The Sustainable Food Guidelines at First Narayever, Toronto, Canada

First Narayever Congregation in Toronto, CA, recently passed a resolution regarding the food served at synagogue events. The resolution was the culmination of over a year of committee work, targeted outreach, and education.

Andrea Most, project coordinator, reflects on the process of passing this resolution:
“So how did we get here? First, we approached and got support from the President of the Board who agreed to chair the Ad Hoc committee. We then spent over a year studying our own practices, and also outside practices (such as reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma and watching Food, Inc.). We then put together a more formal committee, and started drafting recommendations. For a committee of 10 people, we identified 9 important areas to work on. Our final presentation to the Board was received very positively, and they voted unanimously to approve it. In the process, we decided that the words ‘to the extent possible’ were important to get the motion passed. But we feel confident that once we begin to implement these principles (and to educate people about them), they will quickly become ‘the new normal.'”

The resolution reads:
Moved that the Food Committee (formerly the Kiddush Committee) oversee the delivery of all food served in the shul, encouraging the use of food that is, to the extent possible: healthy and nutritious, produced in a sustainable, environmentally sensitive manner, produced under fair labour and trade practices, produced according to a high standard of animal welfare, and produced locally, while maintaining a budget that is sustainable by the congregation and while encouraging as much community participation as possible in bringing out food practices more closely in line with our Jewish values.
Passed by the Board of the First Narayever Congregation, May 3, 2011

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