QuicKosher January 2018

posted by January 2018

Dear OK Kosher Client,

We hope you are having a great start to 2018!

For OK Kosher, 2017 has been another year of continued improvement and growth in all areas.  We are happy to share with you that we have hired additional rabbinic and support staff as part of our commitment to maintain a leading role in the kosher industry.  We are also very, deeply saddened by the passing of our long-time senior Rabbinic Coordinator, Rabbi Dovid Steigman, OBM, who passed away in March 2017.  Many of you were blessed to have known and worked with him.  His kind and caring personality, sharp wit and positive energy will be sorely missed.

This year’s OK Kosher Annual International Conference held in November brought Rabbinic Coordinators and Field Representatives from across the globe together for a full-day symposium. The program featured updates from management on recent developments and overall direction.  In addition, high level presentations on kosher law were given by several of OK Kosher’s staff members. One of the highlights of the gathering was the presentation of the 2017 “OK Kosher Featured Company Award,” presented to Kerry Group, a leading producer with many decades of adherence to kosher production under OK Kosher supervision. Kerry Group was chosen for this award in acknowledgement of their genuine dedication to maintaining OK Kosher’s highest regulatory standards required by kosher dietary law. We are proud to acknowledge the entire team at Kerry by selecting them for the “OK Kosher Featured Company Award” this year.



While focusing on our strategic growth, we have put processes in place to ensure that OK Kosher’s standards are uniform worldwide. In general, all standards and policy decisions are established by senior rabbinic staff in our New York head office.  Frequent visits are conducted by senior rabbinic staff to our certified facilities around the world to ensure the highest standards.  This past year, our president, Rabbi Levy, and I have made trips to our Israel office several times (one lasting over 30 days!), working with our staff there to further OK Kosher’s world-renowned standards and service in the areas of the world which they oversee.  Our Israel branch is currently responsible for our continuously-growing efforts in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, China, India, and South Korea.

I have also made a visit to our West Coast office in Los Angeles recently.  We are happy to report that our merger with Kehilla Kosher of the West Coast two years ago has successfully panned out.  We are now certifying hundreds of industrial manufacturers as well as close to one hundred foodservice establishments on the West Coast.  Feedback from our customers has proven that our programs and our personnel are making a big difference in this geographical region.

We invite you to visit our list of globally-based regional offices.  Whether it is an additional facility you would like to certify, or a supplier of yours which needs help becoming certified, our staff is always available to discuss your needs and advise you based on their expertise, almost always in the native language of the region at hand.  Our goal is to help you bring as many products as possible to the market which are “kosher without compromise.”  Please stay tuned as we will be making our Private Label process more automated and streamlined to help you and your customers service your markets.

If there is anything our staff can help with, please feel free to reach out to them, or to me directly.

With continued blessings for a healthy and productive 2018!

Sincerely,
Rabbi Eli Lando,
Executive Manager & Chief Customer Relations

OK Holds Annual Rabbinic Conference

posted by December 2012

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Recently, the OK held its annual Mashgiach Conference at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn, NY. Over 150 OK personnel and mashgichim were in attendance, including many from around the world.

 

Highlight of the Conference

The OK honored two outstanding mashgichim – Rabbi Favish Moster and Rabbi Yehudah Pink. Both rabbis were chosen for their dedication to upholding the rigorous kosher standards set forth by the OK and the sheer volume of work they do on behalf of the OK. In addition, the OK honored two of their Rabbinic Coordinators from the Israeli office – Rabbi Shmuel Levi and Rabbi Yeshaya Prizant, as well as the liaison between OK Headquarters and OK Israel, Rabbi Moshe Fox, for their dedication and exceptional work.

 

The OK also honored ConAgra Foods, a company who is making strides in increasing their kosher offerings, goes out of their way to uphold the highest kosher standards, and works well with their mashgichim and rabbis. ConAgra Foods, makers of Hunt’s ketchup, Wesson oil, Pam cooking spray, and countless other kosher products was represented by longtime employees and kosher liaisons Mr. Britt Nichols and Ms. Patty Harvey who were on hand to accept the award on behalf of ConAgra Foods.

 

In addition, the OK celebrated our longtime relationship with Mr.Willy Geeraerts, who is soon to retire from Barry Callebaut Chocolate, the premier producer of kosher chocolate.

