A Clarification on Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School’s Policy on Kashrut

The following appeared in the St. Louis Jewish Light in “Letters to the Editor”. 

You can visit their website at www.stljewishlight.com

 

Merged day school’s policy on kashrut

A Nov. 2 letter to the editor asserts that the new Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School has no kashrut policy. We would like to correct this misperception and explain our approach to the merger process.

 

When a Reform and a Conservative Day School merge, compromises must be made. For example, Saul Mirowitz Day School-Reform Jewish Academy (RJA) families cannot expect non-kosher food to be served as part of the school’s lunch program, and Solomon Schechter Day School (SSDS) families cannot expect every family to adhere to a single definition of Jewish practice. In every decision we make together, we must respect the individual family’s choices. The agreement to merge was made in the spirit of a continued commitment to acceptance of multiple definitions of Jewish practice. It is in that spirit that we will develop our understanding of one another and our traditions and strengthen our diverse St. Louis Jewish community.

Kashrut is one example of the many decisions we face, many of which have not been addressed yet. Just like so many of the other details we have yet to address, the food served at Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School will be a combination of both RJA’s and SSDS’s commitment to Jewish values, in this case the holiness of the food we consume.

Like SSDS, all food served as part of the school lunch program will be prepared in a supervised kosher kitchen. Meat and dairy will be served on different days. As at RJA, food served will be locally sourced or organic. Food will be cooked on site from scratch, using healthy ingredients and methods. Milk will be hormone free and antibiotic free. Cheese will be local and made from grass fed cow’s milk. Students will be involved in planting, tending, and harvesting some foods in an organic garden in the schoolyard. They will learn about seasonal foods, cook them in culinary class, and be able to articulate why it is Jewish to eat foods that leave a smaller carbon footprint on this earth.

Families can choose to order lunch from our kosher, healthy lunch service, Bistro Kids, or they will be able to bring their own lunch from home. Beyond that, all family choices will be honored in a dignified way…free of judgment and monitoring, and reflective of our commitment to respecting diverse family definitions of Jewish practice.

Food shared for birthday parties at Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School will be store-bought and kosher. No personal food brought into the building is to be shared, not only for reasons of kashrut, but for protection of children with a variety of allergies.

Next fall, students at Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School will tell you how eating is holy, for their school has a thoughtful, intelligent and inclusive kashrut policy that embraces both Jewish tradition and modern Jewish practice. As we work to create the policies that will govern the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School, this is our approach to each issue or question we face. Our goal is to bring together the rich traditions of both schools for the benefit of our children and our community.

Transition Committee for the Merged Schools: Marc Blustone, Margie Hartman, Galia Movitz, Milton Movitz, Michael Rubin, Alan Spector and

Bruce Waxman

Cheryl Maayan, Head of School, RJA

Bill Rowe, Interim Head of School, SSDS

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