WASHINGTON — After 3 years of partisan squabbling, the U.S. Senate followed the House and passed a landmark FARM Bill. The measure will now go to the President for his signature. Among its many provisions is a call to the Secretary of Agriculture to implement a plan that increases the purchase of certified kosher and halal foods in the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), a major program to alleviate hunger. It also calls for new labeling that will allow entities that participate in the program - such as food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens --to better identify kosher and halal foods.
SOCHI, RUSSIA — Rabbi Ari Edelkopf of the Sochi Jewish community says that Chabad in Russia has been preparing to serve the thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish visitors who are in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Ever since Sochi was selected back in 2007 to host the games, Rabbi Berel Lazar, the chief rabbi of Russia and chairman of the Rabbinical Alliance of the Former Soviet Union, has been working closely with government officials and event organizers to ensure that Chabad’s programs and offerings are seamlessly incorporated into visitors’ experiences. Rabbi Edelkopf expects to serve some 7000 kosher meals. In addition to the three-story Jewish Community Center located in the city center, Edelkopf says there will be two temporary Chabad Houses strategically placed throughout the region.