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Food and Kiddush Guidelines

It is the practice of the First Narayever Congregation to provide a full buffet lunch with kiddush after our Shabbat morning services, as well as after morning services on Shavuot and Sukkot. This provides an opportunity to socialize with fellow congregants, meet new people, and prepare for what is for some a long walk home.

Narayever members are encouraged to sponsor or co-sponsor a kiddush once a year. Kiddush sponsorship or co-sponsorship can include:
financing a kiddush prepared by our shul caterer or another shul-approved caterer; or purchasing and preparing kiddush food for the congregation (i.e. self-catering) in celebration of a personal/family occasion or as part of a shul group volunteer effort for our community .

Sponsoring a kiddush means providing all the food and drinks, except tea and coffee, for regular shul attendees as well as any additional guests that have been invited, including a children’s kiddush (see below). On a regular Shabbat, attendance will be about 120 people, depending on the season.

The members of the Food Committee are prepared to help you sponsor a kiddush lunch that is consistent with our shul’s food principles and kashrut policies. They will assist you in finding kiddush co-sponsors, in forming groups to self-cater a Shabbat kiddush, and they can guide you through the catering or self-catering process.
To sponsor a kiddush or discuss the different ways in which you can contribute to a kiddush, please contact the shul office (416 927-0546 /
The principles, procedures and guidelines below apply to all kiddushim on Shabbat as well as on holidays.

Caterers and Self-Catering for Personal/Family Occasions and Celebrations

Our shul caterer is Rachel Zilberg (416 551-9370 / We encourage you to use Rachel because she is most familiar with the shul kitchen. You may use other caterers, or self-cater, but you must follow all rules set out in this document. If you wish to hire a caterer other than Rachel Zilberg, or to self-cater, you must let the shul office know at least four weeks in advance; after that point, you must use the shul’s caterer. You will also need to contact the shul mashgiach (see the Kashrut section, below, for more details). If you are interested in using another caterer or if you have any other questions, please contact the shul office. The shul office can direct you to the appropriate Food Committee members for further guidance if required.
In the event that you are self-catering you must do the following:
Contact the Food Chair who will help with the process;
Contact the Mashgiach who will check all food coming into the shul prior to starting the preparation; and
Contact the administration who will help you to access the shul as required.
For access to the kitchen please contact the shul administrator at 416-927-0546.

Procedures for Kiddush for Personal/Family Occasions and Celebrations

Prior to Shabbat (i.e., prior to 3 pm on Friday)
Take note of where the kitchenware is located, as you or your caterer will have to put things back in their proper places before you leave.
Bring the food to the shul and complete any preparations needed. No deliveries will be accepted after 3 pm Friday or any time on Saturday.
Complete all cooking before Shabbat. For example, if you are preparing eggs for egg salad, they must be boiled and in the shul kitchen prior to the commencement of Shabbat.
Ensure the oven is turned on if you will need to warm already-cooked food on Shabbat. The oven cannot be turned on on Shabbat. Our caretaker will ensure that the hot water is plugged in.
Do any writing that will be required, e.g. preparing the menu board.
Note: If Shabbat occurs after or during a Yom Tov, all of these preparations must be complete before the Yom Tov starts.

Shabbat morning

Allow sufficient time to set up and lay out all the food before the end of the service. Dishes, cutlery and napkins can be found in the kitchen.

Set up tables:

  • Space in the basement is very tight and traffic control becomes a problem, especially during a simcha. We have experimented with   a number of table layouts. The only one that allows speedy access to food, keeps people moving, and also allows room for socializing is diagrammed in the appendix below.
  • Children’s services commence at 11:00. Please note that Table #3 cannot be put into place until the children’s service is over, approximately at noon.

It is customary at our shul to serve bread (challah, bagels, pita) with kiddush lunch and it is our tradition to engage in ritual hand washing before saying Hamotzi. Please make sure to set up a station for this purpose.

  • Two unsliced loaves, preferably challah, should be made available for the communal Hamotzi. Once the blessing has been said, these loaves may be cut into small cubes and distributed, or sliced and served.

