A colorful, cutesy “Kosher Basics” PowerPoint was the springboard for a well-received interactive presentation made by STAR-K Kosher Certification Assistant Director of Supervision Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld for Cornell University senior dietetics students, on February 28. It preceded a tour of the STAR-K certified kosher kitchen on the Ithaca, New York, campus for the future registered dietitians.

The presentation topics included: The Torah basis for Kashrus, ingredient sources, ritual slaughter, dairy and meat, vegetable checking for infestation, grape and wine products, Bishul Yisroel, the role of a Kosher certification agency, how to set up a kosher kitchen, and the practical application of the Kosher rules. Chef Jason Haus and mashgiach Gavriel Ress were also present to provide a comprehensive overview of the Cornell Dining team who work together to accomplish STAR-K certified dining at Cornell.

“To make it practical for them, we formulated and discussed various menus,” notes Rabbi Kurcfeld. “I emphasized the […]

All Star-K Establishments

All Star-D Establishments

Stores in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area

 7-11

Fords Lane, Hooks Lane, Old Court road (at Greenwood), Reisterstown Road (near Slade Ave)
 Royal Farms

 A-Z Savings

6307 Reisterstown Road
 Sam’s Discount Warehouse

 BJ’s
 Save-A-Lot

 Colonial Liquors
Savings Center

4003 Seven Mile Market

 Costco
Seven Mile Market

 CVS
Shoppers Food Warehouse

 Dugan’s Liquor
Shoprite

37 Aylesbury Road, Timonium

 *Dunkin Donuts

1508 Reisterstown Road (at Old Court Road)

7000 Reisterstown Road (near Fallstaff Road)
 Trader Joe’s

 Food Lion
 Walgreens

 Petco
Walmart

 Petsmart
Whole Foods

 Rite-Aid
 Wine Loft

For updated information, regarding stores where chometz may be purchased, please see www.star-k.org/passover.
* Only these two locations of Dunkin Donuts are under the certification of Rabbi Sholom Salfer. Please note that it is permissible to purchase products at these Dunkin Donuts on Motzei Pesach, April 18, ONLY AFTER 9:40 p.m. (this time meets the requirement of ושﬠיש ידכב).

Consumers in other communities should check with their local Vaad Hakashrus for regional store information.

Major Jewish Owned Supermarkets that do not sell their chometz

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 (2 weeks after Pesach)

[...] Read More

The following chart offers guidelines for products that are ( חמץ שעבר עליו הפסח (שעה”פ . “Yes” next to a product indicates the product is subject to the halachos of חמץ שעה”פ . Following Pesach, one may purchase these products only from a Jewish owned store that properly sold its chometz, or from a store owned by a gentile. “No” next to a product indicates the product is not subject to the halachos of חמץ שעה”פ . These products may be purchased at any store after Pesach.

Product

?חמץ שעבר עליו הפסח

 Barley (if pearled, raw and packaged)
No

 Beer
 Yes

 Bran (Wheat, Oat)
 Yes

 Bread /cake/cookies
 Yes

 Cereal with primary ingredient of wheat, oats or barley
 Yes

 Chometz content is more than a k’zayis.
 Yes

 Chometz content in entire package is less than a k’zayis but is greater than 1/60 of the cooked product (e.g., Corn Flakes cereal)
 Yes

 Chometz content in entire package is less than a k’zayis but is greater than 1/60 of the […]

The following is a list of pet foods approved for Passover 2017 when produced in the U.S. Products with identical names from foreign countries may have different formulations, thus compromising their Passover status. Since formulas are subject to change, make sure to check all labels. There should be no chometz listed. A product listing both meat and dairy ingredients may not be used any time during the year. (See “Feeding Your Pet: Barking Up the Right Tree” for more information)

CATS

Blue Wilderness Grain Free (dry): Adult (Indoor Chicken, Weight Control, Duck, Salmon, Trout, Red Meat, Rabbit), Kitten (Chicken)
Evanger’s: When bearing cRc Passover approval.
Friskies (canned): Classic Paté Classic Seafood Entrée, Classic Paté Salmon Dinner, Classic Paté Country Style Dinner, Classic Paté Chicken and Tuna Dinner, Classic Paté Mariners Catch
Merrick Grain Free Limited Ingredient Diet (canned): Real Chicken, Real Duck, Real Salmon, Real Turkey
Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free (dry): Adult […]

