Food Policy

“Our Sages taught: One may not buy wool, milk or kids from shepherds, nor may one buy wood or fruit from the watchman of orchards...In all cases in which the seller asks that the goods be hidden, it is forbidden.”

Mishnah, Masekhet Bava Kama 10:9

Jewish tradition urges us to keep a healthy skepticism about the sourcing of our goods and strive for ethical consumption. JIFA is ready to work with your community to help you establish your own values-based food practices.

Establish a policy

Through our Leadership Circle and DefaultVeg programs, JIFA provides resources to support reducing the amount of animal products served, buying more plant-based products, buying higher welfare animal products, and establishing long-term commitments to sustainable, ethical food with institutional policies.

JIFA Leadership Circle

The JIFA Leadership Circle leverages the buying power of institutions—synagogues, Hillels, camps, JCCs, schools, food service and catering companies—to align supply chains with institutional values and change the way animals are raised for food. JIFA provides a tailored approach to working with Jewish institutions and offer hands-on consulting, free of charge.


DefaultVeg is simple—make plant-based food the default and give people the choice to opt in for meals with animal products. DefaultVeg is inclusive, reduces your carbon footprint, and increases the healthfulness of your meals.

The strategies

Replace animal products and buy plant-based

JIFA encourages institutions to reduce, replace, and refine their sources of animal-based food products wherever possible. Institutions have the opportunity to improve animal welfare, environmental impact, and public health by increasing the amount of plant-based protein served at every meal. Contact us to learn how you can start purchasing more plant-based products at your institution.

Buy higher welfare

If we could visit each and every farm that raised and slaughtered the animals we eat, we might have the information we need to make informed food choices. While it is possible to selectively eat products from animals raised outside the factory system, doing so is difficult because most labels are misleading or meaningless—even a kosher certification does not guarantee that animals were spared the worst abuses in industrialized farms and slaughter plants. The good news is that our communities can leverage their buying power to create a kinder and more resilient food system by supporting truly higher welfare practices and sourcing fewer animal products overall. Contact us to learn how you can start purchasing higher welfare at your institution and sign up to stay up to date on the latest animal welfare certification news.