What Does Kosher Mean? | JewishMarketing101.com

What Does Kosher Mean? | JewishMarketing101.com

It’s a timeless question: what does Kosher mean? Some say Kosher is all about blessing the animal, some say it’s about not eating pig, and some say it’s similar to Halal. Based on the recent NYC Halal vs. Kosher wars, that last choice is way off.  For some, Kosher is comparable to eating organic. In fact, 3.5 million people are looking for Kosher products so you need to understand what it means. After you understand it, you can start reaching the Kosher market in better ways.

So, here’s a wonderful post from JewFAQ.org about what Kosher means that I’m going to summarize below! After you understand Kosher better, you can understand the difference between Kosher vs. Kosher Style, Passover Kosher and other Kosher trends!

What Does Kosher Mean?

Kashrut is the body of Jewish law dealing with what foods we can and cannot eat and how those foods must be prepared and eaten. “Kashrut” comes from the Hebrew root Kaf-Shin-Reish, meaning fit, proper or correct. It is the same root as the more commonly known word “kosher,” which describes food that meets these standards. The word “kosher” can also be used, and often is used, to describe ritual objects that are made in accordance with Jewish law and are fit for ritual use.

Contrary to popular misconception, rabbis or other religious officials do not “bless” food to make it kosher. There are blessings that observant Jews recite over food before eating it, but these blessings have nothing to do with making the food kosher. Food can be kosher without a rabbi or priest ever becoming involved with it: the vegetables from your garden are undoubtedly kosher (as long as they don’t have any bugs, which are not kosher!). However, in our modern world of processed foods, it is difficult to know what ingredients are in your food and how they were processed, so it is helpful to have a rabbi examine the food and its processing and assure kosher consumers that the food is kosher. This certification process is discussed below.

Kosher dietary laws are observed all year round, not just during Pesach (Passover). There are additional dietary restrictions during Pesach, and many foods that are kosher for year-round use are not “kosher for Passover.” A bagel, for example, can be kosher for year-round use but is certainly not kosher for Passover! Foods that are kosher for Passover, however, are always kosher for year-round use.

So what’s Kosher Style? Check here.

Why Do We Observe the Laws of Kashrut?

Many modern Jews think that the laws of kashrut are simply primitive health regulations that have become obsolete with modern methods of food preparation. There is no question that some of the dietary laws have some beneficial health effects. For example, the laws regarding kosher slaughter are so sanitary that kosher butchers and slaughterhouses have been exempted from many USDA regulations.

However, health is not the only reason for Jewish dietary laws. Many of the laws of kashrut have no known connection with health. To the best of our modern scientific knowledge, there is no reason why camel or rabbit meat (both treif) is any less healthy than cow or goat meat. In addition, some of the health benefits to be derived from kashrut were not made obsolete by the refrigerator. For example, there is some evidence that eating meat and dairy together interferes with digestion, and no modern food preparation technique reproduces the health benefit of the kosher law of eating them separately.

In recent years, several secular sources that have seriously looked into this matter have acknowledged that health does not explain these prohibitions. Some have suggested that the prohibitions are instead derived from environmental considerations. For example, a camel (which is not kosher) is more useful as a beast of burden than as a source of food. In the Middle Eastern climate, the pig consumes a quantity of food that is disproportional to its value as a food source. But again, these are not reasons that come from Jewish tradition.

The short answer to why Jews observe these laws is: because the Torah says so. The Torah does not specify any reason for these laws, and for a Torah-observant, traditional Jew, there is no need for any other reason. Some have suggested that the laws of kashrut fall into the category of “chukkim,” laws for which there is no reason. We show our obedience to G-d by following these laws even though we do not know the reason. Others, however, have tried to ascertain G-d’s reason for imposing these laws.

In his book “To Be a Jew” (an excellent resource on traditional Judaism), Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin suggests that the dietary laws are designed as a call to holiness. The ability to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil, pure and defiled, the sacred and the profane, is very important in Judaism. Imposing rules on what you can and cannot eat ingrains that kind of self control, requiring us to learn to control even our most basic, primal instincts.

