Moshe Katzav’s visit to Poland last week was strictly kosher.
For the first time, the kitchens of the Presidential Palace and of the Belweder Palace, the "Polish White House," were koshered in honor of the Israeli president’s state visit to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
Rabbi Michael Schudrich, who serves as the rabbi of Warsaw, oversaw the ritual koshering process together with a staff of four mashgichim, or kosher supervisors. In the Presidential Palace the team checked all the ingredients and oversaw all the cooking and serving of the food. They koshered the pots and cutlery, too. The palace provided new plates and pans.
Katzav eats only kosher food, so the Israeli Presidential Chancellery requested that Rabbi Schudrich also kosher the guest kitchen at the Belweder Palace, where visiting heads of state reside, and ensure the kashrut of food served to Katzav. The Belweder also provided new plates and pans while the pots and cutlery were koshered, Rabbi Schudrich said.
The state dinner was attended by leading Polish politicians, Israeli leaders, members of the local Jewish community and visiting rabbis.
"What a unique and historic event to be standing in the same room as where the Warsaw Pact was signed in 1956, listening to the ‘Hatikvah’ being played in the presence of the presidents of Israel and Poland at a strictly kosher meal which also commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising," Rabbi Schudrich said.