Back in the year 2000, OU Kosher presented a series of kashrut seminars in Lakewood, the great New Jersey center of Torah – known in fact as Ir Ha’Torah, the city of Torah and home to Beth Medrash Govoha and a variety of other institutions and kollelim. On average, some 80 people showed up to learn from the OU experts.
In 2008 and early 2009, when OU Kosher returned for a series of seminars, audiences of up to 500 people attended the presentations, part of OU Kosher’s new program, ASK OUTREACH, the OU’s forays into the Yeshivish and Chasidic communities as well as servicing semicha programs. The previous year, the OU’s halachic posek Rabbi Yisroel Belsky spoke before almost 1,000 people in Lakewood.
According to Rabbi Yosef Grossman, Director of Kashrut Education for the OU, “The size of the audiences demonstrates the growth of the influence of OU Kosher as the premier spokesman on kashrut issues.”
Now, with the upcoming release of a five-DVD series, HOW TO, which is a step-by-step explanation of various kashrut topics, the wisdom of the OU rabbis is being made available to those who attended the programs and want to review them, or who didn’t attend and want to catch up on what they missed, as well as to community rabbis and mashgichim. Like ASK OUTREACH itself, the DVD series is sponsored by the Harry H. Beren Foundation of Lakewood.
The first three DVD’s to be issued in the near future, are:
- HOW TO Be an Excellent Mashgiach, with Rabbi Yaakov Luban, Executive Rabbinic Coordinator;
- HOW TO Check for Treifus, with OU Poskek Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath; and
- HOW TO Do Nikkur (elimination of veins and fats) with various OU experts.
Later releases issues will include:
- HOW TO Check for Insects, with Rabbi Yosef Eisen, formerly of OU Kosher, now head of the Va’ad of the Five Towns; and
- HOW TO Kasher, with Rabbi Moshe Perlmutter, OU Rabbinic Field Representative.
OU Kosher had previously produced a 54-hour DVD with 91 ASKOU presentations; 2,500 copies have now been distributed.
According to Rabbi Grossman, the Lakewood program was a major success, in great part because entire kollelim attended, rather than only individuals. “We’re not just serving a few people there, we’re serving the whole kollel community,” he said. Much to his delight, representatives of the Beren Fund also were there for the presentations, “shepping naches,” as Rabbi Grossman describes it, to see the success of their sponsored programs and that their money was well spent.
Like the 54-hour DVD, the new DVD’s will be distributed free of charge at OU Kosher events. For those who wish to have the new DVDs sent to them, the charge for each will be $5. The 54-hour DVD is priced at $10. Contact Rabbi Grossman at 212-613-8212.