On January 16, the Orthodox Union (OU) held a kashrus conference in Israel for the mashgichim in its network. Some of Israel’s most prominent rabbis also attended, as well as OU Kosher rabbis and OU board members. The goal of the conference was to show appreciation for the OU’s mashgichim through a lunch and speeches from top rabbis.

OU Kosher CEO and Rabbinic Administrator Rabbi Menachem Genack, OU Kosher COO and Executive Rabbinic Coordinator Rabbi Moshe Elefant, and Director of OU Kosher in Israel Rabbi Yissachar Dov Krakowski attended the conference. More than 70 mashgichim came, and there were more than 120 attendees total.

The speakers at the conference were Rabbi Yoseph Efrati, Rabbi Asher Weiss, Rabbi Menachem Genack, Rabbi Yoseph Rimon, OU board member Dr. Joshua Penn, Rabbi Nisson Kaplan, Rabbi Chaim Feinstein, Rabbi Mordechai Gross, Rabbi Shmuel Weiner and Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz.

Topics included the halachos of kashrus, sugyos of the Gemara, and trends in kosher supervision in Israel. For example, Rabbi Shmuel Weiner, rav of Zichron Nosson Tzvi Rosh Kollel in Ramat Eshkol, discussed the growing need for OU certification in Israel as more Americans make aliyah.

At the end of the conference, the OU gifted its mashgichim with tokens of appreciation that included leather bencher holders engraved with the OU Kosher symbol with laminated benchers inside, and an OU-branded havdallah set. 

Rabbi Menachem Genack said:

“Our mashgichim are the backbone of OU Kosher. Their work is the highest level of excellence. Each mashgiach in our network is talented and bright, and the OU Kosher team works collaboratively together and learns from each other every day.” 

Rabbi Moshe Elefant said:

“OU Kosher is the most recognizable kosher certification in the nation. Our customers are proud to bear the OU Kosher symbol. A luncheon with gedolei Yisroel is an appropriate way to honor the people who help make that possible.”

Rabbi Yissachar Dov Krakowski said:

“It’s important to show appreciation to the people doing the behind-the-scenes work to keep the OU at the highest standard. Since the conference, I’ve been getting non-stop messages from the mashgichim about how much they enjoyed it. I’m so glad we could show them how crucial their work is as part of the OU’s mission.”

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Orthodox Union
Founded in 1898, the Orthodox Union (OU), or Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, serves as the voice of American Orthodox Jewry, with over 400 congregations in its synagogue network. As the umbrella organization for American Orthodox Jewry, the OU is at the forefront of advocacy work on both state and federal levels, outreach to Jewish teens and young professionals through NCSY, Israel Free Spirit Birthright, Yachad and OU Press, among many other divisions and programs.
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OU Kosher is the nation’s largest kosher-certifying body. To date, it has certified more than 1.3 million products in food and ingredient plants in 106 countries.
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