Saturday, May 15, 2021

(Courtesy of OU) Orthodox Union (OU) Kosher, the world’s largest kosher certification agency, has formed a new department focused on education and support of the community on kashrus-related topics. More than 1,100 people from 23 countries on six continents recently participated in the department’s first virtual event. Sessions focused on bedikas tolaim (checking for insect infestation) with real-time closeup video of bugs on vegetables, checking and identifying issues in chickens, actual kashering of industrial plants and the cheese-making process.

Participants joined from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Gibraltar, India, Israel, Italy, Laos, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Philippines, St. Barts, South Africa, Serbia, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.

“As we continue to grow the reach of OU Kosher around the globe, there was a critical need to provide more education and other resources to consumers. We are very proud of OU Kosher’s new Community Relations department and the tremendous success of its first program,” said OU Kosher CEO Rabbi Menachem Genack. “More than 1,100 people from around the world gathered to discuss some of the most pressing kashrus-related questions.”

“We created the new Community Relations department in order to better serve the global kosher-observant Jewish community and its ever-evolving needs,” said OU Kosher COO Rabbi Moshe Elefant. “We wanted to create a communal hub which includes the OU Kosher hotline, speaker’s bureau, educational resources, consulting, conferences and more. We’re pleased to share that Rabbi Eli Eleff, who has been a rabbinic coordinator/account executive with OU Kosher for more than 10 years has agreed to serve as managing director of this new division.”

“Our vision for the Community Relations department is to provide the resources and tools for the community and to address their needs. This virtual conference was our first step in doing so, and it clearly demonstrates a very strong demand from the global Jewish community. We are here to work with you,” said OU Community Relations managing director Rabbi Eli Eleff.