Mr. Samy Weill, who has been in the kashrus field for 26 years, traveled the farthest — 3,808 miles from Amsterdam — to attend the 16th Annual STAR-K Training Program, held July 22-25 in the kashrus agency’s Baltimore offices. As an administrator for the Chief Rabbinate of Holland, he oversees the initial inspections and annual visits of hundreds of companies in Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, and Spain. “I came to the training program to make contacts and bring back new ideas for improving our agency,” Mr. Weill said.
Participants at the seminar enjoyed the lectures given by STAR-K Rabbinic Administrator Harav Moshe Heinemann, shlita; STAR-K President Dr. Avrom Pollak, and STAR-K Kashrus Administrators, with intriguing titles such as, “SOPs to BOLs: More Than Looking at Ingredients”; “Case Study-Shaah Chamishis at the Eleventh Hour”; and,“Kosher Accountability: Who Does Teshuvah When a Product is Mislabeled?”
Behind-the-scenes tours of the Marriott Waterfront Hotel kitchen, Seven Mile Market, candy and flavor factories, and a slaughterhouse, in addition to hands-on treiboring and vegetable-checking practicums, rounded out the kashrus training experience.
The wrap-up Q & A, giving the participants the opportunity to ask Rav Heinemann and the STAR-K staff panel questions, was an additional program highlight. Questions included: What are the criteria for bishul akum? Is induction cooking considered bishul akum? Where did Rav Heinemann learn shechitah? Is (kosher) gelatin considered fleishig?
“During the week of the course, there is always a great amount of energy in our office,” remarks STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Zvi Goldberg, coordinator of the seminar. “There is so much material to give over and we try to give a serious overview of almost every topic in kashrus.
“It is a lot of work on the part of our entire staff but well worth it! Kashrus education is at the forefront of our goals and we will be very happy to continue, b’ezras Hashem, until Moshiach and beyond.”