Donin also points out that the laws of kashrut elevate the simple act of eating into a religious ritual. The Jewish dinner table is often compared to the Temple altar in rabbinic literature. A Jew who observes the laws of kashrut cannot eat a meal without being reminded of the fact that he is a Jew.

How Difficult is it to Keep Kosher?

People who do not keep kosher often tell me how difficult it is. Actually, keeping kosher is not particularly difficult in and of itself; what makes it difficult to keep kosher is the fact that the rest of the world does not do so.

As we shall see below, the basic underlying rules are fairly simple. If you buy your meat at a kosher butcher and buy only kosher certifiedproducts at the market, the only thing you need to think about is the separation of meat and dairy.

Keeping kosher only becomes difficult when you try to eat in a non-kosher restaurant, or at the home of a person who does not keep kosher. In those situations, your lack of knowledge about your host’s ingredients and food preparation techniques make it very difficult to keep kosher. Some commentators have pointed out, however, that this may well have been part of what G-d had in mind: to make it more difficult for us to socialize with those who do not share our religion.

General Rules

Although the details of kashrut are extensive, the laws all derive from a few fairly simple, straightforward rules:

  1. Certain animals may not be eaten at all. This restriction includes the flesh, organs, eggs and milk of the forbidden animals.
  2. Of the animals that may be eaten, the birds and mammals must be killed in accordance with Jewish law.
  3. All blood must be drained from meat and poultry or broiled out of it before it is eaten.
  4. Certain parts of permitted animals may not be eaten.
  5. Fruits and vegetables are permitted, but must be inspected for bugs (which cannot be eaten)
  6. Meat (the flesh of birds and mammals) cannot be eaten with dairy. Fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables and grains can be eaten with either meat or dairy. (According to some views, fish may not be eaten with meat).
  7. Utensils (including pots and pans and other cooking surfaces) that have come into contact with meat may not be used with dairy, and vice versa. Utensils that have come into contact with non-kosher food may not be used with kosher food. This applies only where the contact occurred while the food was hot.
  8. Grape products made by non-Jews may not be eaten.
  9. There are a few other rules that are not universal.

The Details

Animals that may not be eaten

Of the “beasts of the earth” (which basically refers to land mammals with the exception of swarming rodents), you may eat any animal that has cloven hooves and chews its cud. Lev. 11:3; Deut. 14:6. Any land mammal that does not have both of these qualities is forbidden. The Torahspecifies that the camel, the rock badger, the hare and the pig are not kosher because each lacks one of these two qualifications. Cattle, sheep, goats, deer and bison are kosher.

Of the things that are in the waters, you may eat anything that has fins and scales. Lev. 11:9; Deut. 14:9. Thus, shellfish such as lobsters, oysters, shrimp, clams and crabs are all forbidden. Fish like tuna, carp, salmon and herring are all permitted.

For birds, the criteria is less clear. The Torah provides a list of forbidden birds (Lev. 11:13-19; Deut. 14:11-18), but does not specify why these particular birds are forbidden. All of the birds on the list are birds of prey or scavengers, thus the rabbis inferred that this was the basis for the distinction. Other birds are permitted, such as chicken, geese, ducks and turkeys. However, some people avoid turkey, because it is was unknown at the time of the giving of the Torah, leaving room for doubt.

Of the “winged swarming things” (winged insects), a few are specifically permitted (Lev. 11:22), but the Sages are no longer certain which ones they are, so all have been forbidden. There are communities that have a tradition about what species are permitted, and in those communities some insects are eaten.

Rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and insects (except as mentioned above) are all forbidden. Lev. 11:29-30, 42-43.

Some authorities require a post-mortem examination of the lungs of cattle, to determine whether the lungs are free from adhesions. If the lungs are free from such adhesions, the animal is deemed “glatt” (that is, “smooth”). In certain circumstances, an animal can be kosher without being glatt; however, the stringency of keeping “glatt kosher” has become increasingly common in recent years, and you would be hard-pressed to find any kosher meat that is not labeled as “glatt kosher.”

