|Died||February 10, 1970 99)(aged|
Tobias Geffen (Hebrew : טוביה גפן; August 1, 1870 – February 10, 1970) was an American Orthodox rabbi. He served as the leader of Congregation Shearith Israel in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1910 to 1970. Geffen is widely known for his 1935 decision that certified Coca-Cola as kosher.
Geffen was born on August 1, 1870, in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas (called Kovno at the time, part of the Russian Empire).He was ordained by Rabbis Tzvi Rabinowitz of Kovno and Moshe Danishevsky of the Slobodka Yeshivah.
He immigrated to the United States in 1903 and became rabbi of New York's Congregation Ahavat Zedek in New York City.Because of the cramped tenement conditions, he moved to Canton, Ohio, in 1907 to become the rabbi of a small synagogue. He was successful in uniting the community in Canton, but had some health problems. His doctor recommended he move to a warmer climate. Heeding this advice, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1910, where he served as rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel until his death at age 99.
Geffen organized the first Hebrew school in Atlanta in his own home, as the synagogue could not support a full school.He also initiated a daily community class in Talmud. Geffen also standardized regulation of kosher supervision in the Atlanta area under his central authority. He was the leader of the Southern division of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis.
Geffen published eight books of Talmudic and Biblical exegesis.He died on February 10, 1970.
Since he lived in Atlanta near The Coca-Cola Company's headquarters, Geffen received many inquiries from rabbis across the United States inquiring whether Coca-Cola was kosher and whether it was kosher for Passover.He asked the company for a list of the beverage's ingredients. Geffen was provided with the Coca-Cola formula, a closely guarded trade secret, on the condition that he not disclose the formula.
Geffen discovered that one ingredient was glycerin produced from tallow from non-kosher beef.He convinced the company to substitute a vegetable-based glycerin.
A similar problem presented itself concerning the use of Coca-Cola during Passover, when Jews are not permitted to consume products derived from grains.One of the sweeteners used in Coca-Cola included traces of alcohol produced from grain, rendering the drink impermissible during Passover. The company's chemists found that a sweetener made from cane sugar and beet sugar could be used without changing the beverage's flavor.
Satisfied that Coca-Cola's ingredients were kosher, Geffen issued a responsum in 1935 that Coca-Cola was kosher for year-round consumption."With the help of God, I have been able to uncover a pragmatic solution according to which there would be no question nor any doubt concerning the ingredients of Coca Cola", he wrote. "It is now possible for the most stringent Halachist to enjoy Coca Cola throughout the year and on Passover."
Kashrut is a set of dietary laws dealing with the foods that Jewish people are permitted to eat and how those foods must be prepared according to Jewish law. Food that may be consumed is deemed kosher, from the Ashkenazic pronunciation (KUHsher) of the Hebrew kashér, meaning "fit".
Kitniyot is a Hebrew word meaning legumes. During the Passover holiday, however, the word kitniyot takes on a broader meaning to include grains and seeds such as rice, corn, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds, in addition to legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils.
In Judaism, a ba'al teshuvah is a Jew who adopts some form of traditional religious observance after having previously followed a secular lifestyle or a less stringent form of Judaism.
The Coca-Cola Company's formula for Coca-Cola syrup, which bottlers combine with carbonated water to create the company's flagship cola soft drink, is a closely guarded trade secret. Company founder Asa Candler initiated the veil of secrecy that surrounds the formula in 1891 as a publicity, marketing, and intellectual property protection strategy. While several recipes, each purporting to be the authentic formula, have been published, the company maintains that the actual formula remains a secret, known only to a very few select employees.
Kosher wine is wine that is produced in accordance with halakha, and more specifically kashrut, such that Jews will be permitted to pronounce blessings over and drink it. This is an important issue, since wine is used in several Jewish ceremonies, especially those of Kiddush.
The Orthodox Union is one of the largest Orthodox Jewish organizations in the United States. Founded in 1898, the OU supports a network of synagogues, youth programs, Jewish and Religious Zionist advocacy programs, programs for the disabled, localized religious study programs, and international units with locations in Israel and formerly in Ukraine. The OU maintains a kosher certification service, whose circled-U hechsher symbol, U+24CAⓊCIRCLED LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U, is found on the labels of many kosher commercial and consumer food products.
Jacob Joseph served as chief rabbi of New York City's Association of American Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, a federation of Eastern European Jewish synagogues. Born in Krozhe, a province of Kovno, he studied in the Nevyozer Kloiz under Rabbi Yisrael Salanter and in the Volozhin yeshiva under the Netziv. In Volozhin, he was known as "Rav Yaakov Charif" because of his sharp mind.
The Congregation Shearith Israel – often called The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue – is the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. It was established in 1654 in New Amsterdam by Jews who arrived from Dutch Brazil. Until 1825, when Jewish immigrants from Germany established a congregation, it was the only Jewish congregation in New York City.
