May 20, 2024
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STAR-K Certification Conducts Sabbath Mode Educational Seminars

Rabbi Zvi Holland and Rabbi Chananya Jacobson update Sabbath Mode appliance dealers.

(Courtesy of STAR-K) As the world leader in certifying Sabbath mode appliances for over 30 years, STAR-K Kosher Certification recently presented several educational seminars at appliance stores that service the frum communities of Lakewood and Brooklyn, among others. In one of the heaviest appliance-buying seasons in the Orthodox world, the presentations focused on educating salespeople as to how STAR-K Sabbath modes should be used and on new initiatives and innovations that are being rolled out by manufacturers.

Sabbath mode certification is engaging and requires involvement in appliance design, engineering and technical consulting. As STAR-K receives an increasing number of requests from appliance manufacturers for certification, STAR-K rabbanim and staff are working full time to ensure appliances meet the proper standards for Yom Tov and Shabbat use.

Eli Antebi, STAR-K’s Director of Development-Appliance Certification, noted, “Technology in appliances frequently evolves and we want to ensure that people are familiar with the latest changes and how they affect appliance use on Shabbat and Yom Tov. As the largest certifier of Sabbath mode appliances in the world, the STAR-K team brings the most up-to-date information from the appliance manufacturer directly to the consumer. These seminars are a perfect opportunity to keep dealers and consumers informed, and to raise awareness of correct Sabbath mode usage.”

Rabbi Chananya Jacobson of STAR-K tests new ovens at Samsung HQ and STAR-K Sabbath-mode training at Town Appliance in Lakewood.

After STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Zvi Holland shared the halachic background of the Sabbath mode, Rabbi Chananya Jacobson, kashrus administrator of STAR-K’s appliance division, gave an in-depth presentation to the agency’s STAR-K-certified appliance dealers using his “tools of the trade” to demonstrate how it is properly implemented.

Rabbi Jacobson explained, “The proper implementation of Shabbat mode requires coordination across several teams in each company –software design, appliance design, and marketing. Since it goes through a lot of hands, there is a large amount of coordination that needs to happen to ensure that the product from the theoretical conceptual stage carries down into practice before it hits the market. That is why we need to test the representative models of every line.”

Added Rabbi Jacobson, “In contrast to kosher food certification where you check the company’s recipe to make sure it is producing what it says it is producing, when it comes to certifying appliances, you need to be in on the design from the ground up, keeping the Shabbat observer in mind. We, therefore, work closely with these companies from the initial design stages to ensure that the Shabbat consumer will have an appliance that is acceptable for Shabbat and Yom Tov use. To certify Sabbath mode appliances, they must be tested at the final stage to make sure that all the pieces got put together correctly at the end, like a jigsaw puzzle.”

Yoeli Herskovits of Town Appliance in Lakewood, noted, “It was good to put a face to the STAR-K. You can see a label on a package, but you don’t actually see what’s going on behind it. It was great to get intimately involved in the process from the beginning to the end – the history of why we need Sabbath Mode, how it came about, the constant updating and changing the Sabbath Mode as appliances get more complicated. It was wonderful.”

STAR-K President Dr. Avrom Pollak concluded, “STAR-K has always been an advocate for the kosher consumer. We started certifying appliances when manufacturers started adding features to their appliances that were problematic for Sabbath-observant households. Since that time there has been a dramatic increase in the number of manufacturers worldwide that have become certified. We at STAR-K are very proud of our devoted staff who have facilitated this vital service for so many Jewish families.”

To search for your next Certified Sabbath Mode appliance, go to https://www.star-k.org/appliance/

For a full review of STAR-K Sabbath mode information see https://www.star-k.org/articles/appliances/13704/star-k-appliance-related-articles/

For more information, contact STAR-K’s appliance team at [email protected]

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