The kosher experience at Avanade

  • Posted on July 10, 2023
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
The kosher experience at Avanade

Vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, keto and paleo are some familiar terms that categorize the various eating habits of humans. There are many reasons why people eat a particular way, including health, religion, ethics or just personal taste – pun intended!

In the workplace food can play a significant role in bringing teams together and enhancing work culture, whether through corporate lunches or happy hour, and these are extremely memorable experiences. Still, it’s important to understand and respect that some employees follow diets that require certain rules and restrictions. Have you met a Jewish employee who observes kosher? Come along on this journey and learn more about the wonderful kosher experience Avanade has to offer.

Although many people are familiar with the kosher diet by name, due to its complexity it is not well understood. Kosher is a dietary restriction observed by people of the Jewish faith. It is a commandment from the Torah (Hebrew Bible) which contains a set of intricate laws regarding what is and is not permissible to eat as well as the rules on how food should be prepared and consumed. For example, you will find that a person who observes kosher will only eat dairy foods separate from meat foods, as there is a biblical law to not eat milk and meat together. This restriction extends to utensils and dishes as well, meaning dishes and utensils used to handle meat foods cannot be used for dairy foods and vice versa.

For comparison, think of someone who is severely allergic to nuts. The food consumed must not contain a trace of nuts – or even come in contact with any nuts – and the same with utensils and dishes. Similarly, when someone keeps a strictly kosher diet, it is important to be cognizant and sensitive to their food consumption needs as well.

The Jewish Employee Network (JEN) has been an incredible resource in creating the kosher experience at Avanade, offering online guides for understanding the kosher diet as well as lists of kosher restaurants located near our different Avanade offices across North America. Employees who require kosher accommodations can also reach out to JEN ahead of happy hours and office lunches, and members will happily provide a list of kosher restaurants to order from. JEN has been instrumental in organizing kosher options during in-person events to ensure Jewish employees who require kosher food feel included and comfortable.

As an Avanade employee who works out of the One Manhattan West Office in NYC, I am grateful for the many kosher options available. I can walk to the bodega on floor 65 and purchase a delicious sandwich or salad that is packaged and clearly labeled with a kosher certification while also taking advantage of the free kosher snacks available on each floor.

My favorite Avanade kosher experience thus far was attending the welcome lunch in the office for the new Northeast General Manager, Robert Goegele. The lunch was a nice spread of sandwiches and other brunch-like food; however, it was not kosher. Instead, thanks to JEN, I received a kosher executive lunch box that was specially ordered for me. Though it was unique looking to say the least and closely resembled a glorified version of an airplane meal with all the wrappings and different compartments of food, it was still quite an amazing feeling to be able to connect with colleagues over a meal that I can fully partake in without any compromise to my religious values. Avanade is a place where community and diversity go hand in hand. Coming to work while remaining true to yourself and to your religious beliefs and practices is not a hindrance for connection, but it is very much celebrated and supported.

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