Daily Israel Report

US ‘Secular’ Jews Love Kosher Food

They are called “secular Jews” but more and more non-Orthodox American Jews are buying kosher food. “Pareve” meat also is popular.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/31/2012, 2:14 PM

Kosher meat at suoermarket
Kosher meat at suoermarket
Flash 90

They are called “secular Jews” but more and more non-Orthodox American Jews are buying kosher food. “Pareve” meat also is popular, according to the Kosher Today website.

It said that supermarkets are reporting a “definite ‘upswing’ in the purchase of take-out items by non-observant Jews, when such a section is available.” Kosher Today quoted a West Coast retailer as saying, “Many of my secular Jewish customers may not look for kosher, but when they come into the store and see a kosher display or advertised special, they somehow buy those items.”

Part of the trend towards kosher food by Jews who are not Orthodox is attributed to marketing by supermarkets who are encouraging the purchase of kosher foods.

Another trend in the kosher market is the increased popularity of meat substitutes, which enable observant Jews to eat food that is “pareve” – neither dairy nor meat – with milk, overcoming the prohibition by Jewish law against eating meat with milk products.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that meat substitutes, usually made from soybeans, wheat or peas, also attract health food consumers.

New technology has attracted more consumers who formerly shied away from “meatless meats” because they were thought to be inferior.

Although most American Jews are not Orthodox, approximately three-quarters of American Jews take part in the Passover Seder, according to Brandeis University study.

The concept of an increasingly secular society in Israel, encouraged by the country‘s mainstream media, recently was proven wrong with a study that shows an overwhelming number of Israel believe in HaShem and keep kosher.

Conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute’s Guttman Center, the survey revealed that 61 percent think that public life should be conducted according to religious tradition. A contradictory note was that approximately the same percent of respondents favor sports and cultural events being held on the Sabbath.

Jewish attachment is on the increase when compared with a similar study more than a decade ago, and a large majority does not eat bread on Passover, when matza is to be eaten. Approximately two-thirds of the people light candles on the Sabbath and recite the traditional Kiddush before eating Friday night.