The Orthodox Union’s worldwide Kosher Division is coming to a synagogue near you with Kosher in the Workplace. This new program, launched this month, in which OU experts will be visiting OU synagogues throughout North America, has been developed to answer questions frequently asked by kosher observant Jews working in a secular environment. This program is part of the Harry H. Beren Ask OU Community Lecture Series, and is a joint project of the OU’s Community and Synagogue Services Department, and OU Kosher.
The Ask OU series recently received a grant from the Harry H. Beren Foundation of Lakewood, NJ in memory of Mr. Beren z”l, in support of this program and others in the Ask OU series.
“Our job at the OU is to service our synagogues by offering them relevant programming,” declared Stephen J. Savitsky, OU President, and Chair of the OU Kashrut (Kosher) Commission. “Our Kosher Division is recognized worldwide as a trusted and reliable certification with years of expertise. Kosher in the Workplace is part of an overall initiative to make this knowledge readily available to the Jewish community.”
The visiting OU experts will respond to a variety of questions, including:
- Can I use the office microwave and coffee machine?
- How do I attend a meeting in a non-kosher restaurant?
- Can I eat anything at the office party?
“Observant Jews can be found in ever strata of the workplace. The OU wants to empower them with knowledge of how to properly function in this environment,” explained program coordinator Rabbi Robert Shur of the Community and Synagogue Services Department.”
According to Rabbi Dovid Cohen, who is coordinating the program for OU Kosher, “The first thing we did was to conduct a poll, in which we solicited questions from two Jewish e-mail lists, regarding the keeping of kosher in the workplace. We got an amazing amount of responses, which gave us much insight into the issues and the relevance of this topic. Next we consulted with OU posek (Jewish law decisor) Rabbi Hershel Schacter, and OU senior rabbinic coordinators to determine the best answers to these questions.”