August 20, 2019

Spade of Prison Converts to Judaism to Receive Good Food: Kosher

Edinburgh…Of all the strange things ever reported in the world of kosher, the Daily Mail in Scotland probably is on top or near the top. The paper reported on a spade of “new Jews” in the prison system. The Daily Mail reports that “inspectors demanded an urgent investigation after a surge in Scottish prisoners identifying as Jewish - ostensibly to receive 'better quality' kosher food.” Two years ago, inspectors demanded an urgent investigation into skyrocketing food budgets – with more than 100 offenders on a strictly-kosher diet at HMP Edinburgh alone. In 2016, only nine inmates across Scotland identified as Jewish. The ploy to receive kosher meals – which cost the service roughly twice as much as regular food – is thought to have been inspired by a storyline in prison drama Orange is the New Black. According to the Daily Mail, HMP Edinburgh spent almost £1 million on kosher food in 2017.A prison source said: “The number of Jewish prisoners is negligible — I think we had two in 2014. Ever since one guy converted to Judaism, we’ve seen a huge rise in the number claiming to be Jewish as they saw the meals were better.”The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) said new guidelines have been put in place relating to the process of declaring a religious conversion, resulting in a fall in the number of people receiving kosher meals of approximately 75 per cent.