Big savings for hosts as KLBD waives supervision fees for US venues
THE LONDON Beth Din’s kashrut division is to stop charging a supervision fee for smaller functions at United synagogues in a bid to encourage more simchah hosts to go kosher.
In an interview with the JC, Rabbi Jeremy Conway, head of the KLBD, the London Beth Din’s supervision branch, said the change would be implemented in the near future.
“When you have a function at a United Synagogue shul hall [of] up to 175 people, we will provide the same supervision as before but we will cover the costs,” he explained. “That’s a very exciting initiative.”
He expected the move to be at “significant cost to the United Synagogue” — the host of a simchah for 175 guests would currently be charged £624 for supervision. But the end justified the means, given the US’s 24,000 member families.
KLBD also planned to “employ a fulltime simcha co-ordinator/liaison to help people find the right caterer and venue for their function.
“People think you’ve got to take the most expensive kosher caterer. There’s 45 London Beis Din caterers listed in our kashrut guide, ranging from about £25 a head to around £225 a head. You can have a beautiful function, whatever your budget.”
In Rabbi Conway’s experience, “people are not anti-kosher. They’re anti paying a lot of extra money.
“We’ve got many caterers and within your budget you can have a choice of three or four different fabulous ones. But people need a bit of help to find that.
“Otherwise they are going to go to the venue where they went to their friend’s barmitzvah last week — and that was a non-kosher one.”
He sensed an attitude where “most people don’t seem to mind so it doesn’t really matter [if the function is kosher or not]. We want somebody to say: ‘Well of course it matters. It’s a barmitzvah, isn’t it?’”
Rabbi Jeremy Conway