Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Culture

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

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. *

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.