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If you keep kosher, can you weigh in on this?


Daria
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I am planning an evening event to bring together a group of parents from various private schools in our area.  My school would host and we'd have a few speakers.  We'll also be serving dinner and charging a small amount to cover the costs for the meal.  

Our school kitchen is not kosher, but we'll be inviting a few families from our local Orthodox Jewish school.  Many of the families there do keep kosher.

There is a local bakery and coffee shop that is kosher, and has lovely pastries, so I was thinking that we would get dessert from there.  We could also get a few sandwiches or salads from them, and have them as an option.  I am looking into whether we could cater the whole meal from there, but I think it might be 

What do I need to be doing to keep the kosher status of the outside food?  If I bring it in in the original packaging, and put it on a separate table with a paper table cloth, with paper plates and plastic silverware from new packages (e.g. not from the big bins in the kitchen) is that enough?  Would the food continue to be kosher if other people who had just eaten the non kosher food were helping themselves to pastries too?  If so, could I get around that by just asking that people who keep kosher are allowed to serve themselves first?

What about beverages? Can I just provide bottled water and cans of soda that are labeled in a certain way?  Is there a way to serve coffee and tea?  

Or, will people still be uncomfortable, and I should just offer to waive the fee if people let us know they aren't planning on eating?  

Finally, how do I put all this on the invitation?  Do I simply say "We will be serving X.  Please let us know when RSVPing if you prefer a kosher vegetarian meal from X cafe."  The cafe is well known in the community, so I imagine that families that have restrictions about which kosher certifications they accept will know whether it is acceptable.  

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If everything is still in the packaging (with the name of the bakery/store), and the utensils and dishes are all disposable, it would be fine. 

I would be uncomfortable eating from a kosher product like a salad or casserole that others may have inadvertently mixed with their nonkosher food. Things like cookies or pastries or prepared sandwiches would be fine  

(It probably all would be fine from a "legal" perspective of kosher laws, but not everyone's manner of serving themselves would allow me to feel comfortable that there wasn't "cross-contamination.")

Water and almost all sodas are fine. Coffee and tea can be more complicated. 

Your plan is doable, and so kind! But I would consider including an option to waive fee for food if some won't be comfortable. 

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6 minutes ago, NormaElle said:

If everything is still in the packaging (with the name of the bakery/store), and the utensils and dishes are all disposable, it would be fine. 

I would be uncomfortable eating from a kosher product like a salad or casserole that others may have inadvertently mixed with their nonkosher food. Things like cookies or pastries or prepared sandwiches would be fine  

(It probably all would be fine from a "legal" perspective of kosher laws, but not everyone's manner of serving themselves would allow me to feel comfortable that there wasn't "cross-contamination.")

Water and almost all sodas are fine. Coffee and tea can be more complicated. 

Your plan is doable, and so kind! But I would consider including an option to waive fee for food if some won't be comfortable. 


Thanks!  I think we'll do that.  

We would waive the food fee for anyone not eating, whether it's for religious or medical reasons or because they just don't like what's served.  Or if someone was unable to afford, or just forgot their wallet.  

 

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