GE Appliances Launches Production on Refrigerators Complete with “Enhanced Shabbos Mode”
By Yehudit Garmaise
Last Pesach, General Electric Appliances (GEA) introduced a new line of ovens that include Enhanced Shabbos Mode (ESM), and now, starting in February, GEA will begin to produce a new line of freezer and refrigerators in which ESM is activated with the touch of a finger, even on their lower end line of refrigerators that do not have the availability of the Shabbos Keeper.
The new GEA refrigerator/freezers, are certified by both the Central Rabbinical Congress (CRC), a.k.a. Hisachdus Harabanim and the Orthodox Union (OU), Rabbi Tzvi Ortner, the OU’s director of kosher technology, told BoroPark24.
In the next few months: likely in time for Pesach, GEA will sell 45 different models of refrigerators that can be set into ESM: every Friday and Erev Yom Tov, and then back again into weekend mode after Havdalah. In contrast, Shabbos Keepers are only set once when installed, and they automatically enter Shabbos mode every Friday and Erev Yom Tov.
ESM deactivates door switches and controls interior lights, auto defrost sensors, touch screens, water dispensers, and ice makers, although some models require users to disconnect their ice makers manually.
ESM also automates refrigerators’ cooling and heating systems, disables the electrical flows through door switches, and maintains dimmer interior lights.
Rabbi Ortner, who is the Rav of Khal Linath Hatzedeck, has been working to create Shabbos modes for appliances for Orthodox Jewish users for the past eight years.
Five years ago, Rabbi Ortner started working with Kevin Nolan, the CEO of GE Appliances, which is GE’s new name now that it has been sold to Haier Appliances.
Rabbi Ortner’s work with GEA has resulted in the Shabbos Keeper, which can be used on ovens, GEA higher-end line of refrigerators, hot water heaters, dishwashers, and air conditioning units.
“Simply unscrewing refrigerator lightbulbs isn’t really an option anymore now that refrigerators are more sophisticated and use LED lighting,” Rabbi Ortner pointed out. “The new GEA refrigerators will include ESM so that Jews have no issues: without cutting any corners and without any drama.
“The new GEA refrigerators are top quality and provide 100% Shabbos-compatible usage. Everything is lab- and field-tested and supervised by rabbiem so that Jews can just feel more free to relax on Shabbos.”