NOTE: Products bearing STAR-K P on the label DO NOT contain Kitniyos or Kitniyos Shenishtanu (kitniyos that have been manufactured and transformed into a new product)

 Anise4
Dextrose (possibly chometz)
NutraSweet1

 Ascorbic Acid1,3 (possibly chometz)
Emulsifiers 3
Peanuts 2

 Aspartame1
Fennel 4,6
Peas 

 Beans (including Green Beans, Edamame, etc.)
Fenugreek 2,6
Rice 5

 Bean Sprouts
Flavors3 (possibly chometz)
Seeds

Caraway, Poppy, Sesame, Sunflower

 BHA (in corn oil)
 Glucose3 (possibly chometz)
Sodium Erythorbate1

 BHT (in corn oil)
Guar Gum 3
Sodium Citrate1 (possibly chometz)

 Buckwheat (Kasha)
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (possibly chometz)
Sorbitan 1

 Calcium Ascorbate1,3  (possibly chometz)
Isolated Soy Protein
Sorbitol 1

 Canola Oil (Rapeseed)
Isomerized Syrup 
Soy Beans 

 Chickpeas
Lecithin 
Stabilizers 3

 Citric Acid1,3  (possibly chometz)
Lentils
Starch (possibly chometz)

 Confectioner’s Sugar  (possibly chometz, look for KFP symbol)
Maltodextrin1 (possibly chometz)
String Beans 

 Coriander4
Millet 
Tofu 

 Corn
MSG3 (possibly chometz)
Vegetable Oil 3

 Cumin4
Mustard 
Vitamin C 1,3(possibly chometz)

1.Kitniyos Shenishtanu
2. Should be avoided on Pesach.
3. Unless bearing a reliable Passover certification.
4. Only acceptable when the certifying agency has documented that all chometz issues have been resolved.
5. Those people who eat rice on Pesach should confirm their rice is Kosher L’Pesach and free of problematic additives. For more information, see www.star-s.org.
6. The bulbs, […]

SPONSORED BY THE CHESED FUND/PROJECT EZRA
PIMLICO RACE COURSE
Clubhouse Parking Lot
ENTRANCE ONLY FROM HAYWARD AVENUE

3 Blocks East of Park Heights Avenue

Monday, April 10, 2017

between 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Closed cans or bottles will not be accepted to avoid the hazard of explosion. Please be considerate by burning chometz, not plastic. Dumpsters will be provided for large amounts of chometz. Also, please do not abuse this service by bringing excessive amounts of chometz or trash.
RECYCLING is encouraged. Designated dumpsters are available on site.
NO BULK TRASH (non-food related) will be permitted. After chometz is burned,
is recited.
For sponsorship opportunities, please call Frank Storch at 410-340-1000.
THE CHESED FUND/PROJECT EZRA
BALTIMORE CHOMETZ BURNING 2017

Erev Pesach (after the time of Biur Chometz)

If you find chometz on Erev Pesach after the latest time for biur chometz:

If you sold your chometz earlier that morning: You should move the chometz that you found to the place that you are storing the chometz that you sold.
If you did not sell your chometz earlier that morning: You should burn it.

First day of Pesach

If you find chometz on the first day of Pesach: You should cover it with a utensil.

Second day of Pesach

If you find chometz on the second day of Pesach, or if you found chometz on the first day of Pesach and had covered it:

If you sold your chometz before Pesach, or you said ‘Kol Chamira’ before Pesach, or the chometz that you found was less than a kezayis: You should cover it with a utensil if you find it on the second day, or keep it covered […]

The following chart, prepared with the assistance of R’ Eli Reidler, indicates the latest times for eating and burning of chometz, and the time for lighting candles on
Erev Pesach, Monday, April 10, 2017
All times listed are local Daylight Saving Time (except Phoenix, AZ).

