Beth Chaim Congregation’s (BCC) religious mandate is to provide an open, welcoming environment for those from all walks of Jewish Life.  As such, the aim of this policy is to provide the widest range of choices for food consumed at the synagogue and at functions off-site that are solely sponsored by BCC, and not impose the dietary guidelines of one group of members on another group. The policy is designed to be simple to understand and implement.   The policy provides options for those who keep some or most of the kosher laws, but does not impose those laws on those who do not follow them, with very limited exceptions.  This policy does not apply to any off-site function that is co-sponsored by BCC and any other group.
The Policy shall be:

  1. No pork or pork products may be served at any function, whether a BCC-sponsored event or a private party.
  2. No shellfish may be served at any function, whether a BCC-sponsored event or a private party.
  3. No leavened products may be served during Pesach. This means that no bread will be served or presented during the Passover holiday for any BCC-sponsored events. If there is a private event during Passover, bread may be served, but must be 100% cleaned up and disposed of, leaving no remnant of any chometz violation.
  4. Milk and meat may not be served together in any one course at a BCC-sponsored event. This means no milk or meat items can be prepared or on display at the same time. All meat items or milk items must be fully cleaned up and put away prior to serving the next course. At a BCC function which is a meat meal, a vegetarian option will be offered.
  5. Additionally, out of consideration for those who do not mix dairy and meat, a dairy/pareve option will be provided at all functions where the entire congregation is invited. For example, a dairy/pareve option must be provided at any Kiddush following a service and at all synagogue sponsored meals, be they pot-luck or catered. No restrictions on the mixing of milk and meat shall exist for private parties.
  6. BCC-sponsored events include any Oneg, Kiddush, Religious School and Religious School Function, Holiday Meal and Celebration, Shabbat Dinner, Meeting of Brotherhood,  Sisterhood, Board of Directors, General Membership Meeting and any BCC Event, Youth Program Meeting, Event and Celebration.
  7. This policy is in effect anywhere within our buildings or anywhere else on the BCC premises.
  8. Guidelines on permissible foods include:
    • Land animals must be mammals which chew their cud and have cloven hooves.  Sheep, cattle, goats, deer and bison are kosher; pigs and wild game (e.g., venison) are not.
    • Poultry such as duck, goose, chicken and turkey are acceptable.
    • Fish must have fins and scales (non-fish seafood is prohibited – see list below). Fish like tuna, carp, salmon and herring are all permitted.

Examples of unkosher water creatures are shellfish, such as clams, oysters, crab, lobster and shrimp. 

Examples of pig products that should not be served are pork, ham, bacon, pork sausages (such as pepperoni), etc.

Beef is not required to be certified kosher beef, nor is poultry required to be certified kosher.  Hot dogs/polish sausages should be kosher or all all-beef; ensure that no pig products are contained in them.

As a community, BCC is highly committed to the sensitivity of this issue. This policy was developed and amended keeping in mind respect for both those who observe these customs and those who don’t.  It is important that each of us respect the choices that others make, and not embarrass or denigrate another member based on their choices around this or any other policy.  

Pareve is defined as prepared without meat, milk, or their derivatives and therefore permissible to be eaten with both meat and dairy dishes according to dietary laws.  For example, many vegetarian dishes are pareve or dairy pareve.