STAR-K Certification Launches STAR-K Kosher Classroom at Torah Umesorah Convention

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Baltimore, MD – May 2014 – Earlier this month, STAR-K Kosher Certification was represented at the sold-out Torah Umesorah 58th Annual National Leadership Convention by STAR-K President Dr. Avrom Pollak, STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Baruch Beyer, and STAR-K Director of Special Projects Rabbi Zvi Holland, who introduced mechanchim to the STAR-K Kosher Classroom.

The STAR-K Kosher Classroom, which debuted at the convention, is an initiative to develop curricular materials for elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. The first group of  posters and videos were prepared to present to the 1,800 attendees from throughout the U.S., Canada and elsewhere around the world, to generate interest, feedback and partnership from those who will actually be presenting the materials.

“Just as we do not charge for our extensive Kashrus education programs and community services, we are not charging for these materials, “ noted Rabbi Holland. “We wanted the teachers to tell us what materials they would like to see and how they would want them to be designed, rather than us telling them how to teach it. Hundreds of participants, including Roshei Yeshiva, rabbonim, principals, rebbeim, administrators, and morahs–Chasidishe and Litvishe–stopped at the STAR-K booth to ask for materials, discuss halachic topics and to offer their encouragement and advice.”

For decades, as the only major non-profit kashrus agency dedicated exclusively to Kosher, STAR-K Kosher Certification has devoted itself to promoting Kashrus through education. It does so through the distribution of nearly 100,000 copies of its quarterly newsletter, Kashrus Kurrents, which are distributed free of charge around the world; its various year-round Kashrus Training Seminars and practicums offered, gratis, around the country; the STAR-K Kashrus Hotline (410-484-4110) which fields over 100,000 calls, annually; its extensive educational website (www.star-k.org); and, its ground-breaking Kashrus videos on topics such as Nikkur and Bedikas Tolaim.

“The STAR-K Kosher Classroom is an expansion of our educational efforts,” explained Rabbi Holland. “Our Kashrus programming for the classroom is age-appropriate for children, across the spectrum. We are acutely aware that Kashrus might be our most extensive engagement with practical halacha, as adults. Yet, it is apparent from the phone calls we field, that there is a gap in our schools’ curriculums in this area. Educators have told us the reason why there is so little classroom education about Kashrus-related Halacha is because of a lack of information and materials. Many of these topics require experts in the field, who are intimately involved in production procedures.”

Torah Umesorah’s Director of Development Rabbi Binyomin Holland (no relation to Rabbi Zvi Holland) asserted, “STAR-K’s participation in the Torah Umesorah Convention has demonstrated, once again, that its dedication to Klal Yisroel goes beyond hechsherim.”

For inquiries, call 410-484-4110. To receive access to the STAR-K Kosher Classroom, email kosherclassroom@star-k.org .