First, what is the BJE? According to its website "Founded in 1910, BJE serves the entire metropolitan area, Nassau/Queens and Westchester County, and every denomination - Conservative, Reform, Orthodox, Reconstructionist and unaffiliated - with sensitivity to each. We provide comprehensive services to more than 700 Jewish day, congregational and nursery schools, serving 176,000 youngsters, as well as group leaders from community centers and camps."
Now the statement that has me puzzled. "KOSHER ONLY PRODUCTS
"Kosher Only" products must be certified by the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York (BJENY) in accordance with the applicable dietary (kosher) laws as established by the "613 Council of Kashruth." Note that this level of kosher is stricter than many other nationally accepted kosher certifications (such as "O-U" of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, or "O-K" of the Organized Kashrus Laboratories). Potential offerors’ manufacturing plants must be certified by BJENY for compliance with the aforementioned requirement. Failure to obtain such certification will result in an offer being deemed non-responsive. Additionally, there are kosher requirements applicable to the ingredients used to manufacture the final end product; this requires adherence to kosher requirements throughout the supply chain. […regardless if whether earlier steps in the supply chain are the direct responsibility of the Governments’ prime contractor.] (See bullets below.) Interested offerors should contact the USDA at 816 926-6050, to arrange for a rabbinic supervisor to be sent to certify compliance of the manufacturing plant with the dietary (kosher) laws. Contractor is not liable for fees associated with initial BJENY certification or with fees associated with the kosher certification of the plant or product."
I've never heard of the "613 Council of Kashruth" and can't find any info on it online either. And to read that it is of a kashruth level stricter than the OU and the OK is kind of puzzling as well.
Anyone out there actually know what this Kashruth Council is and what it does? If I am reading the other information correctly, BJE affiliated programs have to follow its guidelines.
Note: the following schools use the BJE exams. Does this also obligate them to the kashrus rulings of the BJE?
Bat Torah Yeshiva High School for Girls (Suffern)
Bruriah High School for Girls (Elizabeth)
Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School for Boys (Woodmere)
Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (Uniondale)
Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns & Rockaway (Cedarhurst)
Hillel Yeshiva High School (Ocean)
Ilan High School (Elberon)
Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls (Teaneck)
Magen David Yeshivah Celia Esses H.S. (Brooklyn)
Moshe Aaron Yeshiva High School (South River)
North Shore Hebrew Academy High School (Great Neck)
Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School (Livingston)
Ramaz Upper School (Manhattan)
Rambam Mesivta (Lawrence)
Rav Teitz Mesivta Academy - J.E.C. (Elizabeth)
SAR High School (Riverdale)
Shaare Torah High School, Boys (Brooklyn)
Shaare Torah High School, Girls (Brooklyn)
Shulamith High School for Girls (Brooklyn)
Stella K. Abraham HS for Girls (Hewlett Bay Park)
The Frisch School (Paramus)
The New Haven Judaics Academy
Torah Academy High School of Brooklyn
Torah Academy of Bergen County (Teaneck)
Westchester Hebrew High School (Mamaroneck)
Yeshiva Derech HaTorah (Brooklyn)
Yeshiva Or Chadash (Valley Stream)
Yeshiva University High School for Boys (Manhattan)
Yeshiva University High School for Girls (Holliswood)
Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman HS (Brooklyn)
Zvi Dov Roth Academy (Brooklyn)
So, at least technically, admission into these schools is based as much on what your exam scores are as they are on whether or not the school "likes" you and thinks you fit what they want to be known for.
The exam covers both secular and Judaic studies. The secular portion, one hour and 40 minutes in length, covers vocabulary, verbal analogies, grammar and word usage, reading comprehension and mathematics.