What Nannies Need to Know about Kosher Kitchens

Posted on by admin | in Nannies

Keeping kosher is an important part of Judaism, and is a part of food preparation in which nannies working for observant Jewish families need to be well-versed. Keeping this practice can seem like a difficult task, but there are things you can do as a nanny to make sure you follow your employers needs and wants in this department.

What Does Kosher Mean?

Before stepping into a home with a kosher kitchen, it might help for you to understand what it means to be kosher in the first place. It is commonly mistaken that kosher means simply that something needs to be blessed by a Rabbi. While it sometimes is the case that a Rabbi must be present to make something kosher, it is not always necessary to remain kosher. Otherwise, every Jewish kitchen would practically need a live-in Rabbi.

Keeping kosher includes such practices as not mixing meat and dairy products, which, in the strictly kosher kitchen means that there are separate utensils for meat and dairy. Some that follow the practice even have separate parts of the kitchen that are dedicated to dairy and meat to keep them apart. If the two should be mixed up, the kitchen would have to go through the process of becoming kosher once again. This can include boiling utensils and/or having a Rabbi come to say a prayer and bless the items.

Consider Taking a Course

There are kosher kitchen classes available for those interested in learning what it takes to create a kosher kitchen or how to keep a kitchen kosher. If your employer expects you to maintain their kitchen to follow his faith, he may be willing to pay for a course where you learn what he has possibly been practicing his entire life. After a while it becomes second nature, and if you simply ask him what you need to do he may unintentionally leave some important pieces out. So, to be sure you know how to maintain a kosher kitchen, the easiest thing to do is learn more about it with a class.

Gauge Your Employers’ Level of Observance

You might not be able to tell this for yourself, so ask the family how conservative they are when it comes to keeping kosher. Some follow the rules to the strictest degree, while others may skip some things here and there. You want to be sure you follow their rules as they do. The last thing you want is to contaminate their kitchen by bringing in the wrong food or using the wrong utensil.

Keep in mind that no matter what level of kosher they keep their kitchen, it probably took a while and a great effort on their part to create their kitchen in this way. You do not want them to have to go through that process again, and you definitely don’t want to put your job in jeopardy over something that can easily be prevented with a little knowledge.

Show Respect

If you’re not Jewish, some of the guidelines regarding keeping a kitchen kosher can seem confusing. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that this is part of a set of religious beliefs that you are going to be participating in, even if it’s just in a small way. Show your employer respect in every way you can. Even if you don’t fully understand why they need a kosher kitchen or what the greater purpose is, you need to show that you respect them as a family. Just as you want to be shown respect for your beliefs, keep the family’s religion in mind and show them you understand how important it is to them to keep the kitchen kosher. While you are in their home, you need to follow this practice to the best of your abilities. While you will want to eat whatever you want, you have to understand that what you enjoy might not be compatible with keeping a kosher kitchen.

Ask Questions

If you ever have a question concerning what needs to be done, your employers should be willing to help you through the process. They will not expect you to know what all comes with being kosher if you’ve never been exposed to it before. In some cases, they may not have had a kosher kitchen growing up and have had to go through the whole learning process like you are now. Never be afraid to ask questions. It is respectful to learn more about something you know little of, especially if you’ll be expected to adhere to unfamiliar practices. They will simply appreciate that you are taking the effort to help them maintain the lifestyle they have chosen.

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One Response to What Nannies Need to Know about Kosher Kitchens

  1. emeti says:

    interesting and worthwhile article, yet I would just like to clarify that there are NEVER any rabbi who come and bless the food or kitchen. A jew will bless the food they are about to it (thanking God for the food like many other religion) but that is about it.
    Also what Nannies need to know is to never hesitate to ask questions, I think its better you ask 10 times until you are certain you understand everything then to just assume and do it wrong, which could cause a lot of grieve for both, you and the family.
    Another point would be to never bring your own food in the house without their knowledge and consent.
    Best of luck!