The Why before the What of Kashrut
At CBI we believe that our connections with each other and with God are deepened by the way of mitzvot. We are commanded to be a holy people. “You shall be holy for I the Lord your God am holy.” “You shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Israel is commanded to be holy; and again and again commanded to be holy. But how do we become holy? We become holy by bringing holiness to that which is not yet holy, the profane, the everyday. And it is through observing mitzvot that we are able to make holy and to become holy. Kashrut, the Jewish spiritual discipline around eating, when practiced with intention, can set us on this course every day, a few times a day. “You are what you eat.” That is, what you choose to eat and how you choose to eat it says a lot about who you are and what kind of a life you are striving to achieve. As a communal and personal discipline, kashrut is an opportunity to invest the daily activity of eating with a dimension of holiness – an awareness of the power of life, both given and taken.
The WHATs of CBI’s Kashrut policy
Our kitchen is kosher dairy most of the year. That means that unless the kitchen has been “turned over” no meat or meat products are allowed.
On Shabbat no cooking or heating of water is permitted. All food that needs to be cooked needs to be prepared in advance. It is permissible to cut, slice or peel vegetables. Grinding is not permitted. Electrical appliances do not work on Shabbat at CBI.
We accept the following WITHOUT a kosher symbol, or hechsher:
All dried fruit with the exception of dried banana
All fresh kosher fish (species with fins and scales, such as salmon, whitefish, sardines, snapper and tilapia; when in doubt consult the rabbi. Swordfish, catfish, eels, grayfish, shark, snake mackerels, puffer fish, sturgeon are NOT kosher)
All fresh vegetables and fruit, care must be taken to clean insects from some varieties such as asparagus and artichokes.
All frozen fruit
Cleaning products, paper products, aluminum products, rubber gloves
Coconut Flakes – Without glycerin
Dried Herbs – Leaves, seeds and spices, without added ingredients
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Flour – Without enzymes
Garlic – fresh, powder (without additives), crushed or juice
Mustard – seeds or ground. Prepared mustard requires certification
Onion – fresh, powder (without additives), crushed or juice
Pasta without eggs or oil
Pure spices, such as cumin or allspice
Sugar, whether powdered, brown or white
Tapioca – Pre-cooked or raw
These products DO NEED a kosher certification/kosher symbol:
All canned beans
All canned vegetables
All decorating products: food coloring, icing, sprinkles
All flavored coffee
All flavored seltzer
All flavored sugar
All flavored tea
All freeze-dried vegetables
All Mixes – bread, cakes, soup, pancakes etc.
All processed fish: canned, gefilte, ground, smoked, lox
All processed food
All salad dressings
All sugar substitutes
All types of dough
Anything with food coloring
Chocolate Chips – Many kosher dairy brands are available. Lieber’s and Paskesz are parve certified.
Herb and seasoning blends
Mixed vegetable oil, including canola oil
Pasta with eggs or oil
Tofu, any variety
We accept most kosher symbols. However, a simple K is not acceptable. Ask the rabbi if you have any questions.
- Is the bakery at Stop and Shop kosher? Yes, but make sure that whatever you buy has a symbol.
- Where can I find good kosher bagels nearby? Our rabbi supervises the factory that provides bagels for Bagelman in Brookfield (Candlewood Lake Plaza) and Bagelman in Danbury (40 1/2 Padanaram Road). ONLY BAGELS are kosher at those locations, and ONLY on those two locations. You can order them pre sliced. They are parve.
- My home is kosher/strictly vegetarian. Can I bring my coffee pot to make coffee for a board meeting? – Talk to the rabbi for permission.
- My home is kosher/strictly vegetarian. Can I bring X to serve at a Kiddush? – Talk to the rabbi for permission.
- What happens on Passover? Only food with a Kosher for Passover symbol is allowed in the building. Our kitchen is locked, that part of the building is sold, and only paper plates and cups are used. An item marked with a kashrut symbol followed by a P (KP) means that the item is Kosher for Passover. It does not mean Kosher Pareve. Any item that has a kashrut emblem without a D (for Dairy) or M (for Meat) is always pareve. Kosher for Passover (KP) items follow these same guidelines concerning their status and will be designated as meat, dairy, or pareve.
- When are the meat days? We turn over the kitchen for Shabbat Across America and the Jewish Summerfest