City

Eating

Burning

Candle Lighting

 Atlanta, GA
 10:54 am
 12:08 pm
 7:46 pm

 Baltimore, MD
 10:23 am
11:38 am
7:21 pm

 Boston, MA
 10:00 am
11:16 am
7:02 pm

 Brooklyn, NY
 10:12 am
11:27 am
7:12 pm

 Buffalo, NY
 10:32 am
11:47 am
7:34 pm

 Chicago, IL
10:07 am
11:22 am
7:08 pm

 Cincinnati, OH
 10:54 am
12:09 pm
7:52 pm

 Cleveland, OH
 10:43 am
11:58 am
7:44 pm

 Columbus, OH
 10:48 am
 12:03 pm
7:47 pm

 Dallas, TX
 10:44 am
11:57 am
7:35 pm

 Denver, CO
 10:16 am
11:31 am
7:15 pm

 Detroit, MI
 10:49 am
12:04 pm
7:51 pm

 Far Rockaway/Five Towns, NY
10:11 am
11:26 am
7:11 pm

 Hartford, CT
 10:07 am
11:22 am
7:08 pm

 Houston, TX
 10:39 am
11:52 am
7:28 pm

 Indianapolis, IN
 11:01 am
12:15 pm
8:00 pm

 Lakewood, NJ
 10:13 am
11:28 am
7:12 pm

 Las Vegas, NV
 9:57 am
11:11 am
6:52 pm

 Los Angeles, CA
 10:10 am
11:24 am
7:03 pm

 Memphis, TN
 10:16 am
11:30 am
7:10 pm

 Miami, FL
 10:38 am
11:51 am
7:23 pm

 Milwaukee, WI
 10:08 am
11:23 am
7:10 pm

 Minneapolis, MN
 10:29 am
 11:45 am
7: 34 pm

 Monsey, NY
 10:12 am
11:27 am
7:13 pm

 Monticello, NY
 10:15 […]

Kashering – A hotel kitchenette requires the same method of kashering for Passover as a home kitchen. Please consult the “STAR-K Pesach Kitchen”  for more information. Kosherization must be completed before Passover.

Bedikas Chometz – One who is staying at a hotel and did not bring any chometz into the room should perform bedikas chometz without a brochah. Some hotel rooms have a “mini-bar” that is pre-stocked with drinks and snacks by the hotel. If there are food items in the mini-bar which are not kosher for Passover, one should ensure that the staff removes those items. Alternatively, the mini-bar should be sealed off and the staff informed that the guest bears no responsibility for those items. Ice from the icemaker may be used, but the ice bucket in the room should not be used. The coffeemaker also may not be used. One must ensure that a […]

Cooktops

Electric smoothtops may present a problem of kashering for Pesach. Check with your rav.
Electric cooktops may pose a problem with adjusting the temperature on Yom Tov.
Electronic ignition may pose a problem with initiating a flame on Yom Tov.
Cooktops (gas or electric) may have a light or light bar that turns on when the burner is turned on. Some of these light bars also increase or decrease as the temperature setting is adjusted. Some cooktops may also have simmer lights that turn on and off as one enters or exits a very low setting.
Avoid electronic controls. After return of power from a power failure, these units will probably stay off.
Avoid induction cooktops. They work well, but are not usable on Shabbos or Yom Tov.
12-hour cutoff – should have a way to disable or override.

Ovens
12 hour Cutoff

Should have a way to disable or override.

Temperature Adjustment on Yom Tov

If you desire to change […]

Yom Tov celebrations could never be complete without the traditional piping hot delicacies from past generations. However, the kosher homemaker must be well educated on how to prepare Yom Tov meals without fear of transgressing a Torah or rabbinic prohibition.
When mentioning the prohibition of work on Shabbos the Torah writes, “Do not do any melacha (work prohibited on Shabbos).”1 This prohibition applies to melacha performed for food preparation, as well as other non-food purposes. In stating the prohibition of melacha on Yom Tov the Torah writes, “You shall not do laborious work.”2 In addition, when giving the initial command about the Yom Tov of Pesach the Torah writes, “No work may be done on them (first and seventh day of Pesach), except for what must be eaten for any person, only that may be done for you.” (Shmos 22:16) The Ramban explains that the contrast of terms (work versus […]

The following is a checklist reviewing items commonly found in the kitchen and how to prepare them for Pesach.

