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The Kosher Conversation: A STAR-K Media Production

The Kosher Conversation: A STAR-K Media Production

By Rabbi Chananya Jacobson
In depth conversations with Kashrus professionals, discussing their successes, challenges, and what you need to know to be an educated kosher consumer. Send your questions and comments to
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[WEBINAR] Current Kosher Issues - Airline Meals, Quinoa and More

The Kosher Conversation: A STAR-K Media Production

[Webinar] Kosher Behind Bars
STAR-K Kashrus Administrators, Rabbi Zvi Goldberg and Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld, discuss issues of kashrus facing those who are incarcerated. Originally aired 12-27-2017 .
September 23, 2022
[WEBINAR] Current Kosher Issues - Airline Meals, Quinoa and More
In this webinar, originally broadcast Feb. 12, 2020, STAR-K Kashrus Administrators Rabbi Zvi Goldberg and Rabbi Boruch Beyer discuss current issues of kashrus including STAR-K certified kosher airline meals and book lice - bugs in quinoa.
August 25, 2022
[WEBINAR] Kosher Travel - Israel and USA
Rabbi Zvi Goldberg and Rabbi Boruch Beyer hosted a panel that discussed tips for the kosher traveler when visiting Israel as well as the U.S. • Rabbi Moshe Farkash – Administrator, ZNT Kosher, Jerusalem • Rabbi Sholom Tendler – Foodservice Administrator, STAR-K Rabbi Farkash, of ZNT Kosher ( is intimately familiar with the kosher scene in Israel, and regularly advises tourists on navigating that scene, including restaurants and hotel breakfasts. Rabbi Tendler is STAR-K's Baltimore administrator of caterers and restaurants and is a frequent traveler all over the U.S. He discussed managing kashrus on the road. He also provided general travel advice for these challenging times.
July 25, 2022
[WEBINAR] Yoshon Simplified
STAR-K Kashrus Administrators Rabbi Zvi Goldberg and Rabbi Sholom Tendler explain Yoshon.
July 19, 2022
[WEBINAR] The Intriguing World of Jewish Time
Listen to host Rabbi Zvi Goldberg and his guest, Jewish time expert Rabbi Dovid Heber discuss Jewish time (10/6/21). They answer your questions in addition to discussing: • a 'behind the scenes' review of Rabbi Heber's new book, The Intriguing World of Jewish Time • how time affects kashrus certification • the "World Calendar" and how it would have affected Jewish life • why a girl cannot become bas mitzva in Adar 1 The Jewish calendar is complex, but Rabbi Heber makes the topic clear and easy to understand. In addition to his newly published work which includes 150 questions and answers on Jewish time, he previously authored Sefer Shaarei Zmanim.
June 27, 2022
[WEBINAR] Kosher Travel - Post Lockdown
Listen to host Rabbi Zvi Goldberg and his guest, STAR-K Director of Development Steve Sichel discuss Kosher Travel Post Lockdowns (6/23/21). They answer your travel questions in addition to discussing: • What you need to know before planning your trip • How travel has changed: practical advice about food, flights, hotels, and rental cars • Applicable halachos for your trip, including Shabbos, davening, Tefilas Haderech and kosher food Steve Sichel has travelled over 2 million miles throughout his career at STAR-K, visiting all 50 states and over 25 countries. He flew over 50,000 miles during the past year alone!
June 01, 2022
[Webinar] - Medical Devices Certified For Shabbos
Rabbi Zvi Goldberg hosts a discussion about STAR-K's certification of Shabbos devices for those who are ill or have physical limitations. Learn about Shabbos scooters, stairlifts, nebulizers, nurse call systems, hospital beds, and more! Rabbi Goldberg is joined by the following guests: • Rabbi Mordechai Frankel – Director, STAR-K Institute of Halacha • Shmuel Glick – Director of Engineering, Gramachip Technologies • Rafy David – CEO, MovingLife Shabbatto Mobility Scooters Originally aired 5/11/2022
May 16, 2022
[Webinar] Chocolate Production in Peru
In this Webinar Rabbi Goldberg discusses his recent trip to Peru, and the chocolate production he saw there.
