A Guest Post By E. Fink
Original post on my blog: Reform Judaism is Reforming Its Approach to Kashrus
Ask most Orthodox Jews about Kashrus and Reform Judaism, you’ll most likely hear a snicker from the uninformed or a reference to the “Treyfe Banquet” (see: New National Museum of American Jewish History In Philadelphia Apparently Misses the Mark) from the more informed. As far as I know, Reform Judaism has never officially sanctioned Kashrus observance.
I remember reading an article 3 years ago about young Reform Jews pining to add more ritual observance to their summer camp experience. They wanted to add tefillin, kashrus and a more traditional Shabbos. At the time, I thought that was really cool. (read about it here: The Jewish Week).
Today, I saw another step in this direction referenced on Twitter (HT @schnit). A new book has been published for Reform Jews that want to observe some level of Kashrus. Apparently, this is a first. The book tackles broader issues than simple dietary restrictions such as animal cruelty and treatment / paying laborers.
I think it’s great. I would only hope that just as Reform Jews are learning from the ideals of Orthodox Jews as far as Kashrus is concerned, Orthodox Jews can learn from the concern the Reform Jews express for animal cruelty and treatment / paying laborers.