Utensil

Preparation

Baby Bottle
Since it comes into contact with chometz (e.g., washed with dishes, boiled in chometz pot), new ones should be purchased.

Baby High Chair
Clean thoroughly. Preferable to cover the tray with contact paper.

Blech
Libbun gamur. Should preferably be replaced

Blender/Food Processor
New or Pesachdik receptacle required (plus any part of unit that makes direct contact with food). Thoroughly clean appliance. The blade should be treated like any knife and should be kashered through hagola.

Smoothie Machine
New or Pesachdik receptacle required (plus any part of unit that makes direct contact with food). Thoroughly clean appliance. The blade should be treated like any knife and should be kashered through hagola.

Can Opener
Difficult to clean properly. Should be put away with chometz dishes.

Candlesticks/Tray
Clean thoroughly. Should not be put under hot water in a kosher for Pesach sink.

Coffeemakers
Metal coffeemakers that have brewed […]

Food

Brochah Rishonah

Brochah Achronah

Gefilte Fish (with or without matzah meal)
Shehakol
Borei Nefashos

Grape Juice
Hagefen
Al Hagefen
See footnotes #1 and #6

Grape Juice mixed with water or other beverages
See Footnote #2
See Footnote #2

Kneidlach (matzah balls)
Mezonos
Al Hamichya

Macaroons (from shredded coconut – still nikker3)
Haetz
Borei Nefashos

Macaroons (from ground coconut or paste)
Shehakol
Borei Nefashos

Matzah (wheat, whole wheat, oat, spelt)
Hamotzi
Birchas Hamazon

Matzah Brei
See Footnote #4
See Footnote #4

Matzah Cereal (from matzah meal)
Mezonos
Al Hamichya

Matzah, Egg5
Mezonos5
Al Hamichya5

Matzah Kugel/Stuffing
Mezonos
Al Hamichya

Matzah Lasagna7
Hamotzi
Birchas Hamazon

Matzah Meal Cake
Mezonos
Al Hamichya

Matzah Meal Rolls8
Mezonos
Al Hamichya

Matzah Pizza7
Hamotzi
Birchas Hamazon

Potato Kugel (made from shredded potatoes – still nikker3)
Hoadama
Borei Nefashos

Potato Kugel (from potatoes ground into pudding-like substance so potatoes are no longer nikker3)
Shehakol
Borei Nefashos

Potato Starch Cake
Shehakol
Borei Nefashos

Quinoa (cooked)
Hoadama
Borei Nefashos

Quinoa Flour Products (e.g. quinoa cake and cookies, quinoa pancakes)
Shehakol
Borei Nefashos

Taigelach (matzah meal cooked in sweet syrup)
Mezonos
Al Hamichya

Wine
Hagafen
Al Hagefen See footnotes #1 and #6

1. A brochah acharonah is recited when drinking at least a reviis (3.8 fl. oz.) within a 30 second span. If one drank between 1.0 fl. […]

The production of Kosher for Pesach (KFP) matzos involves a great deal of meticulous work. The process begins with the inspection of wheat kernels to ensure that they have not been adversely affected by moisture in the air or prematurely sprouted. Grinding of the grain must be performed according to the dictates of halachah, which precludes any pre-grind soaking of the grain and requires special preparation of the milling equipment to ensure that no contamination exists from non-Passover flour in the grinders and filters. The KFP flour is then loaded onto trucks, either pneumatically or in bags under controlled conditions, and shipped to the bakeries.
A bakery which has been kashered for Pesach will have already prepared special water (mayim shelanu) to be used for Pesach matzos. Hand matzah bakeries do not use regular municipal water for fear that the chemicals added to the water may affect the leavening qualities […]

When Mesivta Ne’imus HaTorah Menahel Rabbi Laib Schulman approached STAR-K Kosher Certification about teaching a few of his students some Kashrus basics, the non-profit agency was eager to comply. Rather than start off with something as simple as what is behind a kosher symbol or basic kitchen kashrus rules, STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld went with his gut feeling—literally and figuratively—planning a memorable once-in-a-lifetime presentation. He wowed the boys at STAR-K’s Baltimore offices, on January 4, with his three different-sized chalafim (shechting knives), two cow lungs, and a cow’s hoof!

