April 13, 2021

Retro View of Kosher for Passover Holds Many Clues of Jewish Life in Earlier Centuries

New York…Rabbi Avrohom Marmorstein, a prominent West Side rabbi and authority on kosher enjoys gleaming through many old newspapers in his archives. He particularly enjoys looking at old ads from the UK in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Imagine an ad in the Jewish Chronicle of London in the late 1800’s that says” For Passover – A. Joseph – Rum, Shrub, Brandies and Wines – Established 1780 – Patronized by the House of Rothschild and the elite of the Jewish Community – Manufactured under strict supervision, and accompanied with Letters from the Rabbiners. – A. Joseph – None Genuine – Unless Label Bears this Signature.”- The Chronicle describes A. Joseph as “the shop is by no means a pretentious one, but it is an acknowledged fact, that the darkest cellars hold the choicest vintages. And Joseph's wines and cordials have quite an " exclusive " flavour.” The paper also covered Chaikin and Co. “The head of the firm of Chaikin and Co., of 228, Commercial Road, and 72, Brick Lane, is a Palestinian (Israeli prior to the establishment of the State of Israel) by birth, and apart from his strictly business efforts to boom Palestine wines, he is animated by a desire to popularize the best of the products of " our beloved land," as he affectionately terms it in his catalogue. He has introduced a new brand, the " Beauty of Zion," an excellent wine in several grades.


In addition to wines, the Londoners from that time had to worry about kosher milk. “Messrs. Welford and Sons, Ltd., have for many years catered for Jewish trade all the year round. At Harlesden and Willesden they have their own herd of cows, all arrangements being under proper supervision. From Mayfalr to Highbury, the Aylesbury Dairy have made arrangements for the delivery of Passover milk, so that customers need be placed to no trouble. “AS great deal of emphasis was also placed on matzos, cake, kosher butter, cheese and eggs. Chalav Yisroel was called “shomered milk” (watched or closely observed) and here we see they already emphasized the “shomer. There were restaurants like Bloom’s that sponsored a Seder and people were already going away for Passover such as in Brighton.