As mentioned above, any product derived from these forbidden animals, such as their milk, eggs, fat, or organs, also cannot be eaten. Rennet, an enzyme used to harden cheese, is often obtained from non-kosher animals, thus kosher hard cheese can be difficult to find.

Kosher slaughtering

The mammals and birds that may be eaten must be slaughtered in accordance with Jewish law. (Deut. 12:21). We may not eat animals that died of natural causes (Deut. 14:21) or that were killed by other animals. In addition, the animal must have no disease or flaws in the organs at the time of slaughter. These restrictions do not apply to fish; only to the flocks and herds (Num. 11:22).

Ritual slaughter is known as shechitah, and the person who performs the slaughter is called a shochet, both from the Hebrew root Shin-Cheit-Teit. The method of slaughter is a quick, deep stroke across the throat with a perfectly sharp blade with no nicks or unevenness. This method is painless, causes unconsciousness within two seconds, and is widely recognized as the most humane method of slaughter possible.

Another advantage of shechitah is that it ensures rapid, complete draining of the blood, which is also necessary to render the meat kosher.

The shochet is not simply a butcher; he must be a pious man, well-trained in Jewish law, particularly as it relates to kashrut. In smaller, more remote communities, the rabbi and the shochet were often the same person.

Draining of Blood

The Torah prohibits consumption of blood. Lev. 7:26-27; Lev. 17:10-14. This is the only dietary law that has a reason specified in Torah: we do not eat blood because the life of the animal (literally, the soul of the animal) is contained in the blood. This applies only to the blood of birds and mammals, not to fish blood. Thus, it is necessary to remove all blood from the flesh of kosher animals.

The first step in this process occurs at the time of slaughter. As discussed above, shechitah allows for rapid draining of most of the blood.

The remaining blood must be removed, either by broiling or soaking and salting. Liver may only be kashered by the broiling method, because it has so much blood in it and such complex blood vessels. This final process must be completed within 72 hours after slaughter, and before the meat is frozen or ground. Most butchers and all frozen food vendors take care of the soaking and salting for you, but you should always check this when you are buying someplace you are unfamiliar with.

An egg that contains a blood spot may not be eaten. This isn’t very common, but I find them once in a while. It is a good idea to break an egg into a glass and check it before you put it into a heated pan, because if you put a blood-stained egg into a heated pan, the pan becomes non-kosher. If your recipe calls for multiple eggs, break each one into the glass separately, so you don’t waste all of the eggs if the last one is not kosher!

Forbidden Fats and Nerves

The sciatic nerve and its adjoining blood vessels may not be eaten. The process of removing this nerve is time consuming and not cost-effective, so most American kosher slaughterers simply sell the hind quarters to non-kosher butchers.

A certain kind of fat, known as chelev, which surrounds the vital organs and the liver, may not be eaten. Kosher butchers remove this. Modern scientists have found biochemical differences between this type of fat and the permissible fat around the muscles and under the skin.

Fruits and Vegetables

All fruits and vegetables are kosher (but see the note regarding Grape Products below). However, bugs and worms that may be found in some fruits and vegetables are not kosher. Fruits and vegetables that are prone to this sort of thing should be inspected to ensure that they contain no bugs. Leafy vegetables like lettuce and herbs and flowery vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are particularly prone to bugs and should be inspected carefully. Strawberries and raspberries can also be problematic. The Star-K kosher certification organization has a very nice overview of the fruits and vegetables prone to this and the procedure for addressing it in each type.

Separation of Meat and Dairy

On three separate occasions, the Torah tells us not to “boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” (Ex. 23:19; Ex. 34:26; Deut. 14:21). The Oral Torahexplains that this passage prohibits eating meat and dairy together. The rabbis extended this prohibition to include not eating milk and poultry together. In addition, the Talmud prohibits cooking meat and fish together or serving them on the same plates, because it is considered to be unhealthy. It is, however, permissible to eat fish and dairy together, and it is quite common (lox and cream cheese, for example). It is also permissible to eat dairy and eggs together.

