FROM KOSHER TODAY (DEC.2, 2013)
Jewish Leaders Still Consider Kosher a Litmus Test for Jewish Identity
By KosherToday Staff Reporters
JERUSALEM — When the leaders of Jewish Federations of North America met here last month for the General Assembly, the major topic of discussion was rampant assimilation amongst American Jews. The new concern stemmed from the report by the Pew Research Center a month earlier that nearly 22% of Jews describe themselves without religion. Several of the leaders raised the concept of eating kosher food as a barometer of Jewishness, although the survey showed that 14% considered eating “Jewish foods” (not necessarily kosher) as an indicator of Jewish identity.
The Pew study, which significantly raised the Jewish population in the US to nearly 6.5 million, also revealed that “among Jews in the youngest generation of U.S. adults – the Millennials – 68% identify as Jews by religion. Also, 32% describe themselves as having no religion and identify as Jewish on the basis of ancestry, ethnicity or culture.” The intermarriage rate stands at about 50%, according to the study. But the numbers of both categories probably explains why in some markets younger Jews are not replacing older Jews in the kosher set in supermarkets. Yet, KosherToday has learned, many of the leaders were openly discussing using observance of kosher and Shabbat to “bring back disenfranchised youth.”
The new survey also found that the number of Jews who participate in a Passover seder has dropped from nearly 90% in 1990 to 70%. Pew also found that 53% say they fasted for all or part of Yom Kippur in 2012, a marked downturn from surveys just two decades ago. In the 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey, 78% of Jews said they had participated in a Seder in the past year, and 60% said they had fasted on Yom Kippur. Also of significance for kosher food industry officials is the fact that Jews are heavily concentrated in certain geographic regions: 43% live in the Northeast, compared with 18% of the public as a whole. Roughly a quarter of Jews reside in the South (23%) and in the West (23%), while 11% live in the Midwest. Half of Jews (49%) reside in urban areas and a similar number (47%) reside in the suburbs; just 4% of Jews reside in rural areas.
Product is OK-D
Pretzel Perfection announces their new gourmet, holiday clusters. Check these out:
SALTED CARAMEL CLUSTERS: Salted caramel clusters begin with gluten free pretzel sticks covered in chocolate and caramel, topped with dark chocolate chips and sea salt.
EGGNOG CLUSTERS: Gluten free pretzel sticks covered in a creamy infused white chocolate finished with white chocolate chips, some cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg.
PEPPERMINT CLUSTERS: Gluten free pretzel sticks covered with mint infused white chocolate, topped with white chocolate chips and organic peppermint candies.
They also offer Spicy Cherry Pistachio Clusters, Salted Caramel Clusters, Ultimate Clusters, and Pacific Trail Clusters.
These are to die for. Simply to die for.
In: General Topics, Holidays, Kosher Desserts, Kosher New Products, Kosher News
Product is OU-D (made with real butter!)
Face it, there is no Walkers cookie that we do not love. Unconditionally!
Well, they have introduced a new cookie:
Whole grain oats with pure butter. The result? “The creamiest, crunchiest, crumbliest, most delicious mini oatmeal cookie ever!”
A winner! MMMMMMMM !!
In: Kosher Desserts, Kosher New Products, Kosher News
We grew up in a large family- five kids, one dog, and two parents. On top of that, our house was everyone’s drop in house. We never knew how many people would actually show up at the dinner table. If you were in our house and the call to the table came, you were not allowed to leave; you joined us at the table.
At chanukah time, especially in good apple harvest years (we had a small orchard, with every third year bearing a bumper crop), we had tons of apple sauce for our latkes, baked apples, stuffed baked apples, apple compote and liver fried (after broiling quickly) with apples and onions. One year we had a stuffed breast of veal that also featured apples in the stuffing. Our neighbor had a chestnut tree, so they also played a large part in our Chanukah meals.
We played dreidyl for pennies. We sang songs after we lit the candles. We got gifts. Of course, gifts were often things we needed versus things we wanted. Underwear, socks, shirts and pants were biggies. One year we got figure skates and we were in gift heaven!
We had a large parcel of land that was bordered by a stream which fed into a cove. We would sit on a log, tie on our skates and skate all day on the cove. As it grew dark, we could hear everyone’s mothers calling them home for dinner and candles. By the way, if your mom called you by only your first name, you knew you had time. If she called you by your first, middle and last name, you were out of time.
Our house smelled of oil, potatoes, and onions for the entire eight days of the holiday. To this day, we can not make latkes at home- we buy them and spare ourselves of that smell!!
Because our parents were big on “giving back,” we went to the Veterans’ hospital and sang Chanukah songs for the soldiers there. To this day, it remains a very precious memory. We gave out candy bars and spent time at each bed side.
One day of the holiday was the penny grab. A large bowl of pennies sat on the table and we got as many pennies as we could grab. Of course, as we grew older and our hands got bigger, we got more and more loot. However, a big rule was that we had to put something (our choice as to amount) in the “blue box (JNF)” that sat on the counter in the kitchen.
As for today? Well, let’s just say it ain’t the same. Then again, nothing ever is. Chag Chanukah Sameach!