Kosher Day set for Valley
Supermarkets work with Jewish groups -
Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig

For many Jews and some non-Jews, following a kosher diet is important to their faith and/or their physical and spiritual well-being. This is why two local Chabads will assist area residents in maintaining and learning more about this way of life Wednesday during the first Tri-Valley Kosher Day.

This is a way to perk up interest in general, says Rabbi Raleigh Resnick. For Jewish people and community at large ... there are so many choices.

Sponsored and coordinated by Chabad of Contra Costa and Chabad of the Tri-Valley, the day will focus on promoting, educating and bringing awareness to the general community about kosher food.

Participating supermarkets will have displays, videos and kosher food samples throughout the day. There also will be a raffle for a kosher cookbook and childrens contests.

About 50 teenage girls visiting the West Coast, mainly from New York, will donate their time to staff tables at Albertsons and Nob Hill Foods in Pleas-anton, Livermore and San Ramon, Raleys and Genes Fine Foods in Pleasanton and Whole Foods in San Ramon between 4 and 8 p.m.

The teens also will answer questions and acquaint customers with the kosher products available in each supermarket.

In Judaism, kosher is adhering to certain dietary laws, which include preparing, serving and selling food in a certain manner. This practice has been followed for more than 4,000 years.

According to the OK Kosher Certification, an organization that literally gives its stamp of approval for kosher food products around the world, more than 10 million consumers seek kosher foods in the United States alone.

Industry experts say American shoppers spend more than $50 billion a year on kosher foods. Additionally, its estimated that only one in five buyers of kosher foods is the traditional Jewish customer, who generally perceive kosher foods to be purer and higher in quality than their non-kosher counterparts.

Resnick says the demand for these products continues to grow locally, prompting stores to respond to the need.

(In Hebrew) the word kosher means fit, like fitness,'" Resnick says. We believe theres something about the Jewish food that keeps us physically, mentally and spiritually more fit.

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