In addition to demonstrating the chalaf sharpness test on a student’s nail and explaining which knife is used for which type of animal, Rabbi Kurcfeld discussed the five basic halachos of shechita, mentioning the types of animals that need to be schechted. He also reviewed the split hoof and fish scale kosher criteria, the difference between a neveila and a […]

The Torah forbids discarding holy objects by throwing them into the trash. Some objects always have kedusha and must be placed in shaimos. Other objects gain kedusha once they are used for a mitzvah and need to be treated with special care.

SHAIMOS
Objects which have innate holiness, kedusha, are shaimos. This means that, when discarded, they must be wrapped in plastic and buried. The following objects are included in this category:
1. A Sefer Torah.
2. Sefer Torah covers.
3. Tefillin, tefillin bags, mezuzos, and mezuzah covers.
4. Siddurim and bentchers.
5. Seforim, whether handwritten, printed, photocopied or downloaded and printed (e.g., chumashim, siddurim, machzorim, seforim, Gemara, Shulchan Aruch, etc.).
6. A quote from tanach, chazal, Rishonim or Achronim, that has been printed or written with the intention of explaining Torah, or to teach us how to conduct ourselves according to hashkafos haTorah.
7. Invitations from organizations and individuals that […]

Vinegar is one of nature’s most unique and versatile products. Folklore maintains that vinegar was discovered quite by accident, when wine was inadvertently left to sour. This resulted in the first batch of full-bodied wine vinegar. Indeed, the word ‘vinegar’ is derived from the French word vinaigre, which means sour wine. Euphemistically, the Talmud refers to a ne’er-do-well son of a righteous father as a Chometz Ben Yayin, “vinegar son of wine.”
Folklore aside, vinegar was well known in the time of Tanach. The Torah forbids a Nazir to drink wine vinegar or eat other grape and wine products. In Tehillim,1 Dovid Hamelech asked to drink vinegar when he said, “Vlitzmaie Yashkuni Chometz”. In Megilas Rus, Boaz’s workers dipped their bread in vinegar.2
The Hebrew term for vinegar, chometz (pronounced ch-oh-metz), is similar to the word chametz (pronounced ch-aw-maitz), leavened bread products. This etymological similarity underscores the correlation between the […]

The new food trends that have been embraced by society at large have led to a similar preoccupation with food within corporate America. This development has obvious ramifications for the kosher consumer at the office. The following is a guide to dealing with kashrus issues in the workplace.1 While it is impossible to address all the kashrus issues that may arise, this article provides an overview. As with all halacha, when questions arise, one should consult his rav.

1) Eating in a Cafeteria Shared with Co-Workers Who Eat Non-Kosher – Food on a plate, may’iker hadin, may be eaten even when placed on a non-kosher clean table. The Baday Hashulchan2 notes that today, the general custom is to use a napkin (or a placemat or something of a similar nature) when eating on a non-kosher table, even if it is clean.3 Although, in many cases a “heker” is required4 when individuals […]

At full service Starbucks stores that serve treif meat, one should avoid buying drinks prepared with equipment that may have been washed with treif equipment. At these stores, there are drinks listed below  that are prepared without any contact with questionable equipment and are acceptable at any store. We cannot recommend any other products in these stores (see items x’ed below) unless they come packaged with a reliable certification.

However, all drinks listed below are permissible under one of the following conditions:

The store does not serve meat or cheese items; OR
It is one of the stores listed here that has implemented “kosher-friendly” equipment rinse practices to avoid issues with listed beverages; OR
When one is traveling*, According to Star-K policy, traveling creates a sha’as hadchak (i.e. no other viable option is readily available) and one need not be concerned with restrictions on the beverages listed below. Traveling means when you are away from your hometown. You don’t […]

We recommend one avoid buying drinks that are made with equipment that may have been washed with certain pieces of treif equipment at full service Starbucks stores that serve treif meat items.
There are a number of stores that have implemented “kosher-friendly” equipment rinse practices to avoid these issues. They are listed here.
Please note: Starbucks stores serve cholov stam. There are some stores that are serving cholov yisroel milk and cream, subject to availability. We do not audit or certify this program. Consumers who require cholov yisroel should use their discretion or consult their rov to determine the cholov yisroel status of the milk being served.

