Following up on a successful program first presented two years ago, Orthodox Union kashrut experts will once again travel from the Lower Manhattan headquarters of OU Kosher to the Upper Manhattan campus of Yeshiva University in June to bring a treasure trove of practical information on kosher certification to rabbinical students at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. The Harry H. Beren ASK OU Outreach program, Kashrut in the Community, will consist of a wide variety of lectures as well as field trips to OU certified facilities.
“Due to the great success of the inaugural Harry H. Beren ASK OU OUTREACH Kashrut in the Community Program held at RIETS two years ago, Yeshiva University reached out once again to the OU to conduct this program at YU for the benefit of their semicha (ordination) students,” declared Rabbi Yosef Grossman, Senior Educational Rabbinic Coordinator of OU Kosher. “We are very pleased to offer the OU’s expertise to these students so that they are properly able to link their rabbinic studies with practical communal kashrut applications.”
The program, Rabbi Grossman explained, is intended “to train semicha students who plan to enter the rabbinate for what they will encounter in terms of their local community kashrut needs.”
The program will be held from June 1 to June 17. The presenters will include Rabbi Menachem Genack, Chief Executive Officer of OU Kosher; Rav Hershel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva at RIETS; Rabbi Yaakov Luban, OU Kosher Executive Rabbinic Coordinator; and OU rabbinic coordinators with specialties in a wide variety of products and procedures.
Sessions will include a kashering demonstration; the shul kiddush; the local bakery; eating out; setting up the local Vaad HaKashrut; fish and the local fish store; how to be an excellent mashgiach; bedikas toyloim; identifying treifos in birds; the halachot of kashrut; parasites in fish; contemporary meat issues; contemporary dairy issues; the local butcher store and meat distributor; bagel and pizza stores; factory kosher supervision/ingredients/labels/ kosherization process.
The program will also include field trips to a factory, the Yeshiva University kitchen, and Prime KO, an OU certified restaurant. Students will be instructed in how to prepare field audits of OU certified restaurants and will submit an audit report. According to Rabbi Grossman, these reports will be reviewed with the students by senior OU rabbinic staff in order to “help the students understand what they observed in the restaurants during their visits.” There will be a variety of question and answer sessions (ASK The Rabbonim) and the awarding of certificates to students at the end of the program.