About ASK OU

As the leader in worldwide kosher certification, the Orthodox Union takes additional steps to serve as a leader in educating the public in matters of kosher law.

Over the past several years, OU Kosher, in partnership with the Harry H. Beren Foundation of New Jersey, has developed numerous kashrus educational programs for the benefit of the public known as The Harry H. Beren ASK (Advanced Seminars on Kashrus) OU Kashrus programs.

Rabbi Eli Eleff, OU Kosher Senior Educational Rabbinic Coordinator, serves as Director of OU Kosher Education. For more information on any of the programs listed below, including scheduling a visit for your yeshiva, community, or kollel, contact Rabbi Eleff at 212-613-0602 or koshereducation@ou.org.

ASK OU KOSHER Internship Program

ASK OU Kosher is a three-week internship directed at advanced semicha and kollel students to provide them with in-depth kashrus knowledge, including a one-week training program. The program emphasizes how the cutting edge of modern-day kosher food technology and continual evolution of food blends with Jewish law, which remains the same.

The three-week internship includes field work; visiting plants with an expert OU Kosher rabbinic field representative; and includes an overnight hotel field trip. In addition, time is spent at OU headquarters devoted to sessions led by OU Kosher rabbinic coordinators and senior halachic authorities lecturing on their specialties, while providing hands-on training.

The one week training component of the program is offered on alternating years, and is aimed at congregational rabbis, semicha and kollel students, and members of a Vaad HaKashrus who want to refine skills for use in their local communities.  Since its inception in 1996, close to 850  participants have participated in these programs. Offered on alternating years, the next ASK OU Internship program will be offered in the summer of 2014.


Harry H. Beren ASK OU OUTREACH brings the experts of OU Kosher to yeshivos, kollelim, and communities throughout North America.

Communities have included Los Angeles; Woodridge, NY (in the Catskills Mountains); Portland, OR; Southern Florida;  New Haven; Boston; Monsey; Passaic, NJ; Washington Heights; Far Rockaway and the Five Towns (on Long Island, NY); Kew Gardens Hills; Boro Park; Flatbush; Toronto; the Sephardic community in Brooklyn; the Persian community in Great Neck; and the Bucharian community in Forest Hills.

Additionally, three Harry H. Beren ASK OU Mesorah Conferences discussing the kosher Mesorah (tradition) of birds and animals were held in Kew Gardens Hills, NY and Los Angeles.

ASK OU Skype Shiurim

ASK OU Skype Shiurim first begun in 2013 with the Beth HaTalmud Kollel in Melbourne, Australia, with the OU’s experts addressing various aspects of kosher law and their application to modern food technology using Skype.  This program is geared for yeshivos and kollelim.


The Harry H. Beren Foundation of Lakewood also sponsors the popular VISIT OU programs where day schools, high schools, yeshivos and camps visit the OU and learn about kashrus at OU headquarters in Manhattan. The program allows elementary and high schools to tour OU headquarters, and learn from the experts of OU Kosher through personal presentations and videos.

For more information regarding Harry H. Beren ASK OU programs or to arrange for an Harry H. Beren ASK OU program to visit your school, community or kollel, please contact Rabbi Yosef Grossman at 212.613.8212 or grossman@ou.org.

OU Kosher Staff