The International Trademark Association (INTA) is generally very good at providing Kosher food at their opening reception. Indeed, in Washington, a couple of years ago, not only was there a Kosher table, but the wine at the opening reception was Israeli (Barkan) and both Kosher and pasteurized.
As noted in this blog (here ) unfortunately this did not happen at INTA Hong Kong. The organizers, particularly the catering manager, Ms Hilary Cohen, were apologetic, but did try to make amends. She assured those of us who complained, that there would be kosher food at the finale in Disneyland.
There was indeed food signposted as being Kosher at the finale. The range was impressive and it looked delicious. I was told by some colleagues that it was indeed delicious. There were some Kashruth Observant conference members who ate it, relying on INTA’s track-record and the fact that speakers and committee members had received supervised meals during the conference. It transpired however, that the food was prepared by Disney chefs and, although the meat may have been Kosher when purchased, some was prepared with butter, and all was cooked in a non-Kosher kitchen. (More details here).
Rather than send an irate letter to the organizers, I thanked them for their efforts, and suggested that in future they ensure that in future they provide Kosher food under Rabbinical supervision, either in sealed boxes, or that an on-site Kashruth supervisor appointed by a local Beth Din. I am delighted to inform those of my readers who are concerned about such things, that INTA have taken this suggestion on board, and Kosher, supervised food will be available at future events. INTA’s letter may be found here.At smaller IP conferences I’ve attended in places as diverse as Paris, Hong Kong, Munich and Shenzhen, I’ve requested and been provided with Kosher food. In the most recent such conference, in Shenzhen, I had to inform the organizers where it could be obtained, by they made the effort and it was provided.
I wish to take this opportunity to call on the committee members for the Israel branch of the AIPPI (who did a marvelous job providing Kosher food at their event in Tel Aviv) to work with the International committee to ensure that at future AIPPI conferences, Kosher food is available. Although I have taken the issue up with international committee members myself, I believe that as far as the AIPPI is concerned, this is an issue that the Israel committee should engage in. This would be very much appreciated by the not insignificant minority of Israeli members that are bothered by such things, and also by the sizeable number of Kashruth-Observant Jewish IP professionals and academics from around the world.