Rabbi Heinemann 2016 Food Service

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 […]


Over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical products that have kosher certification are far and few between. That is why the announcement of the STAR-K certification of various Mylanta brand antacid and anti-gas products is monumental.

Kosher consumers can now find Mylanta Liquid Antacid & Anti-Gas (Maximum Strength Classic, Maximum Strength Vanilla Caramel, and Tonight Soothing Honey Chamomile) and Mylanta Gas Minis (Assorted Fruit, Cherry, and Mint Tablets), distributed by INFIRST HEALTHCARE under license from McNeil Consumer Pharmaceuticals Co., on shelves throughout the US at national retailers such as Walmart and Walgreens.

“Pharmaceuticals are the ‘last frontier’ of kashrus and, unfortunately, very few OTC pharmaceutical products are kosher certified, explained STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Dovid Heber. “Kosher consumers who require such products are often confronted with questions. A STAR-K certified OTC product is a guarantee for consumers that they are receiving a product that is 100% kosher. Furthermore, all certified products are manufactured only on kosher […]



UPDATE: June 28, 2016

We have received updated information that effective this Friday, July 1, 2016, all beers sold in Maryland that were part of our previous alert of being Chometz Sheavar Alav HaPesach, can be assumed to be from after Pesach and are permitted.

Note that all flavored beers or hard beverages require reliable Hashgocho.  Check our beer listing for kosher approved beers and beverages.


Original Alert:

It has come to our attention that two large beer distribution companies in Baltimore and the surrounding areas are Jewish owned. As such, many brands of beer sold in our area are chometz she’avar alav haPesach, and may not be purchased at this time. A complete list of the affected beers can be found here.

These companies are the exclusive distributors of these brands in the listed areas.

The distributors have informed the Star-K that the stock of beer that they owned over Pesach will not […]


The Walter E. Washington Convention Center, famous for hosting the official inaugural balls for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, earned its newest claim to fame, March 20-22, when it hosted the largest Kosher event ever—the 2016 AIPAC Conference. Actually, the 2,300,000-square-foot facility in Washington, D.C., was not large enough for the event which was addressed by Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential hopefuls Senator Ted Cruz, Governor John Kasich, and Donald Trump. The 1,020,000 square foot field Verizon Center and the 105,000 square foot Marriott Marquis, were utilized, as well.

Here are just some of the stats so you can try to fathom what it took for the The Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington (the “Capitol K”) to ensure the event was kosher: 18,700 attendees; 55 mashgichim; 10 kitchens; 4 caterers; 12,000 lamb chops; 5 actual days of catering; 14 carriers of Kosher […]


SAN DIEGO (April 5, 2016) – White Labs , the premier pure yeast and fermentation lab, is proud to announce that house yeast strains and enzymes produced in the company’s San Diego and Davis, Calif. facilities have been certified kosher by STAR-K. The official kosher certification logo, a star with a “K” inside, may now be seen on the back of all U.S. produced product packaging.

The STAR-K Kosher Certification is a guarantee that White Labs house yeast strains and enzyme ingredients meet all kosher requirements. Those requirements include the Jewish religion’s laws that determine which foods are acceptable and conform to the Jewish Code. To become certified, White Labs worked with STAR-K representatives to evaluate the company’s ingredients and products. As a condition of the certification, STAR-K audits the production facilities regularly throughout the year to ensure kosher compliance.

“Having our house yeast strains and enzymes kosher certified is an investment in our company that we hope our customers will appreciate,” said Chris […]


The Summer Fancy Food Show is scheduled for June 26-28, 2016 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York.

The STAR-K booth is #4428.




STAR-K  is happy to announce that ALL Alpine Valley Bread products baked after 3/16/2016 are certified pas yisroel. Products with the number Q076 or higher on the plastic bag fastener were baked after 3/16/2016

Alpine Valley Bread is available at Costco and other major retailers nationwide

On January 28, STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Sholom Tendler addressed the Shomrei Emunah Night Kollel, in Baltimore, about the practical halachos related to cholov Yisroel and its differing common practices in the field of kashrus. A PowerPoint production detailed STAR-K’s management of cholov Yisroel hashgacha at Kreider Farms.

