ADMINISTRIVIA and Posting Guidelines for

Welcome to!

This file is posted to the newsgroup at least monthly. It also can be viewed at:

For your information, the following headers are attached to all posts which appear in the newsgroup (not necessarily seen by all newsreaders):

X-RFCJ-Info-1: Send submissions to                 
X-RFCJ-Info-2: Send technical complaints to    
X-RFCJ-Info-3: Send moderation policy queries to
X-Comment: moderators do not necessarily agree or disagree with this article.
X-Warning: Express permission of poster is required for re-posting.
X-Robomod: STUMP, (Igor Chudov), C++/Perl/Unix Consulting

    [end of headers]

The robo-moderation system is in place and operating effectively. Until some "fine tuning" is effected, however, some legitimate submissions may still require vetting by a moderator. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.        

This newsgroup,, was established for the purpose of discussing Jewish cuisine and cooking in all of the contexts that food plays a role. The parameters and definitions of acceptable posts are outlined below.
We respect the rights of posters to choose in which forum their work will be published. We ask, therefore, that readers not disseminate, repost, or forward any posts from this group to other lists, newsgroups, bulletin boards, or archives.

Proper "Netiquette" calls for permission to be obtained from the original submitter, before such material is re-posted or in any way archived in an accessible site.

As might be expected, the reverse holds true, as well. Internet  convention calls for posting a "pointer" as to where interesting or relevant information may be found [e.g.: "You can find some recipes for such-and-such at"]

The recipes submitted to rfcj are archived and can be found at The administrators of the group recognize the integrity of each individual's rights to her/his submitted material. If and when it is decided to create a recipe archive, any request to have a recipe removed from such archive will always be honored without question or other discussion. The current members of the administrative board undertake to abide by this guideline, and it is hoped that future administrators will be of a similar moral outlook.

The recipes posted appear as submitted, without editing. They are not kitchen-tested in any way. It is assumed readers are familiar with cooking/baking techniques and the appropriateness of ingredients to make their own decisions about the potential success of a recipe. The moderators and board of neither take responsibility for nor guarantee the outcome of recipes posted.

Please give appropriate attribution for the source of a recipe, such as cookbook and author, magazine, newspaper, or the like.

Before You Post

Users new to the Internet are strongly encouraged to read the informational articles in the <news.announce.newusers> newsgroup to familiarize themselves with the conventions of participation in Usenet newsgroups. The following articles are particularly helpful:

Please note the following:
  • Usenet standards call for a .sig to be no more than four lines in length (including spaces/blank lines). Moderators may return posts with excessively long .sigs for reworking.

  •  Please post in plain text.

  •  Encoded binary files are not allowed.

  •  Attachments are not allowed.


    Posting and Administration

    Submissions to can be posted via the newsgroup OR can be emailed to the following posting address:


    Administrative questions should be emailed to:

    Moderation-policy queries should be emailed to:

    Useful FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)

    A Kosher-Food FAQ for is posted monthly to the newsgroup. It can be viewed at:

    The FAQ and conversion file, maintained by Amy Gale, is posted on the 10th of every month to,, rec.answers and news.answers. It can also be retrieved from the FAQ archives at:
 (plain text) or

    The soc.culture.jewish newsgroup maintains an extensive copyrighted FAQ (in 11 parts) dealing with myriad facets of Judaism. All portions of the FAQ may be accessed via:


    Official Charter

    The charter may be viewed at:

    Participants in the newsgroup are expected to comply with the provisions of the charter. All who do will automatically be included in the base of recognized posters utilized by the moderation program ("robot"). The following explanations and guidelines are based on the provisions of the charter.


    Since rfcj is intended to be only lightly moderated, a computer program serves as a robot moderator, permitting spontaneous posting of the majority of submissions to the newsgroup. It is believed that little intervention by a moderator is required among individuals who are genuinely interested in the defined focus of this group.

    Submissions which are filtered out by the program will be examined by the panel of moderators, who will receive posts from the robot randomly and in rotation for "hand moderation." Moderators will make every effort to propagate hand-moderated posts onto the newsgroup within 48 hours, excluding the Jewish Sabbath, festivals and holidays.

    What is Appropriate

    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 is posted periodically to the newsgroup and may be viewed at

    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.

    Appropriate posting and discussion 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.

  •  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.

    NOTE: 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.

    If someone has a question about the appropriateness of an article, the participant may ask one of the moderators to review the article for suggestions in advance of posting. (Moderator's addresses can be found at the end of this document.)


    Moderation is intended to preclude posting of messages containing anti-Semitic or other inflammatory diatribes, insults against other posters (directly or by innuendo), 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.

    It is expected that regular and conscientious participants in the newsgroup will moderate themselves, on the basis of the charter. The automoderation program is expected to help weed out the most troublesome violations.

    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.

    The automoderation software for this newsgroup sorts and filters posts on three levels, based on the newsgroup charter. These levels and the associated actions are as follows:

    1. Automatic acceptance: Most posts will be accepted automatically and posted immediately.

    2. Hand moderation: Some posts will be selected for hand-moderation, based upon the criteria detailed below, and sent at random to one of the moderators.

    3. Automatic rejection: In extreme cases, posts from repeatedly or flagrantly abusive posters will automatically be rejected, based upon the criteria detailed below.

