OTS emissaries Shira and Rabbi Chaim Finson serve as the OU-JLIC couple at Cornell University. This week the couple served up a beer-themed program; not the standard drinking-fest made notorious by colleges and universities across the world, but rather an experiential learning tour.
“It is important that students have some level of knowledge of what goes into industrial kashrut and how complex it can be,” said Straus-Amiel graduate Rabbi Finson. “For many it is very hard to understand what exactly the symbol on the product means. It is my hope that my shabbat shiur which discussed kashrut in industrial settings and the tour which was guided by a master brewer and myself with discussion of the kashrut aspects of brewing beer would provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of kashrut.”
Before the tour, Rabbi Finson spent time with the master brewer of the Ithaca Beer Co. explaining the laws of kashrut and their application in mass-producing beer, while Tony, the master brewer, explained the fine art of creating just the right brew. Together they hosted students from Cornell on a tour of the brewery, bringing the shiurim to life. Naturally, the tour ended with a taste of the amber nectar, and as they said the bracha over the beer, they imbibed not only the taste of the beer, but a greater understanding an appreciation for everything that goes into allowing them to be able to enjoy kosher food and drink.