Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Kosher Education in the Spotlight

Kashrus Organizations in Broad Effort to Educate Kosher Consumers and its Own Mashgichim
(New York)
As the number of packaged kosher products tops 90,000 and ingredient items over 300,000, kashrus organizations are taking steps to provide more customer education as well as educating their own rabbinic supervisors. The Orthodox Union recently launched a synagogue-based program as well as special programming on its OU radio on kashrus issues. The agencies have also stepped up education programs for their own mashgichim (rabbinical supervisors). On March 8th, the OK Kosher Certification held a mashgiach training session at its headquarters in Brooklyn. Led by Restaurant and Catering Rabbinic Coordinator, Rabbi Naftali Marrus, the session focused on familiarizing new mashgichim with OK policies and procedures. He noted the OK’s unique policy of mashgichim calling in to the office when they arrive at work and calling out when they leave, the importance of getting signed written approval from the OK office before using a new product, and OK’s instructions for properly checking vegetables. Other topics included “Pas/Bishul Yisroel.” Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, Kashrus Administrator of the OK, recently traveled to Hong Kong where he delivered a kashrus lecture to the local Jewish community. He also recently gave a community lecture in Brooklyn about the latest whisky controversy. Rabbi Levy spoke about whisky distilleries in Scotland, and reassured attendees that sherry casks do not pose a kashrus problem for whisky.

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