How we “do food” at Makom Kadosh (JFCC)
Under the laws of traditional kashrut, milk and meat products are not cooked or served together. For meat to be kosher, the animal must chew its cud AND have split hooves, and it must be ritually slaughtered in a proscribed manner. Fish must have fins AND scales (so no shellfish or eel). At the JFCC, we DO NOT follow the laws of traditional kashrut….
At the JFCC, foods that we bring to share will be dairy, vegetarian, vegan, or fish with fins AND scales (tuna, salmon, whitefish, trout, halibut, etc.). You might be familiar with kosher markings, called a heksher, things like OU or Star-K. Food for the JFCC does not require special marking–just read the ingredients on whatever you are purchasing or preparing, and make sure there are no meat or shellfish products in it. If you have questions about whether a food is appropriate to bring to the JFCC, just ask, or send Rabbi Elyse an email.
Not sure what to bring? Cheese, salads, cut-up fruit, bread, juice, cake, pie, cookies, chips and salsa, soup, a noodle dish or casserole, tuna salad or whitefish salad are all great options.
Preparation of Food for Shabbat Sharing
We are taught in Torah to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8). Remembering involves intention and developing a Shabbat-consciousness. Whenever possible, please purchase and prepare your foods for Shabbat before Shabbat begins.
Food allergies are becoming more and more common. Some of us are vegans or vegetarians, or limit certain food ingredients for health reasons, or we are kosher. Knowing what is in the food we eat makes maintaining a food practice, for health or spiritual reasons, much easier, and allows people with diverse eating habits to enjoy meals together in community. Know what is in whatever you bring, and don’t be surprised (or insulted) if someone asks, “Are there nuts in this?” or “Is there fish in this?”
Bring enough to share with 6-8 others, if possible. If you can’t bring anything, or you forget, don’t worry–and please stay for dinner! Please do your food preparation and cooking in advance. Bring your food, ready to serve, with any necessary serving utensils, in a re-usable serving bowl or plate. We have the use of a microwave and an oven, to warm food, but please don’t bring the ingredients and begin cooking or major assembling at the Farmhouse.
Small steps taken by individuals and communities can really help the environment. Recycle the containers, jars, and cans that you use. Consider using organic and/or locally grown products. For all of our pot-lucks, we eat with re-usable plates and flatware, Kiddush cups and drinking cups.
This means that we always need volunteers to wash dishes and put them away!
Wine and Grape Juice
In Judaism, wine or grape juice, represents the life force and symbolizes times of joy and celebration. Most of our sacred times begin with wine or grape juice, saying “Kiddush,” which means holy, sacred, or separate. At the JFCC, we will always provide both wine and grape juice on Shabbat.
There is nothing in wine or grape juice that is “not kosher,” so what makes a particular juice or wine kosher? For a wine to be kosher, it must be under the constant supervision of a Shabbat-observant Jewish man, from the time the grapes are harvested until the wine is bottled. This particularistic paradigm does not fit with some of our contemporary ideas and ideals! For some people, the sweet kosher Concord grape wine is an important part of Jewish ritual, even though we would never drink it with dinner! Wines used for rituals at the JFCC may be kosher or non-kosher.
Organic wine and grape juice, kosher and non-kosher, are available. Read more here.
Your opinions and feelings matter. IF you have questions or ideas about how to improve Shabbat pot-lucks, or would like to help with set-up and clean-up, let us know.