 

Rabbi Levy, Kashrus Administrator, opened the conference with words of Torah and encouragement and a fascinating explanation of kosher chocolate production which has been transcribed in this issue of Kosher Spirit. Other speakers included noted lecturer Rabbi Yossi Jacobson, Rabbi Saul Emanuel, Executive Director of Montreal Kosher, Rabbi Ahron Haskel of OK Israel, and OK Rabbinic Coordinators Rabbi Yitzchak Hanoka and Rabbi Yitzchak Gornish. Rabbi Levy was also presented with Hakaras HaTov awards from three camps whose campers benefit greatly from his generous camp scholarship program.

 

The conference ended with a lavish buffet lunch allowing the rabbis to interact with each other and OK personnel.

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Exter BV: Pure Taste From the Authentic Kitchen

posted by January 2012

Savor the authentic taste of traditional cuisine. The flavor of food of days gone by. That’s the essence of Exter. The pure flavor of traditional food made from ingredients sourced from nature and the farm. Food cooked like your grandmother used to – with passion and care.

This is what Exter has done for 70 years. Exter, started as a family business, has grown into a company that exports to 42 countries around the world. The company, located in The Netherlands, just north of Amsterdam, employs 65 people.

As a niche player Exter is committed to delivering the taste you want to create. It’s no wonder that Exter works together with food manufacturers from around the world, always with a personal touch and in close cooperation. Exter creates sophisticated taste bases of cooked meat, fish or vegetables. Imagine the delicious flavor of grilled chicken with sautéed onion and tomato or clear beef bouillon with leek and fennel.

Exter’s flavors are based on vegetable protein and it is this basic raw material that allows Exter to produce most of its products kosher certified by OK Kosher Certification.

Grilling, stir-fry, steaming, boiling and roasting – in Exter’s kitchens everything is cooked in traditional style. Slow cooking, respecting time and the purity of the produce. The aim is to tempt the consumer to taste and appreciate the difference and above all to keep coming back for more.

The five basic tastes have no secrets as far as Exter’s chefs are concerned. Bitter, salt, sour, sweet or umami, the chefs know how to transform these into the flavor you need for your product. A flavor that lingers. Not only in your mouth but also in your memory. That’s how Exter and its customers work together for their success. The worldwide network of distributors is ready to help you to make your food a genuine experience. Always personal, always available. Together they give flavor to life.

Exter has worked with the OK for the last 18 years. First supervised by Rabbi Spiro, and now by his son, its liquid aroma factory has been completely kosher for many years. As a matter of fact, the cooperation has been so successful that Exter is now moving from kosher campaigns that took place 4 times per year to full-time kosher production in its powder factory as well.

Mr. Ad van Vugt of Exter BV was recently honored at the Annual International OK Mashgiach Conference for his commitment to the kosher consumer and his longstanding relationship with OK Kosher Certification.

OK Kosher Certification Held Its 13th International Annual Mashgiach Conference

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On Monday, 2 Kislev (November 28), OK Kosher Certification held its 13th annual International Mashgiach Conference in Chovevei Torah in Brooklyn, NY. Over 150 OK personnel and rabbis were in attendance, including rabbis from Japan, India, Greece, Israel, Poland, Germany, Belgium and others from around the world.

As in past years, the OK honored two rabbis. This year’s honorees were Rabbi Shloime Bistritsky, the newly elected Chief Rabbi of Hamburg, Germany, and Rabbi Binyomin Neufeld from Israel. Both rabbis were chosen for their dedication to upholding the rigorous kosher standards set forth by the OK.

Every year the OK features a company that is making strides in increasing their kosher offerings and goes above and beyond to work with their mashgichim and rabbis. This year the OK honored two companies: Post Foods, LLC and Exter B.V. (a flavor company in Europe). For over 50 years, Post cereals have been kosher certified by the OK providing their customers with high quality kosher breakfast cereals.

