An Upper West Side Synagogue Backtracks From Its Ban on Lox After Uproar

The synagogue removed lox from its menu for environmental reasons. Then came the protests.

Crackers with lox spread on them.
Lox of drama.
Photo by: Giovanni Mereghetti/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

An Upper West Side synagogue is addressing backlash after it announced lox would no longer be served at weekly luncheons.

B’nai Jeshurun, located at 257 West 87th Street, revealed in a Sept. 8 blog post that lox, the brined salmon often served on bagels, would be removed from kiddush luncheons held after Saturday morning Shabbat services.

“Lox will be eliminated from the menu so we can do our part to reduce the environmental impact of pollution and overfishing,” wrote Rabbi Shuli Passow, B’nai Jeshurun’s director of community engagement. “We know that for some this is a heretical move! We are here to support you as you process this change.”

However, the synagogue, founded in 1825, quickly amended its original claims after readers protested the menu change. “The removal of lox from our standard Kiddush menu has led to several misunderstandings we wish to clarify,” reads a Sept. 12 statement.

Conceding that the majority of lox is actually made from farmed Atlantic salmon, B’nai Jeshurun said its statement regarding overfishing was inaccurate. “Second, some felt that implied that eating lox is immoral or that [B’nai Jeshurun] is boycotting lox or lox providers” reads the statement. “This could not be farther from the truth.”

Eliminating lox was made in order to save costs and include more plant-based meals, wrote the synagogue, which added that those sponsoring Kiddush luncheons are welcome to include lox on the menu if they wish. An Upper West Side Synagogue Backtracks From Its Ban on Lox After Uproar