United Synagogue helping JCoSS on kashrut issues

The United Synagogue is advising on kashrut arrangements at the cross-communal Jewish Community Secondary School, which will open in Barnet in September.

US chief executive Jeremy Jacobs said its kashrut division was “working with the governors of JCoSS to provide them with the necessary help and assistance required, so that they can maintain appropriate kashrut controls by employing their own mashgiach [supervisor] in the same way as is done by the majority of Jewish schools throughout the UK.” The kashrut division, which is under the authority of the London Beth Din, does not supervise schools directly.

The US rabbinate has previously said that parents wishing to educate their children in keeping with the ethos of the United Synagogue should opt for other schools.

A JCoSS spokesman said the school will offer “only kosher food. The detailed arrangements are still under discussion, but we expect them to be in line with those for the majority of other Jewish schools in the country.”

Rabbi Abraham Levy, spiritual head of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation, said the school had approached the Sephardi Kashrut Authority to supervise the kitchens.

“In principle we wanted to help, but we wanted to do it jointly with another authority to show unity,” he said. “I am happy that it looks likely that the kitchens at JCoSS will be ‘kasher’ and that is more important than who supervises it.”

JCoSS will be open to “all Jewish children… irrespective of synagogue affiliation” and will teach Judaism in a way that “will respect all strands and traditions of the faith”.

The first prospective pupils should receive offers of places next month.

Last updated: 3:43pm, February 11 2010