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Rutgers Offers Unique New Course on the Role of Kosher Food in the Global Food Industry

News Release
Thursday September 8, 2011

Rutgers Offers Unique New Course on the Role of Kosher Food in the Global Food Industry

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ: – Kosher food, a mainstay of Jewish homes for centuries, will get a fresh look in October when experts in the field of kosher supervision and sales explain how this ancient practice is quickly transforming the global food industry.

Two leading authorities on kosher food will offer their insights on kosher products during a one-day course, Demystifying Kosher: Using Kosher Food Production to Enhance Your Business, on October 24.

Presented by the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education, this first-of-its-kind course will be taught by Rabbi Yaakov

Kosher symbols

Kosher symbols

Horowitz, a senior member of the Orthodox Union and the rabbi of the Manischewitz Company, and Jacob Rusanov, former category manager for the ShopRite/Wakefern cooperative supermarket chain and a former executive in Osem, one of the largest kosher food manufacturers and distributors in Israel.

“A basic understanding of the world of kosher food is rapidly becoming a necessity for mainstream American consumers and students of Food Science alike,” said Horowitz, who also has lectured about kosher food programs at George Washington University, the Canadian Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Wal-Mart.

The manufacture, sale and marketing of kosher food have exploded over the last 50 years, now accounting for more than $12 billion in revenue annually. Since 1970 alone, the number of kosher products on supermarket shelves has swelled from 3,000 to 70,000, according to Chemical & Engineering News.

“Mainstream manufacturing and retail food leaders are very focused on their sales of kosher food,” Rusanov said.

Beyond religion, food safety perception is the top reason for buying kosher products, according to Mintel, a market research firm that studied the kosher market in 2009. Mintel found that consumers believe that “because of the added inspections, kosher food is safer than non-kosher food.”

Key topics to be discussed in the course include the kosher and Jewish marketplace, ingredient management, kosher certification, marketing plans and labeling and packaging.

“At Rutgers, we take pride in developing new courses to meet the ever changing tastes as well as the training needs of the food industry,” said Donald Schaffner, extension specialist in food science at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and faculty coordinator of the kosher food course. “We value the practical experience that Rabbi Horowitz and Jacob Rusanov bring to the classroom,” he added.

Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education was founded in 1906 and currently serves 15,000 food professionals from around the world, offering courses in food science and engineering, agribusiness, environmental management, nutrition, health and safety.

For more information, please visit or contact Dalynn Knigge, Rutgers Program Coordinator, at or call 732-932-9271.

Media Contact: Paula Walcott-Quintin

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