April 28, 2022
[WEBINAR] Passover Products 2022
Now available on the STAR-K podcast feed: recordings of Rabbi Zvi Goldberg's monthly webinars. Join Rabbi Zvi Goldberg and Rabbi Boruch Beyer for an interactive Passover products webinar, during which we will: discuss what's new / products that do and      don't require certification suggest how to save money with the rising      cost of kosher food review coconut /almond flours, kitniyos,      matzah, and more! answer your questions!
March 31, 2022
Sukkos Special: Arba Minim with Rabbi Mordechai Frankel
A special episode focusing on the Halachos of the Arba Minim: Esrog, Lulav, Hadassim, and Aravos. Rabbi Frankel walks us through the selection process of the Daled Minim: Do the size and shape of your esrog matter? Does your lulav need to be straight? How much should you spend on a chinuch set? Do you need to check the esrog with a loupe? All this and much much more on this special Sukkos episode of the kosher conversation! Feedback and questions are always welcome at 1-410-816-9509 or
September 17, 2021
Out of Town Kashrus with Rabbi Nosson Dubin of Houston Kosher
In today's episode Rabbi Nosson Dubin shares with us what it is like to "do kashrus" in an out-of-town community.  We talk about a wide array of topics, including: - The challenges of kosher supervision in a place where everyone knows you personally. - The mandate of ensuring that kosher food is available to local consumers. - How one small conversation changed the entire paradigm of kosher supervision. - The Kosher Institute of America's mashgiach training program. - What it's like to participate in the AKO Executive Committee. and, of course:  - How to run a Kosher Chili Cookoff! Feedback and questions are always welcome at 1-410-816-9509 or
August 05, 2021
Lab-Grown Meat
In this episode we explore the halachic ramifications of cultured meat, (also known as lab-grown or synthetic meat). Rabbi Daniel Friedman shares his pioneering work with us, and Rabbi Joel Kenigsberg keeps us abreast of the latest developments in the field. Learn how synthetic meat is made!  What is it?  Can it be Kosher?  Can it Be Parve? Also, a rare recording of Rav Moshe Heinemann. shlita, addressing these issues. Leave your feedback for the Kosher Conversation at 410-816-9509!
July 23, 2021
Shechita Knives with Rabbi Moshe Yurman
Rabbi Moshe Yurman is one of the few chalaf-machers (knife makers) in the United States today. In this episode, co-hosted by Rabbi Zvi Holland, , discusses the requirements and techniques of working steel into the best possible knife for shechita. - How do you make a blade from a blank? - How do you keep it sharp? - How does modern technology affect these specialized chalafim? - How do Italian barbers come into the picture? All this and much, much more on this Episode of the Kosher Conversation Bonus Content: Rabbi Yurman has been interviewed in the following magazines: Ami Tablet
July 08, 2021
Nikkur and Melicha With Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld
In this episode we go in depth about the steps taken to prepare kosher meat for consumption - nikkur and melicha. Rabbi Kurcfeld, drawing on his experience in this field, and describes the various parts of the animal, and how they are prepared by removing cheilev, the forbidden fats, and how the blood is removed through salting. Bonus Question! Is pate de foie gras kosher?
June 24, 2021
Kosher Meat Production with Rabbi Tzvi Shaul Goldberg
In this episode, Rabbi Tzvi Shaul Goldberg, Kashrus Administrator at the STAR-K, takes us through the various steps of kosher meat production. Hear about the thought, the training and the skill that go into shechita, bedika, nikkur, and melicha, as Rabbi Goldberg talks about his personal experience and training in the field.  Learn about some of the gritty details that need to be observed to determine if a shechita is acceptable. Finally, unravel some of the mystery surrounding chassidishe shechita!
