May 13, 2014

Next Generation of Kosher Supervisors will be Better Trained, Experts Say

Boruch, a 23-year old student in a Brooklyn yeshiva is not yet sure on the career he will pursue. What he is sure is that until he makes up his mind, he will be working as a Mashgiach (kosher supervisor). But the agency he will be working for will not rely on his training in yeshiva alone. The agencies are determined to assure that their mashgichim are better trained than in the past. This summer many would-be mahgichim will participate in training programs

The Orthodox Union (OU) is accepting applications from rabbis and advanced students interested in enhancing their knowledge of practical applications in the world of kashrus. ASK OU 12 (Advanced Seminars on Kashrus) consists of two separate courses of study: A three-week internship providing intensive kashrus education, which will be held from August 6-August 26; and a one week training program, providing an overview of the field, which will be held from August 11-15. The internship participants will also take the one-week session.

The Star-K’s Kashrus Training Program has been held annually since 2003 at the Star-K offices in Baltimore, Maryland. This intensive seminar is limited to 25 students — Rabbonim, certifying agency administrators, kollel members, and others who will be taken behind the scenes of a first class luxury hotel’s kosher kitchen and a manufacturing plant. Seminar participants will also benefit from lectures delivered by STAR-K administrators, audio-visual presentations, and a hands-on practicum to find the less obvious thrips and aphids hiding in a restaurant’s vegetables.

In Israel too, dozens of applicants will be participating in training programs, sponsored by the Chief Rabbinate. The Chief Rabbinate recently voted to include women as kosher supervisors. Nine women took the Chief Rabbinate’s kosher supervision exam last week in Jerusalem. Should they pass, they would become the first women qualified to enforce kashrus.