This separation includes not only the foods themselves, but the utensils, pots and pans with which they are cooked, the plates and flatware from which they are eaten, the dishwashers or dishpans in which they are cleaned, the sponges with which they are cleaned and the towels with which they are dried. A kosher household will have at least two sets of pots, pans and dishes: one for meat and one for dairy. See Utensils below for more details.

One must wait a significant amount of time between eating meat and dairy. Opinions differ, and vary from three to six hours after meat. This is because fatty residues and meat particles tend to cling to the mouth. From dairy to meat, however, one need only rinse one’s mouth and eat a neutral solid like bread, unless the dairy product in question is also of a type that tends to stick in the mouth.

The Yiddish words fleishik (meat), milchik (dairy) and pareve (neutral) are commonly used to describe food or utensils that fall into one of those categories.

Note that even the smallest quantity of dairy (or meat) in something renders it entirely dairy (or meat) for purposes of kashrut. For example, most margarines are dairy for kosher purposes, because they contain a small quantity of whey or other dairy products to give it a buttery taste. Animal fat is considered meat for purposes of kashrut. You should read the ingredients very carefully, even if the product is kosher-certified.

Utensils

Utensils (pots, pans, plates, flatware, etc., etc.) must also be kosher. A utensil picks up the kosher “status” (meat, dairy, pareve, or treif) of the food that is cooked in it or eaten off of it, and transmits that status back to the next food that is cooked in it or eaten off of it. Thus, if you cook chicken soup in a saucepan, the pan becomes meat. If you thereafter use the same saucepan to heat up some warm milk, the fleishik status of the pan is transmitted to the milk, and the milchik status of the milk is transmitted to the pan, making both the pan and the milk a forbidden mixture.

Kosher status can be transmitted from the food to the utensil or from the utensil to the food only in the presence of heat, (including hot spices) or prolonged contact, thus if you are eating cold food in a non-kosher establishment, the condition of the plates is not an issue. I knew an Orthodox rabbi who would eat ice cream at Friendly’s, for example, because the ice cream was kosher and the utensils are irrelevant for such cold food. Likewise, you could use the same knife to slice cold cuts and cheese, as long as you clean it in between, but this is not really a recommended procedure, because it increases the likelihood of mistakes.

Stove tops and sinks routinely become non-kosher utensils, because they routinely come in contact with both meat and dairy in the presence of heat. It is necessary, therefore, to use dishpans when cleaning dishes (don’t soak them directly in the sink) and to use separate spoon rests and trivets when putting things down on the stove top.

Dishwashers are a kashrut problem. If you are going to use a dishwasher for both meat and dairy in a kosher home, you either need to have separate dish racks or you need to run the dishwasher in between meat and dairy loads.

You should use separate towels and pot holders for meat and dairy. Routine laundering kashers such items, so you can simply launder them between using them for meat and dairy.

Certain kinds of utensils can be “kashered” if you make a mistake and use it with both meat and dairy. Consult a rabbi for guidance if this situation occurs.

Grape Products

The restrictions on grape products derive from the laws against using products of idolatry. Wine was commonly used in the rituals of all ancient religions, and wine was routinely sanctified for pagan purposes while it was being processed. For this reason, use of wines and other grape products made by non-Jews was prohibited. (Whole grapes are not a problem, nor are whole grapes in fruit cocktail).

For the most part, this rule only affects wine and grape juice. This becomes a concern with many fruit drinks or fruit-flavored drinks, which are often sweetened with grape juice. You may also notice that some baking powders are not kosher, because baking powder is sometimes made with cream of tartar, a by-product of wine making. All beer used to be kosher, but this is no longer the case because fruity beers made with grape products have become more common.

Additional Rules

There are a few additional considerations that come up, that you may hear discussed in more sophisticated discussions of kashrut.

