Star-K Opens New Online Interactive Virtual Kosher University
The concept of seeking a quality education without ever entering the walls of a classroom has grown tremendously in the last ten years. In fact, the most recent figures from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicate that well over 1.5 million people are enrolled in distance education courses. That number is only growing.
Star-K Certification has joined these ranks by opening up the world of kosher online. Those who are clueless but curious about kosher, now have the opportunity to access free, interactive introductory classes about kosher on the web. Star-K’s Virtual Kosher University will allow the kosher novice to learn the basics—whether one lives in Calabasas, California, or Caracas, Venezuela--regardless of one’s schedule, at one’s own pace, in the comfort of one’s own home.
“In collaboration with Torah.org we developed what we believe are the first comprehensive, online classes on kosher,” says Rabbi Zvi Goldberg, Star-K Kashrus Administrator and the Dean of Virtual Kosher University. “They provide the novice with access to the professional staff of the Star-K in a modern environment.”
Virtual Kosher University classes cover such Why? What? How? topics as: The Kabbalistic/Spiritual “Reasons” for Kosher; Setting Up a Kosher Kitchen; Kashering; Meat and Milk; Fish; Items That Do Not Require Certification; The Process of Kosher Certification; and Navigating the World of Kosher Symbols.
These topics are discussed by Star-K’s expert Kashrus Administrators in multimedia presentations. Students have the opportunity to test their knowledge with optional self-quizzes. They may also post their comments and questions about kosher on a forum, and chat with a Star-K rabbinic staff member.
“We recently ran some podcasts using Skype which are available for download,” says Rabbi Goldberg. “We also put up a part of the new book “Kosher for the Clueless but Curious.” The part we put up discusses some of the social aspects of becoming kosher. We are constantly improving the site and expanding our offerings, and we hope those that can benefit will take advantage of it.”
Star-K and Torah.org wish to thank McDonald Corporation's Cy Pres Fund for the funding of this program.