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Kashrut Policy

Kol Ami's Kashrut Policy

Congregation Kol Ami Potluck Meal Kashrut Policy

Updated March 8, 2022

 Congregation Kol Ami, as a Conservative synagogue, supports kashrut as a basic tenet of Judaism.  We recognize that potluck meals provide a unique opportunity for members and friends of Kol Ami to gather and celebrate Shabbat and holidays with festive joy.  We also recognize that members of our community maintain different levels of Kashrut in their homes.  In an effort to enable our community to eat comfortably, the following guidelines have been established for our potluck community gatherings:

  • All food must be dairy, parve, or vegetarian. No meat, shellfish, or non-kosher fish can be brought into the synagogue or served at a shul potluck at any time.  

  • Please cook with fresh ingredients and products that have a heksher and/or are completely vegan or vegetarian by ingredients.  (See below for items that do not require a hekscher)

  • Domestic cheese does not require a heksher.

  • Please bring an index card with your dish, labeled with the name of the family who prepared it, the ingredients and any common allergens that it contains, e.g. nuts, milk, gluten (wheat), or eggs. Items should be marked to indicate if the dish is dairy, pareve, vegetarian, vegan or contains fish. (This is for allergy awareness as much as Kashrut.)

  • In addition to your dish, please bring a serving utensil.  Please remove your dish, utensil and any leftover food at the end of the meal. 

  • Potluck meals will take place outside.  

  • The kitchen may not be used during potluck meals except to bring out water pitchers.  This means that food cannot be reheated in the kitchen.

  • Potlucks cannot be held on Passover.

If you have any questions, please contact Rabbi Blatt

When Is Kashrut Certification Required? 

Many foods brought into Kol Ami for communal meals require a recognized kashrut symbol, such as the O-U, Star-K, Kaf-K, and Triangle-K (a non-exhaustive list of common certification symbols can be found at

A simple “K” usually is not sufficient, although for some products, like Kellogg’s cereals, a “K” is backed up by a recognized supervisor).

Similarly, many types of ingredients  used in home-cooked food that are brought into Kol Ami from kosher homes require certification. In general, processed and cooked foods, meaning, those with additives and those whose ingredients are of unclear provenance, need certification. Raw and single-ingredients foods do not. 

The following foods do not require certification: 

  • Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, including those cut up by grocery stores (without any added ingredients).

  • Pure fruit juices, including those with grape sweeteners (although traditional halakha bans unsupervised grape products, Kol Ami’s policy is to permit them since they are often used as ingredients in other juices) 

  • Dry grains, legumes and beans 

  • Dried fruit  

  • Dry-roasted nuts and nuts still in the shell (oil-roasted nuts  require certification) 

  • Honey  

  • Olives 

  • Extra-virgin olive oil  

  • Milk 

  • Coffee and tea  at any restaurant (This applies both to coffee and tea purchased for your own preparation and prepared coffee purchased from an otherwise non-Kosher restaurant, since the urns used for hot water and coffee handle only this item.) 

  • Domestic cheeses.  

  • Certified vegan processed foods, such as those bearing the “V” symbol of Vegan Action, or While kashrut laws are not the same as vegan strictures, and it is therefore unwise to confuse the two, in practice, vegan products are probably acceptable to every Kol Ami member and may be brought into the facility to share with others. 

Note: This list is not exhaustive. When you are uncertain about whether a food needs certification, please consult  Rabbi Blatt. 


Fresh or smoked fish of a kosher species, meaning one with fins and scales (no shellfish), may be purchased at any market. If the fish must be sliced, please make sure that the knife used has been wiped clean beforehand. A list of kosher species can be found at  


Wed, May 22 2024 14 Iyyar 5784