Beth Din works to make Pesach “lesstressingmoreblessing”
The kosher department spends nearly six months of the year planning for Pesach and making certifications.
This year was particularly challenging with the sad and untimely passing of Rabbi Desmond Maizels in Cape Town. His care and knowledge added much to South African kashrut for many decades.
Various products available all over the country are manufactured in Cape Town. With the help of the Cape Town kosher team, we ensure that the highest standards are kept, and all essential items that the community needs are made available across the country.
This year, we launched a #lesstressingmoreblessing campaign, which we hoped would help make everyone’s preparation ahead of Pesach a little easier. We shared our expanded Green List, which is a list of products that don’t require a special Pesach hechsher.
We all know how expensive this time of year is and unfortunately, it’s costly for companies to manufacture Pesach items. In many cases – locally and internationally – the ingredients need to be changed, and factories often need to be closed for at least 24 hours to kasher production lines.
Furthermore, runs are often done in small batches and in most cases, production is done under the direct supervision of a mashgiach. We do what we can to research products all year round to add to our Green List to make it easier and more cost-effective to keep Pesach.
We then shared some delicious recipes from Romi Rabinowitz. Next, we created and shared helpful videos on kashering some of the latest kitchen appliances, which also enabled the community to meet some of the kosher team. Most importantly, we extended the hours of our kosher desk hotline to answer all the community’s questions.
Pick n Pay again printed our Pesach Guide, and innovated by placing a variety of Pesach-specific products on its Bottles app. This is something we hope to expand in the future.
What’s most important to us is community feedback. After Pesach, we reached out to the community via a survey, and got just less than 800 responses.
Here are the most pertinent:
• Most of the community was happy with the product range available this year;
• They prefer to buy locally-made products as it keeps costs down;
• More than two-thirds of the community felt that the kosher department gave them useful information this year;
• The Green List was found to be the most useful information shared;
• There is a range of locally produced items that people would like to see available next year, namely: Orley Whip, sweets, cold drinks, diet drinks, chocolates, spices and sauces; and
• Many expressed appreciation for our team, which we are grateful for.
The survey is now closed, so if you didn’t have the opportunity to respond to it, we invite you to contact us directly with your feedback.
We are grateful to everyone who completed the survey. We value the feedback and, with the positive and useful information given, we have already begun to plan for Pesach 2022. We hope we will keep you #lesssressingmoreblessing.
- Rabbi Dovi Goldstein is the kosher managing director at the Beth Din.