Friday, April 3, 2015
Kashering the Jewish Home’s Kitchens
Kashering is the process of making one’s kitchen and kitchen instruments kosher. While kashering is not limited to Pesach (Passover), many Jewish families begin kashering their kitchens in the days leading up to Pesach in order to remove chametz, crumbs and leavening sources that are forbidden during Pesach.
On a monthly basis managers from both Jewish Home campuses inspect the kitchens which serve our residents and staff year round. These inspections involve general cleanliness, integrity of materials, competency of the staff and ensuring the kitchen abides by Kosher guidelines. Our kitchens are always impressive in all these areas and the managers are immediately responsive when areas of concern are brought up.
On April 1st, the kitchens on both the Grancell and Eisenberg Village campuses underwent kashering for Passover. Every kitchen item was lined up, ready to be cleansed and blessed for this extremely important holiday. Cindy Cordon, director of dietary services, and her team have spent weeks in preparation. “We couldn’t complete this demanding task without such a phenomenal team.” Cindy says, “Despite the difficulty of the job, our dietary staff always completes the kashering process with joy and energy. I’m so appreciative our team’s dedication.”
During the kashering, all bread products were weaned out, the meat and dairy in every storage area was separated, and the soda machine was temporarily put out of commission. Each dish, utensil, countertop, and grout line was scrubbed and brought back to its original luster. Not an ounce of food can be found in the kitchens. Every 60 gallon soup kettle is filled with boiling water, every stove top is set to full flame, and buckets of ice water stand at the ready. The kitchen is a sauna.
When Rabbi Karen Bender, Jack H. Skirball Director of Spiritual Life, arrives the kitchen jumps into overdrive. Every staff member is wearing heat resistant gloves or has clean linens on hand. Steaming water is splashed onto and into every nook and cranny. The immersion of all silverware from hot to cold achieves balance while serving a hygienic purpose, satisfying the Rabbi. This process continues for hours down to the last spoon. The kitchen is now ready for Passover.
Rabbi Bender describes the many benefits of the difficult process, “Aside from achieving the outstanding cleanliness that is a natural byproduct of the kashering process, we are ensuring the religious needs of even the most observant resident will be met. The Jewish Home is proud to take this necessary step in the commitment of service to our residents and staff.”