West Orange Synagogue to Feature Launching of OU’s New National Initiative

08 Feb 2006

The Orthodox Union will launch a new national initiative, Kosher in the Workplace, at Congregation Ahawas Achim B’nai Jacob and David (AABJ&D) of West Orange on Sunday, February 26 from 7:00-9:30 p.m.

The program will feature Rabbi Menachem Genack, Chief Executive Officer of OU Kosher, who will discuss Issues Out of the Office, such as attending an office party or meeting a business client in a non- kosher restaurant; and Rabbi Hershel Schachter, OU posek (halachic decisor) and Senior Rabbinic Advisor, who will discuss microwaves, coffeemakers, and other ‘in office’ related issues.

Kosher in the Workplace is part of the Harry H. Beren Ask OU Community Lecture Series program, in which Orthodox Union experts visit OU synagogues throughout North America. The new series has been developed to answer questions frequently asked by kosher observant Jews working in a secular environment and is a joint project of the OU’s Community and Synagogue Services Department, and OU Kosher.

This program has its debut at Congregation AABJ&D.

“Our job at the OU is to service our synagogues by offering them relevant programming,” declared Stephen J. Savitsky, OU President, and Chair of the OU Kashrut (Kosher) Commission. “Our Kosher Division is recognized worldwide as a trusted and reliable certification with years of expertise. Kosher in the Workplace is part of an overall initiative to make this knowledge readily available to the Jewish community.”

The visiting OU experts will respond to a variety of questions, including:

· 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?

“Observant Jews can be found in ever strata of the workplace. The OU wants to empower them with knowledge of how to properly function in this environment,” said program coordinator Rabbi Robert Shur of the Community and Synagogue Services Department.”

According to Rabbi Dovid Cohen, who is coordinating the program for OU Kosher, “The first thing we did was to conduct a poll, in which we solicited questions from two Jewish e-mail lists, regarding the keeping of kosher in the workplace. We got an amazing amount of responses, which gave us much insight into the issues and the relevance of this topic. Next we consulted with Rabbi Schacter, and OU senior rabbinic coordinators to determine the best answers to these questions.”

To register for this event contact the shul at 973-736-1407. For more information about this program, contact Rabbi Robert Shur at 212-613-8329 or Roberts@ou.org.