Keeping Kosher at Beth Israel Center


This kashrut policy applies to all events happening on Beth Israel Center property, whether private parties or synagogue sponsored events. Beth Israel Center’s Rabbi is our mara d’atra and rules on questions of kashrut at Beth Israel Center (BIC).

Food Prepared On Site

All food prepared in the BIC kitchens must be strictly kosher, conforming to the standards of the Conservative Movement.

  • All events are either fleishig (meat) or milchig (dairy) – both meat and dairy are not served at any one event.

  • Prepared items, including baked goods, must have a hechsher

  • Fresh items (uncut fruits and vegetables) and other specified products do not require a hechsher

  • Frozen uncut fruits and vegetables do not require a hechsher.

  • Cheese is kosher if it has a hechsher or is 100% cheese (no added herbs, vegetables, etc.) and verified vegetarian (no animal rennet or animal enzymes).

  • Food preparation must be done under supervision of the Rabbi or the Rabbi’s designee (a BIC-recognized mashgiach)


Home-Prepared Food

A separate area within the building may be designated for home-prepared food to be brought into the building and eaten only in the designated area during specified, scheduled events.  This food cannot be eaten or taken anywhere else in the building.

  • All home-prepared food must be pareve or dairy. No meat. (Kosher species of fish are OK.)

  • Home-prepared foods must be made with kosher ingredients.

  • Purchased (commercially prepared or baked) items must have a hechsher.

  • Fresh items (fruits, vegetables, eggs) do not require a hechsher.

  • Cheese does not require a hechsher.

  • Pots/pans/dishes/silverware used at home to prepare potluck foods need not be kosher.

  • Disposable plates and cutlery must be used unless permanent items are purchased for this area.

  • Home dishes and utensils may not be brought in other than the pot/pan/dish containing the food. This includes serving utensils, which will be provided by BIC.

  • Foods may not be purchased, prepared or brought into the synagogue on Shabbat, Yom Kippur (e.g. for a break-fast) or any holiday that coincides with Shabbat.

  • Home-cooked foods may not be reheated in any BIC oven.

  • Attention to safe food handling practices is essential, including attention to proper refrigeration/heating and to the amount of time that food is set out.

  • A BIC member who has attended an educational program on kashrut with the Rabbi or the Rabbi’s designee must be identified as responsible for supervising each event to ensure that all food brought into the designated area meets the policy guidelines outlined above.  Supervision also entails assuring proper set-up and clean-up.



  • Food prepared in another certified kosher kitchen (such as a kosher restaurant) may be brought into the building with prior approval of the Rabbi.

  • Wine requires a hechsher but does not need to be mevushal.

  • Most liquors do not require a hechsher. Direct questions about specific liquors to the Rabbi.

  • Strictly kosher foods (excluding home-prepared food) may be reheated on Shabbat in an oven that was turned on before Shabbat begins (at candle lighting time on Friday) and is no hotter than 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • No lights or appliances may be turned on or off on Shabbat (Friday night or Saturday) except by non-Jewish employees of certified caterers or of Beth Israel Center.