Rabbi Levy, Kashrus Administrator, opened the conference with words of Torah, inspiration, and the latest happenings at the OK. Attendees were also honored to have HaRav Yosef Braun, Rabbi of Crown Heights, share a few words of Torah. Rabbi Hillel Baron, from Columbia, Maryland, spoke about outreach opportunities within certified companies; Rabbi Yitzchok Ort, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, shared insights into the changing kosher dairy industry; professional basketball player Tamir Goodman, also known as the “Jewish Jordan”, introduced his new innovation, SportStrings Tzitzis that are now certified OK; Rabbi Eli Lando gave a brief talk on customer service; Mr. Menachem Lubinsky, CEO of Lubicom Marketing, enlightened the rabbis on the growth of the kosher food industry; Rabbi Yitzchak Gornish a rabbinical coordinator at the OK shared his scientific knowledge with a presentation on the Chemistry of Kashrus; and Rabbi Yisroel Stern of Chassidus Mevueres spoke about the OK’s contribution to spreading the wellsprings of Chassidus through Heichal Menachem. Rabbi Chaim Fogelman MC’d the event with his much-loved combination of Chassidic insights and humor.

One attendee commented, “This year the conference was an incredible success. It was so well prepared, and extremely interesting. We all benefitted greatly from the event.”

The conference ended with a lavish buffet lunch catered by Bunch-O-Bagels and time for the rabbis to interact and share their experiences.

Attendees received a brand new sefer by Chassidus Mevueres printed specially for this event.


Dear Friend,

posted by

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Dear Friend,

As we begin the new year of 2012, we at OK Kosher Certification would like to thank you for another exciting year.  We are proud to serve your kosher programs and take great pleasure in the many new projects we are involved in with our existing and new customers around the globe.

This year you can expect innovation on all fronts. Your Rabbinic Coordinator and Account Representative at OK headquarters are committed to providing you with the quality service you deserve. We urge you not to hesitate to contact them at any time.  We also want to hear your compliments, comments or complaints about our service.

Compliments − tell us when we get things right and when we should congratulate staff. Comments − help us with ideas for improving our services. Complaints − tell us when we are getting things wrong and we will make it right.

We welcome your feedback by telephone (718-907-9595) or by e-mail (service@ok.org).

In this addition of QuicKosher, you can also read about the highly successful conference we held in November. Our representatives from around the world gathered together in New York to learn about the latest in the industry and make sure we offer you the best possible service. We also honored two of our companies, Post Foods, LLC and Exter BV, and they are featured in this newsletter.

We thank each and every one of our treasured clients from around the world for selecting OK Kosher to certify their kosher products and our exceptional staff for making it all possible. We are committed to keep being GLOBALLY YOURS.

On behalf of our President, Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, and the entire OK Kosher team,

Rabbi Eli Lando,

Chief Customer Relations Officer

OK Kosher Certification

NY Area Costco Stores Honored by OK Kosher

posted by January 2010

Where can you find high-end food products, combined with top-notch kosher supervision and warehouse prices? Five Costco stores in the New York area provide this unique, niche product line, serving a large community of price-conscious and kosher-conscious consumers.

For over a decade, Costco kosher bakeries in Brooklyn, NY, Lawrence, NY, Nanuet, NY, New Rochelle, NY, and Hackensack, NJ have been under the kosher supervision of OK Kosher Certification, providing their customers with fresh, quality, kosher baked goods at prices that cannot be beat.

Costco – Lawrence was the pilot store for a line OK Kosher certified Cholov Yisroel cheese, along with top-quality, OK Kosher certified, Choice grade Glatt Kosher chasidshe shchita beef produced by Colorado Kosher Beef. Costco stores in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Nanuet now carry this kosher beef as well and many Costco stores already carry the Cholov Yisroel cheese.

Recently, OK Kosher Certification held its annual rabbinical conference near its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, with over 100 rabbis from across the globe in attendance.

This year, in recognition of the unique relationship between Costco and the OK and Costco’s efforts to bring high quality kosher products to the kosher consumer, the OK chose these New York area Costco stores as the Featured Company for the 2009 conference.

Mr. Ken Aicardi, Regional Manager, and Mr. Adam Self, Manager of Costco – Lawrence, were in attendance to accept the awards on behalf of Price-Costco headquarters and the other honored stores. Plaques were also personally presented on location to: Richard Amber, Bakery Manager – Lawrence, NY; Bruce Henry, Bakery Manager – Hackensack, NJ; Carlos Sanchez, Bakery Manager – New Rochelle, NY; Craig Ragland, Bakery Manager – Brooklyn, NY; and, Cassandra St. Fleur, Bakery Manager – Nanuet, NY.