The following recommendations are for the USA and Canada only.
Click here for a list of stores with “Kosher-friendly” equipment rinse practices.

BEVERAGE
ACCEPTABLE ANY STARBUCKS
ACCEPTABLE WHEN TRAVELING*, AT “KOSHER-FRIENDLY” STORES LISTED HERE OR FROM STORES THAT DON’T SERVE MEAT ITEMS

Americano

Use disposable cup.
Avoid using the “shot ” […]

The logistical challenge of feeding 400+ Cornell University students and staff members Rosh Hashanah dinner in “Trillium at Kennedy Hall” and an overflow in an outside tent–in addition to two daily meals throughout the school year– was one that STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld was up for. Cornell’s 104 West! and It’s Kosher– the campus’ satellite kosher dining station at North Star Dining Room—is presently the sixth college kitchen under this campus kashrus expert’s supervisory guidance.

Cornell upperclassman Sam Baer, president of the college’s Center for Jewish Living, first approached STAR-K Kosher Certification in March, 2015, about the possibility of certifying an on-campus kosher kitchen. After making three 12-hour roundtrip drives from Baltimore to the Cornell campus in Ithaca, New York, the STAR-K and STAR-D logos were awarded in time for the Fall Semester.

One of the factors unique to certifying a college kitchen versus a restaurant is finding just the […]

Q: Do potato chips need to be bishul Yisroel (cooked by a Jew)?

A: The Shulchan Aruch states that there is a rabbinic obligation that food be cooked through bishul Yisroel if both of the following conditions are met: (i) The food is generally not eaten raw, and (ii) The cooked food is something that would be served at a shulchan melochim – a king’s table.1 Since we are no longer ruled by royalty, we cannot observe what is served at a king’s table. The modern-day equivalent to a king’s meal is an elegant meal, such as that served at a wedding.2  This second condition is met whether the food is served at a shulchan melochim as part of the main course or as the dessert. In either case, if the food is generally not eaten raw it needs to be bishul Yisroel.3

The Aruch Hashulchan proposes that potatoes are peasant food and are not […]

INTRODUCTION
Eretz Yisroel has the unique privilege of being the recipient of the Ribono Shel Olam’s brochos throughout the year. Its agricultural industry continues to grow and flourish. Some consumer products imported from Eretz Yisroel, such as Jaffa oranges and grapefruits, are very well known to the American marketplace while other products including clementines, carrots, red peppers, jams, jellies, tomatoes, olives, and pickled products are not as familiar. Finally, there are a host of industrial products like orange oil, lemon oil and parsley that provide a steady supply of raw materials.

Besides all the general consumer kashrus concerns regarding ingredients, processing and certification, there are additional kashrus requirements that apply to foods grown and produced in Eretz Yisroel. For instance, one must be sure that terumos and ma’asros have been properly separated before consumption. Furthermore, one needs to ensure that the fruits do not come from trees that violate the conditions […]

Someone gives you a choice between two items, seemingly identical. Their only difference is that one is dark and dull, the other is bright and shiny. Which one would you choose? A tarnished penny or a gleaming one? The odds favor the latter. Food stylists and advertisers know this well. Look at any magazine spread and see how the careful lighting adds to the appeal of ordinary foods. There is probably no food item that better epitomizes the concept of a ‘shiny’ food than candy. Think glossy lollipops, satiny Mike and Ikes, gleaming M&M’s . . .

Candy manufacturers value eye appeal and they do get their candy to shine. How do they do it? What do they use to achieve their goal? In the industrial world, it is called shellac and in the candy
community it is known as confectioner’s glaze. What is confectioner’s glaze? Where does it
originate? How is […]

Stored improperly, schach can become a target and breeding ground for insects. These insects could then drop onto the table and into your food.

