Kosher Michigan maintains strict standards for the businesses that it certifies as kosher. This is to ensure that those who observe the kosher laws will feel comfortable eating in the establishment or consuming the product. All details concerning the kosher certification of each business are outlined in the kosher certification letter. These letters are available on this website. Any questions about the kosher status of a Kosher Michigan business should be directed to Rabbi Jason Miller.
Dairy and Meat
Currently, Kosher Michigan only certifies dairy and/or pareve institutions. Kosher meat restaurants and butcher shops require constant supervision and Kosher Michigan does not provide that service at this time with the exception of the kosher catering program at Michigan State University.
Rabbi Jason Miller, or another mashgiach (kosher supervisor) appointed by Kosher Michigan, is responsible to ensure the kosher standards of the kitchen. In all cases, the level of supervision is yotze v’nichnas (unannounced spot checks). The frequency of the supervisory visits is based on the nature of the business. Much like the visit to a kitchen by a health inspector, the kosher supervisor is seeking to ensure that the agreed to code is maintained. The kosher supervisor checks that no outside food is brought into the premises. He also ensures that no new ingredients have been introduced that were not approved for usage. On the visit, the kosher supervisor also checks all vegetable products to ensure that proper washing has taken place and there are no bug infestations.
All ingredients used in food production at establishments under Kosher Michigan’s certification must be approved by Rabbi Jason Miller and bear an approved kosher symbol (hechsher). No new ingredients or products may be introduced with prior approval from Rabbi Jason Miller. In most cases, only cheeses with a reliable kosher symbol are used in the production of food. If cheeses that do not bear a reliable kosher symbol are used, they must be USDA-approved cheeses made in the U.S.and the kosher certification letter must stipulate this. These cheeses are approved as kosher by the Conservative Movement through a legal ruling by the International Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (Yoreh Deah 87:10; Rabbi Kassel Abelson 1994).
Display of Certification Letter
A prominently displayed, framed letter signed by Rabbi Jason Miller must hang in each establishment that is under Kosher Michigan’s certification. Each letter is dated and an expiration date is clearly stated at the bottom of the letter. Each year, the certification may be renewed upon a thorough review. Should ownership of the business be transferred, the kosher certification is immediately void. A window sticker is also displayed on the front door of all establishments under Kosher Michigan’s certification.
Sabbath and Jewish Holidays
In businesses owned by a Jewish individual (or individuals), it is forbidden for the business to operate on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays without a Sabbath lease agreement. This is based on Orah Hayyim 243 of the Jewish law codes. Kosher Michiganutilizes the Sabbath lease agreement produced by Judge Norman M. Krivosha (1995) and approved by Rabbi Joel Roth and the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the International Rabbinical Assembly. All Sabbath lease agreements entered into by establishments under Kosher Michigan’s certification are kept on file with Kosher Michigan.
The Koshering Process
Before an establishment may be certified kosher, Kosher Michigan will kasher the kitchen(s). This includes a thorough cleaning of the kitchen and the necessary applications as directed by Jewish law (boiling at specific temperatures, heating ovens, firing, ritual immersion of vessels, etc.). Once the kashering process has been completed, another inspection takes place before granting the kosher certification.
Before an establishment may be certified kosher, Kosher Michigan will conduct an educational meeting with the owners and all full-time and part-time employees to educate them on the kosher laws. It will be explained that no outside food may be brought into the establishment (with the exception of a designated employee lunch room if approved by Kosher Michigan). KosherMichiganalso meets with new employees to educate them as well.
Kosher Michiganencourages the establishments that it certifies as kosher to be ethical in all areas of their business. This includes, but is not limited to, proper business ethics concerning its employees and charitable giving to the community. Kosher Michiganrecommends all establishments that it certifies as kosher to follow the Magen Tzedek protocols.
Certification Letters (Teudot)
Kosher Michigan outlines the kosher standards for each business in a teudah (kosher certification letter) that is prominently displayed on the wall of each establishment. Click on the name of a business below to view its certification letter.