By Deb Silverthorn
March madness is scoring with Dallas Kosher (DK) through A Taste of Kosher. Learning opportunities, sports spectaculars, and programming is helping to make keeping kosher more accessible, affordable and understandable.
“The doors are open and we’re ready to welcome everyone to get to know us better, to learn more about kashrut, and more about our local suppliers,” said Meira Naor, executive director of Dallas Kosher. “We are excited to connect in many ways and spaces and with lots of exciting opportunities.”
DK, formalized as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit and since then a partner of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, is a member of the Association for Kashrus Organizations. Rabbi David Shawel, with DK for 30 years, and Rabbi Sholey Klein, for 24, travel many days each week. Their “supervising selfies” can be followed on Facebook. The rabbis, Naor and assistant Mary Stevenson lead DK, a membership organization governed by a board of directors. Also known as the Vaad, it now supervises 70-plus vendors and manufacturers in the Southwest and 26 local businesses. Also, DK kashers home kitchens at no cost.
“Dallas once had Reichman’s Butcher and Preizler’s Bakery & Deli; now there are dairy and meat restaurants, grocers, bakeries and many venues,” said Klein. “We’re the largest kashrus agency in the Southwest, traveling from Lubbock to Brownsville, Beaumont to El Paso, to Arkansas, Chicago, Louisiana, Mexico, Mississippi, New Mexico and Oklahoma. It’s remarkable and an honor to be part of this city’s evolution through kashrus.”
The DK Community Advisory Committee; representatives from DFW’s Jewish agencies, schools and synagogues who meet quarterly; and DK planned the monthlong slate of activities.
“We wanted to provide a taste of all things kosher and share what DK is really about. There’s vendor supervision but their work is so far-reaching,” said Andi Bonner, CAC chair and Kosher Month coordinator. “The CAC is truly a partnership connecting DK and our community.”
Kosher Month activities began Sunday at the JFGD Super Sunday and with DATA’s Rabbi Yerachmiel Fried teaching at Whole Foods (Preston/Forest). The next three weeks are filled with special events.
Simultaneously, DK will help Jewish Family Service fill the food pantry’s Kosher Corner with non-expired, non-perishables displaying a kosher symbol. In addition, juices, pastas, soups and canned fish, as well as Passover items, are needed. Collection boxes are at Akiba Academy, Levine Academy, Mesorah High School, Torah Day School of Dallas and Yavneh Academy. Fresh produce, meat and other perishables can be delivered to JFS weekdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays.
“The Kosher Corner services between 30 and 50 families and that number is growing,” said JFS’ food sourcing coordinator, Marilynn Wohlstadter, who arranges private shopping appointments with JFS staffers to maintain client anonymity. “We want anyone who wants to keep kosher to be able to. It’s expensive but, thanks to financial and product donations for those in difficult times, we can provide.”
Several of Dallas’ kosher restaurants — Aderet, Benny’s Bagels, Fino, Kosher Palate and Milk & Honey — are participating in the Kosher Meal Deal. The special allows Jewish high school to purchase kosher lunches and dinners for just $5. Coupon books are available through Jewish youth organizations or by contacting the DK office.
For more details, contact Dallas Kosher at 214-739-6535, visit dallaskosher.org, or follow Dallas Kosher – Vaad on Facebook.