Bishul Yisroel
In certain circumstances, a Jew (that is, someone who is required to keep kosher) must be involved in the preparation of food for it to be kosher. This rule is discussed in depth under Food Fit for a King on the Star-K kosher certification website. 
Cholov Yisroel
An ancient rule required that a Jew must be present from the time of milking to the time of bottling to ensure that the milk actually came from kosher animals and did not become mixed with milk from non-kosher animals. Milk that is observed in this way is referred to as Cholov Yisroel, and some people will consume only Cholov Yisroel dairy products. However, in the United States, federal law relating to the production of milk is so strict that many Orthodox sources accept any milk as kosher. You will sometimes see high-level discussions of kashrut address whether a product is Cholov Yisroel or non-Cholov Yisroel. See a more complete discussion under Cholov Yisroel: Does a Neshama Good on the Star-K kosher certification website. 
Mevushal
Most kosher wines in America are made using a process of pasteurization called mevushal, which addresses some of the kashrut issues related to grape beverages. See The Art of Kosher Wine Making on the Star-K kosher certification website. 

Kashrut Certification

The task of keeping kosher is greatly simplified by widespread kashrut certification. Products that have been certified as kosher are labeled with a mark called a hekhsher (from the same Hebrew root as the word “kosher”) that ordinarily identifies the rabbi or organization that certified the product. Approximately 3/4 of all prepackaged foods have some kind of kosher certification, and most major brands have reliable Orthodox certification.

The process of certification does not involve “blessing” the food; rather, it involves examining the ingredients used to make the food, examining the process by which the food is prepared, and periodically inspecting the processing facilities to make sure that kosher standards are maintained.

Kosher Certification Symbols

These symbols are widely-accepted hekhshers commonly found on products throughout the United States. These symbols are registered trademarks of kosher certification organizations, and cannot be placed on a food label without the organization’s permission. Click the symbols to visit the websites of these organizations. With a little practice, it is very easy to spot these hekhshers on food labels, usually near the product name, occasionally near the list of ingredients. There are many other certifications available, of varying degrees of strictness.

The most controversial certification is the K, a plain letter K found on products asserted to be kosher. A letter of the alphabet cannot be trademarked, so any manufacturer can put a K on a product, even without any supervision at all. For example, Jell-O brand gelatin puts a K on its product, even though every reliable Orthodox authority agrees that Jell-O is not kosher. On the other hand, some very reliable rabbis will certify products without having a trademark to offer, and their certifications will also have only a “K.” Most other kosher certification marks are trademarked and cannot legally be used without the permission of the certifying organization. The certifying organization assures you that the product is kosher according to their standards, but standards vary.

It is becoming increasingly common for kosher certifying organizations to indicate whether the product is fleishik (meat), milchik (dairy) or pareve (neutral). If the product is dairy, it will frequently have a D or the word Dairy next to the kashrut symbol. If it is meat, the word Meat may appear near the symbol (usually not an M, because that might be confused with “milchik”). If it is pareve, the word Pareve (or Parev) may appear near the symbol (Not a P! That means kosher for Passover!). If no such clarification appears, you should read the ingredient list carefully to determine whether the product is meat, dairy or pareve.

Kosher certification organizations charge manufacturers a fee for kosher certification. This fee covers the expenses of researching the ingredients in the product and inspecting the facilities used to manufacture the product. There are some who have complained that these certification costs increase the cost of the products to non-Jewish, non-kosher consumers; however, the actual cost of such certification is so small relative to the overall cost of production that most manufacturers cannot even calculate it. The cost is more than justified by the increase in sales it produces: although observant Jews are only a small fragment of the marketplace, kosher certification is also a useful (though not complete) point of reference for many Muslims, Seventh Day Adventists and vegetarians. In addition, many people prefer kosher products because they believe them to be cleaner, healthier or better than non-kosher products. It is worth noting that kosher certifiers are not the only organizations that charge for the privilege of displaying their on a product: some charitable organizations allow manufacturers to display their logo in exchange for a donation, but unlike kosher certifiers, those charities do not perform any service in exchange for that payment.

You can find more information about kashrut at the websites of major kosher certification organizations.

The Orthodox Union, which is responsible for “OU” certification, has some excellent information on its website, including a kosher primer, an explanation of their kosher policy, a philosophical discussion about “thinking kosher” and a questions and answers section. (Please note: the “Judaism 101” listed on some of their pages is not this website and has no connection with this website).

