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Author(s): Gerson, Jane
Date: 2008
Abstract: Kosher food is not necessarily the same as 'Jewish' food. The thesis explores ideas of Jewish identity in Britain in relation to food, examining the period from the end of austerity in the mid-1950s until the beginning of the twenty-first century. The period starts with Britain's emergence from the strictures of rationing and the development of an era of abundance and choice that has led, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, to a complex and ambivalent relationship between food and society. The thesis explores food in relation to the histories of diverse British Jewish communities and individuals deploying a range of evidence including oral histories, memoirs, journalism and cookery books. It studies the practice of Jewish identity and food, looking at Jewish communities ranging from the strictly Orthodox to progressive Jews. Theories of place, displacement and circuitry in the context of a global food economy are central to the thesis as are ideas of memory, myth and ritual. The first two chapters study the religious, political and social context of kosher food practice in Britain, analysing relations between the ecclesiastical authorities, the kosher food industry and consumers in which issues of class and gender are pivotal. Non-Jewish responses to kosher food are also examined. The third chapter interrogates the culinary origins of Ashkenazi and Sephardi food in Britain in the context of the globalization of the food industry, questioning how this affects the 'Jewishness' of specific culinary practices. The final chapter investigates the meaning and development of Jewish food rituals with respect to Sabbath and festival observance. The thesis suggests that despite the particularity of Jewish practice in relation to food, and the specific circumstances of the Diaspora, the Jewish practice of identity through food should not be treated as exceptional. The concept of 'Jewish' food is as problematic and as valid as the identification of any other group with a specific cuisine.
Date: 2010
Abstract: The main aims of the DIALREL project are to explore the conditions for promoting the
dialogue between interested parties and stakeholders and facilitating the adoption of good
religious slaughter practices. The additional aim is to review and propose a mechanism for
implementation and monitoring of good practices.

A work plan consisting of 6 work packages has been prepared (WP1 to WP6). The
implementation is to be achieved by consultations, gathering, exchanging and reviewing of
information and networking throughout. Dissemination activities are involving internet
site(s) for networking and organised workshops that provides the platform for debate,
exchange of information and consensus. www.dialrel.eu

This workpackage (WP3) is mainly devoted to building up a synthesis on halal and kosher
consumption as well as kosher and halal consumer attitudes, beliefs, and concerns towards
religious slaughter in selected European Union (EU) and associate countries. Although
some legal, animal health, and welfare aspects have been investigated so far, very few
studies have taken into account the consumption dimension. Therefore, WP3 aims to fill in
the lacuna in knowledge in this area by organizing targeted comparative studies on halal
and kosher consumption in Europe. The objective of this work package is to build on
available data, set up new or modified methodologies, and stimulate the exchange of views
that will lead to improved practices.

Activities of WP3 are intended to describe the current situation using available
information, and elaborate on new methodologies in order to facilitate systematic
collection and analysis of subsequent information in the future. This report explore
consumer concerns, knowledge, and information relating to the religious slaughter process
as well as halal and kosher products by gathering information and carrying out consumer
studies in member and associate countries using Focus Groups (FG) in seven countries
including five EU countries : Belgium, France, Germany, Israel, The Netherlands, Turkey
and United Kingdom.