    Acceptance of a Post by the Moderation Panel

    1. The moderators do not pass judgment on the value of submissions, as long as the article adheres to the principles defined in the rfcj charter. (See

    2. The moderators do not judge the relative merits of recipes or articles; they only ascertain whether the ingredients accord with Jewish dietary laws.

    3. Approval for propagation implies neither an endorsement nor any sort of official recognition of the recipe or article on any level.

    4. The suggestion by a moderator of a topic subject also does not imply an official endorsement.

    Bases for Hand-Moderation

    The following categories of posts will be selected by the automoderation software for hand-moderation,  and then sent at random to one of the moderators for review:

    1. Posts containing key words or phrases known to signal topics which are contrary to this newsgroup's charter. The program used for moderation   (variously referred to as the robot, robomoderator, or ‘bot) has been keyed to filter out or "flag" submissions containing words which might indicate that the post contains material of a racist or sexual nature, unkosher ingredients, advertising, or a number of other undesirable concepts.

    2. Posts sent by users who, due to non-compliance with this newsgroup's charter, have been placed on the list of posters requiring hand-moderation (criteria detailed below).

    These are meant as simplistic, automatable rules for attempting to catch the most serious breaches of the newsgroup's charter and preventing their propagation to the newsgroup. Moderators may also intervene in threads as they develop, by adding comments to the thread, as they see appropriate.

    For example: Since posts and threads may sometimes evolve into discussions which are significantly off-charter or diverge from the newsgroup's purpose, moderators may post a caution within such a thread, asking that it be moved to a different newsgroup or discussed via personal e-mail. If enforcement becomes necessary, the moderators may temporarily place the participants and/or the relevant key phrases on the hand-moderation list.

    We ascribe to the democratic precept of freedom of expression and aspire to permit a free flow within the parameters defined by the charter. That also implies a standard of polite discourse. To assure such an environment, the moderators have the right to ask participants to maintain a respectful attitude in articles, even when they are strongly disagreeing with each other.

    As an extreme measure, the board may insist that a thread which is attracting more than its share of uncivil comments be discontinued.

    Notification of Hand-Moderation

    Upon selection for hand-moderation, the poster will receive an automatically generated acknowledgment that the post was selected for hand moderation.

    A notice of acceptance or rejection will be transmitted after moderation.  A rejection will also include a statement regarding the right to appeal the decision.

    Procedures for Unacceptable Posts

    The following categories of posts are deemed unequivocally unacceptable per rfcj charter:

    1a.Inflammatory posts which include, but are not limited to, posts that insult other posters, by name or by innuendo, and posts which gratuitously state or imply that other posters are anti-Semitic.

       Any poster who repeatedly posts remarks in this category will be placed on hand-moderated status. Before a poster can be placed on hand-moderated status, the poster must be sent a letter warning him/her that he/she is at risk of being placed on hand-moderation.

    1b. Posts containing racial, ethnic, or cultural slurs, and posts making defamatory attacks on another newsgroup participant.

        Anyone who sends a posting in this category will be placed on perpetual auto-reject status. Appeals will be considered only after a year has elapsed.

    2. Posts cross-posted to other newsgroups

       These posts will always be caught by the automoderation program. Innocent crossposts will be returned to the poster, who will be given the option to repost to this newsgroup separately. A repeat offender will be placed on hand-moderation status and notified of this action. Senders of abusive crossposts (such as those to large numbers of unrelated newsgroups) will be put on auto-reject status by unanimous agreement of the moderators.

    3. Commercial posts with no relevance to Jewish food

       Senders of more than one post in this category will be added to the hand-moderation list and sent an e-mail message notifying them of  the unacceptability of the posts and the sender's new hand-moderated status, if appropriate.

    A poster put on hand-moderation status will be returned to auto-accept status when a majority of the moderators feels that this is appropriate.

    Three such postings by the same poster will put the poster on auto-reject status for six (6)  months. At the end of that period, the poster may apply to the board for reinstatement.

    After any period on auto-reject status, a poster is placed on hand-moderation status for thirty (30) days. If no posts from the
    individual are considered objectionable during those 30 days, the individual will be returned to auto-accept status.

    In addition, if deemed necessary by the board, an entire domain may be placed on hand-moderation status. Such a decision might be taken if an abusive poster controls a domain and/or has the ability to create new accounts or screen names from a particular domain at will.


    Should a poster feel that the rejection of a post was in error or that extenuating circumstances exist, the individual can appeal to the moderators by writing to the rfcj board rfcj board.

    The moderators will discuss the arguments and/or extenuating circumstances set forth by the author.

    A two-thirds majority will be required to sustain or overrule the rejection. In the absence of a clear majority, the original decision will stand. The poster will be informed of the outcome of the vote.

    Administration: Moderators, Alternates, Board Members

            Brian Mailman <>
            Danny Magill <>
            Maxine L. Wolfson <MLW@MATH.AMS.ORG>

    Alternate Moderators:
            Claudia Parras <>
            Elaine Radis <>
            Karen Selwyn <>

            Beth Greenfeld <>, board member
            Ruth Heiges <>, board member
            Andrea Herrera <>, moderation advisor
            Mimi Hiller <>, board member (on leave of absence)
            Robyn Kozierok <>, technical advisor

    Beth Greenfeld, on behalf of The Board,
    4 August, 1998