If you wish to lead Hamotzi (the blessing over the bread), please go downstairs immediately after the completion of the service, so people can begin to eat.

After eating, we sing songs and recite Birkat Hamazon. Benchers (booklets for Birkat Hamazon) are available.

After the kiddush:
Wash and dry all dishes and utensils, and put everything back where it belongs. The kitchen is clearly labeled and well organized in order to provide a convenient workspace and we would appreciate your help keeping it that way.

  • Please do all washing by hand. Our dishwasher may not be used on Shabbat.

Leave tablecloths in the labeled cupboard by the kitchen door. Lay out towels to dry on the kitchen counters.
Clean, sweep up, and leave the kitchen tidy.
Place garbage bags in the bins outside and secure the lids.
Do not remove anything (e.g., flowers or leftovers) from the shul during Shabbat.
Please be sure that you leave the kitchen as clean and neat as you found it.

After Shabbat (i.e. after nightfall on Saturday night):
If the oven was on, turn it off.
Take away any leftovers or arrange to have them picked up.

Children’s Kiddush:
The children’s kiddush is a “three-bite” snack for about 20-25 children (ages 2-12), served around 11:30 am.
It should have at least 4 components:
a fruit that grows on a tree;
a vegetable, or a fruit that grows on the ground;
a baked good (e.g. cookie, granola bar, crackers); and
a protein item (e.g. hard-boiled egg slices, cheese cubes).
These four components should provide an opportunity to perform each of the following blessings:
a fruit that grows on a tree (ha’etz);
on a vegetable, or a fruit that grows on the ground (ha’adama);
on baked goods (mezonot); and
on other foods that don’t fit the above categories (shehakol).

Principles Regarding the Food Served:

Our food is important to our shul, and we care where it comes from.
In 2010, the Kiddush Committee established a subcommittee to study the ethical implications of our contemporary food practices and to make suggestions for change. After a year of study and research, the subcommittee completed its task, and the Kiddush Committee, now called the Food Committee, submitted a set of principles that were subsequently approved by the Board of Governors. The principles apply to all food served at shul events, and are as follows:

That food be healthy and nutritious.

  • Choose whole foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, eggs, fish and dairy products).
  • Choose ingredients which are grown and processed without harmful, or potentially harmful, chemicals and additives.

That food be produced in a sustainable, environmentally sensitive manner.
o      Choose foods produced using sustainable agricultural methods (certified organic, LFP, or local sustainable farms).
That foods purchased from abroad be produced under fair labour and trade practices.

  • In purchasing items such as sugar, coffee, tea, chocolate, and tropical fruits, choose Fair Trade certified foods.

That animal products be produced according to a high standard of animal welfare.

  • Choose eggs and dairy products from animals raised in a humane manner.
  • Choose wild or sustainably raised and caught fish.

That foods be locally grown and produced.

  • Focus menus on seasonally available produce.
  • Utilize the produce and grains available from our Harvest Share.

That the amount of waste involved in preparing and consuming meals be minimized.

  • Buy in bulk to reduce packaging waste.
  • Work with shul members and guests to minimize wasted food on plates.
  • Donate leftover food to those in need.
  • Compost and recycle waste whenever possible.

That members be informed about what they are eating and where it comes from.

  • Post menus weekly with ingredient lists and sources.
  • Use table signs to indicate ingredients and sources of foods.

These principles express our strong preferences as a community, but are non-binding.


It is the sponsor’s responsibility to ensure that everything at the kiddush is strictly kosher so that everyone can feel comfortable eating at the shul. For further information, please ask Marsha Frydenberg in the office or call Rabbi Elkin.

The kitchen is under the ultimate supervision of Rabbi Elkin who acts as the mashgiach or designates an individual to act as mashgiach on his behalf . The mashgiach regularly checks the kitchen to ensure that everything is kosher according to our standards and that it can therefore be served. If you are preparing your own kiddush, or hiring someone other than Rachel Zilberg to be your caterer, it is your responsibility to contact the Rabbi or his designate by the Thursday before your Kiddush informing him of the time the food will be brought into the shul.
The Shul is dairy/vegetarian only. This means that no meat products may be served, but fish is permitted.

