Mennonites and Orthodox Jews Team Up to Make Kosher Milk

Feb. 28 2023

The confusion of Amish or Mennonites for ḥasidic Jews, and vice versa, is the subject of numerous jokes and anecdotes. But in real life, the two groups have found a common cause: Orthodox Jews who adhere to the strictest standards of kashrut seek only to drink milk that has remained under careful Jewish supervision from the moment it comes forth from the cow’s udder (known as ḥalav Yisra’el); the farming practices of the Amish happen to be particularly well-suited to producing such milk. Mike Andrelczyk describes the resulting cooperation, now the subject of research by the anthropologist Rachel Feldman:

Feldman observed an uptick in Orthodox Jewish tourism in and around Lancaster County, including trips to Hersheypark, which offers kosher food and holds a day of kosher festivities in September, and visits to dairy farms. The increased tourism led to collaborations between the Amish and Orthodox Jews to produce kosher dairy products.

The kosher milk operations range from large dairies such as Kreider Farms in Manheim, [Pennsylvania] to what Feldman describes as a small-scale “informal grassroots economy” occurring among Amish and Old Order Mennonite dairy farmers producing small batches of pasteurized and unpasteurized milk products for Orthodox Jewish communities coming in from areas like New York City.

Kreider Farms produces a line of kosher dairy products and is the sole provider to the Pride of the Farm—a nonprofit distributor of ḥalav Yisra’el milk and dairy products. “The fresh milk is immediately transported in dedicated tanker trucks to the processing plant, which is a short distance from the milking parlor. The self-contained operation lends itself perfectly to the meticulous supervision required for Cholov Yisroel certification,” Hope Graby, a spokesperson for Kreider Farms wrote in an email. . . . “A rabbi lives on the farm and observes the milk from the time of milking until it is sealed in a container.”

Read more at Lancaster Online

More about: American Jewry, Farming, Haredim, Jewish-Christian relations, Kashrut, Orthodoxy

In the Aftermath of a Deadly Attack, President Sisi Should Visit Israel

On June 3, an Egyptian policeman crossed the border into Israel and killed three soldiers. Jonathan Schanzer and Natalie Ecanow urge President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to respond by visiting the Jewish state as a show of goodwill:

Such a dramatic gesture is not without precedent: in 1997, a Jordanian soldier opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls visiting the “Isle of Peace,” a parcel of farmland previously under Israeli jurisdiction that Jordan leased back to Israel as part of the Oslo peace process. In a remarkable display of humanity, King Hussein of Jordan, who had only three years earlier signed a peace agreement with Israel, traveled to the Jewish state to mourn with the families of the seven girls who died in the massacre.

That massacre unfolded as a diplomatic cold front descended on Jerusalem and Amman. . . . Yet a week later, Hussein flipped the script. “I feel as if I have lost a child of my own,” Hussein lamented. He told the parents of one of the victims that the tragedy “affects us all as members of one family.”

While security cooperation [between Cairo and Jerusalem] remains strong, the bilateral relationship is still rather frosty outside the military domain. True normalization between the two nations is elusive. A survey in 2021 found that only 8 percent of Egyptians support “business or sports contacts” with Israel. With a visit to Israel, Sisi can move beyond the cold pragmatism that largely defines Egyptian-Israeli relations and recast himself as a world figure ready to embrace his diplomatic partners as human beings. At a personal level, the Egyptian leader can win international acclaim for such a move rather than criticism for his country’s poor human-rights record.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: General Sisi, Israeli Security, Jordan