KS: Where did you grow up? Where did you go to yeshiva?
RLF: I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. I attended Vancouver Hebrew Academy for elementary school, and after my bar mitzvah I left home to attend Mesivta of Postville, the Lubavitcher school in Postville, Iowa. After completing my studies in Iowa, I went to Eretz Yisroel for Yeshiva Gedolah at Tomchei Tmimim in Haifa. I studied for semicha at Tomchei Tmimim in Kiryat Gat, under the direction of Rabbi Zalman Yeruslovsky, shlit”a,
and received semicha from Rabbi Moshe Havlin, shlit”a, and Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, ztz”l.
KS: What did you do after yeshiva?
RLF: After yeshiva, I gave classes at the Chabad House in Budapest, Hungary and was involved in outreach with university students. I then moved to Vancouver and I got married and continued building my family in Vancouver. I became the rabbi and director of The Bayit Congregation, where my wife and I ran programs and expanded Jewish life in the suburbs of Vancouver. I also managed the Food Service department and field operations for the local kosher certification. During my time there, I started my career in kashrus, working for many of the major kosher agencies.
KS: What is your current position at the OK?
RLF: I am currently the Food Service Coordinator for South Florida and the OK Regional representative of the Southeastern United States. I also travel worldwide to conduct annual inspections at OK facilities.
KS: What prepared you the most for your current position at the OK?
RLF: I grew up in a home that lived and breathed kashrus. My father, Rabbi A. Feigelstock ‘שיחי ,is a RavHamachshir, so the kashrus industry was always a part of my life. When I started my first full time employment in the field of kashrus I was introduced to Rabbi Eli Lando, who taught me the meaning of professionalism and thoroughness. Working with a wide array of hashgachos and manufacturing facilities provided me with the skills and
expertise to deal with unique situations with the utmost confidence and in a professional manner. Additionally, my numerous and extensive kashrus trips in rural Alaska gave me the opportunity to familiarize myself with the unique challenges that kashrus employees face on a daily basis.
KS: What is best thing about working at the OK?
RLF: The OK support system for their employees in the field is second to none. The OK as a whole, and its individual employees, upholds the highest standard of professionalism, which creates a fantastic atmosphere in which to work. The management trusts the abilities of the staff and empowers them to perform to the best of their potential. Rabbi Levy makes himself very approachable to all staff members of the OK regarding all matters, whether personal or professional. The Food Service staff, especially Rabbi Teichman and Rabbi Weinfeld, are always available and of great assistance to the Regional Coordinators and are incredible at assisting in the implementation of OK standards in all establishments.
KS: How would you describe the OK today?
RLF: The OK today is the gold standard of what a professional kosher supervision agency should be. They are at the forefront of food manufacturing and technology. Here in Florida, where I am primarily based, the OK holds itself to the highest levels of kashrus and ensures consumers’ peace of mind when eating at their establishments. On a more global level, the OK shares all of its standards openly on their website, and proudly enforces them. This includes Cholov Yisroel, Pas and Bishul Yisroel and Chassidishe Shechita at all food service establishments.
KS: Can you share an interesting experience that you had while working at the OK?
RLF: My first trip overseas for the OK was a visit to Japan where I learned a lot about humanity and other cultures. It was a moving and humbling experience for me to visit the mikvah that my father, sheyichye, and Rabbi Bernard Levy, OBM, helped establish in Kobe over 30 years ago! While I was there, frantic news started coming in about the upcoming Hurricane Irma. As it became more obvious that we would need to evacuate in Florida, I had to reschedule my last few days in Japan so that I could catch one of the last flights going back to my family in South Florida. It was a really challenging experience for me to have to fly back in emergency mode, going through security and customs twice in the span of half an hour, under the pressure that I would possibly not make it back to my family. Boruch Hashem, I arrived in time to help my wife and children evacuate and we were all safe throughout it all.
What Other People Say
“Being a second generation kashrus professional definitely shows in Rabbi Feigelstock’s approach to kashrus. Levi has quickly become part of the worldwide OK team and is a significant contributor to the growth of the OK in Florida and around the world.” -Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, Kashrus Administrator
“Despite Rabbi Feigelstock’s youth, he came to the OK with 10 years of experience in the kashrus world. It is a pleasure and a joy to work with him, and as the manager of the Food Service Department, I am proud to have him as my representative in Florida. Rabbi Feigelstock has both intelligence and humility; he is not afraid to ask questions and he is truly the embodiment of the Mishna: ‘The one who is not embarrassed to ask, he learns the most.’ Food service in Florida has grown tremendously in his capable hands and he is integral to the success of the OK in Florida.” -Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld, Rabbinic Coordinator, Food Service Director
“Rabbi Feigelstock possesses a great combination of attention to the needs of our customers and a laser sharp focus on upholding the OK’s kashrus standards. He is a real asset to the OK team and his turnaround time on customer requests is second to none.” -Rabbi Yakov Teichman, Rabbinic Coordinator, Food Service