The main objectives for today:
- To familiarise the children with the basic principles of what ‘kosher’ means.
- To teach the children which kinds of meats can be turned into kosher meals after being processed in a certain way.
- To teach the children how to recognise the kosher products from the three food categories: meat, dairy and pareve products (mostly vegetables and fruit, but also other products not belonging to the meat and dairy categories).
- the worksheet from attachment 11.1 (presenting kosher and non-kosher food items)
Ask the children to sit at their desks. Hand out the worksheet from attachment 11.1. The task is to mark the products which can be used to make kosher meals (meals which Jews are allowed to consume). The children must listen attentively, because the rules have many exceptions. The meat of many animals is considered non-kosher, and as such cannot be consumed. And what does ‘kosher’ mean?
Foodstuffs being ‘kosher’ depends upon a set of rules in Jewish law which specifies what food products are allowed to be consumed. In other words, these are the rules which tell you what you can and cannot eat or drink.
Christians fast on Fridays, when they don’t eat meat. Muslims will never eat pork, or pig meat in any form. Jewish rules are much more precise and restrictive. Some products, like vegetables and fruits, are allowed, but only when served in a particular way. For example, lettuce itself is kosher, so it’s allowed to be eaten. However, it stops being kosher when you find a small living creature, like a bug in it. Dairy is kosher, so it’s fine to eat it. However, if someone decides to mix milk or other dairy produce (like yoghurt or cream) with meat and make a cream sauce for a meat dish, it stops being kosher. According to the kosher rules, dairy products can be consumed no less than an hour, or even six hours, after eating meat. Meat even cannot be cooked in the same pot which has been used for keeping milk.
There are many precise rules about kosher food. During this lesson, we want to teach the children about the 3 kosher food categories: meat, dairy and pareve products (products not belonging to either the meat or dairy categories).
Read out the notes below about the ‘kosherness’ of food produce and ask the children to find all the products which orthodox Jews can eat on their worksheets.
Kosher products can be divided into 3 categories.
- Meat can come from an ungulate – that is, an animal with four hooves, and ruminant animals (those that ferment plants in their stomach before they digest them), which limits them to herbivores.
- The consumption of blood is prohibited. For example, they cannot eat black pudding.
- All animals have to be killed in a humane way.
Kosher meats are: veal, beef, venison, mutton, lamb and goat meat
Non-kosher meats are: pork, game, horse and donkey meat
Kosher birds mostly consist of farmed poultry: duck, chicken, goose, turkey, pigeon, partridge, quail and pheasant
Non-kosher birds are the birds of prey and the carrion-eating birds: eagle, owl, seagull and hawk
- Cannot be eaten with meat dishes
- Must come from a kosher animal
Kosher dairy: all dairy products which meet the rules stated above are kosher: these can include milk, yoghurt, butter and cream.
- Pareve products are neither meat nor dairy
- They’re mostly plant produce: fruit, vegetables, herbs, flowers, grains, coffee, nuts, groats or dried fruit, and can be consumed without limitations
- They also include those animal products which don’t contain blood (or very little of it), that is:
- eggs (except for those coming from wild, non-kosher animals)
- fish which have scales and fins: carp, trout, herring and salmon. (There are also exceptions: non-kosher fish include sturgeon, shark and eel).