ASK OU Kosher Melbourne Skype Series Makes A Minyan With Programs Set For December To January

December 12, 2013

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How New York looked from Melbourne.

As the late summer December sun shines over Melbourne, Australia – yes, the seasons are reversed down under – the Melbourne Jewish community will take advantage of its leisure time when most businesses and the schools are closed to attend the annual Yarchei Kallah program of Kollel Beth HaTalmud, with the subject matter provided by the return of OU Kosher’s highly popular series of shiurim, beamed live to Melbourne from New York via Skype.

The four programs will be seen on December 23, 24 and 26, with a fourth being scheduled for January.

The Harry H. Beren ASK OU kashrut shiurum originated in November, 2012 with a series of six monthly programs, in which an OU Kosher expert, speaking in New York at 5:00 p.m., was seen in Melbourne, 10,300 miles away, where it was already 9:00 a.m. the next day. The series was coordinated by Rabbi
Yosef Grossman, OU Kosher Senior Educational Rabbinic Coordinator. The four additional programs on top of the original six create a “minyan” of OU Skype programming, Rabbi Grossman noted.

Programs featured Rav Yisroel Belsky on “The Mesorah of Kosher Birds and Animals,” which included a live Indian Runner Duck, presented by the OU’s bird expert, Rabbi Chaim Loike (the bird is kosher); “The Two-Part Kashrus of Meat,” with Rabbi Moshe Klarberg; “Kosher Fish,” with Rabbi Chaim Goldberg; a PowerPoint presentation of the production of kosher wine by Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz; and “The Kosher Bakery,” with Rabbis Eli Gersten and David Gorelick. The kollel had recently completed learning Tractate Chullin, which concerns the laws of kosher, so the series was perfectly timed.

Rabbi Grossman remarked, “It is with great pride and pleasure that the OU looks forward to the culmination of the ten-part Harry H. Beren ASK OU Skype shiurim in partnership with the Kollel Beth HaTalmud in Melbourne. It is most gratifying that this kollel, as well as several others around the globe, have incorporated ASK OU’s shiurim and kashrus educational materials as part of their advanced level kollel and semicha learning. We look forward to constantly broadening this relationship in the future.”

To develop the series, Rabbi Grossman worked closely with Rabbi Binyomin Wurzburger, the Rosh Kollel of Beth HaTalmud, who happens to be his brother-in-law. “The Skype shiurim at the Melbourne kollel provided enormous benefits,” Rabbi Wurzburger said. “Aside from the regular kollel members, representatives of local kashrus certifying agencies also attended the series and found the presentations informative and enlightening.”

Australian Project Coordinator Rabbi Yisroel Greenwald declared, “For the members of the kollel, the OU Skype kashrus series was an unparalleled and unforgettable learning experience. It’s very exciting that the kollel has the opportunity to also invite the Melbourne Jewish community to attend the final lectures of the series and to afford them a glimpse into the fascinating world of kashrus presented by the world class experts at the OU.”

Rabbi Wurzburger explained, “The kollel was fortunate to be able to learn numerous mesechtos pertinent to halacha. We are most grateful to the OU for enhancing our learning by providing us with experts who have translated the Gemara into actual contemporary practice. One can glean such knowledge only from people who are dedicated to practical kashrus in such an exemplary manner, such as the staff at the OU.”

A kollel member agreed. “After having learned Chullin in depth, the OU shiurim were an excellent way to see the practical halacha l’maseh. It was especially beneficial that so much of the shiurim was devoted to answering individual questions posed by kollel members and answered by the rabbonim at the OU in such a comprehensive manner.”

Another kollel yungerman said: “The ability to effectively apply halacha to today’s ever-changing environment is extremely challenging, especially in the field of kashrus. After spending over two years learning Meseches Chullin we found ourselves confronted with this daunting task. The clear and insightful series of shiurim we received from the OU was able to help us bridge that gap between the Gemarah/ Shulchan Aruch and our modern day setting. It was a pleasure to catch a glimpse of the OU team of lecturers’ breadth of Torah scholarship, complemented by a detailed technical knowledge of their various fields.”

According to Rabbi Grossman, this year’s topics and experts will be:

• “Kosher Birds, Eggs and Animals” – a two-part series including live species with the OU’s bird expert, Rabbi Chaim Loike;
• “How to Kasher,” with kosherization expert Rabbi Moshe Perlmutter;
• “Checking Fruits and Vegetables,” with the new shmateh bedikah, presented by Rabbi Issar Mordechai Fuchs.

For further information, contact Rabbi Grossman at 212-613-8212 or {encode=”grossmany@ou.org” title=”grossmany@ou.org”}.

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