minority of animals,” Cohen said in a statement.

“Animal welfare is at the heart of everything that we do. It is scandalous that, once again, in the context of such pervasive cruelty in so many abattoirs, that the BVA continue to single out faith communities for criticism.”

More than 6,000 animals are killed in religious abattoirs every week in Britain, according to the Mail. The halal meat market is believed to be worth up to an estimated £2billion.

Charities including Compassion in World Farming and the RSPCA also support the move to ban the slaughter of animals without stunning first.

Last week the Danish government was accused of being antisemitic for passing a law banning the religious slaughter of animals for halal and kosher meat.

The new law has been called antisemitic, the Mail reports, and “a clear interference in religious freedom.”

European Union regulations require animals be stunned before slaughter, unless an exemption can be found on religious grounds. Under Jewish law and halal under Islamic law, the animals must be conscious.

 

Some JTA content was used in this report.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/british-vets-want-ban-on-ritual-slaughter/2014/03/07/

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