Kosher awareness hits supermarkets in Tri-Valley area

Chabad of the Tri-Valley hosted its seventh annual Tri-Valley Kosher Awareness Day last week, with 18 supermarkets participating.

Inside each store, a table was set up to display some of the in-store kosher items that each supermarket offers. The tables were overseen by 46 young women from Shluchos, a New York–based camp program that sends observant 10th-grade girls on a monthlong trip called “Mivtzoim [mitzvahs] Across America.”

Rabbi Raleigh Resnick at Tri-Valley Kosher Awareness Day a few years ago

The aim of the Aug. 10 event was to inform Jews and non-Jews about the health benefits of eating kosher, as well as trying to bring a larger selection of kosher food to the supermarkets, said Rabbi Raleigh Resnick.

“We educate consumers that it is not just the four things on the Manischewitz shelf that are kosher, but many other items as well,” said Resnick, who leads Chabad of Tri-Valley, which has served the communities of Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore for seven years.

Around 60 percent of all products offered in the markets are kosher, Resnick added. The tables, which were up for two to three hours, included samples of kosher foods, and Resnick said many of the people asking questions were not Jewish.

“Kosher awareness days are done all over, especially in New York and usually around holiday times, to promote new [kosher] products in the stores,” Resnick said. “But we’re the only one I know over that covers all the supermarkets at the same time on the day.”

The supermarkets that participated in the event included Luckys, Nob Hill, Raley’s, Safeway, Whole Foods and Gene’s Fine Foods.  Resnick said Safeway sent an executive to check things out.

“It wound up being a big deal out here,” Resnick said. “Overall it was a wonderful, phenomenal response.”