The Star-K Kosher Certification organization also has an excellent website. The wonderful thing about Star-K is, they give you an incredible amount of detail about the research that they put into determining whether a product is kosher. They tell you what products may be used without kosher certification, and they explain why such products can or cannot be used without kosher certification, giving complete detail about the research that went into making their determination. It also has articles about kashering appliances, and other useful information.

KosherQuest has a searchable database of kosher products as well as an extensive list of reliable kosher symbols and other interesting things.

Advertisements
Jewish & Kosher | What’s The Deal?

Jewish & Kosher | What’s The Deal?

Jewish & Kosher | What's The Deal?Sometimes the best way to describe Jewish and Kosher is through a presentation that covers some of the burning questions out there. So we created one that helps say exactly what people are thinking and wondering. Yes, it may be a bit self-serving (we are a business after all!) but some of the slides show how the Jewish and kosher market is a group you don’t want to overlook these days!


Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

Jewish Marketing 101 – Social Media Influencing Decisions on Kosher Consumption (KosherToday)

Jewish Marketing 101 – Social Media Influencing Decisions on Kosher Consumption (KosherToday)

Kosher Social MediaSocial Media Influencing Decisions on Kosher Consumption, But Not There Yet

Reposted from Kosher Today

New York…The effect of social media on the consumption of kosher foods is for all practical purposes a case of two separate cities. In an exhaustive look at the subject, KosherToday found that in a good segment of the kosher market, social media is beginning to play a significant role in influencing brand and product consumption while in some Charedi (Orthodox) communities social media is still linked to an overall distrust and even forbidden medium of the Internet. “Since this customer still makes up a large percentage of daily kosher food sales, bridging this gap will be important if social media will take off for the kosher category,” says Yakov M. Yarmove, Corporate Business Manager, Ethnic Marketing and Specialty Foods for SuperValu. But KosherToday found that even in such Orthodox communities as Flatbush and Monsey, some stores are feeling the effects of social media, particularly when some of their premium items go on sale. “I will sometimes have 15-20 shoppers a day ask for an item on sale that they flagged on either Facebook or Twitter,” said a Flatbush retailer.

Esti Berkowitz of primetimeparenting.com and Travelingmom.com, a leader in the growing kosher foodie network using social media, says that social media is influencing purchases at the grocery store. “A lot of these purchasing decisions come directly from the online distribution of circulars from the supermarket,” she says. In fact, she points to a study conducted by Ken Johns, VP, Director of 1:1 at Brunner which found that amongst more than 400 women with children age 12 and under, nearly 96% of the respondents said they check e-mail at least once a day and eight in ten moms indicated they want to receive offers and information from preferred brands via email. A number of major retailers have been using Facebook and Twitter to communicate with their loyal customers, a trend that kosher industry sources say is beginning to take hold in the kosher community as well. It bodes well for the introduction of new products, which in many instances drives profits in the kosher set. Says Mrs. Berkowitz: “The gain for new products via social media is increasing steadily.  People are looking to blogs and social media for reviews and recommendations of food and beverages.” She points to the results of The Social Media Matters Study (April 2011) that 53% of the participants had become repeat buyers based on a blog recommendation.

Leah Schapira is one of those foodies who have developed a passion for using social media to promote good kosher cooking. A  well-known food columnist and recipe developer in the kosher world, she recently launched Cookkosher.com as a platform for sharing information on ingredients, recipes, new products and almost everything else that a kosher consumer and cook would need Not very much. Says Schapira: “I don’t think that the influence of social media has spread wide enough in the kosher world yet.” She does, however, see social media as a boon for new products because of the relationship it establishes between manufacturer and consumer. “The ability to easily and quickly solicit feedback from consumers can help a new product adjust its course in line with ever-changing demands and preferences,” says Schapira. Although there appeared to be dramatic developments in the impact of social media on kosher consumption, most kosher industry sources agreed that the trend is definitely on the side of a new generation of social media kosher foodies.


Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

Jewish PR 101 – Is a Four-Legged Chicken Kosher? The debate is on…

Jewish PR 101 – Is a Four-Legged Chicken Kosher? The debate is on…

http://ping.fm/KQjrV

Jewish PR 101 – Kosher News – Ritual slaughter ban passes first vote in Dutch parliament

Jewish PR 101 – Kosher News – Ritual slaughter ban passes first vote in Dutch parliament

http://ping.fm/LOHZO

Jewish PR 101 – How to NOT lose readers attention when posting on social media

Jewish PR 101 – How to NOT lose readers attention when posting on social media

Here’s a great blog post from http://www.businesswordsmiths.com talking about readers new attention span.

Studies say that you’ve got 10 seconds to capture readers attention. Getting even shorter in time, they say you have 8 seconds to make a good impression. So how can you best deal with a readers short attention span?

The Jewish Impact : Within the Jewish market, there are numerous community listservs with thousands of email recipients (such as TeaneckShuls, BrooklynShuls, FiveTownsShuls, etc). If the recipients inbox are anything like mine, then it’s being inundated with various emails with a hug assortment of subject lines and posts for, about, and to the community. So if your subject line doesn’t grab them, you can forget about them scrolling down to read your post. Here’s how to best get your email read on these listservs:

The 3 Keys to Handling

Today’s Short Attention Span

* Speak to Emotion First, Intellect Second

A quick look at today’s top business news from Digg, has article as the top item:

Where Jamie Oliver Failed, Carrot Farmers Hope to Change the Way We Snack
Jamie Oliver tried to change the way kids eat with his (futile) attempts at changing the food that school cafeterias serve to kids. If you’re a parent, and you feel strongly about the health of your kids, this headline grabs you at both an emotional and intellectual level.

It creates curiosity by stimulating an already-existing desire to feed your kids healthy stuff.

The article itself isn’t terribly interesting, but about halfway down the page they include the following YouTube video from carrot farmers:

Obviously, this video is intended for the parents. It’s a tongue-in-cheek way to get the attention of parents, and give them a reason to “test” the theory that carrots can achieve the same status as junk food in their kids’ minds.

* Quickly offer a promise

What I like about the new carrot farmer campaign is that they quickly offer a promise, albeit a twisted promise.

They promise that your kids will think of carrots the same way they think of a candy bar, French fries, or some other greasy, sugar-enhanced snack.

They hit an emotional hot-button by bringing up the futility of getting kids to eat healthy food, and then have the audacity to promise a change in the way your kids think about snacking.

Your promise doesn’t have to be blatant, but it’s got to be clear in the mind of your reader. All of this will happen in a few short seconds in your headline and the first couple paragraphs of your copy.

* Deliver on the promise

The best way to keep your website visitors on your site is to deliver on the promises you make, and do so as quickly as possible. I know that I have a tendency as a writer to think that everyone needs several paragraphs of introduction before I get to the meat of the matter.

A lengthy introduction can help when you’re introducing a new product to people who don’t yet know that they need your product. Eugene Schwartz refers to this as your reader’s “level of awareness” about you, your product, and their need for your product.

Carrot farmers are betting that kids will eat whatever comes in a flashy package. The “delivery” of the promise in their case isn’t the product (carrots) itself, but the packaging for the product.

Time will tell if they’re right (I hope they are), and kids realize that healthy food can be just as enjoyable an experience as unhealthy food.

It’s a long shot for the carrot industry, but if it works, expect national brands to quickly follow suit, offering their snacks (healthy or otherwise) in flashier packaging.

