From Israel to China; Mexico to Spain; the Philippines and Indonesia to Brazil; Singapore to France; Australia/New Zealand to Germany; the United Kingdom to Colombia, and of course throughout the United States and Canada, an audience of thousands is tuning into the presentations of Kosher Tidbits, a fast-growing program that brings the intricacies of kosher law, taught by Orthodox Union experts, to discerning audiences on OU Radio, www.ouradio.org. In just a few months, more than 6,000 of these presentations have been downloaded onto listeners’ personal computers, ipods and other electronic devices.
The program, which began in August 2006, now has 51 separate presentations, taught by the rabbis of OU Kosher, in lively 15-minute presentations, geared to general audiences as well as to experts in kosher law who seek to learn from their counterparts in the world’s most respected kosher certification agency.
Kosher Tidbits is just one aspect of the OU’s steadily growing commitment to varying forms of kashrut education. According to Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran, Senior Rabbinic Coordinator and Vice President of Communications and Marketing of OU Kosher, who developed Kosher Tidbits, “OU Kosher’s objective is to establish the Orthodox Union as the source of definitive kashrut standards and information for the broadest segments of our community. These activities take various forms: written, oral, pictorial, webcast, video, and visits to Jewish institutions, such as our program, OU Kosher: Coming to a School, Yeshiva, Synagogue or Community Near You, which sends our rabbis on the road to address students at all levels.”
“These initiatives are all done with the same intent: To make the Orthodox Union synonymous not only with kosher certification, but with kosher education worldwide,” Rabbi Safran declared.
As the reach of Kosher Tidbits makes clear, the OU has succeeded in this objective. “It is a source of great pride that a program created at OU headquarters in New York, and based on the extraordinary knowledge of OU Kosher staff members, has a worldwide reach and impact on our community,” declared Rabbi Menachem Genack, Chief Executive Officer of OU Kosher and Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Officer, in a statement.
“The OU certifies more than 400,000 products in 80 countries, giving it a worldwide reach in our basic activity. Now, with our kashrut education programs, we are developing an around-the-globe impact in yet another area. Rabbi Safran should be proud of all he has done with Kosher Tidbits to extend our message far and wide,” they said.
To further this message, Kosher Tidbits has recently added five more presentations, bringing the total to 51. They include: Kashrut for Children, with Rav Hershel Schachter of Yeshiva University, who serves as Senior Halachic Consultant for OU Kosher; The Worms in Fish, with Rav Yisroel Belsky of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, also Senior Halachic Consultant; Guide for the Smart Fish Buyer, with Rabbi Chaim Goldberg, OU Rabbinic Coordinator for the fish industry; Donuts: The “Hole Story,” with Rabbi Yisroel Bendelstein, Rabbinic Coordinator; and Housekeepers: The Hidden Traps, with Rabbi Eliyahu W. Ferrell, Rabbinic Coordinator who is co-coordinator with Rabbi Safran of the Kosher Tidbits program.
The titles make clear that the programs are user-friendly. They include:
- Let’s “Ex-Salmon” the Kashrut of Fish
- Kosher Cheese: Overcoming the Hurdles for the Milk that Curdles
- Kosher Yogurt: An Uplifting Cultural Experience
- Kosher Ice Cream: Cold Facts About a Hot Topic
- As the World Churns: Aspects of Kosher Butter Production
- What’s Cooking in the Baking Industry?
- Over-the-Counter Medicine: Don’t Overlook Kashrut
- Bishul Akum (what’s eaten raw): Fit for a King – or just King Kong?
- Yours, Mine and Hours: Waiting Between Milk and Meat.
A full and continuously updated listing of Kosher Tidbits presentations can be found on www.oukosher.org