Kosher, organic, humanely-raised meat in the Berkshires

Dear Congregation Beth Israel community,

A local Jewish farmer is trying to ascertain whether it would be sustainable for his Berkshires farm to become a source for kosher, organic, humanely-raised meat. He is considering raising beef, lamb, veal and possibly poultry for this purpose. In order for him to proceed with these plans, he would need to know that there is a market for meat which is both organic and humanely-raised and kosher according to traditional standards.

I know that some of us at CBI maintain a practice of traditional kashrut. Others among us may focus on “eco-kashrut” issues such as sustainability and humane farming practices. In recent years the Jewish world has been rocked by incidents where major national kosher meat conglomerates were revealed to be behaving unethically with regards to their animals and their employees. This local farmer’s meat would be an alternative to factory-farmed kosher meat — sustainably farmed and humanely treated, as well as slaughtered in a humane kosher manner.

Please consider whether you would want to be part of this kind of meat share, whether or not you maintain a practice of traditional kashrut. If this farmer’s project is able to move forward, it would make kosher meat available in the Berkshires for those who do require kosher meat but would prefer ethical and sustainable meat over factory-farmed kosher meat.

If you are interested in possibly participating (if there is enough interest to make the project viable), please email Rabbi David Weiner at Knesset Israel – rabbiweiner (at) knessetisrael (dot) org – and he will share more information with you and will add your name to the swiftly growing list of potential customers for this sustainable, organic kosher meat share.

Blessings to all,

Rabbi Rachel

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