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SAR Academy Bracha Bowl Champs OU Trip

Seven SAR Academy students took a memorable trip to the Orthodox Union (OU). The winners of our Grades 3-5 Bracha Bee, along with the school winners from Ramaz, had the opportunity to three meaningful presentations at the OU. The students were greeted by Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Orthodox Union and father of two SAR Academy faculty members. Rabbi Genack congratulated the students on their study of brachot and their wonderful accomplishments. The first presentation was by Rabbi Eli Eleff, director of Kashrut Education, and learned about the history of the OU. It was fascinating to hear that Heinz baked beans were the first product certified kosher by the OU. We also learned that plain Oreo cookies are pareve and made on dairy equipment; and that it is important to ALWAYS look for the OU because certain products such as Gatorade have products that are kosher, as well as not kosher. Then, we watched a video about kashering factories and discovered that there are many parts of a food factory that require supervision. Finally, we met with Rabbi Chaim Loike who is an expert in avian kashrut. We reviewed the fact that the non-kosher birds are mentioned in the Torah and discussed that they are all predators. We learned about the many interesting factors involved in kosher birds. We were surprised to find out that there is only one type of kosher quail and many types of non-kosher quail. We were able to meet a live rooster and closely study the parts of his feet. Our students wowed the OU rabbis with their incredible questions such as: “Why are the non-kosher birds listed in the Torah, but on the other hand, the Torah teaches us the signs for kosher animals?” or “What is the status of the babies if a non-kosher quail mates with a chicken?” This trip was a very special learning experience.