London—Want to make a fancy Jewish wedding in the UK? How about the iconic Harrods Department Store? Surprisingly the world-renowned department store is now owned by the Qatari royal family—strict Wahhabi Muslims. According to the Jewish Chronicle, the Harrods’s in Knightsbridge has secured kosher certification from the Sephardic Kashrus Authority. A spokesman promises the Jewish Chronicle that “its exceptional quality and creativity will now be applied to kosher weddings.” Couples can expect lavish package offers from its shelves, including dresses, jewelry, honeymoons and even weddings inside Harrods itself. Kosher caterer Philip Small has been advising the company for two years, training staff, including chefs and senior management, on how to handle simchas.
In yet another interesting twist that involves Muslims, the Orthodox Union (OU) disputed a ruling by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel that Coca Cola produced in the village of Betunia in the West Bank was not kosher. Although the Coke does not feature kosher certification, the OU says that all Coke ingredients with the exception of sugar and water are produced in Atlanta and certified kosher. This would be the OU’s position for Coke bottled anywhere in the world. Yet, various rabbis reached by Kosher Today said that it was simply good kosher policy to accept only products like Coke with a kosher symbol. Israeli sources also told Kosher Today that they are aware of several plants in the Arab world, namely in Jordan, that have kosher certification. Kosher Todaycould not independently verify the contention.
Reprinted with permission from Kosher Today