Keeping simchahs kosher

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 15, 2010

Efforts to stem the trend of non-kosher barmitzvah celebrations in Manchester have been urged by delegates to the city's Council of Synagogues.

Monday's AGM of the Orthodox representative body agreed to investigate whether families could be asked to sign an agreement committing to serve supervised food.

Council life vice-president Shalom Goldblatt said that "a barmitzvah is the beginning of adult Jewish life, so it's not appropriate to celebrate it with a treife do".

Jonathan Dover, representing Manchester Great, New and Central Synagogue, argued that any sanctions against a barmitzvah boy would "turn the child off Judaism forever". He reminded delegates that four years ago, Manchester Beth Din's Dayan Yitzchok Berger had urged synagogues not to alienate families over the issue.

Whitefield Hebrew Congregation's Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag said it was unfair for synagogues not to be able to request "a simple undertaking that celebrations will be kosher".

Last updated: 11:41am, October 14 2010