Rabbi Shalom Plotkin, who runs the local office of Right at Home, a provider of in-home care and assistance, gave home care workers a crash course in how to best assist clients who keep kosher, and about Judaism in general, at Congregation Shaarey Tikvah in Beachwood.
“Everybody does it a little different, so it’s always good to ask questions,” Plotkin said. “All of us working across the East Side of Cleveland are going to come across kosher clients.”
Plotkin read Torah verses that define kashrut, showed the various kosher symbols on products and clarified how some things may appear kosher, but are not. He gave the example of plastic wrap being marked kosher, as such products potentially could be processed with non-kosher products. He also described the process of ensuring meat is kosher.
“The salting and the slaughtering process will make the meat more expensive as well. Some people say kosher means more clean, others will say kosher means more holy,” Plotkin said.
The 45-minute training session was the first of its kind for Right at Home and was held on Oct. 26 and 27. Plotkin said they plan to have more sessions.
Ronise Floyd, a home care aid with Right at Home who had never attended a kosher training before, said she likely would use the information in her work.
“This is a great way to learn. It makes it easier in your home so there is less conflict,” Floyd said. “It’s supposed to be about the client so education is definitely beneficial.”
Plotkin also told the group that how families practice kosher law can vary, for example some people may have separate refrigerators for meat and dairy, while others do not. Moreover, some make up their own rules for when and how they keep kosher. He also discussed Passover traditions and how stores near the Cedar Road and South Green Road intersection, which straddles South Euclid and University Heights, create Cleveland’s “center of kosher.”
“We are looking for health on the outside and health on the inside of the animal,” Plotkin said.