FAQ: Kol Shofar’s Kashrut Policy
1. What hechsher symbols are acceptable? Is U in a circle ok? Can you direct me to a website that shows the acceptable symbols?
There are many hechsher symbols. OU (the U inside the circle) is one of the most widely used and respected. It shows up on lots of national brands. Some hechshers are found only in certain geographical areas; different countries have different hechshers. For our purposes, here is a file with approved hechshers: Kashrut Symbols (PDF).
2. Some of the products that we use all the time have hechshers that aren’t on our list. Can I use them?
The list on our website includes hechshers approved by United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, as well as a few others. It covers hechshers from across the country, but doesn’t cover all of the many manyhechshersthat are “out there,” especially if they are local ones covering areas that don’t have very large kosher communities. So if you see a hechsher not on our list, always ask us, and we will add to the website as we need to.
For more info, please see our Approved Hechsher page.
3. Can I use an aluminum foil lined baking dish and bring cake uncut? Must I buy a whole new baking dish just to be used solely for Kol Shofar?
You do need to use a dish or tray that is either dedicated for Kol Shofar baking or buy disposable pans. Lining a dish or tray with foil could leave room for error/accident (like torn foil) so the dedicated or disposable pan is the correct way to do it.
4. Does canned tuna have to have a hechsher?
Canned tuna does need a hechsher. It’s not hard to find – I know chicken-of-the-Sea and Bumble Bee both have an OU hechsher; I’m sure there are others out there that are hechshered. The reason it’s needed: if there’s no supervision, there no way to know what’s really in the can.
5. Where can you buy packaged cookies with a hechsher?
It isn’t hard to find packaged cookies that carry a hechsher in almost all the groceries around Marin – certainly Safeway, United Markets, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s. Mollie Stone’s has plenty of them, and Jasmine’s (the Persian store in the Montecito Shopping Center) has hechshered cookies from Israel. Recognized hechshers:
Kashrut Symbols (PDF)
A few of the brands that have hechshers are: Pepperidge Farms, Keebler, Nabisco, Brent and Sam’s, Hydrox, Newmans.
6. Can I make tabouli salad if I keep the feta domestic? I use extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and veggies.
Yes you can. As long as no heat is used – that is, none of your ingredients are cooked – and the feta is domestic (or hechshered – Trader Joe sells a wonderful Israeli feta cheese that I’m fairly certain has a hechsher), this would be perfectly acceptable for our new kosher kitchen. However if making tabouli salad includes letting the bulgar grain sit in boiling or hot water, then it could not be brought to our kitchen….But it could certainly be prepared in our kitchen!
7. Does pure cocoa powder need a hechsher?
No, it does not.
8. I can’t find canned garbanzo beans with a hechsher. Is there a brand that is kosher?
Yes, the Safeway brand has a hechsher.
9. Baking Challah: Must we separate the dough (and burn it in the oven) if we are baking for Kol Shofar?
The “taking of challah” is not required when you are baking for Kol Shofar. *
*For those reading this posting who may not know what it refers to: Today “challah” refers to the bread eaten on Shabbat and holidays. Originally “challah” refered to the small piece of dough that was set aside for the kohen (priest) when making bread (Numbers 15:20). Today Jewish women bless, separate and burn a small piece of dough when making bread in remembrance of the portion given to God (through the Temple priests) in ancient times. This ritual reminds us that sustenance ultimately comes from God and transforms baking bread into a spiritual act. Here are links to a couple of webpages about the taking of challah: