Kashrut Guidelines

(You can dowloand this as Word document here.)


Last Revised: June 30, 2024

These guidelines will be updated as often as needed. If you see items that need to be corrected or that are missing, please contact the Heska Amuna President (HAPresident@heskaamuna.org).

*If any mistake is made while working in the Heska Amuna kitchen with dairy/meat/pareve it must be reported to the President or to the Rabbi immediately so kashrut can be reestablished.


Last Revised: June 30, 2024






Appliances: 5

Dishwasher: 5

Coffee and tea urns: 5

Sternos and chafers: 5

Carrying: 5

Challah. 5

Cooking. 6

Bishul: 6

Boiling water on Shabbat: 6

Chazara: 6

Cheese: 6

Oven Usage: 6

Lights: 6

Picture taking: 6

Cooking on Holidays. 6


Appliances. 7

Coffee and Tea Urns. 7

Dishwasher. 7

Food Warmer. 7

Freezers/Refrigerators. 7

Keurigs: 7

Countertops. 7

Dishes. 7

Disposable Dishes and Utensils. 7

Glass/Pyrex Dishes. 8

Silver Trays, Teapots, Creamers, Etc. – Meat. 8

Punchbowls. 8

Foods. 8

Breaking Eggs. 8

Drinks: 8

Food Sources. 8

Spices: 8

Wine and Cheese: 8

Food Packaging, Storage, and Labeling. 8

Items from Your Home. 8

Linens. 9

Potholders. 9

Serving Carts. 9


Cleaning of Kitchen. 9

Set up and Removal of Tables. 9


General information on charges. 9




These guidelines will be updated as often as needed. If you see items that need to be corrected or that are missing, please contact the Heska Amuna Rabbi and Religious Services Committee (RRS@heskaamuna.org).

*If any mistake is made while working in the Heska Amuna kitchen with dairy/meat/pareve it must be reported to the President or to the Rabbi immediately so kashrut can be reestablished.


Use of Kitchen – AT ALL TIMES. Use of kitchen must be scheduled with the Kitchen Director. Each person or group will need to complete an Event Reservation Form that includes furnishing the Kitchen Director, in writing, a copy of their menu or item/items that are to be prepared. Before using the kitchen, all ingredients must be checked and approved by the Kitchen Director, the Rabbi, or someone approved by the Kitchen Director to check ingredients. The Kitchen Director also must approve, in advance, anyone wishing to work in the kitchen and will schedule kitchen time according to the Event Reservation Form.

Caterers: Only outside caterers approved by the Rabbi may be hired for events in the Synagogue. The event itself will need to be approved by the Kitchen Director.

The kitchen will be locked when not in use. The Kitchen Director is responsible for making sure the kitchen is open for anyone with approved access to the kitchen.

The kitchen is divided into two parts. Each division is color coded. MEAT items are marked in RED; DAIRY items are marked in YELLOW. Glass items can be used with either Meat or Dairy; however, meat and dairy may not be prepared or served at the same time. If you are not sure about anything DON’T DO IT.

CAUTION: It is impossible to color code every item in the kitchen; therefore, it is extremely important that these unmarked items be returned to their proper place after they have been used. DO NOT LEAVE UNMARKED ITEMS OUT.


The following are a few of the hechshers that are acceptable in our Synagogue. (Source: http://www.crcweb.org/kashruscard.pdf) All products containing only a K Hechsher will need approval by the Kitchen Director. All foods served from the synagogue kitchen must have an approved Hechsher.


MilchigDairy. Everything that is made from milk, such as cheese, butter, etc.

Fleishig: Meat: Everything made from meat or poultry, including their schmaltz (rendered fat).

Parve: Things that fits into neither camp, such as fruit, veggies, eggs, fish, water, etc. These neutral foods may be consumed together with either milchigs or fleishigs.

Fresh fruit and vegetables: These do not require a hechsher. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are precut and packaged do require a hechsher.

Frozen fruit and vegetables: These do not require a hechsher if they are frozen and the only other ingredient is water.  If items are frozen with sugar, spices, or other ingredients, they do require a hechsher.

Partitioning the kitchen: When the meat portion of the kitchen is in use, the dairy silverware drawers and dairy utensil cabinets should be locked or tied down. When the dairy portion of the kitchen is in use, the meat drawers and meat utensil cabinets should be locked or tied down.

Meat: When using the meat section of the kitchen, the Kitchen Director must check labels for the following DAIRY ingredients which render the product not usable for MEAT: whey, caseinate, and lactose.

Non-dairy: Products marked non-dairy only means that the product is not a natural dairy food product. It does not mean the product is pareve and contains no dairy ingredients. It can NOT be assured usable with meat unless authentically certified kosher-pareve.


Note: Shabbat and Holidays: The rules for Shabbat also apply to Yom Kippur.

No food or other item maybe be brought into the building from one hour before sunset on Friday to one hour after sunset on Saturday.

Appliances: Small electrical appliances, such as mixers and food processors, may not be used by a Jew on Shabbat.  These appliances can be used by a nonJew on Shabbat.

Dishwasher: A Jew can wash dishes by hand but is not allowed to use the dishwasher. A nonJewish person is allowed to use the dishwasher.

Coffee and tea urns: A Jew can not turn on the coffee pot or tea urns. This also applies to a Keurig.

Sternos and chafers: Sternos may be used with chafers on Shabbat. Only an individual who is not Jewish may light the sternos. (Updated August 2018: Marilyn noted that because sternos can get hot enough to cook food that they should *not* be used on Shabbat by anyone. Rabbi to confirm.)

Carrying: refers to removing an object from one domain to another; better known as “carrying on Shabbat.” On Shabbat this rule is observed by Heska Amuna Synagogue and applies to all individuals using the kitchen facility and more broadly to the entire building. No individual is exempt from this rule. Any foods left from a Shabbat sponsored event may be picked up by the event sponsor following full darkness on Saturday night (but the items may not be taken out of the building on Shabbat).

No one, whether Jewish or a nonJews, may carry food or supplies in or out of the building during Shabbat. The question often arises as to why it is acceptable for congregants to bring other items into or out of the synagogue on Shabbat such as purses, tallit, or taking books off the library cart. The basis of the carrying rule actually also applies to these personal items and although carrying those items is also viewed as not acceptable on Shabbat, Rabbi Ferency notes that it is a personal decision of the congregant regarding bringing in these types of items for their personal use. Even though the preference is that all congregants would adhere to the carrying rule for personal items, it would be difficult to enforce as some have valid rationales for carrying (i.e., doctors or parents needing their phones). However, with regards to the kitchen, food and supplies are intended to be used by the congregation and so are not viewed as personal items.


When baking challah for Shabbat, say the following blessing before dividing the dough. Remove a small portion of the dough (around egg-sized) and recite the following prayer:

Baruch atta Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam asher kid-shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hafreeish challa min h’eesah.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us to separate challah from the dough.


Bishul: Literally means cooking (changing the properties of food by applying heat). It is forbidden to start cooking after Shabbat begins for anyone (Jews or nonJews), however, partially cooked foods that were started before Shabbat may continue cooking on Shabbat.  Warming fully pre-cooked solid (not liquid) food is permitted provided that (1) a flame or burner I neither lit nor adjust and (2) the food is not placed directly on a burner but on some covering which is placed over the flame.

Boiling water on Shabbat: Boiling water or any other items is not permitted on Shabbat.

Chazara: Means returning; refers to the prohibitions of returning a pot of food to the cook top or oven once it has been removed. On Shabbat, a Jew is not allowed to attend, remove, or replace items on the cook top or in the oven. A nonJewish person can attend, remove, or replace items on the cook top or in the oven so long as it is not a liquid.  Reheating liquids is not allowed on Shabbat.

Cheese: May not be added to items and melted on Shabbat; however cheese can be re-melted on Shabbat.

Oven Usage: Ovens may be used for meat or dairy, but not at the same time.

  • Temperature of ovens on Shabbat: can be no higher than 250. This temperature limit is based on the temperature that a person would not recoil although it is recognized that not everyone recoils at the same temperature. The temperature may not be raised by anyone during the warming period as higher temperatures would constitute cooking.
  • A Jewish person may not turn on an oven on Shabbat.
  • A Jewish person can put something in an oven that is turned on by a nonJews, but a Jewish person may not monitor food in the oven. The reason for this is that when one opens an oven door, it causes the oven to increase the heat to maintain the temperature.
  • If the oven is turned off by a nonJews, a Jewish person is allowed to remove food from the oven.
  • Convection oven: The above rules for ovens also apply to the convection ovens.

Lights: A Jew can turn on the lights.

Picture taking: No pictures may be taken during Shabbat.

Cooking on Holidays

Cooking is allowed on all holidays except Shabbat and Yom Kippur. However, we have always observed the rule of “Carrying on Shabbat” by having all items needed for the meal in the Synagogue before the Holiday begins and not allowing food or items to be removed until after the end of the holiday.



Before using any electric appliances, microwave oven, large ovens and stoves, etc. be sure that you understand the operating procedures. If not familiar with these appliances, please read instructions carefully or ask for assistance.

