China's Jews Face Kosher Food Shortage

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CBNNews.com - BEIJING - The Chinese Jewish community, which consists of a few thousand Jews living in Shanghai and Beijing, is facing a severe shortage of kosher food, ahead of temporary restrictions on imports before and during the Olympics.

"There is severe shortage in kosher food due to the new restrictions. This shortage is expected to last at least until the games are over," said Rabbi David Moskowitz, administrator of the SKS (Shatz Kosher Services), a kashrut organization importing kosher food to China.

The Chinese government placed restrictions on imports and tightened the process for obtaining visas for security reasons. This means that tourists who are able to obtain a visa still risk having their luggage confiscated if they are caught bringing in kosher food.

Even if kosher food arrives in China, preparations for the Olympic Games have made it nearly impossible to find trucks to transport it.

"The Olympics have been causing great difficulties for us too. Even rabbis who handle kashrut and can make foods currently sold in markets kosher cannot get a visa to China due to Olympics-related security reasons, which have made the [visa] criteria tougher," Rabbi Moskovitz said.

To get kosher food into the country, people will need a special import permit and sanctioned inspections. Until the games are over, members of the community who keep the Jewish dietary laws will have to use what kosher food is left in their pantries.

Source: Ynet News

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