Jewish communities in large metropolitan cities such as New York, London or Toronto sometimes take for granted having access to Jewish communal resources, kashrus agencies being at the forefront leading up to Pesach. Unfortunately, smaller Jewish communities at times don’t get the same access. That is why the Kashruth Council of Canada, better known as “COR” by their kosher symbol, travelled to Edmonton Alberta Canada recently for the city’s first ever pre-pesach community event.
The COR delegation was composed of Rabbi Sholom H. Adler, COR’s Kashrus Administrator, Rabbi Dovid Rosen COR’s Pesach Specialist and a Rabbinic Coordinator, and Richard Rabkin, COR’s Managing Director. “At COR we partner with Jewish communities across Canada to act as a resource for all things kosher,” said Rabkin. “Whether it’s answering consumer questions, kashering peoples’ homes, or advocating on behalf of kosher consumers with our elected officials. We at COR feel that all Jewish communities across Canada should have equal access to kashrus resources and that is why we decided to come to Edmonton.”
The event was held in a conference room at the West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping mall in North America and was attended by over 125 people from the Edmonton Jewish community. It received the strong support of local Edmonton rabbis including Rabbi Ari Dreilich, Executive Director of Chabad of Edmonton, Rabbi Daniel Friedman, spiritual leader of Beth Israel Congregation and Rabbi David Laufer, the Director of the Edmonton Kollel.
Edmontonians were treated to a selection of complimentary appetizers followed by a PowerPoint presentation by Rabbi Dovid Rosen outlining the most frequently asked Pesach related questions. The second half of the evening was a seminar demonstrating how a COR mashgiach cleans and checks produce to ensure that it is insect free and how to apply these techniques in the home.
In opening remarks, Rabbi David Laufer of the Edmonton Kollel said, “We in Edmonton are fortunate to have a resource like the COR. Not only do they make kosher products more accessible as you can go into any supermarket and find almost any type of kosher certified product on the shelves, but they themselves are accessible, answering our questions via phone, email and text message, and of course now in person. Thank you COR.”
In closing remarks, Rabbi Daniel Freidman of the Beth Israel congregation commented, “Over my years in the rabbinate I have made an interesting observation: the people who ask me the most kashrus questions are usually the ones with the highest kashrus levels in their kitchens. Kashrus questions come up daily and we should never be afraid to ask. That is why we are so fortunate to have the COR here with us tonight, and to answer our questions throughout the year as well.”
The feedback from those in attendance was overwhelmingly positive but the most significant feedback came from Rabbi Friedman two days after the event via a text message. “Since Sunday I have already been approached by two people who want to kasher their kitchens and toivel their dishes. Yashar Koach!”