By R.M. Grossblatt
Oops, they did it again when the four young rabbis completing their tenure with the Atlanta Scholars Kollel gave their third and final halacha fair under ASK’s sponsorship Wednesday evening, July 22, at Congregation Beth Jacob.
“Oops” was the title of one of the demonstrations at the Basar Bichalav Fair, which concentrated on how to prepare and eat meat, milk and parve after the acclaimed fairs the past two years focused on observing Shabbat.
Rabbi Doniel Pransky, ASK’s rosh kollel, introduced the program to about 100 women from several communities in Atlanta. Seated in groups of 25 in front of interactive displays in Beth Jacob’s Heritage Hall, the women moved every 20 minutes from one display to the next. If they missed something, they could refer to a detailed booklet prepared by the presenters.
Rabbi Pransky emphasized that the booklets and demonstrations by the rabbis were the fruits of their labors.
Like the first two fairs, presented at Beth Jacob and Congregation Ariel, this one came to life with props and humor. While Rabbi David Silverman, the ASK dean, snapped photos, the young rabbis took action.
Rabbi Tzvi Oratz held up a plastic chicken in one hand and cheese in the other when he spoke about “Separation and Waiting.” Rabbi Doron Silverman balanced a pot as he addressed “Noodles and Spice: Parve Food Cooked in Non-Parve Pots.” Opening a toy oven in a child’s kitchen, Rabbi Daniel Gopin demonstrated “Keeping the Kitchen Kosher.” And Rabbi Ezra Sarna displayed spatulas and charts to solve “Oops: What to Do About Splatters and Mistakes.”
It was no mistake when the kollel brought in the four young rabbis from Yeshiva Ner Israel in Baltimore three summers ago. The rabbis came with their families, renting houses in Toco Hills and warming the community with their presence. During the day, the young men learned full time, covering the topics for their fairs. At night, they learned with men in the community.
Their tenure complete, three of the rabbis have found other positions in Atlanta, while Rabbi Sarna has accepted a position in Texas.
After the Basar Bichalav Fair, some women stayed to ask questions and thank the rabbis for their work.
Michal Donowitz, a teacher at Torah Day School of Atlanta, said the sessions were practical and humorous. Rena Gray, recently married and moved from New York, was impressed with the clarity and organization.
Jordana Bernhard, part of the Chabad community in Sandy Springs, told Rabbi Pransky, “The program was amazing.”
Now the kollel is bringing in four new rabbis. Although they have a hard act to follow, the rabbinical recruits, with the help of Rabbis Pransky and Silverman, will add excitement to the work of ASK.