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Oct 21, 2013 08:14 AM

Very disapointed in the Jewish Museam in Philly's good offerings:(

Philadelphia DOES have decent Kosher food, but for some stupid reason the JEWISH Museam does not feel the need to serve much:(
My husband and I went yesterday to see a particular exibit- which was super important to me to see_ the Ezra Jack Keats exibit which closed yesterday. One of his books was a childhood favorate and I HAD to see the show. The show was good ad mostly informative save the anoying docent who walked around spouting out stuff to anyone who was near her:( The screaming child was less irritating.
Our schedule for the day was tight so I had decided beofre going that we'd grab lunch in ther cafe. I am really glad we ill et "out" as the cfe was super disapointing for the Kosher consumer. They offer both Kosher and no kosher pre packaged foods. On the postive side- they did pick to use providers from GOOD places in Philly_ the non Kosher foods had a sticker on from Di Brunos (NOT Kosher) and from whzt I understand they are a GOOD place, The Kosher foods came fom a fav place of mine- YUM and a very reliable hecture so I belive most people would be happy eatting these sandwhiches
Is it really too much to ask for a JEWISH institution to have KOSHER food other than some prepackeaged sandwhiches that may have been made on Friday or even before?.
My suggestion is if you plan to go to the museam- which is just OK IMO- plan to have lunch else where if you want Kosher. It felt to me that the Kosher food was more of a last minute guesture to be kind to the tourists:(

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  1. The issue was being open on Shabbat for the museum and catered events. The museum decided it needed to increase it's revenue by competing with other venues for Friday night/Saturday events and possibly even with a non-kosher caterer. That meant that the museum lost hashgacha overall and the cafe's only kosher option is to serve the sandwiches that you had.

    Unless some donors want to step in and make up the revenue to let the museum close on Shabbat I think the museum may have done the best it can do by buying the best packaged sandwiches available.

    7 Replies
    1. re: avitrek

      I kept getting a feel of we need to cater to non Jews whe just exploring the museam. The chikldren's activity where they plan to make HOLIDAY cards around Hanukah was absolutely disgusting! A child should be allowed to make a crd for any winter holiday they wish, but at a Jewish Museam, why not atleast MENTON making Hanukkah cards!
      I bet at the African American Museam they have a Kwanza card making activity and wont tell a Jewish child they cant make a Hannuka card and probably have haukkah supplies available so why does teh Jewish museam have to try to be so inclusive to diversity?
      I was super disapointed and have been each time I have been to the new location.

      1. re: ThePrettypoodle

        Ok.I don't get it. What's wrong with holiday cards?

        And fwiw at least there was kosher (edible) food! I've never been to the museum, but it seems like they want to attract a diverse crowd. It's a shame it can't have fully kosher restaurant, but at least there was something

        1. re: cheesecake17

          Holiday is thr PC term for Christmas. Trees that isn the past were called Christmass tress , be cause they werec elebrating CHRISTMAS hsave now been rensamed Holdiay Trees to be more inclusive. Uh I may be wrong but as far as I know ONLY Chritains do trees for their Decembe rholiday. Yeah some may be done well and be pretty and I do get a HUGE lick from seeing the lights hung on homes for Christmas, but they are NOT for a generic reason. They are a part of as particular religious holiday.
          The kosher food was a pathetic gesture IMO. If it had been offered at say the Franklin Institute it would hsave been lovely IMO- at the JEWISH museam it was a joke:(
          If the musesm is going to be run this way it dshould not be called a Jewish museam but insted they need to just say what it is- a Cultural site and NOT a historical site:(

          1. re: ThePrettypoodle

            For a museum to have kids decorate "holiday" cards doesn't bother me in the least. If its a blank card and the kids are offered a range of materials to design their cards, that's fine. If the card has a big Xmas tree on it, that's not.

            Seems to me that the museum is looking to attract a diverse group of people to view it's exhibits. The sad choice of lunch is a shame, but at least there was something offered. A lot of Jews/nonJews today don't necessarily think that Jewish=Kosher

          2. re: cheesecake17

            Come to think of it- I am surprised the Kosher food they sell there is even sold there as I know for a fact that one of the rabbis behind the supervision wont certify a place that is open on Shabbas.
            Plus the exibits are lacking and contain MAJOR flaws
            - it is a sad joke:(

            1. re: ThePrettypoodle

              I used to intern at the Jewish Museum in NY. It was the same sort of thing. Being on the inside was enlightening in a bad way. I have no problem with being diverse (Orthodox Jews are in fact the minority so I'm cool with not being targeted), but I felt--working in the education department--was that we were missing PRIDE. Pride and the imperative to reach and teach Jewish children (of all stripes) and non-Jewish children how rich and complex Judaism is. Part of pride would be providing good quality kosher food (as Kosher is a culturally Jewish phenomenon even if you don't keep Kosher). While I loved working in a museum, I hated working in the Jewish museum because I felt sad every single day about the missed opportunities.

              1. re: ThePrettypoodle

                If they are packaged goods, the rabbis behind the certification have absolutely nothing to do with when it is sold. The OU certifies about a third to a half (??-just a guess, really) of the offerings in any regular supermarket, which are sold on shabbat, because the rabbis are not certifying the place of sale, just the food. That's exactly the same with the packaged goods being sold at the museum.

        2. I totally agree. We were there last August and were also quite surprised at the very small selection of ho-hum (egg salad sandwiches type) kosher food available. We ended up not buying anything though it had been our plan to eat lunch there.
          The rest of the food was, thankfully, not of the ham and pork variety, and would probably be acceptable to people who eat out dairy and vegetarian without a hechsher.
          I understand that they can't have the sort of hashgacha that a place closed on Shabbos gets, but they should certainly get all their food from a kosher place.

          1 Reply
          1. re: helou

            Thank you for feeling the same way. I agree a less acceptable hecture would ahve been the better choice- but NO they had to use a rather well known TRAIF place known for its yummy food. What idiots:( It chsnged put plans and loss revenue too for them. IDIOTS!

            1. re: avitrek

              Th article is interesting. It is sad that these things even happened, but Iguess the all mightly dollar is the most important thing and the Jewish part is just a nice afterthought:( Quite honestly it all sucks nd reminds me of Federation who seem to just use the word Jewish as a marketing tool with little to no consideration of Jewish values.

            2. The museum itself seemed to focus on non-Orthodox Judaism, and my husband and I seemed to stand out because we were dressed "visibly Jewish" on our recent trip there. While I wish that the museum would be shomer Shabbat and Kosher, it seems that it really isn't geared toward religious people. I really felt like a minority there.

              2 Replies
              1. re: PotatoPuff

                I may be the least observant person on this board and was shocked at the un Jewishness of this place. If I didnt know better I wouyld guess it was run by Federation, which is a Jewish institution in name only IMO. I am all for diversirty and inclusivness, but they take it all to a new level and it is NOT good:( I really doubt any other "ethnic" museam is like this.

                1. re: ThePrettypoodle

                  I have been to the African American museum up the street and the Jewish museum is about 100x nicer and more educational. I don't think they even have a cafe there.

                  As to your comment above -- actually this IS a historical museum, not a cultural center. That's why appeasing frum sensibilities is not their number one priority. They are telling the story of Jews in America to a diverse audience and this is important. Why else put a big fancy building on independence mall?