Israeli Rabbinate Declares Non-Orthodox Jews ‘Kosher — and Delicious’

By Rob Kutner

Published February 17, 2010, issue of February 26, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Jerusalem — In a historic ruling, the Israeli rabbinate has finally decided to recognize Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative Jews — as the perfect entree for Shabbat dinner.

Israeli Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Moshe Metzger issued the ruling yesterday. The Sephardic chief rabbi agreed with the declaration of Jewish edibility, adding only: “preferably stewed with dried fruits, over couscous.”

The decision has brought controversy to Orthodox authorities, who are divided as to whether their brethren can be eaten during Tisha B’Av and the Three Weeks, but the ruling eases the burden on kosher meat manufacturers, still struggling to keep up with demand after the Agriprocessors closure.

However, some are already taking issue with the methods of slaughter, which include luring liberal Jews into the abattoir with Debbie Friedman tunes and back issues of The New Yorker.

Rabbi Mordy Genack, CEO of the Orthodox Union’s kosher certification division, said that ethical slaughter advocate Temple Grandin has been hired as a consultant and was working on a design for a “group hug machine” to soothe Jewish livestock before shechting.

Despite the debate, the ruling may provide a way out of current long-standing disputes. For example, liberal Jewish women seeking to worship at the Western Wall will now be granted a designated space — atop a grill smoking with mesquite briquettes.

Likewise, the divisive question of “Who Is a Jew” may reach new resolution. “We now accept all converts to Judaism from any movement,” said Rabbi Metzger, “provided they are nicely marbled and easy to catch on foot.”

Wasting no time, June Nathan has already published a cookbook, “The Newly Recognized Foods of Israel,” containing mouth-watering recipes for “Jewish Theological Tzimmes” and “B’nai Brisket.” Likewise, Hazon’s Neil Savage is calling for a new commitment to eating only Jews that are “locally sourced and raised without chemicals” — a difficult challenge considering how many liberal Jews are sourced to New Jersey.

Predictably, non-Orthodox movements found the news harder to swallow. Rabbinical Assembly head Rabbi Jackie Schonfeld protested: “The Conservative movement follows Halacha. You should at least have to wait an hour between eating us and milk.”

But how will this impact the Jewish future? “The Orthodox are already the fastest-growing denomination,” says demographer Steffen M. Cohen. “This will only accelerate their growth, specifically at the waistline.”

Rob Kutner’s annual Purim shpiel, ‘The Shushan Channel,’ goes live Saturday, February 27 at 92Y Tribeca. You can buy tickets here.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.