web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Not For The Birds: A Week Of Halachic Learning At Princeton

Share Button

Some college students use their winter break between terms to relax, fly to warm climates and in general recover from the academic burdens of the fall semester. Others study how to slaughter chickens according to kosher law.

A partnership between OU Kosher and its OU Kosher Coming program – which sends the Orthodox Union’s kashrut experts far and wide to provide kosher education to all levels of students – and the OU’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) program brought a week of intensive kosher learning to the Princeton University campus for a week beginning New Year’s Day. Rabbi David Wolkenfeld, the JLIC rabbi at Princeton, played host to Rabbi Chaim Loike, OU Kosher’s bird expert and a skilled shochet.

JLIC, found on 15 major campuses in the United States and Canada, has a young rabbi and his wife, known as Torah Educators, provide the learning and social atmosphere of the yeshiva to Orthodox students who have chosen to attend secular universities. (Rabbi Wolkenfeld is joined at Princeton by his wife, Sara.)

Students came from Princeton, Rutgers, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania, all of which are JLIC campuses; Cornell also sent its JLIC rabbi, Ami Silver, and the campus mashgiach. Other students came from Columbia and Wellesley and were joined by an Israeli visiting in America before his army service.

The national JLIC office and the Alumni Venture Fund of the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel helped subsidize the program, which enabled Rabbi Wolkenfeld to charge a moderate tuition of $350, which included the cost of the source books, shechita knives and sharpening stones for each participant, a supply of birds, both exotic and common, and food for the eight days of the program.

The program came about because of a conversation several months previously between William Herlands, a Princeton senior and Rabbi Wolkenfeld, in which Herlands asked Rabbi Wolkenfeld to help him learn shechita.

“William may live abroad next year, in a location without a regular supply of kosher meat, and so being proficient in shechita would be a way for him to ensure access to meat wherever he ends up after graduation,” Rabbi Wolkenfeld explained.

“I was eager to help William find a way to study shechita since I too had an interest in learning. Unlike William, I have no plans of living abroad, but I am interested in ways to take greater responsibility for the food I eat. The self-sufficiency inherent in being able to ritually slaughter one’s own meat is also very appealing to me. We buy a lot of the fruits and vegetables for our family at farmers’ markets where we know just how and where the food was grown. Shechita is a way to have that same concern and consciousness when eating meat.”

As part of the OU extended family, Rabbi Wolkenfeld made inquiries and came up with the name of Rabbi Loike who, he learned, is an OU Kosher rabbinic coordinator with a specialty in birds, as well as a teacher of shechita at Yeshiva University. In addition, Rabbi Loike travels far and wide in the OU Kosher Coming program and other educational initiatives of OU Kosher and fascinates audiences of all ages while he lectures on the feathered friends he brings with him.

“It soon became clear, however, that it was not realistic to expect that all of the theory and practice of shechita could be taught and learned in one week,” Rabbi Wolkenfeld said. “Rabbi Loike and I came up with an alternative curriculum that would introduce students to the study of shechita, while also including lectures and observations on “halachic ornithology.”

“Halachic ornithology,” Rabbi Wolkenfeld explained, “is the study of birds for the purposes of determining their halachic status. Since birds can only be eaten with a mesorah that they are kosher, a lot of scholarship has been devoted to authenticating claims that a given species has been eaten by Jewish communities, and also determining which sub-species are included in a mesorah to eat a certain kind of bird.”

Setting up the program was easy, with the two rabbis putting together a curriculum. Rabbi Wolkenfeld then reached out to Rabbi Eliyahu Safran, vice president of communications and marketing for OU Kosher, who coordinates educational programs, to arrange for Rabbi Loike’s services. Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher, approved the arrangement, which included Rabbi Loike supervising factories in the vicinity of Princeton that are his regular accounts.

Katie Wachsberger visits one of Rabbi Loike’s fine-feathered friends in Rabbi David Wolkenfeld’s basement.

“We have been gratified to have our OU Kosher experts visit with many of the JLIC campuses including Boston University [formerly in the program], Brandeis, Rutgers, the University of Pennsylvania and others as part of our ongoing OU Kosher Coming educational programs,” said Rabbi Safran.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Not For The Birds: A Week Of Halachic Learning At Princeton”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Stephen Steiner

Some college students use their winter break between terms to relax, fly to warm climates and in general recover from the academic burdens of the fall semester. Others study how to slaughter chickens according to kosher law.

Rosenbaum-120211

In September 2008, Miriam Rosenbaum, a freshman from New York City, arrived at Princeton University to begin her four years of undergraduate education on the Ivy League campus.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/feautures-on-jewish-world/not-for-the-birds-a-week-of-halachic-learning-at-princeton/2012/02/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: