Kashrut Policy

Kashrut Policy

The purpose of this document is to define how Congregation Or Tzion adheres to the laws of kashrut in the purchasing, preparation, and serving of food for events sponsored by the synagogue, congregational affiliated groups, and all private rental parties and caterers that use Or Tzion for both member and non-member functions. As a Conservative congregation, linked with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, one of our most sacred obligations is to inspire, teach, and uphold the laws, traditions, values, and customs of Judaism. The Mitzvah of Kashrut, one of the basic tenets of Conservative Judaism. While we recognize different members of our community observe Kashrut in different ways, it is our goal to make sure that everyone who enters Congregation Or Tzion, be they members of guests of our community are comfortable in both participating in and eating at all events and programs. These rules and customs that are listed below will apply and will be implemented both at the synagogue and in member homes or in other locations when they are Congregation Or Tzion programs.

Kashrut Supervision

Our community’s mashgiach is our senior rabbi. The mashgiach is the one who supervises all Kashrut in the building and approves all food at all events on premises or associated with the synagogue.

Guidelines for Events at Congregation Or Tzion

Our building has separate kitchens– one for dairy and one for meat. All events in the synagogue, which require the use of our synagogue kitchens (even when using an outside approved kosher caterer) can be dairy or pareve or meat. All caterers must be approved by the senior rabbi.

Guidelines for Foods Allowed in Kitchen

The following products do not require a hechsher (a symbol noted on the item stating that it is kosher.)

  • Eggs
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit
  • Bagged lettuce or vegetables
  • Dairy creamer
  • Milk and all dairy products (yogurts, ice creams, butter and vegetarian margarine)
  • Grains, nuts, rice, and pasta
  • Fresh fish (fins and scales, swordfish is permitted)
  • Coffee and tea (Coffee and Tea Urns may be turned on and used for Shabbat)
  • Dried fruits
  • Soda
  • All cheeses
  • All juices
  • All bread (including bagels)
  • All wines and hard alcohol which can be used for social drinking

The following products must have a hechsher (when there is a question as to whether the hechsher is acceptable or not, please consult the rabbi).

  • Non-dairy creamer
  • Challah for Hamotzi
  • Grape juice and Wine for Kiddush
  • Powdered drink mixes
  • Processed foods (e.g. baked goods, pretzels, candy, crackers, salad dressing, etc.)

Any prepared or processed foods that are not listed should be brought to the rabbi for approval.

Reheating Food on Shabbat

It is forbidden to COOK FOOD on Shabbat. However, if food is already cooked, it is permissible to reheat such food. Food can be placed and warmed in the oven or food warmer on Shabbat. The oven temperature is not to exceed 180F degrees. If it does, that constitutes re-cooking, which is forbidden on Shabbat.

Kosher Caterers

Please contact the synagogue office for a list of preferred and approved caterers. (Meat and Dairy options are available)


The kitchen will be kashered for the holiday. Only Passover hechshered food products are allowed in the synagogue during this time with the exception of unopened dairy products and fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, fish, coffee, and tea. Fruits and vegetables must be cut and prepared in the kitchen. With rabbinic supervision, unopened dairy products may be brought into the synagogue kitchen, but they must all be purchased BEFORE PASSOVER BEGINS or they must be hechshered for Pesach. NO FOOD is permitted in the building from any home (congregant or non-congregant) during the holiday of Passover.

Kashrut Guidelines for Events Held Outside the Synagogue

This applies to Havurah, Socialite, Youth Group, Religious School and all other events affiliated with Congregation Or Chadash.

  • Non-kosher home – The event must be dairy, vegetarian OR must be catered by an approved kosher caterer listed above or another caterer may be used subject to the rabbi’s approval.
  • Kosher home – subject to the rabbi’s approval, the event can be meat, dairy, vegetarian OR catered by an approved kosher caterer listed above or another caterer may be used subject to the rabbi’s approval.
  • Restaurant – All food eaten must be either dairy or vegetarian. Meat may be purchased and eaten in Kosher Restaurants only that have a Te’udah (A Kosher Certificate on Premises).
  • Public places (i.e. baseball game) – If Kosher food is available for purchase, this is acceptable. If it is not, Congregation Or Tzion members will be asked to purchase and eat only dairy and vegetarian options.

Any further questions not answered within this document should be brought to the rabbi for further exploration and resolution.