Did you know that BJ’s Wholesale Club on Waters Avenue in Tampa carries tons of kosher stuff? And that there’s a kosher butcher that delivers everything from kosher steaks to duck to your door? Kosher Tampa. Something you usually don’t hear much about. But for those who do keep kosher in Tampa, this is information that’s important–even vital.
With respect to kosher Tampa, you’d would’ve been hard-pressed to find one central location where you could find the information… until now.
Mekor Shalom, the Conservative congregation in Tampa announced today that is has created a new page on its synagogue website that features listings of where you can buy kosher food, meat and other kosher products in Tampa. The kosher Tampa page features information on supermarkets that carry kosher food as well as kosher butchers in the area. The page will be updated as Mekor Shalom learns of more locations in Tampa that carry kosher items–or if situations change.
“If you keep kosher in Tampa it has been hugely difficult to find a listing of places where you could buy kosher meat and other kosher products,” says Glenn Selig, president of Mekor Shalom, the Conservative congregation located in Carrollwood. “There is a need for this information and we decided to fill it as part of our commitment to the Jewish community at large.”
Mekor Shalom adheres to very strict standards of kosher, or “kashrut.” Every item that comes into the synagogue kitchen must have a reliable and acceptable kosher symbol, and only food prepared in a kitchen under reliable and accepted supervision may be brought into the Mekor Shalom kitchen.
Still, unlike Miami which has a large and devout Jewish population along with a plethora of kosher restaurants, bakeries and butchers in communities like Miami Beach and Aventura, Tampa has a significant less devout Jewish population and kosher food in Tampa is more difficult to come by. The vast majority of the Jews in Tampa–a whopping 75-percent–are not members of any synagogue.
Mekor Shalom, the relatively new Conservative synagogue (it’s just over two years old), is targeting those Jews in Tampa Bay who are not yet affiliated with a congregation.
“Mekor Shalom has adopted a voluntary financial commitment so that money never stands in the way of anyone connecting to the congregation,” says Hazzan Jodi Sered-Lever, the synagogue’s spiritual leader. “Money is one of the biggest reasons why individuals or families don’t join synagogues. So Mekor Shalom removed that obstacle. Mekor Shalom is the only synagogue in the Tampa to offer a voluntary financial commitment.”
With 110 households and growing, the synagogue says it hopes the new kosher Tampa page brings additional traffic to its already popular website.
For more about kosher Tampa, please visit www.mekorshalom.org/content/kosher-tampa.
SOURCE: Mekor Shalom
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