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OU Invites Dairy Industry Professionals to First-of-its-Kind Seminar

OU Kosher Staff

The Orthodox Union Kosher Division will hold its first industry-related seminar when dairy professionals from around North America gather at OU headquarters in New York on Thursday October 26 for a full-day program (9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) designed to help them resolve the sometimes conflicting needs of plant production vs. kosher concerns, and thereby expand their kosher market.

The intended audience includes dairy industry plant managers; directors of quality assurance, production and marketing; and anyone with responsibility for a dairy company’s kosher program.

The seminar is the latest in a steadily growing OU initiative in which its senior rabbis provide kosher education to a variety of audiences – including schools, synagogues and consumers – to deepen their understanding of the complex laws of kosher and their application to a rapidly changing food industry. OU rabbis have also presented staff instruction – rabbinical road shows – in plants receiving OU certification, but the dairy seminar is the first time an entire industry will participate together.

“OU Kosher is a multi-service agency,” declared Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher. “We do not believe that it is sufficient to certify a product and leave it at that. We believe that given the intricacies of kosher law and food technology, we have an obligation to those who keep kosher to clarify issues for them. For example, we have seminars around the country in ‘Kosher in the Workplace’ for those who are kosher but who work in a non-kosher environment. For example, what does someone in this position do about a non-kosher business luncheon?”

“Likewise,” Rabbi Genack added, “we believe that kosher education is very important for the personnel in companies we certify. The more they know, the easier it will be for them to understand and to follow the procedures necessary to have a product that meets the kosher standards of the Orthodox Union. It makes life easier for them and easier for the OU as well.”

Sessions at the seminar will include:

  • Dealing with non-dairy products on dairy lines (e.g. orange juice, soy milk and sorbet), with suggestions and solutions;
  • Understanding the kosher intricacies of whey and dairy proteins;
  • Gaining insight into the kosher issues of cream;
  • Learning why spray-dried dairy powders need kosher certification;
  • Hearing special presentations by marketing professionals to help maximize a company’s reach to the kosher consumer.

The program will also include a tour of OU headquarters to see first-hand how OU Kosher functions.

Sessions will be led by OU’s dairy industry Rabbinic Coordinators: Rabbis Gad Buchbinder, Michael Coleman, Yosef Goldberg, Avrohom Gordimer, Jacob Mendelson, and Michael Morris.

A Conference Committee has been established consisting of Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Officer of OU Kosher as Chairman; Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, Coordinator; Rabbi Michael Morris, Associate Coordinator; Rabbi Yisroel Paretzky, Advisor; and Devorah Bree and Jessica Mendelsohn, Technical Coordinators.

The registration fee is $125 for the first company representative and $90 for each additional person. Lunch is included. Reservations must be received by September 15.

For further information, contact Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld at 212-613-8220, fax: 212-613-0620, or register online at http://www.oukosher.org/seminar.