On a recent shabbos evening the leader of services expressed that
the congregation should be informed and concerned
about some questions currently before the board;
something about possible conflicts between kosher kitchen management and rental incomes.
After shabbos I wrote out this short list of questions
and considerations that impinge upon these issues;
then I went to observe the board meeting.
A good time was had by all and I’m satisfied that the board has the
kosher cow by the horns.
Since each Jew opens the Torah at their own favorite letter, each lassos the kosher cow with their own loop.
Here’s my short list of preconsiderations.
Has there been a marketing study that has projected or reported increased
among shules hosting non–kosher occasions?
If so let’s read it and weep.
The only cultural communities I am aware of that require specific non kosher foods to observe their significant occasions are
The Ainu bear soul eaters and observers of the Papao New Guinian “Enough Pigs” feast
in preparation for ritual battle over garden plots;
but neither of these groups would likely consider Church Street, New Paltz a suitable location.
The High Andean Inca festival meal of roasted guinea pig on a stick,
while not actually a pig never the less fails to adequetly chew it’s cud or divide it’s hoof after the manner of the rock cooney.
Perhaps we could suggest that they substitute squab.
While we consider how we might properly host truly exotic communities
let’s remember that here in Upper Brooklyn
there are many Jewish and Jew-Loving communities that carry warm fuzzy feelings for Kosher Delicatessens
which I just noticed end in essen.
Marketing demographics, analysis and income projections are not tasks
for a ritual committee;
their sole responsibility is to propose modes of observing Jewish traditions
that best express the beliefs, customs and aspirations of the congregation.
That might include Reconstructionist innovations like maybe a non-stick polymer pot
that’s been through a dishwasher is ready for anything.
All modification of committee proposals in consideration of reports
from other departments
and their adoption in any form remains the responsibility
of the whole board as the elected representatives of the congregation.
Kosher observance is a conservation of the ecological and economic adaptation
of the people Israel to the land of Israel.
In exile this was often forgotten.
And there are mysteries that are never experienced unless they are first
the drinking of milk and the eating of meat are both such profound and profoundly different relations to life
that it seems that no one and certainly not a Jew could experience both at once.
The people Israel have been well received and well appreciated in all
lands where travelers are well received.
Give New Paltz a chance.
Show’em you like’m