Jewish Hospital opens non-kosher annex to cafe


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jewish hospital.jpgMontreal: The Jewish General Hospital has set aside a public lounge for people who bring their own food, kosher or otherwise, into an area dedicated as a kosher cafeteria. The adjustment follows a Quebec Human Rights Commission ruling that blamed the hospital for expelling an ambulance driver from the Cafe de l’Atrium two years ago after he brought in a non-kosher lunch as reported HERE on YW.People have a right “to refuse to observe religious practices” of others as much as they have a right to their own religious beliefs, the commission noted.

The hospital has since reconfigured the Cafe de l’Atrium, which is for paying customers only.

“Without stating it did anything amiss, the hospital decided to set up an area at the Atrium that would accommodate everyone,” hospital spokesperson Henry Mietkiewicz said yesterday.

“The hospital has always maintained it treats everyone fairly and equitably.”

A permanent sign will soon be in place to identify the new public lounge adjoining the Cafe de l’Atrium, Mietkiewicz said. The kosher-only cafeteria already displays a rabbinical certification notice, he added.

In addition to the Cafe de l’Atrium, another lounge with vending machines and food service is located at the east end of the hospital, Mietkiewicz said.

Known simply as “the lounge,” the eating area is open to all, whether they bring in their own food or not, he noted.

Lawyers for the Human Rights Commission and the hospital are still in discussions over compensation for ambulance driver Yvon Verreault.

The commission ordered the hospital to pay Verreault $10,000 because his right to ignore Jewish kosher dietary rules was violated.

The commission would prefer to reach an amicable agreement rather than take the issue to the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal, commission spokesperson Robert Sylvestre said.



  1. I don’t know if I understand all the facts: Did the driver have a similar non-kosher area in which to go? What does “Jewish Hospital” mean? Are they a public or private institution? Are they allowed to set religious regulations because they are “Jewish” or not?

    Another thing, I would like to know how Montreal law would react to a similar “Muslim Hospital” situation. Is there such a thing as a muslim hospital that won’t allow say pork products in? If there is, somehow I’d bet they would be more “understanding” of the hospital because of Muslim intimidation…