Back to All Events

Are We Kitniyot Consumers? A Question of Self-Definition

  • Congregation Shaare Zedek 212 W. 93rd Street New York, NY 10025 (map)

Please register below.

Rabbi Avram Israel Reisner will present and discuss a teshuvah (rabbinic legal decision) he co-authored, passed in November 2015 by the Conservative Movement's Committee of Jewish Law and Standards, permitting Ashkenazim in this country to eat kitniyot on Pesach.

For several hundred years, the custom among Jews of Ashkenazic descent has been to prohibit kitniyot -- a category of food including legumes, rice, corn, and seeds -- on Pesach, like chametz. Particularly in Israel, more Ashkenazi Jews have begun to allow such products, under the example of the Sephardim who eat kitniyot on Pesach and in the face of products with certification for Pesach "for those who eat kitniyot". Twenty years ago, arguing in favor of "mizzug galuyot" -- the need to unite the communities of Sephardim and Ashkenazim in Israel -- the Masorti Movement in Israel approved a teshuvah that permits kitniyot for Ashkenazim living in Israel. Just this year, the Conservative Movement approved Rabbi Amy Levin and Rabbi Reisner's teshuvah on the same subject for American Jews.

What does this all mean for us? Come learn more about the logic behind this decision and how it might affect your Pesach observance.

Moderated by Shaare Zedek's Rabbi Jonah Geffen. Presented in partnership with Hazon.

Rabbi Reisner is the rabbi emeritus of Congregation Chevrei Tzedek in Baltimore, MD, an Adjunct Professor at the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University, and Visiting Adjunct Professor of Interfaith Studies at St. Mary's Ecumenical Institute Seminary & University. He was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1977 and earned a PhD in Talmud and Rabbinics there in 1996, as well as an MA in Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. He is a member of longstanding on the Conservative Movement’s Committee of Jewish Law and Standards. Rabbi Reisner serves as chair of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission.

Please register for this free talk with Rabbi Reisner:

Name 1 *
Name 1
Name 2
Name 2

Click here to make a donation in support of community learning events at Shaare Zedek.