Registration Now Open for ASK OU 12 Summer Programs For Aspiring Kashrus Professionals

May 5, 2014

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The twelfth Harry H. Beren ASK OU Kosher summer programs are now accepting applications from rabbis and advanced students interested in enhancing their knowledge of practical applications in the world of kashrus.

ASK OU 12 (Advanced Seminars on Kashrus) consists of two separate courses of study: A three-week internship providing intensive kashrus education, which will be held from August 6-August 26; and a one week training program, providing an overview of the field, which will be held from August 11-15.  The internship participants will also take the one-week session.

Funding for ASK OU 12 comes from the Harry H. Beren Foundation of New Jersey.  The Beren Foundation provides financial support to a wide variety of OU kashrus education programs for all levels of knowledge and ages.

The ASK OU programs have more than 750 graduates from all over the globe, many of whom have gone on to take important positions in the kosher world.As in past years, many of the full time professionals are expected to work for large kosher certification agencies or for their local Vaad HaKashrus.

According to Rabbi Yosef Grossman, Orthodox Union Senior Rabbinic Coordinator and Director of Kosher Education, the three-week internship is intended for semicha (rabbinical) students or members of a kollel for post-rabbinic education.

The one-week session is intended for congregational rabbis, semicha students, kollel members or members of a local Vaad HaKashrus certifying organization, who take the program to refine their skills for use in their communities.

Both the three-week and one-week programs will consist of classes and demonstrations held at OU Kosher headquarters in New York, taught by OU senior rabbis and visiting experts, together with field visits to plants certified by the OU.  The three-week program, Rabbi Grossman explains, will be a more intensive version of the one-week session.

“ASK OU 12 will take participants behind the scenes at the world’s largest kosher certification agency and give students the opportunity to witness the cutting edge of modern day kosher food technology,” declared Rabbi Grossman. He emphasized that although “kosher law is immutable, the technology is continually evolving, and OU expertise evolves with it.”

The programs will include:

  • How to set up a local Vaad HaKashrus;
  • Basic treibering (the removal of veins and fats);
  • Kosher issues related to bakeries, butcher stores, fish stores, pizza parlors, restaurants, and other food service establishments;
  • Factory supervision;
  • The basics of ingredients and biotechnology;
  • The halacha (law) of practical kashrus; and
  • How to perform industrial and retail kosherization.

Participants will visit the kitchen of an OU restaurant, a meat processing facility under OU supervision, an OU certified factory and a hotel kitchen, as well as other facilities.

For information on registration contact Rabbi Grossman at 212-613-8212 or via email at grossman@ou.org.  He may also be reached by cell phone at 914-391-9470. For the application form, click here. The application is also available online at oukosher.org.