Published Fall 2012
Rabbi Daniel Presman traveled 10,800 roundtrip miles, a 22-hour roundtrip flight from his hometown of Porto Alegre, Brazil, just to attend STAR-K’s ninth annual Kashrus Training Program, July 16-19, 2012, held in its Baltimore offices.
“My community wants more kosher certified food,” explains Rabbi Presman. “Despite the differences in supervision policies between Brazilian hechsherim and those of STAR-K, I think the most important thing is learning about the practical, hands-on, on-site issues, in addition to studying the halacha. The program was very enlightening; it was wonderful to get to know the people who work at STAR-K.”
Coming from a bit closer to home was Rabbi Rahamim Churba, a member of Brooklyn, New York’s Syrian community, and Rabbi Moshe Walter, who assumed the position of Rav of the Woodside Synagogue-Ahavas Torah, in Silver Spring, Maryland. Yet other attendees traveled from Chicago, Columbus, Denver, Lakewood, Las Vegas, San Diego, Toronto, and Wilmington.
STAR-K Kashrus Administrator, Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld, the main presenter at the program, said: “I try to instill an attitude toward kashrus that I believe has been lost, or at least neglected. It is to stress to the attendees the need to project to all whom they might encounter in the field that kashrus is not just about its technical demands … turning on fires, checking vegetables, meat vs. dairy, etc. There is an aspect of reverence and seriousness that Kashrus deserves. We must display that, for us, Kashrus is not some “diet-fad” that one can choose to forgo. It is religious-based and, as a result, cannot and will not be compromised. I believe, unfortunately, sometimes the “main ingredient” is lost — HaKadosh Baruch Hu. This is what I try to convey.”
Rabbi Zvi Goldberg, STAR-K Kashrus Administrator and coordinator of the seminar, concluded: “We are grateful that we are able to continue training the next generation of leaders in kashrus, in the U.S. and around the world. Many of our previous attendees are making significant contributions to their communities’ kashrus, and we fully expect this year’s group to be no different.”