Live from New York:
COMING TO A KOLLEL DOWN UNDER: OU KOSHER TO PRESENT SERIES, VIA SKYPE, FOR KOLLEL BETH HaTALMUD IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, BEGINNING NOVEMBER 29
Talk about long-distance learning. OU Kosher’s Harry H. Beren ASK OU Outreach program will present a series of shiurim on Skype for the Kollel Beth HaTalmud in Melbourne, Australia, a mere 10,300 miles from the New York headquarters of the OU Kashrus Department.
The series of five monthly lectures will begin on Thursday, November 29 with OU Halachic Posek Rav Yisroel Belsky speaking on “The Mesorah of Kosher Birds and Animals.” It will extend until mid-April and will feature, as all the ASK OU Outreach programs do, the OU’s experts on various aspects of kosher law and their application to modern food technology. Sessions will begin in the afternoon New York time, which is the following morning in Melbourne.
This is the first time that Skype has been used to transmit an entire series of ASK OU Kosher shiurim.
The program will be something of a family affair since Rabbi Yosef Grossman, OU Kosher Senior Educational Rabbinic Coordinator, who directs the ASK OU programs, is the brother-in-law of Rabbi Binyomin Wurzburger, the Rosh Kollel of Beth HaTalmud.
The Kollel, founded by HaRav Shnuer Kotler and HaRav Nosson Wachsfogel zt”l, is in its 31st year of existence and is the first overseas Lakewood BMG Kollel. According to officials at the institution, students come not only from Australia but from the United States, South Africa, Europe and Israel, and in addition to their personal in-depth learning, teach, do kiruv, and give shiurim to members of the community. Many graduates of the kollel continue on as prominent mechanchim, rabbanim and dayanim, both locally and abroad.
“It gave me great personal satisfaction to be approached by representatives of my esteemed brother-in-law’s kollel in Melbourne to arrange for this series of ASK OU shiurim via Skype,” remarked Rabbi Grossman. “The opportunity to spread Torah and expert kashrus knowledge to a prestigious kollel literally at the far ends of the earth is most gratifying. I look forward to the lively Torah discussion and give and take between the OU’s kashrus experts and the worthy members of Kollel Beth HaTalmud.”
OU President Dr. Simcha Katz, formerly Chair of the OU Kashrus Commission, declared: “The reach of OU Kosher’s educational programs now extends all the way to Australia. Even 10,000 miles away the OU is the gold standard in kashrus — and in kashrus education as well. I commend Rabbi Grossman for arranging this program and congratulate Kollel Beth HaTalmud for its wise decision to bring the OU into its study hall.” These sentiments were echoed by Rabbi Menachem Genack CEO and Rabbinic Administrator of OU Kosher as well Rabbi Moshe Elefant, OU Kosher’s COO and Executive Rabbinic Coordinator, who both guide Harry H. Beren ASK OU activities.
According to Rabbi Wurzburger, the Kollel is currently concluding its cycle of Mesachta Chullin, which primarily deals with the laws of kashrus. “After learning Mesachta Chullin in depth for nearly two years, it’s extremely rewarding to be able to gain first-hand knowledge of the implementation of these halachos by the renowned kashrus experts at the OU. We are extremely grateful to the OU for providing these series of live videoconferencing lectures to our Kollel, and to Rabbi Grossman and the rest of the OU staff, for being so available and such a pleasure to work with.”