Hotel Kashrus on the Front Lines

Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld, Star-K Kashrus Administrator

Published Summer 2007


The world of hotel kashrus is exciting, stressful and always a challenge.  Effective hotel
kashrus demands a keen understanding of modern equipment and complex facility
dynamics, along with an excellent mastery of the hotel food and beverage industry.  These
criteria are essential in facilitating the role of the administrator and mashgiach as respected members and powerful presence in the hotel kitchen.  The role of the mashgiach, once typecast as that of an old man with a white beard sitting on a chair, has changed.  Not only does the mashgiach need to know that dairy and meat must be kept separate, the “new-age” mashgiach must relate to the kitchen and serving staff with diplomacy and grace.

Planning Your Simcha; The Agony or Ecstasy

Published Summer 2007

The joy, the planning, the anticipation, the expense — there is a lot that goes into a Yiddishe simcha. Be it a chasuna, Bar Mitzvah, or bris, every significant life cycle event is extra special and the baalei simcha want to ensure that their guests have a good time.  Central to that goal is a delicious seudas mitzvah.  Endless hours of planning are spent making sure everything is perfect, from the decor to the menu.  Is the same effort expended regarding the kashrus level of the event? If the simcha is being catered, does the caterer have reliable kosher certification?  As catering costs have risen, consumers have opted to cater their own simchas.  This article will attempt to address some key issues that one should consider when catering an event. 

When Does One Pray When There Is No Day

Published Summer 2007

Refer to attached map

For a further discussion on this topic see Sefer Shaarei Zmanim –  Siman 11 here.

There was a time not long ago when kosher food was available only in major Jewish metropolitan areas. Finding kosher certified products on the road was a daunting task. “Kosher Tours” were limited to a few select areas. Today, the Star-K and other kosher symbols appear on thousands of food products. Kosher food is available from Fairbanks to Fiji, and from New Zealand to Norway. Kosher tours are now available to Alaska and Antarctica. With so many north and south destinations easily accessible to kosher consumers, the observant Jew now faces an array of fascinating questions. In parts of Alaska, and other locations north of the Arctic Circle, there are periods of time during the summer when […]