KS: Where did you grow up? Where did you go to yeshiva?
ROA: I was born in Toulouse, France and lived in Johannesburg, South Africa with my family from age 1-6. When I was six years old, we made aliya to Israel and settled in Jerusalem. My father, Michael Allouche, is an Aeronautic Engineer at IAI and due to his work we moved a lot. When I finished cheder, I learned at the yeshiva of Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz).
KS: What did you do after yeshiva?
ROA: After yeshiva, I continued to study in what we call in Israel “Yeshiva G’vohaa”. After yeshiva, I went on shlichus to Chabad Houses in Atlanta, Georgia; Thailand; Laos; and Chicago, Illinois. In 2009, I went to Singapore and joined the semicha and shlichus program and received my rabbinical ordination at the end of the year from Rabbi Yeruslavsky and Rabbi Abergel.
KS: What is your current position at the OK ?
ROA: I am currently the Rabbinic Coordinator of Happiness is Us, an importer of candies and chocolate to Israel. I am also the Project Manager of the China and South Korea Department, alongside Rabbi Yeshaya Prizant.
KS: What prepared you the most for your current position at the OK ?
ROA: A few months after I married my wife Rachely, we moved to Guangzhou, China to work with the local Jewish Community and the thousands of Jewish business travelers that comes through the area. In addition, I was an OK Kosher Certification field representative in China for four years. During that time, I inspected over 300 different factories (!) and gained a lot of experience and kashrus knowledge. It’s no secret that China is the one of the main producers of raw materials and chemicals for the food industry. There is no doubt that visiting all of those factories and writing hundreds of reports brought me to my current position, Baruch Hashem.
KS: What is best thing about working at the OK ?
ROA: Every person has his own place and responsibilities, which gives you the ability to work and dream big. The support you get from senior rabbis when you have a question and when you want to learn is crucial to the success and worldwide reach of the OK. In addition, the fact that every initial and annual report is read carefully by Rabbi Don Yoel Levy adds an extra level of seriousness to the work we do and the understanding that ensuring kashrus is a huge responsibility.
KS: How would you describe the OK today?
ROA: The OK is one of the most important and recognized kashrus organizations, with the highest standards of kashrus. The OK does a lot for their customers, without compromising on the level of kashrus. “Proud to be OK Kosher Certified” is not just a slogan, it’s our mission.
KS: Can you share an interesting experience that you had while working at the OK ?
ROA: A few months ago, I was supposed to visit a company in Wuhan, China. For some reason the inspection was postponed a few times and I could not do it myself. I decided to ask my colleague, Rabbi Henig, the Chabad shliach from Chengdu to visit them. Our Chinese office contacted him to arrange the visit; however, he also had to postpone the inspection few times, as it was Erev Pesach. Finally, he traveled to visit the factory which produces natural colors from flowers and vegetables. On the way back to the airport, Rabbi Henig decided to make some phone calls to see if there were any Jews in the area. He found a person named Ofer and they met at the airport before his flight back to Chengdu. Ofer was very happy and Rabbi Henig put tefillin on him. Before he left, Ofer told Rabbi Henig that it was his father’s yahrzeit and he had been praying to Hashem that he wanted to do something to honor his father but didn’t know what. Ten minutes later Rabbi Henig suddenly called, and here they were, praying together in his memory. My inspection was delayed to the point that I had to get someone else to go on my behalf for good reason.
What Other People Say
“Rabbi Allouche is extremely devoted and dedicated to the OK and the kosher consumer. He is organized and energetic, and has brought in a youthful spirit that makes him a pleasure to work with. I have personally visited many plants with him and was extremely impressed with his understanding of the technical issues on hand. The plant personnel respect him and he is well liked by all who work with him.”
Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, Kashrus Administrator
“Rabbi Allouche possesses the unique combination of professionalism and an outstanding personality. His ability to understand production processes down to the finest details, together with his halachic knowledge, allows him to find successful solutions to the many challenges we face while working to uphold the high standards of the OK .
This, together with his quiet demeanor and pleasant attitude, enables him to successfully mobilize the various companies that he handles and secure their full cooperation.
When Rabbi Allouche has a goal, you can be sure that he will accomplish it in the best way possible. He does this as part of the Chinese Department, alongside Rabbi Prizant, and now, also, as the Rabbinical Coordinator of various companies in other parts of the world. It is a great pleasure to work with him and he is a significant asset to our staff in Israel.”
Rabbi Avraham Rapoport, OK Israel
“Rabbi Allouche is a dedicated member of our team; whenever a project is carried out by Reb Uriel it will be done with utmost professionalism and dedication. He looks at all the parameters and follows through to the smallest detail, including assisting companies with sourcing kosher ingredients and giving them the proper guidance on how to achieve the best kosher setup.
Factory managers admire and praise him for his fine work and he always makes a true Kiddush Hashem while maintaining the highest level of kashrus..”
Rabbi Yeshaya Prizant, OK Israel