When DC Minyan conducted a community-wide survey in 2009 as part of the DC Minyan Dialogue process, members expressed frustration with aspects of the existing kashrut policy. In response, the Steering Committee assembled a Kashrut Taskforce made up of volunteers working in tandem with the Gabbai Committee to study Jewish source texts on kashrut, to research the policies of other communities, and to consider relevant teshuvot (halachic responsa) relating to communal kashrut standards. After conducting research and deliberations, the Kashrut Taskforce shared its findings with the Steering Committee. Members of the Kashrut Taskforce then assisted the Steering Committee in developing a policy recommendation based on the findings. In May 2011, the Leadership Council voted to adopt the revised Kashrut Policy recommended by members of the Kashrut Taskforce and the Steering Committee.
DC MINYAN KASHRUT POLICY
Kashrut is a central value for DC Minyan, and all of our communal events follow standards of kashrut intended to ensure that the largest number of members is comfortable eating. We also recognize that, as has been the case in many Jewish communities throughout history, DC Minyan community members observe a range of kashrut standards in their own homes. After considering relevant halachic guidelines and principles, we have formulated a policy that respects the range of practices in our community and maximizes our potential for hospitality meal matching.
Food served at any communal DC Minyan event must be prepared using certified kosher products on utensils and appliances that are kosher. Communal events include all formal events coordinated by DC Minyan or DC Beit Midrash and advertised through our weekly emails. Many communal events, including kiddush and community dinners, occur at the JCC and are typically catered, while others, such as Mystery Guest Shabbat meals, neighborhood Chanukah candle lightings, or seudot shlishit, take place in private homes. Everyone contributing cooked food to a communal event in any setting must adhere to this standard in the preparation of his or her contribution.
While we require all ingredients and supplies used in preparing food for communal events to be kosher, it is possible for participants to contribute food even if their homes do not adhere to the policy. The simplest way to contribute is to bring a packaged food that is certified kosher, something you can find in a local grocery store, like soda, challah, hummus, pita, or cookies. DC Minyan accepts all kashrut certifications other than a simple “K”. Because of leniencies in halacha around the preparation of cold foods, it is also consistent with the communal standard to prepare a cold salad or cut fruit in any home, as long as the salad does not feature any astringent or spicy (charif) ingredients such as onions, garlic, pepper, lemons, etc.
In addition, there are also ways to prepare cooked food that will meet the communal standard in a kitchen that does not adhere to this policy. For more information on this, please see our Kashrut Resources.
Hospitality Meal Matching
For informal hospitality meal matches, our hospitality coordinators may match people either with a meal that adheres to the communal standard or with a vegetarian meal. Hospitality coordinators will make matches based on the preferences and practices of those being matched. Coordinators will make every effort to ensure that all the parties feel comfortable and welcome.
No food may be cooked on Shabbat for either communal events or hospitality meals.
If you have any questions regarding this policy, please email: email@example.com.