Kosher certifications behave differently around the world.
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A new mobile app called Is It Kosher? Will help Jews around the world find kosher food wherever they go.
Started last year by people from ROI Community, Is It Kosher is a project that intends to help consumers find kosher products in any shop, all over the world. The problem for shoppers is that while there are plenty of kosher products in any ordinary supermarket, not all of them bear a kosher symbol or any other kosher identifiers.
For various reasons, a product which has Kosher certification and may have a label stating it in one area, might not carry the same label in another area, even though it is the same product.
Also, in some countries rabbinical authorities do not issue any form of official stamp or seal to packaged products they declare to be kosher, and instead only offer consumers lists of kosher products. The members of a local Jewish community may know what has kashrut certification or where to get a copy of the lists, but travelers do not.
The project gives immediate access to about 40 different resources and databases of kosher products, including those of the kashrut department of the Orthodox Union and the Star K and OK organizations.
Over the past year, ROI Community released mobile apps for Android, web browsers and iOS (March, 2014). It hreports more than 10, 000 downloads of the Android app and more than 6, 000 active users.
The Is It Kosher? project is an official application in the Netherlands. The Conference of European Rabbis has awarded the project third place in the CER Internet Entrepreneurs Contest.
They are also helping different Jewish communities around the world develop their own local databases of kosher products, which will be integrated with the app.
ROI Community is an international network of activists and change makers who are redefining Jewish engagement for a new generation of global citizens. ROI members channel a diversity of perspectives, skills and interests toward a shared passion for advancing ideas and partnerships that will strengthen Jewish communities and improve society.