Packaged food

Any packaged food must carry a recognized hekhsher, i.e., a stamp certifying that the given product is kosher and/or parve or dairy.
Click here for the most common kosher symbols that the shul recognize.
The shul also recognizes all Israeli hekhshers.
For a more complete listing of kosher symbols, see the website
Note that a plain “K” (without a circle, triangle or star around it) or a manufacturer’s statement such as “this is a kosher product” are not acceptable hekhshers.

Packaged beverages

100% apple and orange juice do not require a hekhsher. Grape juice and any mixed juices do. Wine and all fruit-based alcoholic drinks (brandy, liqueurs) must have a hekhsher (all Israeli products do). Grain alcohols such as gin, rye, rum, scotch, and vodka do not require a hekhsher. Milk and water do not require a hekhsher.

Catered Foods

Any food prepared outside the shul must be from a certified kosher facility, must be sealed when brought to the shul, and must be pareve or dairy. Do not bring any food that has been processed at home, even cut vegetables, even if you have a kosher kitchen.

Fresh food

All fruits and vegetables are acceptable, but must be cleaned of all bugs. Eggs must be checked for blood spots, and if one is found then the entire egg must be discarded. Fresh or frozen fish of a kosher species is acceptable but must be rinsed.

Dishes and Utensils

The shul has all necessary dishes and utensils; you should not bring in any of your own. If you do want to donate new kitchenware, please speak to your contact on the Food Committee well in advance so that arrangements can be made to immerse the new dishes and utensils in a mikve. In most cases this will be necessary before the dishes and utensils can be used.

Halachic (Jewish Law) Considerations

Foods are not to be cooked at all on Shabbat. Foods are not to be warmed in the oven unless it is turned on before candle-lighting on Friday evening.
You are responsible for ensuring the oven is turned off after Shabbat ends. The oven must remain on until after Shabbat.
Our caretaker will ensure that the hot water is plugged in.

Before Shabbat

All food must be brought into the shul prior to the commencement of Shabbat. (To avoid any errors, food must be delivered before 3 pm on Friday.) Under no circumstances are products to be delivered to the shul on Shabbat. Such items will not be served at the kiddush.

During Shabbat

Nothing should be removed from the shul during Shabbat. Leftover food, flowers, etc. may be taken only after Shabbat has ended.

Payment for help

If you have arranged for paid help, please make sure that you leave payment before Shabbat or that you arrange to make payment after Shabbat is over. Money should not be handled in the shul on Shabbat.

Environmental Considerations


The shul has enough plates, cutlery, glasses, etc. to accommodate most simchas, so disposable dishes or utensils are not normally used in the shul.
The shul’s plastic drinking and wine glasses are not disposable; they are to be washed and reused like everything else.
Plastic grocery bags can also be re-used.


After the kiddush, the sponsor must make sure that everything recyclable—all empty cans and glass and plastic bottles, as well as any newspapers—goes into the blue box. However, nothing should be removed from the shul until Shabbat is over.

Social Awareness

You are responsible for removing all leftovers from the shul after Shabbat. You may find it useful to bring disposable food containers. If you would like, you may leave part of the leftovers for our Sunday morning daveners. Please consider distributing the leftovers to any of the following organizations who will be happy to receive any food. Call ahead of time to make arrangements.
Scott Mission (phone: 923-8872). Food can be dropped off at the mission on Spadina north of College.
Second Harvest (phone: 408-2594). Second Harvest’s volunteers will meet you at the shul and pick up the leftovers.
The Good Shepherd Refuge (phone number 869-3619). Food can be dropped off at 412 Queen Street East, 2 blocks east of Parliament.
Procedures for Self-Catered Kiddush that is part of a shul group volunteer effort for our community: click here for a detailed Guide to volunteer group self-catering

APPENDIX: Table Set-up for Kiddush – Click here

Fri, March 5 2021 21 Adar 5781