Kitniyot for Sepharadim in America - It's About Time
Israeli readers have long known about Kashrut organizations marking their products "Kasher LePesah Le'Ochelei Kitniyot". This symbol has confused/disappointed/angered Israeli Ashkenazim, but is great for Israeli Sepharadim.
In America, just the opposite has been true. All Pesah Kashrut symbols have been stringent for Ashkenazim only, which is important, as they are the majority. However, it leaves us Sepharadim out in the cold. Was it so bad not having Kitniyot for 8 days? Not really, but why take on a Humra that you don't need to just because it's not available? It definitely felt like Sepharadim were treated as second-class as far as our Kashrut needs.
B"H, as the Sephardic community in America has grown, the Kashrut organizations have become more sophisticated. A few weeks ago, we were told about the Star-S which is the brand new Sephardic Kashrut symbol by the Star-K. And last week, I noticed that the OU is now coming out with OU-Kitniyot.
As the situation is definitely improving, and I am grateful for that, things are still not perfect for Sepharadim Kashrut-wise and there is still work that could be done that would make it easier for us. For example, Beit Yosef meat is available, but not always easy to find. Also, having all restaurants hiring a Jew to put food into the ovens would be nice. (I guess that's a dream.) But, the improvement is noted.