Henry Isaacs

www.Henry-Isaacs.com

Jewish Marketing 101 – Kosher Today – Demand for Mashgichim (Kosher Supervisors) Jobs Soar, Kashrus Agencies Say

Jewish Marketing 101 – Kosher Today – Demand for Mashgichim (Kosher Supervisors) Jobs Soar, Kashrus Agencies Say

http://ping.fm/MExbB

Jewish Advertising 101 – Kosher Retailers Target BBQ Season in Long Holiday Wait

Jewish Advertising 101 – Kosher Retailers Target BBQ Season in Long Holiday Wait

http://ping.fm/oLN06

Jewish Marketing 101 – Kosher Today – Demand for Mashgichim (Kosher Supervisors) Jobs Soar, Kashrus Agencies Say

Jewish Marketing 101 – Kosher Today – Demand for Mashgichim (Kosher Supervisors) Jobs Soar, Kashrus Agencies Say

New York…by KT Staff Reporters…Kashrus agencies have had little problem in filling jobs for kosher supervision (mashgichim) despite the double-digit growth of kosher. They have many more applicants than job openings, which some described as a “very surprising development.” To Rabbi Moshe Elefant, the COO of the Kashrus Division of the Orthodox Union, the depressed economy of the last few years has been largely responsible for the sharp increase in applications for mashgichim jobs. For agencies like OK Kosher Certification, the large worldwide network of Chabad emissaries has been an invaluable resource in supervising plants all over the world. In fact, Rabbi Elefant points out that as the largest kashrus agency in the world, his agency also employs large numbers of the ”shluchim” (emissaries). According to Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, the Rabbinic Administrator for the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc) and the Executive Director of the Association of Kashrus Organizations (AKO),the demand varies somewhat for the supervision needed. “There are plenty of candidates for plant inspections, less for catering and even less for restaurants,” said Rabbi Fishbane. Despite the growing demand, salary and benefits is an issue for many would be mashgichim. Rabbi Elefant says that the same economy that is responsible for so many more people looking for mashgichim jobs is also the reason for establishments looking for the least expensive way to get the supervision done, an obvious reference to declining sales. Rabbi Fishbane says that economics is also the reason why it is often difficult to get mashgichim for restaurants and catering establishments: “ They make more money by sitting home and collecting unemployment.” The officials also did not expect technology to diminish the demand for the human inspections, despite increased surveillance and other technology to assure the integrity of kashrus. While some kashrus organizations are increasingly using the technology in some very specific settings like small factories, the Orthodox Union says that it would only use the technology to support human inspection rather than replace it. Several well-known kashrus issues in recent years have also forced the agencies to devote more efforts and resources to training, including formal classroom training as well as internships with qualified rabbinic personnel. “In most cases,” said a kashrus official, “we are dealing with people who are already proficient in Jewish law, primarily through their formal yeshiva and post graduate (kollel) training.” More and more young rabbis, the official pointed out, are supplementing their duties as rabbis with a career as a mashgiach. “They simply feel that as a religious functionary, the job of kosher supervision is very much a part of their career choice.”

Jewish Advertising 101 – Kosher Retailers Target BBQ Season in Long Holiday Wait

Jewish Advertising 101 – Kosher Retailers Target BBQ Season in Long Holiday Wait

Kosher Retailers Target BBQ Season in Long Holiday Wait
New York…It will be three months before kosher shoppers prepare for the Jewish New Year at the end of September, which is prompting retailers to create “mini-holidays,” as one distributor put it, in between the just concluded Shavuos holiday and Rosh Hashanah. Many retail ads in the New York area are focused on marketing meats, with some using the opportunity to tout their better quality meats or even to “educate” customers about better cuts. This is in preparation for the upcoming summer BBQ season. In late July and early August, the marketing will shift to dairy menus for the Nine Days, marking the mourning period for the destruction of the First and Second Temples. One retailer told Kosher Today that he is actually “thrilled about the late date of the High Holy Days this year because it gives me two shots at major shopping periods.” He explained that he intended to market the late August – early September period as the restocking period for returning vacationer and back to school shoppers and then immediately (by mid-September) segue into Rosh Hashanah sales. But this summer period is also used by chains like Price Chopper to attract travelers enroute to Upstate New York and Canadian destinations, by independent kosher supermarkets like Pomegranate to promote orders that “summer bachelors” take with them over the weekend to their vacationing Catskill families, by Catskill retailers to lure vacationers and by on-line grocers to ship kosher foods to the various destinations that are frequented by kosher vacationers. The objective for all categories of retail grocers is not to lose the summer months.