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Aerial invasion may be served as kosher dinner - Thursday 16 December, 2004
Recent headlines reported a massive aerial invasion from Egypt which Israel was attempting to repel with five small Piper cubs; it was just two weeks after Cyprus had similarly been attacked by air from northern Africa.
The invading force was a huge swarm of locusts that the winds were sweeping across the Sinai into the southern Israeli city of Eilat and up the Arava plains along the Jordan River.
The Torah identifies four distinct types of locusts that are kosher and provides signs by which to recognize them. These are listed in the Talmud and include: four walking legs, two additional jumping legs, and four wings that cover most of the body. In the 13th century, a new identifier appeared in writing in Yemen, although it most likely existed earlier in oral form. The appearance of the Hebrew letter chet on the thorax of the locust was considered a definitive sign that it was the kosher species.
Locusts share many features with fish: they are pareve (can be consumed with meat or dairy meals), there is no requirement to ritually slaughter them, and their bracha (blessing) is she'hakol. They are also an excellent protein source.
Federal court orders kosher food for prisoners - Thursday 16 December, 2004
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (www.koshertoday.com) — A federal magistrate ruled in late August that three Oklahoma inmates have a right to eat kosher food paid for by the state Department of Corrections. The ruling is consistent with similar opinions by other state and federal courts. Attorneys for the state say they plan to object to the ruling by U.S. District Magistrate Judge Gary Purcell. The judge ruled that the inmates’ right to freely express their Orthodox Jewish religion outweighs the concern over state expenses. The inmates, convicted sex offenders, filed their petition while incarcerated at Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington, Okla. Until a U.S. district judge makes a final decision, no kosher meals will be served.
Toronto kosher distributor acquired by organic company - Thursday 16 December, 2004
TORONTO (www.koshertoday.com) — Canadian organic food company SunOpta is acquiring Kofman-Barenholtz Foods Ltd. of Toronto, a major distributor of kosher and specialty grocery products in Canada. “Kofman-Barenholtz has a history of profitability, with stable revenues of approximately $11 million annually,” says Stephen Bronfman, a director and shareholder of SunOpta. He notes that the deal “will benefit the kosher market as a whole, as SunOpta’s distribution expertise will assist in bringing more products to market, developing new products and strengthening supply arrangements.” Kofman-Barenholtz maintains a number of exclusive sourcing arrangements with kosher foods suppliers from around the world, including companies in Israel and the United States. This transaction positions SunOpta as Canada’s dominant kosher food distributor.
Oklahoma Prisoners Sue for Kosher Food - Tuesday 13 July, 2004
Lexington, Oklahoma (www.koshertoday.com) Three prison inmates want the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to pay for their kosher meals. T he inmates say DOC is violating the First Amendment by not letting them practice their chosen religion. In federal court this week, DOC attorneys argued that serving the kosher meals would cost millions of dollars, might violate the First Amendment's establishment-of-religion clause and could even cause riots. The inmates are incarcerated at Joseph Harp Correctional Center near Lexington. Jon Andrew Cottriel, Jerry Harmon, and Dennis Earl Fulbright. They say they're forced to pay for kosher meals without knowing for sure if it's kosher.
As New York Waits, Minnesota Gets New Kosher Food Law - Tuesday 13 July, 2004
Minneapolis (www.koshertoday.com) As New York awaits the signature of Governor George R. Pataki on a new kosher food-labeling bill passed by both legislative house, Minnesota’s Governor Tim Pawlenty signed a law protecting consumers of kosher food from fraud and deceptive practices. The measure requires vendors of kosher food to disclose who supervised the preparation; the model that is now expected to be adopted in nearly 20 states after a previous version was ruled unconstitutional. "We are pleased that Minnesota now has an enforceable and constitutional law that will protect consumers of kosher food," said Stephen Silberfarb, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. "Kosher consumers want to know that what's on the table is authentic."
Shechita comes under fire in Austria - Tuesday 13 July, 2004
VIENNA, Austria (www.koshertoday.com/KT Israel Bureau) — Leading rabbis here have challenged the attempts by the country’s extreme right Freedom party to ban kosher slaughtering of animals. The rabbis appealed to the government to ensure the freedom of practice of religion as guaranteed in the constitution. The Freedom party has been pushing to have the practice of ritual slaughter in abattoirs banned, arguing that it represents cruelty to animals.
Israeli Supermarkets Decide to Keep Shabbat - Tuesday 13 July, 2004
Tel Aviv (www.koshertoday.com/ KT Israel Bureau) Blue Square and Clubmarket Grocery Chains have joined Supersol in the decision not to stay open on Shabbat. Yediot Achronot reports that IDB Holdings chairman Nochi Dankner announced Supersol will close on the Sabbath and will not sell nonkosher products. Yaakov Ginsburg, CEO of the Clubmarket chain, welcomed the Supersol decision, noting that remaining open on the Sabbath is not cost effective. “I don’t think supermarket chains need to be open on the Sabbath,” he said. “If we all open on the Sabbath, sales will remain the same, just spread over the entire week. But what will grow will be operating costs that require us to pay higher wages on the Sabbath.” Israeli Knesset Member Meir Porush of the United Torah Judaism party welcomed the decision noting that the Supersol decision will influence all the supermarket chains. The retailers have been under increasing pressure to keep their stores open on the Jewish Sabbath and to sell non-kosher fare. Recent surveys indicate that 70% of Israelis keep a kosher home.
Krispy Kreme boasts more than 50 kosher stores - Tuesday 13 July, 2004
MODESTO, Calif. (www.koshertoday.com) — In many communities, a kosher Krispy Kreme store adds to the usual complement of kosher eateries. But in Modesto, Krispy Kreme is the only certified-kosher eating establishment. Throughout the United States, however, kosher Krispy Kreme stores are not so unusual anymore. In addition to many gas stations and airports selling the kosher doughnuts, there are now 50 kosher Krispy Kreme stores nationwide. Rachel Brady, Krispy Kreme spokeswoman, reports there are 14 certified-kosher Krispy Kremes in northern California. Modesto’s Krispy Kreme has been kosher for about a year. Ingredients in all Krispy Kreme doughnuts come from kosher-certified plants. Going kosher has increased business in areas with high demand for kosher products, Brady says, and opened the stores to a broader audience.
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