As the largest and most respected kosher certifying agency in the world, the Orthodox Union naturally is deeply interested in training the kashrut professionals of the future, who will work for both the OU and other organizations, including their local Vaad HaKashrut. As a result, OU Kosher this summer will once again offer two advanced seminars in kosher education, comprising the Harry H. Beren program.
There will be a three-week internship program from August 7-25, and a one-week session from August 21-25.
The programs are held every other summer at OU headquarters in New York, and will be offered for the eighth time, thus the title, . They are supported by a grant from the Harry H. Beren Foundation of Lakewood, NJ, which provides funding for an increasing variety of educational programs offered by OU Kosher.
“As I approach our eighth ASKOU program it gives me great satisfaction to see many of our previous attendees having entered quality kashrut positions throughout the world,” declared Rabbi Yosef Grossman, Director of the Harry H. Beren ASKOU programs. “By the excellent training and high standards the OU has provided in the field of kashrut supervision and education, the kashrut infrastructure has been strengthened around the globe. We look forward to continuing this tradition of excellence in .”
The three-week internship program, with a capacity of “ten good men,” in the words of Rabbi Grossman, is intended for rabbinical students or participants in a post-ordination kollel and consists of field work visiting plants in the company of an expert OU Rabbinic Field Representative; assisting Rabbinic Coordinators (the supervisors of the Field Representatives) at OU headquarters; and class sessions led by senior rabbis from the OU Kosher Department. Participants are eligible for a $300 stipend for completing the program.
The second program, which is not limited to 10, is intended for congregational rabbis and members of a Vaad HaKashrut (a local certifying agency) as well as rabbinic students and kollel members. It will share the longer program’s third week and include similar activities.
According to Rabbi Grossman, the three-week program is directed to advanced students seeking to enter the kashrut supervision field; in addition, the one-week program is also for those who may be called upon to do local supervision, such as a congregational rabbi who wants to polish his skills, or a member of a local Vaad HaKashrut who wants to become familiar with the high level of the OU’s kashrut standards.
The programs, according to Rabbi Grossman, will enable participants to:
- Be on the cutting-edge of modern-day kosher food technology;
- Go behind the scenes at the world’s largest kosher certification agency;
- Learn how to set up a local Vaad HaKashrut;
- Study the kosher issues related to bakeries, butcher stores, fish stores, pizzerias, restaurants and other food service establishments;
- Learn about factory supervision;
- Understand the basics of ingredients and biotechnology;
- Learn basic treibering – the de-veining of meat;
- Delve into practical kashrut halacha (the laws of kosher); and
- Learn how to perform industrial and retail kashering.
Participants will visit the kitchens of an OU restaurant and hotel, a meat processing facility under OU supervision, and an OU certified factory.