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Old Tappan Manor in New Jersey

Has anyone ever attended a kosher affair at this place? I've been invited to one, but I am unclear on who supervises the kashrus. I've never heard of it, and certainly have never heard of anyone that has made or attended a simcha there.

I called the place, but the person I spoke to would not give out any info, and said I had to ask the couple. I didn't want to embarrass the couple by asking such a question, as I'm not so close with them (actually never met the spouse-to-be of my friend), and thought that it would be far more discreet to ask the hall itself about the caterer for that specific party. However, the manager was quite unhelpful. The website is similarly unhelpful.

I don't even know if I should assume they only allow one specific kosher caterer in or if it could be any caterer the couple chooses.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? Does anyone have any advice for me regarding how to get this info without going through the couple?

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  1. Hmmm, have not been through this before, but something seems fishy with the answer you got.
    Just some suggestions:
    1. Try calling Old Tappan again and maybe change your question to something like "How do you provide kosher meals for guests".
    2. Can you speak to a parent of either the bride or groom?
    3. Can you find out who the officiating Rabbi is? The Rabbi (even if reform or conservative might have a better beat on this).

    When all else fails, eat a BIG meal before hand.

    1 Reply
    1. re: vallevin

      I would definitely call again and ask how kosher meals are provided. It may be the case that the non-kosher caterer is responsible for getting premade kosher meals from a specific source... and the hall does not know what that source is.

      Personally, I would eat before the party. The food will probably come wrapped or covered with some kind of label from the certifying organization. If it doesn't or if the hashgacha does not meet your requirements, don't eat it.

    2. You also might try calling them up and telling them you are interested in doing a kosher affair there but need to get some info about their kosher catering...

      1 Reply
      1. re: robocop

        ive been in this situation before, it doesnt necessarily mean theres somethign fishy going on, it could just be that they brought in an outside caterer theyve never dealt with and they dont want to give out info theyre not certain about

        i think asking who the rabbi is might be a good idea, bc i agree regardless of his affiliation he hell either know, or hell ask them for , it also mgiht be a good thing u can bring up casually in passing, oh, "ive never heard of them, does that mean u had to bring in all your own caterers in stuff? whod u bring in?"
        it also might help to call them like youre going to be putting on an event there yourself and ask how you can get in touch with their glatt caterer

      2. Nothing sounds fishy here. The hall will not reveal the name of an outside caterer which is perfectly reasonable. I think you need to ask yourself, do you trust the kashrut of your friend. If you do, then you should trust his/her choice, if you don't then you need to call and ask your friend.

        1. Hi, I am planning a kosher event and Old Tappan Manor is one of the venues we are considering. I am meeting with the manager of Old Tappan Manor this week. I am happy to report back here after the meeting.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jillb

            I got this off their website "Kosher Style Available" that implies to me it's not kosher at all.

            1. re: berel

              That could just refer to what their in-house catered is capable of.

              1. re: berel

                no way it says on their website that they have caterers who provide kosher and who provide glatt kosher

                1. re: shoelace

                  I didn't see it when I first looked. at the website Actually it doesn't mention "outside caterers", it's a bit ambiguous

                  "Our banquet staff and culinary professionals are specialists in all fields of ethnicities, including Indian, Korean, Kosher and Glatt Kosher."

                  Unless there's another reference to outside Kosher/Glatt kosher caterers on the website I'm still missing?

            2. I definitely tried a number of these suggestions. I asked the manager, "Well, can you tell me if you only use one kosher caterer or any one the couple brings in?" and "What if I wanted to make a party; how would I know about the kashrus?" He was rude, eventually cutting me off by saying, "I won't give out this personal info," and then essentially hung up on me. I was not impressed.

              However, I did speak to my rabbi, who knows the couple and said that he is not concerned about the kashrus. I would still be interested to hear what jillb has to say after her meeting with the manager there.

              Thanks to all who replied, and I'll report back at some point if I find out more.

              1. if the place says they were under supervision be it known you cannot lie about the seriousness of kosher parties and is up to the host of the simcha to tell of this not the caterer a sign is posted if under kosher supervision for the simcha

                1. Hi Janice,
                  I'm a photographer in the NY/NJ area and I'm familiar with the team at Old Tappan Manor. I'd be happy to share what info I have with your regarding your question.
                  The group at Old Tappan Manor cannot share information about a client with anybody who simply calls the venue. It is private info about somebody's private party. You should call your friend directly to find out kosher caterer they are using to determine if it will be properly supervised.
                  Additionally, I know that Old Tappan Manor can and does book kosher events.
                  I hope this is helpful.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: HHPhotographer

                    In today's world I can see the Manor's point.A private affair is just that private; the less info given out to unknown callers the better.

                    1. re: ospreycove

                      I truly do not understand so many people feel that the kosher oversight of a particular affair is--and should be--so private. In my case, as I spelled out above, I wasn't sure if the people making this affair kept kosher, and it was because I knew so little that I didn't feel comfortable asking them directly and potentially embarrassing them. Whichever the answer was, they might have been offended that I would ask it. But what's the downside of the venue making that info available? If I had walked in the day of the affair, still unknown to the manager of the Manor, and asked to speak to the supervising rabbi to see if it was up to my standards, would it still have been a secret which I was not entitled to ask about? It is my assumption that a guest is entitled to speak to the mashgiach on the day of the affair (or at a restaurant); why would trying to obtain that info in advance be any different? That way, I wouldn't have had to worry whether I would be with or without food for six hours. I also might not have even recognized the name of the catering company or the mashgiach, but would have been stuck without any way to check it out once I was already at the hall. (No computer and might not have been able to get in touch with my rabbi.)

                      As it turns out, the caterer was a name I recognized as fine, but it was still annoying not knowing. I didn't want to eat before I went, because then I wouldn't have enjoyed the food there if it was kosher, as it turned out to be.

                      Can someone just explain why this would be such sensitive information for the hall to give out?

                      1. re: janicebaker

                        Janice,
                        To put it simply, you are (were) not in 'privity of contract' with the venue or the caterer. The venue had no right to discuss the terms of the contract between the hosts and a guest. That means all terms of the contract. It doesn't matter if you asked who is catering, is the main course beef or chicken, or how much is being charged per head?

                        Now you may feel a kashrus supervision question to be far less nosey than asking about costs, but the venue has erected a protective screen and should not violate the rights/privacy of the contracting client.

                        If you are/were close enough to be invited, then you are/were close enough to ask kashrus supervision questions of the hosts.

                        When I was married many years ago, the caterer posted a sign on the facility directory that the xxxxx wedding was in the 'Gold Ballroom' catered by YYY caterers under the supervision of the Vaad of ZZZZ.

                        We did receive some advance calls from out of town guests who only ate glatt, we were able to reaasure them that only poultry was being served and there was no such thing as Glatt poultry (my how things have changed over the years).

                        Privity of Contract is crucial in the world of business. You might portray yourself as a guest on the phone, but how does the venue know you are not a snooping competitor, or meddling inlaw?

                        1. re: bagelman01

                          Janice, In my way of thinking those who wish to do harm to the U.S.A are becoming very creative. That point is why The less info. given to unknown persons either over the phone/e-mail or in person is to everyone's potential protection.