The rabbi at Douglass Kosher Station always smiles, greets and excites students.
As everyone may have noticed, the first station when you enter Douglass, is different in many
ways than other stations, including their different utensils and special food restrictions.
All the rules in this station relate to the Torah, the Bible of the Jews, and kosher food has to
strictly obey the Jewish dietary laws, also called the laws of kashrut. Additionally, the rabbi is a
jewish scholar who excels in Jewish laws. Without them, served food cannot be called kosher.
Luckily, I had a chance to visit with the certifying rabbi working in Douglass, Rabbi Chaim as
well as his wife, Arlene Hisiger at their home in Brighton. They passionately explained their daily
life and many of the aspects incorporate the idea of sustainability.
“Do not cook a kid in its mother’s milk.”
One important rule in kosher cuisine is that their food is divided into three categories: meat,
dairy and pareve. The Torah commands people not to cook a kid in its mother’s milk, therefore
milk and meat cannot appear in the same meal.
“So we can never eat cheeseburgers,” says Mrs. Hisiger humorously.
As they described their trip to Los Angeles years ago, they said a Buddhist vegan restaurant in
town was one place they ate, “Because they never serve meat or diary, we don’t have to worry
eating meat and dairy together. We really love the vegan food there. However it still requires
Moreover, Rabbi Chaim has been to big cities in China including Shanghai, Beijing, Guangdong
and etc., and he has fallen in love with many Buddhist vegetarian restaurants there. His job was
to certify kosher ingredients and the meal they ate there.
“No cars on the Sabbath, only your feet.”
“If you want to drive me and my wife for great food on a Friday evening… we cannot do that,
because it’s our Sabbath and we are not allowed to drive cars on Sabbath.”
The Sabbath is a Jewish day of rest and it normally starts at sunset on Friday and runs until the
nightfall on Saturday.
I asked why they cannot drive a car on the Sabbath and Rabbi Chaim answered, “Driving cars
requires igniting a fire, and this is prohibited. So regardless of how cold it is, we walk on the
“So it means you can ride a bicycle,” I said, and we all laughed.
You may not be Jewish, but by trying out vegan or vegetarian meals and using transportation
that “ignites less fire”, you can become more sustainable and embrace the laws of nature and
our Earth .
Start today and go green with Dining Team Green.
Guest Post Written by Can Wang, Dining Team Green Marketing Intern, Class of 2020
Special Thanks To: Rabbi Chaim and Arlene Hisiger