Coffee and Tea Urns

These urns are used for both DAIRY and MEAT, therefore cleaning of the urns must be handled in the following manner: Each urn needs to be washed by hand in clean water with clean cloths. This includes parts to the urns, too.


When using the dishwasher be sure that you are using the correct trays. There are separate trays for the MEAT section and the DAIRY section. These have been marked accordingly.

Food Warmer

The warmer can be used for DAIRY or MEAT except during Passover. Because the temperature can not reach the proper level for koshering the unit (proper burning) for Passover, the warmer can not be used during Passover nor can it be used during seder.


Some groups have been given freezer, refrigerator, and/or cabinet space for food storage. These need to be used for storage of the group’s food items and be used when preparing for and serving of an event. When the group does not have an event, these spaces can be used for other synagogue functions.

Refrigerators/freezers in the portion of the kitchen not in use should be kept locked.

Since our freezers are used for both meat and dairy foods, it is important that each item be wrapped airtight and leakproof. Label packages with date, contents of package and designate if DAIRY or MEAT. There is a seal-a-bag available for small items.

When placing items in the freezers and refrigerators, please be sure that items are NOT PLACED IN FRONT OF AIR CIRCULATING VENTS. These vents need to be clear at all times. Make sure that freezer and refrigerator doors are completely closed.


To be added.


Make sure that you are using the correct countertops. The permanent countertops are MEAT and there is an overlay set for DAIRY use. These are labeled accordingly.


Disposable Dishes and Utensils

  • Paper or plastic plates, cups, or napkins do not have to have a hechsher on their packaging.
  • Plastic eating utensils do not have to have a hechsher on their packaging.

Glass/Pyrex Dishes

All glass bowls, trays, etc. including Pyrex Casserole dishes that have been baked in may be used for either meat or dairy, but not both simultaneously.

Silver Trays, Teapots, Creamers, Etc. – Meat

We have some silver trays for dairy use; these have been marked YELLOW-DAIRY and are stored in the DAIRY cabinets in the hall.


Silver punch bowls are MEAT. Glass punch bowls may be used for either MEAT or DAIRY. There are separate serving pieces for the punch bowls.


Breaking Eggs

Each egg to be used should be broken one by one into a glass container and inspected for blood. If blood is found, the egg is discarded and the glass container is washed. Note: White eggs rarely have blood in them.

Drinks: All brands of sodas are permitted. Bourbon and beer are also OK.

Food Sources

Whole fresh fish: These may be purchased from Kroger at Knox Plaza. No fillet or cleaned fish may be purchased from Kroger.

Donuts: only Krispy Kreme Donuts are permitted in the kitchen. Donuts can be purchased from any Krispy Kreme location (not just the store on Kingston Pike and Northshore). (Updated August 2018: Marilyn noted that not all items that are prepackaged are kosher. Rabbi to confirm/clarify.)

Spices: All spices require an approved hechsher.

Wine and Cheese: Only kosher wines and cheese are permitted.

Food Packaging, Storage, and Labeling

  • All dry goods need to be kept in airtight containers in order to eliminate bugs and rodents.
  • Leftover items stored in the refrigerator or freezer must be labeled with the person’s name or organization whose item it is and the date that it is put in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Aluminum foil, parchment paper, plastic wrap, and baggies must have an approved hechsher.

Items from Your Home

  • No prepared foods may come from your home regardless of his/her kashrut observances.
  • No utensils, dishes, containers or appliances may be brought from a person’ home into the synagogue kitchen, regardless of his/her kashrut observances.
  • Prepared or baked foods brought from one’s home which are to be eaten the Synagogue. (This does not include food for sale at the bazaar or Potlucks).
  • No utensils or containers other than new, unused ones.
  • No open boxes or containers of food which have previously been used.
  • If purchasing items to bring to the synagogue, it is allowable for a person to first store food in their personal refrigerator or freezer even if they do not keep kosher and then bring those items to the synagogue. This is allowable because refrigeration does not have an effect on the kashrut state of the food.


When using clean linens, use only for DAIRY or MEAT but not for both at the same time. Linens must be washed before using on opposite side.


There are DAIRY and MEAT pot holders.

Serving Carts

There are separate serving carts for DAIRY or MEAT. When the kitchen is on the DAIRY side, the MEAT carts should be covered; when the kitchen is on the MEAT side, the DAIRY carts should be covered.


Cleaning of Kitchen

Each person or group that uses the kitchen facilities is responsible for washing all dishes and utensils that were used and returning them to their proper place. Removal of garbage is also required.

Cleaning product such as dish detergent, scrubbing pads, oven cleaner, silver polish, etc. must have a hechsher. Items bearing just a K must be approved by the Kitchen Director.