“Rabbi Tendler’s presentation was the perfect complement for the night kollel’s study of the sugya of cholov Yisroel,” remarked Rabbi Shmuel Iser, Rosh Kollel.  “His clear exposition of the halachos and valuable and in-depth knowledge of issues in the real life field of cholov Yisroel hashgachah were greatly appreciated by the fellows of the night kollel.  It is always a wonderful thing when you can take a sugya you are learning and translate it into the real world.”

Rabbi Tendler was also invited to Detroit, on February 10, to present the latest developments in the world of kashrus and bug infestation, including hands-on cleaning […]



Graeter’s first Cleveland location will offer ice cream, sundaes, milkshakes and old-fashioned sodas, all with a star-D kosher rating.

Graeter’s, which opened in Cincinnati in 1870, plans to open an ice cream parlor in Crocker Park in Westlake next summer.

“Our first Cleveland scoop shop will allow us to share our love for authentic ice cream with the community while staying true to our vision of quality and integrity,” Richard Graeter, fourth-generation owner of Graeter’s Ice Cream, said in a news release.

The 2,000-square-foot store will look like an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, accommodating up to 50, according to the release.

“It’s still in the relatively early stages,” Chip Graeter, chief of retail operations for Graeter’, said about the Westlake location. “We’re still setting up all the details with the lease and making sure all of our T’s are crossed and our I’s are dotted.”

Among […]





On December 24, STAR-K Kosher Certification held its annual Winter Mashgichim Review Seminar at its Baltimore offices.  STAR-K Kashrus Administrators Rabbis Mayer Kurcfeld and Sholom Tendler conducted the day-long sessions with the goal of bringing together food service mashgichim to inform, review, and reinforce STAR-K food service policies and procedures. Attendees came from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, D.C., and the Baltimore area.

“Everybody at the STAR-K knows that the mashgichim out in the field are the eyes and ears of our organization and even though STAR-K is a large kashrus organization and gives hashgachos all over the world, food service—which is a relatively small part of STAR-K’s activities—is probably the most important thing that we do,” noted STAR-K president Avrom Pollak, in his opening welcome statement. “The most important part of the program has always been the give and take sessions between the mashgichim themselves, and the rabbonim in […]

Rabbi Jonathan Powers, the Mashgiach at Muhlenberg College, left, reviews the Kosher luncheon menu with Sous Chef Deborah Noel, right, in the dining Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 in Allentown, Pa. (Bradley C Bower/Philadelphia, PA. )


At Muhlenberg College’s dining hall, Jonathan Powers turns on the ovens, makes sure the eggs contain no blood spots, and inspects the broccoli and cauliflower for forbidden pests.

They are some of his duties as the Allentown college’s mashgiach, a Jew who supervises a food establishment to make sure the dietary laws of his faith are followed.

“We’re here to make sure everything is kosher,” explains Powers, 41, “and that all the food that comes in is kosher.”

The college hired him five years ago when it opened two kosher food stations in its new dining hall in an effort to better serve Jewish students.

For Powers, the work is a family tradition; his mother, Louise, 66, is a kosher supervisor at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., and his father, Mark, 66, holds the job at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster.

Nearly a third of Muhlenberg’s 2,200 students are Jewish, among the highest percentages […]

GreenGrown, the vegetable-source glucosamine ingredient from ENI (Ethical Naturals Inc.), has certified non-GMO by Eurofins Scientific and certified kosher by Star-K.



Congratulations to the following 3 companies for winning the Kosherfest new product competition!

Shay’s Chocolate– Dairy Caramel Popcorn (Sweet Snacks Category)
Ceres (Stanmar International)- Fruit Juice (Beverages- Non-Alcoholic)
Froozer/Cool Frootz, LLC (Frozen Desserts)



The rapidly rising parallel global demand for both kosher and organic certifications has created a flourishing specialty food category, kosher organic, for products that meet both the strict requirements of Jewish dietary laws and the USDA National Organic Program specifications. To satisfy the growing numbers of companies worldwide that opt for both of these certifications, QAI and STAR-K Kosher Certification, based in Baltimore, Maryland, introduced a joint kosher and organic auditing program in January 2009. It provides two certifications with a single audit. This streamlined auditing process reduces overall certification costs, saves time and provides excellent service.

