July 1, 1997

CHARTER: rec.food.cuisine.jewish

Rec.food.cuisine.jewish is for the discussion of various aspects of Jewish food. These include: sharing of recipes from Jewish ethnic streams (Sephardic, Ashkenazic, Yemenite, etc.) and communities around the world; adaptation of classic Jewish recipes to current lifestyle demands, such as the problems often faced by vegans and vegetarians during Passover; adaptation of new recipes to the requirements of keeping a kosher kitchen; Sabbath, holiday and holy day cooking and cuisine; recipes and menus for life-cycle celebrations (births, Bar/Bat Mitzva, weddings); sourcing suppliers, delicatessens and restaurants (locations, specialties, reviews and recipes); Jewish cooking history, traditions, cookbooks and related reference materials.

While Jewish food is not implicitly kosher, the entire cuisine has been influenced by "kashruth" (the Jewish dietary laws of keeping kosher). Discussions may, thus, also include tips on setting up a kosher kitchen, kosher-food preparation, recipes, ingredient substitutions in non-kosher recipes, techniques, existence of rabbinic approval or labeling of specific food products, keeping kosher when traveling, kosher restaurants, caterers and hotels. Since levels of "kashruth" observance and authority vary, interpretation of the religious laws is beyond the scope of this newsgroup. Such questions should be taken up with one's own religious ("halakhic") authority.

Recipes posted to the newsgroup are expected to respect the basic framework of the Jewish dietary laws: no recipes calling for pork or pork products, shellfish, catfish or crustaceans, and no recipes mixing meat or poultry with dairy products. A FAQ providing detailed guidelines will be posted periodically to the newsgroup and will be maintained at an accessible site.

It is expected that sensitivity will be exhibited both by those who observe the Jewish dietary laws and those who do not, a tolerant approach which gives offense to no one along the spectrum of observance. It should also be recognized that contributors to postings and discussions are not necessarily even Jewish, but are attracted to these topics by either an enjoyment of Jewish and "kosher-style" food or the similarity of the Jewish dietary laws to those of their religion. In consideration of all these points, inflammatory postings about one's degree of observance or the philosophical merits of "kashruth" are strictly outside this group's framework.

While group participants may sometimes anecdotally address points about the religious dietary laws in reference to a specific recipe (e.g., how to adapt a recipe to conform with religious dictates), specialized discussions of the laws will be referred to soc.culture.jewish.

Vegetarian recipes which are non-meat versions of traditional Jewish dishes, or which are a classic element in certain Jewish-food traditions (such as Yemenite and Sephardic), or which are a particular complement to the cuisine, in general, may be posted to this group. Other recipes and issues related to vegetarian or vegan lifestyle should be posted to the appropriate Usenet groups devoted to these subjects. An exception to this would be messages which specifically refer to Jewish food or matters which are pertinent to adapting such lifestyle choices to fall within the restrictions of Jewish holidays, such as Passover.

Rec.food.cuisine.jewish is a lightly moderated group. The experience of the Jewish-Food list has proven that little intervention by a moderator is required among individuals who are genuinely interested in the defined focus of this group.

A minimal amount of moderation is desirable, however, to preclude posting of messages containing anti-Semitic or other inflammatory diatribes, vulgarity, commercial advertisements which do not relate to Jewish food in any way, posts which attempt to coerce anyone to alter their spiritual practices, get-rich-quick schemes and similar spam, messages which have been known to perpetuate such urban myths as the Neiman-Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe, cross-posts to other groups, and posts from anonymous addresses.

The primary moderation tool, therefore, will be a proven program <http://www.algebra.com/~ichudov/usenet/scrm/robomod/robomod.html> which will let most messages through to the group automatically, while directing a few to human moderators. If, after review, they are deemed appropriate for the newsgroup, those posts will be forwarded to the group by the moderators.

The moderators will not be responsible for forwarding inappropriate messages to alternate groups. It will be the responsibility of the individual poster to resubmit inappropriate messages to group(s) which may permit such submissions.

An initial panel of at least three moderators, drawn from among active members of the Jewish-Food list and moderated newsgroups, will be responsible for overseeing the correct functioning of the program and the harmony of the group. Their first act of business will be to create a pool of alternate moderators consisting of at least two people who will be asked to serve in the event there is a temporary vacancy on the panel. Additional or replacement moderators may be added, if necessary, by majority agreement of the panel of acting moderators. Anyone whom this body wishes to approach is eligible to serve as a moderator or an alternate. An exception to this would be any current or former proponent of rec.food.cuisine.jewish, who will be barred from assuming the role of moderator or alternate for a period of one year.

The auto-moderation program will initially recognize participants as known posters and propagate their submissions automatically and without delay. Adherence to the group's charter assures that participants will remain in the known-poster base. Repeated violation of the group's charter, however, will be considered grounds for removing an individual from the known-poster base. All further posts by that individual will be reviewed by a moderator before being posted to the newsgroup until such time as a majority of the moderators feels this is no longer necessary. If the problems continue, the poster may be blocked from participation in the newsgroup, by unanimous agreement of the moderators. Flagrantly offensive posts may result in an individual being barred from the newsgroup immediately, again by unanimous agreement of the moderators. An individual thus blocked from participation may apply for reinstatement as an acceptable poster. Such reinstatement will require a majority agreement among the moderators.