The Orthodox Union’s ever-expanding list of programs of kosher education are beneficiaries of a grant from the Harry H. Beren Foundation of Lakewood, NJ., in memory of Mr. Harry H. Beren z"l.
Following the announcement of the grant in February, Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher, lauded the lifetime vision of Mr. Beren and the Foundation established in his name, to support educational programs which benefit the Jewish community.
Rabbi Yosef Grossman, Director of ASK OU and Kashrut Education at the Orthodox Union, whose ASK OU Programs are a prime beneficiary of funding from the Beren Foundation, declared, "Mr. Beren’s vision of helping Jewish education was a major aspect of his life, and it lives on after him through the Foundation created to perpetuate his memory."
The Foundation has already provided support for the Harry H. Beren ASK OU Mesorah Conference II, the Pareve Mesorahs -- held at Lander College in Queens, NY in February with an attendance in excess of 300.
It will also provide funding for the Harry H. Beren ASK OU program, to be held the week of August 21-25, for the training of mashgichim (kosher certifiers). The program will include on-site visitations to hotel kitchens, restaurants, meat-processing facilities and factories; likewise, it will support the three-week Harry H. Beren Kosher Internship Program for kollel fellows and semicha (rabbinical) students, from August 7-25, which will offer an expanded version of the one-week program.
In addition, the Foundation helps make possible the newly created and ongoing Harry H. Beren ASK OU Community Lectures -- Kashrut in the Workplace series, coordinated by Rabbi Robert Shur of the OU Department of Community and Synagogue Services, which sends experts on the road to respond to questions frequently asked by kosher observant Jews who work in a secular environment. Typical questions include: "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?"
Sessions have already been held at Congregation Ahawas Achim B’nai Jacob and David in West Orange, NJ, with Rabbi Genack and OU Kosher halachic decisor Rav Hershel Schachter of Yeshiva University; and at Congregation Keneseth Israel ("The White Shul") in Far Rockaway, NY with OU Kosher Rabbinic Field Representative Rabbi Avrohom Stone and Rabbinic Coordinator Rabbi Dov Schreier.
Future sessions are planned for May 7 at the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, in Queens, NY with Rabbinic Coordinators Rabbi Schreier and Rabbi Seth Mandel; in Minneapolis, on May 14 (details to be announced); at the Melvin J. Berman Academy in Rockville, MD on May 21 with Rabbi Stone and Rabbinic Coordinator Rabbi Dovid Cohen; and on June 11 in Passaic, NJ (details to be announced). A session in Los Angeles is planned for June.
"Clearly, declared Rabbi Grossman," the generosity of the Beren Foundation will not only make possible the continuation of the ASK OU series and other kashrut education programs, but their expansion as well, as OU Kosher continues its goal of expanding the knowledge of those who keep kosher about the intricacies of kashrut and new developments in the field."