ASK OU Program in Forest Hills Promotes Strong Sense of Community

23 Mar 2012


Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz presents a power point/video program on OU wine and grape juice for Pesach.

Rabbi Dov Schreier discusses hotels, restaurants and catering for Pesach and year-round.

OU Kosher’s popular ASK OU Outreach program recently visited the Queens Jewish Center (QJC) in Forest Hills for a Pre-Passover program sponsored by the Harry H. Beren Foundation of Lakewood, NJ.

Sponsoring organizations included Chazaq; Congregation Machane Chodosh; the Queens Jewish Community Council; the Vaad Harabonim of Queens; and the Young Israel of Forest Hills.

Highlights of the evening included Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz, Senior Rabbinic Coordinator and wine expert, addressing “OU Wine and Grape Juice;” an “Ask the OU Rabbonim” — a Q&A session on Pesach and year-round kashrut issues featuring Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Office of OU Kosher, and Rabbi Eli Gersten, Rabbinic Coordinator for Recording Psak and Policy of OU Kosher; and Rabbi Dov Schreier, Rabbinic Coordinator for Food Service at OU Kosher, on “Hotels, Catering and Restaurant Issues for Pesach and Year-Round.”

One participant shared, “I would like to thank you for your part in encouraging the OU to feature this lecture series at the QJC. Having such events in addition to being very informative, shall certainly be helpful in promoting a stronger sense of community unity between the participating organizations.” Another attendee said, “I would like to thank you for bringing this program to our shul and community. I, as well as many others, found it to be very informative. It would be great to have more OU programs in the future (whether from your department or from other OU departments).”

“What made this event so unique,” remarked Rabbi Yosef Grossman, Director of OU Kosher Education and the program coordintor, “was the participation of so many distinguished rabbanim and layleaders in the crowd. Whether it was one of the local Bucharian rabbanim; the rabbi of the local Young Israel; a prominent Rosh Yeshiva of a nearby Yeshiva Gedola; or Professor Simon Kwestel, Past President of the Orthodox Union and Chairman of its Kashrut Department — they all sat in rapt attention at the erudite remarks of the OU’s experts in the person of Rabbi Elefant, Rabbi Rabinowitz, Rabbi Schreier and Rabbi Gersten.”

Rabbi Grossman also noted, “We were most pleased to be hosted by the Queens Jewish Center and its esteemed Morah D’atra, Rabbi Benjamin Geiger, who also mans the OU’s Kosher Consumers Hotline, answering in a professional, courteous and knowledgeable manner an average of 500 questions daily right before Pesach.”

At the Harry H. Beren ASK OU OUTREACH kashrut program in Forest Hills (l to r): Rabbi Refael Zavulunov, Assistant Director of CHAZAQ, sits alongside ASK OU presenters Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Rabbi Eli Gersten, Rabbi Benjamin Geiger and Rabbi Yosef Grossman.

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