What is required of a plant that wants to become and stay kosher compliant? Specific regulations often depend on the nature of the plant. For example, if Plant A produces both kosher and non-kosher in the same facility and Plant B is entirely kosher, Plant A will have additional regulations regarding the use of […]





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., 2016/5776). The term Yoshon (literally, old) refers to crops harvested last summer that became permitted after the following Passover. Thus, the 2014 crop of grains, harvested last summer, became permitted after this past Passover (i.e., 2015/5775). Grain planted at least two weeks (see Dagul Mervava Y.D. 293) or more before Passover is permitted upon harvest since it took root before Passover.

Outside of Israel, there […]



September 10 – Baltimore–STAR-K Certification Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Sholom Tendler was invited by HaRav Hershel Rosenfeld, the Rosh HaKollel of Baltimore’s newest kollel, Khal Chassidim Kollel L’Horo’ah, to present a shiur on chalav Yisrael to the yungerleit, on Labor Day.

Explaining how the chalav Yisrael kashrus program for STAR-K certified “Pride of the Farm” works, Rabbi Tendler began by reviewing the basic halachos of chalav Yisrael. He then covered how the farm operates and what oversight and safeguards are in place to ensure the cows are kosher and not “treifa”—i.e., that they are not operated on or have any sicknesses that would affect the kashrus of the milk. He concluded with an explanation of how the milk is watched and tracked to ensure chalav Yisrael status and maintained l’mihadrin min ha’mihadrin.

“Rabbi Sholom Tendler, besides being a big Talmid Chuchem, is an expert in Kashrus,” noted HaRav Rosenfeld. “The way he […]





“New Horizons” (NASA’s Mission to Pluto) recently came within 7,800 miles of Pluto and brought much attention to this dwarf planet that at any given time is between 2.66 billion and 4.68 billion miles away from Earth.

As we begin Rosh Hashanah, 5776, which will mark the beginning of the final year of the 304th nineteen year cycle since Brias Haolam (the creation of the world), it is interesting to note the amazing similarity between the amount of time it takes Pluto to orbit the the sun and the Jewish Calendar cycle based on 13 – nineteen year cycles found in the Tur (Orach Chaim Siman 428).

The Tur’s chart is based on a 247-year cycle and it takes Pluto about 247 years to orbit the sun.

This is the Tur’s 247-year calendar found in Orach Chaim, Siman 428, in Hilchos Rosh Chodesh. Note the marks we have added to illustrate how the […]






Baltimore, MD – July 27, 2015 – If you place food on a crock pot that is on a timer for Shabbos, is it considered bishul Yisroel? Beyond the food, what obligations does a Kashrus agency have in a facility, e.g., the attire of the wait staff, the type of entertainment and music played, etc.? What is the criterion for Kashrus agencies to decide whether or not to certify an establishment that has just lost its certification?

The answers to these intriguing questions and more were shared by STAR-K Rabbinic Administrator HaRav Moshe Heinemann, shlita, at the 12th Annual STAR-K Kashrus Training Program, held July 13-16, and its back-to-back annual Food Service Kashrus Training Seminar, held July 20-22, in STAR-K’s Baltimore, Maryland, offices.  The former was coordinated by STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Zvi Goldberg; the latter, by STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Sholom Tendler.  In addition to lectures such as: Administrative Issues; […]


The Jewish population is growing all over the world and the demand for Kosher certified products is increasing fast, Head, India and South East Asia Operations of Star-K Kosher Certification organisation, Joel Weinberger, told a seminar on Kosher Certification for food and beverage export industries.

The seminar was organised by the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) at its auditorium in Colombo last week.