Magen Tzedek, originally known as Hekhsher Tzedek, is a complementary certification for kosher food produced in the United States in a way that meets Jewish Halakhic (legal) standards for workers, consumers, animals, and the environment, as understood by Conservative Judaism. Magen Tzedek certification is not a kashrut certification which certifies that food is kosher in that it meets certain requirements regarding ingredients of food and technical methods of animal slaughter, but an ethical certification complementary to conventional kosher certification.
Star-K Kosher Certification, also known as the Vaad Hakashrut of Baltimore, is a kosher certification agency based in Baltimore, Maryland, under the administration of Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, with the involvement of many other rabbis. It is one of the largest Jewish dietary certification agencies in North America. It is trusted by many Orthodox Jews worldwide for dedication to preserving Kashrut. The organization supervises tens of thousands of commercial food products and food establishments around the world.
Abraham Joseph Rice was the first ordained rabbi to serve in a rabbinical position in the United States.
Emanuel Feldman is an Orthodox Jewish rabbi and rabbi emeritus of Congregation Beth Jacob of Atlanta, Georgia. During his nearly 40 years as a congregational rabbi, he oversaw the growth of the Orthodox community in Atlanta from a community small enough to support two small Orthodox synagogues, to a community large enough to support Jewish day schools, yeshivas, girls schools and a kollel. He is a past vice-president of the Rabbinical Council of America and former editor of Tradition: The Journal of Orthodox Jewish thought published by the RCA. He is the older brother of Rabbi Aharon Feldman, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel, Baltimore, Maryland.
Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz is an American rabbi and one of North America's foremost experts on kosher food production.
Ilan Daniel Feldman is an American Orthodox Jewish rabbi, public speaker and author. Since 1991 he has been the senior rabbi and spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Jacob of Atlanta, Georgia, succeeding his father, Rabbi Dr. Emanuel Feldman, who founded and led the congregation for 39 years. Over the past 20 years Feldman has built on his father's work, bringing a community kollel to the city and nurturing the growth of Atlanta as one of the leading centers for Orthodox Jewish life in America. He is also a founding board member of the Association for Jewish Outreach Programs (AJOP).
Baruch Alter HaCohen Taub is the founding rabbi and Rabbi Emeritus of the Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto Congregation (BAYT), the largest Orthodox congregation in Canada. He also served as the de facto chief rabbi of Vaughan, Ontario, and is the former National Director of NCSY. He currently lives in Netanya, Israel.
A kosher certification agency is an organization or certifying authority that grants a hechsher to ingredients, packaged foods, beverages, and certain materials, as well as food-service providers and facilities in which kosher food is prepared or served. This certification verifies that the ingredients, production process including all machinery, and/or food-service process complies with the standards of kashrut as stipulated in the Shulchan Arukh, the benchmark of religious Jewish law. The certification agency employs mashgichim to make periodic site visits and oversee the food-production or food-service process in order to verify ongoing compliance. Each agency has its own trademarked symbol that it allows manufacturers and food-service providers to display on their products or in-store certificates; use of this symbol can be revoked for non-compliance. Each agency typically has a "certifying rabbi" who determines the exact kashrut standards to be applied and oversees their implementation.
The history of the Jews in Atlanta began in the early years of the city's settlement, and the Jewish community continues to grow today. In its early decades, the Jewish community was largely made up of German Jewish immigrants who quickly assimilated and were active in broader Atlanta society. As with the rest of Atlanta, the Jewish community was affected greatly by the American Civil War. In the late 19th century, a wave of Jewish migration from Eastern Europe brought less wealthy, Yiddish speaking Jews to the area, in stark contrast to the established Jewish community. The community was deeply impacted by the Leo Frank case in 1913–1915, which caused many to re-evaluate what it meant to be Jewish in Atlanta and the South, and largely scarred the generation of Jews in the city who lived through it. In 1958, one of the centers of Jewish life in the city, the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation, known as "The Temple" was bombed over its rabbi's support for the Civil Rights Movement. Unlike decades prior when Leo Frank was lynched, the bombing spurred an outpouring of support from the broader Atlanta community. In the last few decades, the community has steadily become one of the ten largest in the United States. As its population has risen, it has also become the Southern location of many national Jewish organizations, and today there are a multitude of Jewish institutions. The greater Atlanta area is considered to be home to the country's ninth largest Jewish population.
Orthodox Union Kosher, known as OU Kosher or OUK, is a kosher certification agency based in New York, New York. It was founded in 1923 by Abraham Goldstein. It is the certification agency of about 70% of kosher food worldwide, and is the largest of the “Big Five” major certification agencies, which include OK, Kof-K, Star-K, and CRC.
Aaron David Meldola de Sola was the first native-born Canadian rabbi. He succeeded his father Abraham de Sola as leader of the Shearith Israel synagogue in Montreal upon the latter's death in 1882.
for the other United States congregations with the same name, see Shearith Israel (disambiguation); for the historic synagogue in New York, see Shearith Israel.