When schach is wrapped in plastic or any similar non-breathing material, ambient temperature changes may lead to development of condensate inside the wrapper. This can create a moist environment ideal for breeding insects.

People tend to keep schach mats in their original bags and then store it in areas that are not climate-controlled (e.g., basement storage rooms, garages, sheds). These types of conditions often lead to infestation.

While we do not have statistics to show how often schach is infested, it would seem prudent to prevent schach infestation by not storing it in plastic. If you must wrap it, use paper, or leave the plastic open so it can vent. Under dry conditions – whether temperatures are cool or hot – insects won’t thrive.

If you are concerned your schach […]

Portland, Oregon and Richmond, Virginia, were just two of the locales that participants traveled from to attend STAR-K Kosher Certification’s back-to-back seminars in its Baltimore offices. The 13th Annual STAR-K Kashrus Training Program was held August 1-4, followed by the Food Service Kashrus Training Seminar, August 8-10. Both certificate programs featured a Q & A session with STAR-K Rabbinic Administrator Rav Moshe Heinemann, as well as a variety of lectures by STAR-K Kashrus Administrators, tours of STAR-K-certified establishments, hands-on vegetable checking practicums, and an optional visit (led by Food Service Kashrus Training Seminar coordinator, Rabbi Sholom Tendler) to Kreider Farms—home of Pride of the Farm milk–in Lancaster, PA. The first seminar even included a live nikkur demonstration of a calf.

Rabbi Yitzy Mandel and Rabbi Simcha Snaid, kollel yungerleit of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in Queens, New York, found the Kashrus Training Program invaluable in preparation for their post-Tisha B’Av move to […]

For the STAR-K Yoshon Quick Reference Guide click here
For a Yoshon/Pas Yisroel List of Local Establishments, click here

Yoshon season has officially started. Many people get confused about what the terms Yoshon and Chodosh are. Here we present a brief explanation of each, followed by some product information.

The Torah (Vayikra 23:14) states that the new (i.e., Chodosh) crop of the five grains may not be eaten until after the second day of Passover (i.e., in Israel; in the Diaspora, not until after the third day). This means that the grain harvested this summer would not be allowed until after Passover of next year (i.e., 2017/5777). The term Yoshon (literally, old) refers to crops harvested last summer that became permitted after the following Passover. Thus, the 2015 crop of grains, harvested last summer, became permitted after this past Passover (i.e., 2016/5776). Grain planted at least two weeks (see Dagul Mervava Y.D. […]

If one had to choose a single word to describe an olive, it would be ‘versatile’. Olive oil was used daily to light the Menorah in the Bais Hamikdosh. Our first introduction to olive oil was the Shemen Hamishcha, an infused olive oil with a unique blend of spices used to anoint melachim, kohanim and klei haMikdash. Moreover, the yonah (dove) brought back an olive branch to Noach in the ark, and our baseline halachic measurement for eating something significant is a “k’zayis”, the size of an olive.1 The Gemara in Brochos tells us that if one sees an olive in a dream, it is a sign of peace; if one sees an olive branch, it is a sign of Torah scholarship.
There is an opinion in the Midrash that the fruit of the Eitz Hadaas, Tree of Knowledge, was from an olive tree. Additionally, Asher (one of Yaakov Avinu’s […]

How much must one eat to recite a brocha acharona? How much bread must one eat to fulfill one’s obligation of seudas Shabbos?
Although Chazal chose to describe measurements in terms of commonly used items or foods such as a k’zayis (olive) and a k’beitzah (egg), the size of a standard size egg 1800 years ago may have been larger than today’s egg. Similarly, there are many varieties of olives, and we are uncertain as to which one is used for the k’zayis measure. Therefore, shiurim must be defined in contemporary terms.1 The following is based on the psak of Rabbi Moshe Heinemann shlit”a.
I. K’zayis Measurement2 – 1.27 fl. oz. (38 ml) – If one eats a k’zayis3 of bread, he must recite birchas hamazon.4 Similarly, if one eats a k’zayis of any other food a brocha acharona must be recited.5
Our testing indicates that this is the approximate […]