Excerpts from his speech

The Kosher market has been growing at an annual rate of 15% for the past several years and Kosher-certified products continue to outsell organic and all natural products. Food manufacturers in North America and Europe, looking for new sources of ingredients, increasingly turn to Asian countries such as India to keep up with demand.

‘Kosher’ was the most frequently used claim on new products launched in the US according to recent market research, more frequently used than ‘All Natural’ and ‘No […]





Last month, STAR-K Certification received an envelope filled with handwritten letters that asked questions like: ‘How many different lands do you go to, to give a hechsher?’ ‘How many hours a day do you spend at each company?’ and ‘How do you become a mashgiach?’ Accompanying the inquisitive, complimentary letters full of hakaras hatov, written by the obviously precocious second graders of Mevakshai Hashem– a Chasidishe cheder located in Boro Park–was a cover letter addressed to STAR-K by the boys’ rebbe, Rabbi Dovid Weinberger:

“These letters were written to you as part of our school’s General Studies “food science project”. This program consisted of writing first to ordinary food companies, and then to kashrus agencies. Each class was given another organization to write to; we chose the STAR-K.”

Eight-year-old Chananya Rosenberg was creative in illustrating every letter “K” in his letter as a “STAR-K” logo when he wrote:

“I want to thank you […]


Lost Jews of China

In the Middle Ages, Jewish traders following the ancient Silk Road spice route settled in China, forming a community in the city of Kaifeng. Kaifeng was then one of the “Seven Ancient Capitals of China” and one of the world’s largest metropolises, with a population of close to one million. China’s ruling Song Emperors welcomed the Jews as welcome guests, bestowing seven family names that these Kaifeng Jews could use – some of which are still carried by their descendents in the town today.

Kaifeng’s Jewish community thrived at first, building its first synagogue in 1163, and eventually swelling to several thousand members. Smaller Jewish communities sprung up in other towns in China. Unlike many Jewish communities elsewhere, it seems that China’s Jews faced little or no persecution. Ironically, the lack of discrimination they faced in China seems to have hastened their end.

A model of the Kaifeng synagogue […]

Click here to visit the entire article and pictures: http://baltimorejewishlife.com/news/news-detail.php?SECTION_ID=1&ARTICLE_ID=59168

Baltimore, MD  – April 23, 2015 – It is well known that when the Posek Hador, Rav Moshe Feinstein, Zatza”l, wrote his famous Teshuva inIgros Moshe Even HaEzer IV 92, in 1982, which placed severe restrictions on the production and purchase of Kosher white veal to the point that those who followed his Psak stopped eating Veal, his son-in-law,  Rabbi Dr. Moshe D. Tendler, Shlit”a, a Rosh Yeshiva in Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchonon, Rov in Monsey and biology professor at Yeshiva University, was Rav Moshe’s “right hand” in this psak. Rabbi Dr. Tendler in addition to his vast knowledge of Halacha and Science, had significant practical experience in Shechita including having headed the Shechita department of the Orthodox Union for a time.

Since then, Rav Tendler, Shlit”a, and many of his and Rav Moshe’s Talmidim, have abstained from eating veal due to his […]





It was not Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld’s first time in South Bend, Indiana, when he traveled there on January 27. Although the STAR-K Kashrus Administrator had been there previously, solely on Kashrus business, this time, in addition, he was asked by Rabbi Meir Bulman, Rav of the Hebrew Orthodox Congregation, to make two, women-only, vegetable inspection presentations– one for the Bais Yaakov of Indiana high school students and the other for the women of the community.

“I was totally amazed and, quite frankly, pleasantly surprised at the number of frum women who attended,” admitted Rabbi Kurcfeld. “Additionally, it gave me great pleasure to see both their attention and enthusiasm, but more so, the seriousness they gave the subject matter by really trying their utmost to learn the process in the short time that we had.”

Rabbi Kurcfeld is part of STAR-K’s Speakers Bureau, comprised of administrative staff members who travel throughout the […]





STAR-K Kosher Certification has become the first major organization of its kind to train its entire Kosher administrative staff in Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP)––a systematic, scientifically-based approach to food safety, provides a method for identifying significant physical, chemical, and microbiological hazards in the production of food and implementing control measures to prevent, eliminate, or reduce significant hazards to an acceptable level.