June 17, 2021
Rav Moshe Heinemann on Shochtim and Chalafim
In this episode Rav Heinemann discusses what exactly "kabbalah" for shechita means, and what a shochet needs to know to qualify.  We also take a look at the knives used for shechita, and learn about the Rov's personal chalaf collection.
June 11, 2021
Rav Moshe Heinemann on Which Meat is Kosher
In this episode Rav Heinemann discusses the traditions to eat various animals. Some of the topics discussed: What makes a chicken a chicken? Is turkey kosher? Do we need a mesorah for various breeds of cows? Can we shecht giraffes? All this and much more on this episode of the Kosher Conversation!
June 03, 2021
Cheese Production with Rabbi Yonah Goldberg of St. Paul, Minnesota
In this episode we speak with Rabbi Yonah Goldberg about life in the Midwest, growing up in Haarlem, and of course, cheese! All sorts of cheese: Blue Cheese Cheddar Cheese, Monterey Jack, and even ... Squeaky Cheese!
May 27, 2021
Sodas and Slurpees with Rabbi Boruch Beyer
In this episode Rabbi Boruch Beyer, Kashrus Administrator at STAR-K, talks with us about: Where does soda come from? How is it made? Is it kosher everywhere? The story of the Slurpee! And a special bonus topic - Why would paper need a hechsher?
May 13, 2021
Margarine and More With Rabbi Simcha Smolensky of the OU
Today, we continue our conversation with Rabbi Smolensky, an industrial mashgiach for the OU. Picking up from the discussion of oil production in the previous episode, Rabbi Smolensky discusses margarine and hard fats. Learn about the history of margarine! What is it? What oils can it be made from? What are the challenges in making kosher margarine? How does government legislation affect Kosher for Passover Margarine? All this and more in this episode of The Kosher Conversation! Part two of a two-part series.
April 29, 2021
Oils with Rabbi Simcha Smolensky of the OU
Today's conversation is with Rabbi Simcha Smolensky, a veteran Chicago-based Rabbinic Field Representative for the OU. He shares his expertise in all aspects of kosher oil production. Where do oils come from? What are the differences between them? Aren't all vegetable oils really kosher? Part one of a two-part series.
April 22, 2021
Cholov Yisroel with Rabbi Tzvi Rosen
The Kosher Conversation returns from a Pesach hiatus. In this episode we discuss how to make Cholov Yisroel milk in modern dairies, with special attention paid to Pride of the Farm. Curious about how to watch the milking of thousands of cows? Want to know who's at the dairy on Shabbos and Yom Tov? Is Pride of the Farm really better than other milk? Wondering what could possibly go wrong? All this and more on this week's episode. Just press play. As always comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome at
April 15, 2021
Medicine with Rabbi Dovid Heber
In this installment Rabbi Dovid Heber tells us all about medications. He answers many burning questions about kosher medication:  Is kosher medicine really necessary?  What are the possible problems with medicine? Should you wrap your pills in paper before you take them?  Should you wait until the pharmacy gets the kosher version? All this and more! Please email your comments and suggestions to
March 19, 2021
Pesach Hotels with Rabbi Zvi Holland
Pesach hotels are a long-standing, much maligned institution in Jewish communities in America and around the world. Rabbi Holland takes us behind the scenes and gives us his insight into what it takes to plan, prepare and run a Kosher for Passover program.
March 15, 2021
Matzah Baking with Rabbi Shmuel Heinemann
Rabbi Heinemann takes us on a deep dive into the world of machine and hand matzah bakeries.
March 09, 2021
Food Service Kashrus with Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld
Talking Food Service Kashrus with Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld of the STAR-K. In this episode we discuss how Rabbi Kurcfeld got his start in Kosher Supervision, the ins and outs of kosher food service, and setting up facilities such as restaurants, colleges, hotels and hospitals.  Learn the three crucial factors in successfully setting up a kosher vendor!  Hear what happens when it doesn't go according to plan! All this and more on this episode.
March 02, 2021