OU KOSHER Colleagues Share Their Knowledge

OU Kosher Staff

Who better to inform the experts at OU Kosher about the latest developments in the constantly evolving world of food production than other experts at OU Kosher? The OU Kashrut Division has instituted a series of monthly in-house presentations in which colleagues bring senior staff and rabbis in the field up to date on specialties other than their own.

The program is called A Quick Chap. (The Yiddish word is pronounced like a guttural “chop” and means “to grab something quickly.” )

“The OU has the highest quality kosher professional staff in the world with an extraordinary range of knowledge,” declared Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Officer of OU Kosher. “We are all aware that although kosher law is immutable, changes in food technology, machinery, techniques and products occur on a constant basis. This program enables our experts to bring their colleagues up-to-date on the latest developments in the areas of their responsibility so that we can learn from one another.”

According to Rabbi Moshe Zywica, Senior Rabbinic Coordinator at OU Kosher and coordinator of the in-house program, “We enjoy learning from one another. Rabbinic Coordinators and Rabbinic Field Representatives are well-versed in Jewish law, but the industries which we supervise differ widely. We all have something to share with one another, which we do regularly. This program formalizes that sharing of information, so that as the food industry evolves, we are all brought up-to-date on the changes.”

The program began on January 4 with the session “Shechita Shorts and Bedikah Bites” led by Rabbi Seth Mandel. According to Rabbi Zywica, “Rabbi Mandel detailed the various opinions as to what constitutes “glatt kosher” meat, what kinds of concerns arise, how professional Bodkim go about checking for intestinal deformities and whether the animal’s lungs are truly “glatt.” (Bodkim are experts in the area of maladies of the lungs and intestines as defined by Jewish law.) We heard about the systems put into place at OU-certified slaughterhouses to minimize confusion and to prevent the switching between Glatt and non-Glatt meat.”

Future sessions include:

  • February 20, “Dine with Wine,” with Rabbi Yonah Kantor
  • March 8, “Matzah Minutes” with Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz
  • April 18, “Quick Wraps” with Rabbi David Rockove
  • May 1, “Breakfast Breaks” with Rabbi Avraham Gordimer, and
  • June 5, “Vivacious Vitamins,” with Rabbi Chananel Herbsman.

Additional sessions will be announced in the spring.