Ethical food is hard to find. How can kosher keep up?

Photo by Edgar Castrejon/Unsplash

Kosher has been in the news a lot lately. A restaurant in Hamilton came under scrutiny because the rabbi that certified its kosher status wasn’t Orthodox; in Toronto, the popular Slice N Bites restaurant was asked to stop seating customers on Saturday nights because too many teens were using it as a hangout spot; and in the U.S., a restaurant had its certification pulled after its owner, Shalom Yehudiel, was charged with sexually abusing a minor.

With these stories fresh in our minds, we’re dedicating the whole episode to kosher conundrums: the politics, ethics and decision-making that goes into keeping, certifying and even justifying the current state of kosher. Our three hosts come from very different stances on these issues, and invite Richard Rabkin, the managing director of the Kashruth Council of Canada (COR), to help navigate the waters.

Plus, chef and entrepreneur Zane Caplansky pops in to explain his own frustrating kosher odyssey, while our weekly Word of Wisdom comes from Rabbah Aliza Libman Baronofsky and Rabbah Amy Newman, who both graduated from Yeshivat Maharat this week.


Bonjour Chai is hosted by Avi Finegold, Ilana Zackon and David Sklar. Michael Fraiman is the producer. Andre Goulet is the technical producer. Our theme music is by Socalled. The show is a co-production from The Jewish Learning Lab and The CJN, and is distributed by The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.