Beijing becomes more kosher

Source:Global Times Published: 2010-2-23 1:09:11

By Andrew Tait

A recent announcement by the Chabad-Lubavitch House in Beijing is set to make life in China easier for those who strictly observe the Jewish dietary laws of kashrut.

The Chabad is an organization which aims to help Jewish people re-connect with their faith and also help observant Jews maintain their religious and cultural roots. Though it follows Orthodox Judaism, the Chabad movement also welcomes secular Jews.

Previously, it was almost impossible to obtain genuine kosher milk in the city, besides importing a powdered substitute at a high cost from countries such as Israel. But now, under the supervision of Rabbi Shimon Freundlich, kosher certified milk is being produced at a local dairy, and is available to all.

The Chabad's website says there are currently around 1500 Jews living in Beijing, with a further 4000 traveling to and from the city annually. There is also a liberal congregation called Kehillat Beijing.

"I wanted to do something like this a few years ago, but there simply weren't the options available for producing milk on this small a scale," said Rabbi Freundlich. "But business people and visitors were literally bringing suitcases of powder with them, or people were having to freeze milk for months. I wanted to give them a more convenient option."

The Rabbi now supervises production at a 100% organic milk farm, to assure the kosher standard of the milk. It is produced on a twice-monthly basis, frozen straight after production to guarantee its quality and safety, and then transported to the relatively few observant Jews across China.

"Once we have the milk, we contact families that we know want it, and tell them they can come and buy, direct from the House. But anyone who is interested can contact us, and we'll be happy to sell to them," the Rabbi continued. "At the end of the day, no child should be without fresh milk for their cereal in the morning."

Posted in: Society, Metro Beijing

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