Rabbi Mordechai Kreitenberg was overlooking the majestic peaks in Yosemite National Park toward the end of one his recent Heritage Retreats seminars contemplating how to assist his students to go kosher. He decided to create a user-friendly guide that would offer his university students and young professionals a framework to transition into kosher observance. The booklet “How to Make Your Kitchen Kosher – A Practical Guide” was researched and written by Rabbi Yisroel Shaw, and is now assisting Heritage Retreats graduates throughout the USA enjoy kosher cuisine.
Heritage Retreats is now kindly sharing this booklet with the wider Olami community to pass on to our students. The Preface to the Guide is reprinted below, written for the Heritage Retreats participants as they head back home.
This booklet provides specific guidelines for kashering your kitchen. Of course, the most proper way to kasher a kitchen is to engage a competent Halachic authority to assist you in the task. Many Torah-observant lay persons are also knowledgeable enough to provide hands-on guidance and advice. You can contact us for help in locating someone near your area. Similarly, please do not hesitate to phone your local (or distant) rabbi if
(when) any questions arise. The process of kashering one’s kitchen might seem overwhelming, but it does not need to be. A kitchen can be kashered in just a few hours, with minimal expenses. The time and resources that one puts into kashering the kitchen is an investment that pays immediate and long term returns. The process itself can be a meaningful experience that leaves a lasting, pleasant memory.
We have kept the content to the practical realm, leaving out most of the theories, reasons, and deeper meanings, which can be found in more detailed books on the topic of Kashrus. A short, recommended reading list is included at the end of this booklet. Throughout the booklet we have included answers to some very common “What if…” questions.
Parts of this booklet are based on articles written by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann and the staff of Star-K Kosher Certification in Baltimore, such as the section on kashering utensils, and by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, Director of the National Jewish Outreach Program in New York, such as the section on kashering ovens. However, the conclusions in the practical Halachah expressed herein do not necessarily reflect their Halachic conclusions. We are grateful to our Halachic consultants, including Rabbi M. Triebitz, for scrutinizing the guidelines in this booklet. We welcome your comments and suggestions.