OU Kosher in Great Neck Draws Rave Reviews

15 Feb 2012


According to the clock, the program is over. According to the audience, which had more questions for Rav Hershel Schachter, the shiur must go on.

OU Kosher’s Harry H. Beren ASK OU OUTREACH program in Great Neck Sunday night, which was supposed to present the two OU poskim (halachic decisors), Rav Yisroel Belsky and Rav Hershel Schachter, was held under the cloud of the sudden serious illness to Rav Belsky, shlita,” declared Rabbi Yosef Grossman, the organizer of the program and OU Senior Educational Rabbinic Coordinator. “Rabbi Menachem Genack (CEO of OU Kosher) stepped in as a substitute on very short notice. He and Rav Schachter were outstanding, as can be seen by the following feedback, first from one of the participants, and then from Rabbi Avraham Kohan, the Rav of Congregation Torah Ohr where the event was held.”

The audience member declared, “The OU program last night was amazing. Thank you for organizing such an informative, crystal-clear program for Great Neck. The feedback I got from friends was also very positive. We hope to have the OU in Great Neck more often.”

Rav Kohan wrote, “I wanted to thank you very much for the event last night. It was great. Tizku lemitzvot.

This unique program, sponsored by the Harry H. Beren Foundation of Lakewood, NJ and endorsed by 12 local synagogues, Ashkenazi and Sephardic, with an emphasis on Great Neck’s substantial Iranian community, was devoted to issues such as “Contemporary Halachic and Philosophical Challenges Facing the Great Neck Community,” with Rav Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva and Rosh Kollel, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University.

Rabbi Genack, who has headlined many OU Kosher educational programs, briefly discussed the sad story of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin and the continuing efforts by the OU on his behalf. Rabbi Genack and Rav Schachter then joined in a Q&A session, moderated by Rabbi Grossman, on questions of halacha and OU policy.

“The speakers had a very positive influence on the participants, many of them our Persian brethren,” said Rabbi Grossman after the session. “One of the prominent community rabbis who was in attendance, told me that they usually get 60-70 people for a guest speaker such as a congressman in his shul. The more than 150 participants that we had was certainly a very nice turnout for the community.”

A week prior to the event in Great Neck, OU Kosher presented a program in South Florida as part of the OU’s Community Weekend there. Rabbi Grossman received the following laudatory congratulatory message from Rabbi Yosef Weinstock, Associate Rabbi of the Young Israel of Hollywood-Ft. Lauderdale, where the program was held:

“Those in attendance were impressed by the depth and breadth of knowledge that the OU kashrut professionals shared with us,” Rabbi Weinstock wrote. “And it was all done in a way that was easy to follow and understand. People left with a new appreciation for the complexity of kosher supervision in the 21st century, and why the OU is at the forefront of kashrut services for the kosher consumer.

“We very much enjoyed the two presentations and the Q&A session that answered many questions that were on a lot of people’s minds. This was a wonderful way to give exposure to the talent that OU Kosher employs. We are glad that the OU Kosher has broadened its mission to include kashrut education, which was of great value for our community to see and hear.”

To arrange a kashrut presentation in your community, contact Rabbi Grossman at 212-613-8212 or grossmany@ou.org.

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