Explaining Orthodox Practice to Non-Jews

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Purpose

Often times, the observant new hire can be uncomfortable discussing his religious practices with management and coworkers. It's best to prepare in advance.

Sample Scripts

Below are some samples of what to say to help one prepare a conversation appropriate for the situation.

Kashrut

I only eat strictly Kosher food (meaning, it comes from a restaurant with adequate Kosher supervision, such as an OU, Star-K, or Kof-K), but I'm totally comfortable not eating if it can be difficult to arrange kosher food for me each time. No need to worry whatsoever if it's not possible. My practice, however, is not to go to non-Kosher restaurants even if I'm not eating. Meaning, if there's a team lunch out, while, of course, I'd enjoy spending time outside of the office with everybody, even if I'm not eating, I'm afraid I can only attend if it's at a kosher restaurant. In short, as awesome as the Kosher cuisine is in the city, please don't damper anybody else's appetite over me.

Negia

Just to avoid any potential awkwardness: As an Observant Jew, religiously, I try to avoid unnecessary contact with women (other than my wife), including via a handshake.

Shabbat & Yom Tov

[Leaving Early the day before, not being available that day, making up the time before/after]