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Massachusetts Kosher Commission is open for business

By Stacey Dresner

WESTERN MA – The Springfield Vaad KaKashruth (SVK), which has provided kosher supervision in the Springfield and surrounding area for many years, has been renamed The Massachusetts Kosher Commission.

“Because we have supervision that we do beyond Springfield and because we are open for business to do more supervision, we changed the name to the Massachusetts Kosher Commission,” said Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe of Congregation B’nai Torah in Longmeadow.

Rabbi Yaffe has taken over as head of the kosher commission from Samuel Pava, who was president of the SVK for more than 35 years.

Pava, 89, retired from the position and was honored for his work for the SVK at a ceremony at B’nai Torah last Chanukah.

“He has done a tremendous amount of work for [many] years and deserves a lot of credit,” Rabbi Yaffe said. “We honor his work for the kashruth commission and many other things. Even though Sam is retired he has been very helpful. He is always there to answer questions. We are really grateful that he has continued to be a resource for us.”

The MKC, like the SVK, is a subsidiary of Congregation B’nai Torah. In addition to Rabbi Yaffe, who serves as the Hamachshir (supervising rabbi), the MKC includes Avie Friedman and Alan Lerman as mashgichim (kosher supervisors), Arie Shteynsayd as president, Ken Gorenstein, treasurer, and board members Izzy Gesin, Bob Kushner, Mary Nathanson, and Joe Singer.

Over the past year, Rabbi Shlomo and his MKC crew have reviewed its list of kosher establishments.

“The main thing we have done is reviewed all of our establishments and we have ensured that they are all up to broadly accepted national standards of kashruth,” Rabbi Yaffe said. “That is not to say there were problems. I use the word ‘ensure’ – in other words I went to all of our establishments over the better part of a year and we just put in clear protocols and clear understandings based on broadly accepted, nationally-accepted standards of kashruth.”

Rabbi Yaffe has also sent out a list of establishments currently under MKC supervision (see below).

Despite the change in name, Yaffe said that SVK stickers and logo will still be used for now.

“We are, over time, phasing in the name Massachusetts Kosher Commission,” he said. “We have a lot of SVK stickers and we don’t want to waste. Over time we will put together a new MKC logo and as we run out of materials, then the MKC label will begin to proliferate. It may be a while yet.”

Rabbi Yaffe added that while two establishments, Edible Arrangements and Alex’s Bagels, chose to remove themselves from kosher supervision, he is sure that more establishments will eventually be added to the list.

“There are a few things in the pipeline but no entirely new establishments,” he said, “yet, but we are anticipating several.”

CAP: Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe

 

ESTABLISHMENTS UNDER MKC/SVK SUPERVISION:

Al’s Beverage
All beverage products are under the MKC.

Catering by Cheryl Blonder
Kosher Catering is under the supervision of the MKC when the food is prepared at the B’nai Torah Synagogue kitchen. A date-specific letter or email from the Mashgiach will be required.

Catering by Meital 
Kosher Catering is under the MKC supervision when the food is prepared at the B’nai Torah Synagogue kitchen. A date-specific letter or email from the Mashgiach will be required.

Chez Josef
Events out of the Kosher kitchen catered from the Agawam location are under MKC.

Diana’s Bakery
All pre-packaged pastry items bearing the SVK-D or SVK Dairy logo are under MKC supervision. In addition, at the retail bakery (35 Pearl St., Enfield), all cakes and pastry items are under MKC supervision and are kosher dairy. All breads and rolls are not under our supervision.

Essellon Coffee Roasters
All packaged coffee is under the MKC supervision.

Heart of the Harvest
All packaged vegetables are kosher. Inspection for tola’im (insects etc.) is the responsibility of the end user where deemed necessary by Jewish Law.

High Lawn Farm Dairy
All milk and cream is under the MKC supervision, 535 Summer St, Lee, MA

Indigo Coffee Roasters
All packaged coffee is under the MKC supervision.

JCC (Only Vi’s Cafe)
All food at Vi’s cafe in the Springfield JCC is under the MKC supervision. Some items are dairy. No other facilities at the JCC are supervised by the MKC.

Masse’s Seafood
Kosher varieties of whole fish may be purchased, cleaned and cut under the observation of the buyer using the designated kosher knife and board. Kosher knife and board will be cleaned and stored separately. List of Kosher fish can be found on the website of the OU and other Kashrut organizations. 1329 Memorial Drive, Chicopee, MA.

National Yiddish Book Center
MKC supervision covers catered events at the center. The caterer must have an event specific letter from the MKC. This also applies to caterers not under MKC supervision but can be approved by the MKC.

Nut Lady
All nuts are under the MKC supervision, Albany, N.Y.

Pierce Bros. Coffee
All packaged coffee is under the MKC supervision.

RAO’s Coffee
All packaged coffee is under the MKC supervision.

Rondeau’s Ice Cream
All ice cream and toppings are kosher dairy. This excludes all hot toppings and sauces. No other items in the store are kosher, 1300 Ware St., Palmer, MA.

Tech Air
All gas products are under MKC supervision.

UMass
Only the kitchen deemed “Kosher” is under MKC supervision. It is in the Franklin Commons dining hall, 260 Stockbridge Rd, Amherst, MA

For all inquiries, please contact Rabbi Yaffe at rabbi@bnaitorahma.org.

 

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