Note: Some Brillo and SOS are not kosher and may not be used.

Mice: To minimize the issues with mice getting in the kitchen, the doors to kitchen should be kept  closed at all times.  (When mice are active they follow the walls and will enter any open areas; with the doors closed, they most likely will move on.) All countertops need to be kept clear of all items (food, utensils, and dishes) so that the mice do not contaminate them. For sanitation reasons, each time before countertops are used, the countertops should be wiped down with Clorox wipes.

Set up and Removal of Tables

For all functions in the synagogue, the Kitchen Director is responsible for working with the office to arrange for the set up and removal of tables and chairs. Dressing the tables is the responsibility of the individual or group holding the event; dressing the tables for a catered event is also the responsibility of the individual or group holding the event. Two weeks prior to all functions a diagram of the table arrangements and a list of linens needed for the event should be given to the Kitchen Director.


General information on charges

(See separate price lists.)

Members in good standing are entitled to the following at no additional cost:

  • Use of the Sanctuary of the Six Million, the Robinson Chapel, and Rosen Hall for any event during regularly scheduled religious services (such as Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Baby Naming Aufruf)
  • Custodial assistance during regular working hours.

Recognized Jewish organizations in Knoxville/Oak Ridge will be charged at a member’s rate.

Rates for the Rosen Social Hall, Sanctuary, Chapel, Lobby and Kitchen use for non-members are double those for members.


Eruv Tavshilin

On a holiday that does not coincide with Shabbat, cooking is permitted only for that specific day of Yom Tov.  When Shabbat immediately succeeds Yom Tov, an Eruv Tavshilin will enable preparation on a Yom Tov for Shabbat. Rabbi will perform a ceremony for Eruv Tavshilin before candle lighting on the day before a holiday such as Shemini Atzeret which will allow anyone (Jewish or nonJewish) to cook. Foods can then be prepared and eaten not only on the holiday but for the Shabbat that follows also.

All items used must be purchased and brought into the synagogue before the Eruv Tavshilin.

These are holidays where carrying is permitted however the purchase of items is not.

Preparation of a Flame in Advance of Yom Tov:

Before sunset of the day on which Yom Tov begins or on Friday, when the first day of Yom Tov coincides with Shabbat or follows Shabbat (i.e., when Sunday is the first day of Yom Tov), before lighting candles for the first day of Yom Tov or for Shabbat, in order to have a flame available (1) to light any burner necessary for cooking on Yom Tov and (2) to light candles for the second day of Yom Tov and/or Shabbat, one should ensure that a flame is and will remain available. A pilot light or a long-burning (24-hour-plus) candle may be used for this purpose. If Yom Tov follows Shabbat, a 24-hour-plus candle has to last the duration of Shabbat (until the time for lighting Yom Tov candles). During Yom Tov, one can light successive candles by transferring the flame.

The process and restrictions for cooking and lighting candles is dependent on what days of the week the holidays. Review additional requirements of when holidays occur with the Kitchen Director as needed.


This Potluck Policy was last updated February 7, 2024.

Preface: The Rabbi & Religious Services committee is responsible for overseeing kashrut in the synagogue. The following guidelines are designed to create a flexible way for the community to hold events in our building that include food and drinks not prepared in our kitchen while ensuring the events do not compromise our ability to maintain a kosher kitchen.

Potluck Guidelines

Potluck events may not take place on Shabbat or other major Jewish holidays: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot I and II, Shmini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah. Food and supplies for potluck events may not be carried into nor removed from the synagogue on these days. Event preparation or cleanup may not be performed in the synagogue on these days.

To ensure the integrity of kashrut within the Synagogue, the kitchen, storage cabinets, refrigerators, and freezers may not be used for the event. They will be locked if possible. The synagogue provides 1 refrigerator/freezer and 2 cabinets for use by congregants solely at potluck events.

Potluck events may only be held in the Rosen Hall, foyer, or courtyard.

No food, drinks, or supplies will be provided by the synagogue. Everything needed for the event must be furnished by the organizers of the event.

Synagogue tables used for the event must be covered with plastic tablecloths that are provided by the event organizer.

All foods served must be either parve (vegan) or dairy (vegetarian). All food prepared outside the synagogue must be served in disposable containers.

No peanuts, or products containing peanuts or peanut oil, may be brought into any area of the synagogue building.

At the close of the event, all foods and supplies brought into the synagogue must be removed from the synagogue. All garbage must be disposed of outside of the building, and the area where the event occurred must be thoroughly cleaned up.

Any deviations from these guidelines must be approved by the Rabbi & Religious Services committee at least two weeks prior to the event.


This section to be added.