3rd Annual OU Kosher Essay Contest Underway


rabbi-eliyahu-safran1Building on the success and enthusiastic response to the previous contests, the Third Annual OU Kosher Essay Contest for grades 7-12 is now open for entries from students across North America, with the deadline for submissions being March 24, 2011. The competition is geared to intensify a deeper appreciation of kashrut on behalf of participants.

Once again the prizes will be $50 gift certificates from Eichlers.com, a leading Judaica website. Winners will have their essays published online at oukosher.org, and Grand Prize winners will be invited to record their essays on OURadio.

As an indication of the national interest in the competition, winners and participants in the previous contests came from New York, California, Florida, New Jersey, Maryland, and Connecticut.

According to Rabbi Eliyahu Safran, Vice President of Communications and Marketing at OU Kosher, the contest is an additional component of OU Kosher’s educational outreach to schools and yeshivas. This program includes visits by OU Kosher rabbis across the country. Scheduled for the coming weeks are visits to Mir Yeshiva in Brooklyn, NY; Bais Yaakov, Far Rockaway, NY; Soille Day School in San Diego; and at UCLA in Los Angeles, as part of the OU‘s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus program.

Among the suggested topics in the essay contest are: “How Does Eating Kosher Enhance Your Jewish Identity?” “What Does the Kosher Symbol on the Label Mean to Me?” “Is Eating Kosher More Than Just A Way of Eating?” “Kashrut and Kedushah – A Connection?” Essays should range from 750-1000 words.

This year, in addition to the writing contest, grade 12 is invited to participate in a class contest to produce a 15-minute video/DVD entitled Going Kosher – What Do I Do? How Do I Do It? The DVD’s focus is to educate and guide individuals or family looking to become kosher, Rabbi Safran explained. The DVD must include both hashkafa (philosophy) and halacha (Jewish law), as well as practical suggestions and instructions on how to accomplish the goal. Deadline for DVD entries is March 1, 2011. The prize-winning DVD will be posted on ou.kosher.org and the winning school will receive $150 worth of OU Press books for its library.Rabbi Safran noted that he “hopes that the quality of the winning DVD will be such that it will be able to join with the high caliber series of OU Kosher DVDs previously released, which are being used in schools, yeshivas, seminaries and kollelim throughout the world.”

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}