It was about a year ago that Rabbi Yosef Grossman, Director of OU Kosher Education, began to hear from women that they wanted an advanced program on the technicalities and practices of kosher law. In the following months, more than 80 women were in touch with Rabbi Grossman, seeking such a course.
Now, they’ve got it.
From August 24-28, OU Kosher will offer a special kashrut course specifically geared for women. In the course, according to Rabbi Grossman, participants will enhance their kashrut knowledge and skills by “hands-on” instruction from OU experts, as well as from OU instructional DVD’s in areas of kosher food management such as checking vegetables for insects; Hafrashat Challah (the separation or tithing of challah); blood spots in eggs; shaylos (or questions) dealing with chickens which should be brought to a Rav for a psak (halachic decision); meat and dairy control; identifying and purchasing kosher fish; and becoming an educated kosher consumer.
They will go on field trips to OU certified factories, hotel kitchens and food service establishments which, Rabbi Grossman said, will give participants “an appreciation for the complexities of modern day kashrut.” The students will tour OU Kosher, meet its rabbinic staff – both those who are based in the OU office (rabbinic coordinators) and those who work outside (rabbinic field representatives) – and come away with a heightened sense of how kashrut operates commercially and in the home.
“The course will go into the home kitchen as well,” Rabbi Grossman said, “for proper control of a kitchen requires extensive kashrut knowledge.”
Rabbi Grossman and his colleagues “have spent much time and thought on how to structure this special week,” he said, recognizing the uniqueness of the audience and determined to provide the best program possible. The course will be limited to about 20 participants, and is intended to serve the needs of “a large spectrum of women.”
Rabbi Grossman interviews all applicants, including two who have already been accepted – a young woman from Sydney, Australia who will return home and marry a rabbi immediately following the program and then serve as an informal kashrut advisor to women in their community; and a woman from Efrat, Israel, who is coming to New York specifically for the program.
To apply, contact Rabbi Grossman at 212-613-8212. There is a $75 registration fee for accepted applicants.