The two-day in-house training at STAR-K’s Baltimore headquarters was lead by NSF International in November 2014. The Kosher organization’s staff traveled from all over the U.S. After formal training, all staff members passed the qualifying exam.

“STAR-K Kosher Administrators, who are already visiting plants to set up impeccable Kosher standards, have a distinct advantage when they are proficient in areas of food safety, as well,” explains STAR-K Kosher Certification president Dr. Avrom Pollak. “It is with that in mind that we arranged to have NSF International provide in-house HACCP […]



One of the first stops Rabbi Binyomin Friedman made in Baltimore, on Thursday, December 11, after flying up the night before from Atlanta, was STAR-K Kosher Certification. The dozen or so men, aged 30-60, who accompanied him were just some of his students at the Atlanta Scholars Kollel (ASK). The Kollel organized the trip for the purpose of providing the opportunity to learn in a Yeshiva—something that most of these men had never experienced in person.

“We spent Thursday through Sunday at Yeshivas Ner Yisroel,” says Rabbi Friedman, an alumnus of the yeshiva who is the Rav of Congregation Ariel in Dunwoody, Georgia, in addition to one of the founding rebbeim of ASK. “When we were not learning, we spent our time learning about the infrastructure of a frum community. The STAR-K was one of our first stops. Commercial Kashrus supervision is fundamental to the existence of the contemporary Jewish community. […]



By BJLife/Isaac Draiman
Baltimore, MD – Dec. 8 – This past Sunday a group visiting from Detroit had an opportunity to learn about the various response organizations that serve the Baltimore Jewish Community.

Approximately 30 visitors traveling to Baltimore with the Partners in Torah branch of Detroit came to Baltimore to see how our Orthodox Community is structured. After visiting Ner Israel and having a meeting with the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Aharon Feldman, shlita, they came to Bnos Yisroel to see firsthand the uniqueness of our chesed organizations.

Representatives of Hatzolah, Shomrim and Chaverim were on hand, explaining their histories and services provided. Dovid Heyman, Executive Director and Paramedic with Hatzalah of Baltimoreexplained the lifesaving emergency services they provide. Nathan Willner, General Counsel  and  Michael Diamond, dispatcher, of the Baltimore Shomrim Safety Patrol , and David Bagan, President of Chaverim also took turns explaining their organizations services as well. Many of the attendees […]




[By: Margie Pensak]

Security was tight at STAR-K Certification’s largest and most challenging food service supervision, to date–The Jewish Federations of North America’s 2014 General Assembly (GA), the premier annual North American Jewish communal event, held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, in National Harbor, Maryland, November 9-12. Vice President Joe Biden was one of the several scheduled speakers and I had to make sure I arrived early enough before Gaylord’s security lockdown. I never did get to see the Vice President, while I was touring the kosher kitchen with STAR-K Assistant Director of Supervision Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld, who spearheaded the kashrus team for this event. But, I did feel the thrill of the anticipation of his arrival, as I went through more than one security checkpoint and watched a sniffing K-9 attack trained German shepherd police dog check out the crowd!

The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center is […]




Baltimore, MD – Aug. 4– Yosef Cohen has been attending a community kollel in Raanana, Israel, for the past five years. He decided to sign up forSTAR-K’s Food Service Kashrus Training Seminar, held July 28-30, because he is considering moving back to the US and will need a parnasa.

“I was always interested in Hashgacha and have taken a Hashgacha course in Eretz Yisroel and received a certificate from Rav Efrati and the Rabanut of Israel,” notes Mr. Cohen, a first time STAR-K seminar attendee.  “The STAR-K training seminar was a great review of the pertinent Halachos, and gave amazing hands on information and tips for the seasoned and beginner.”

What Mr. Cohen found most helpful was learning how to deal with the vendors: “We learned to always be a mensch and remember that you are the Rabbi while on the job, whether you think of yourself like that or not, and […]