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JewishJournal.com

May 8, 2008

Kosher water makes a splash in the market

WEB EXTRA: VideoJew tests the water

http://www.jewishjournal.com/los_angeles/article/kosher_water_makes_a_splash_in_the_market_20080509

Whether you're drinking filtered, spring or mineral water, purity has long been considered a desired element in bottled water. But when it comes to purity, only one word can truly capture it all -- kosher.

And with a certification from the Orthodox Union, Mizmor Kosher Water is capitalizing on the importance of purity and kashrut in the marketplace.

"In order to be sold on the kosher shelf in the supermarket, you must have a kosher certification," said Shoshana Teri, Mizmor CEO and president, adding that an OU mashgiach (inspector) ensures that the bottling facilities are kept clean and void of any nonkosher elements.

Though Mizmor, which is spring water, is marketed to a specifically Jewish consumer, having kosher certification is nothing new to the bottled water industry. Most bottled water is kosher, including such popular labels as Crystal Geyser, Arrowhead and Fiji.


VideoJew Jay Firestone tests the water


So what makes Mizmor specifically tailored for Jews?

The company advertises its halachic mindset by donating 10 percent of its net operating profit to underprivileged children.

"You get to quench your thirsty soul with Mizmor Kosher Water, and at the same time, you are an instant participant in raising money for children in need," Teri said.

Mizmor donates to several organizations, including Mamash Yeshiva in Israel and the Mizmor Family Foundation in B'nai Berak, while also being heavily involved with the Jewish National Fund. Mizmor has recently filed an application to help support St. Jude's Hospital.

In the coming weeks, Mizmor will continue to donate truckloads of water to various events and organizations, among them the May 18 Israel@60 festival at Woodley Park in Van Nuys.

Teri was inspired to work with water when her father was ill in 2000. During a lunch outing, Teri's father asked for a bottle of water, and as he turned to her, he said, "My daughter, do water."

Originally, Teri wanted to call her product "Kosher Water," but her lawyer advised that it was too generic. Turning to God for divine inspiration, she opened up a siddur and chose the first word she found -- Mizmor -- which in Hebrew translates to "psalm."

Since the company's launch in April 2007, Mizmor has sold close to 50,000 bottles and has set up its headquarters on Robertson Boulevard, just a few doors north of the Kabbalah Centre.

The water is bottled by Niagara in Irvine, Nature's Way in Pennsylvania, Silver Springs in Florida and Nirvana in upstate New York. The bottled water is distributed to Jewish communities throughout the United States. Locally, Mizmor can be found at many kosher markets, plus several Ralphs locations.

"The word 'kosher' is purity, [and] our educational project is about underprivileged children who are so pure," said Teri, adding that "nothing would make us happier than to give more of Mizmor." The company slogan, "The More the Mizmor," is a trademark for that generosity.

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