KS: Where did you grow up? Where did you go to yeshiva?
RYT: I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and attended local yeshivos through mesivta. For bais medrash, I learned at Yeshiva of Philadelphia (Rabbi Levy’s alma mater) and later learned in Eretz Yisroel under Rabbi Dovid Soloveitchik. Following my time in Eretz Yisroel, I moved to Lakewood and learned in Beth Medrash Govoha.
KS: What did you do after yeshiva?
RYT: I married my wife Rochel, nee Oratz, in 2008. A cute anecdote – my parents are Avrohom (Shlomo) and Sara, and I am Yakov (Nochum) and my wife is Rochel – just like the avos v’imahos. After our marriage, I learned in kollel for a few years before starting my kashrus career at the Vaad Harabonim of Metro West in New Jersey.
KS: What is your current position at the OK?
RYT: My current position at the OK is Food Service Operations Coordinator, managing all food service aspects together with Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld, Food Service Department Head. I also head the Tolaim Committee, which researches all tolaim questions and policies, and liaises with the OK poskim.
KS: What prepared you the most for your current position at the OK?
RYT: My father was the Rav HaMachshir of Kehilla Kosher (which merged with the OK in 2015). I accompanied my father everywhere and learned as much as I could. They used to call me his Foreign Minister.
KS: What is best thing about working at the OK?
RYT: The best thing about working at the OK are the rabbinical dialogues with Rabbi Levy and the other Rabbinic Coordinators and the camaraderie of the rest of the staff.
KS: How would you describe the OK today?
RYT: The OK is a professional and well-oiled machine, with a Rav HaMachshir and rabbonim who are not afraid to stand up for their principles even if there may be a monetary loss.
KS: Tell us something interesting about you that we don’t know.
RYT: As I previously mentioned, Kehilla Kosher was my father’s hechsher. When I was younger, pre Bar Mitzvah, I participated as a tag-along in upper management meetings. I also did rudimentary hashgacha work when needed (after my bar mitzvah) since I was on-site, including grape juice concentrate, hafrashas challah and light kashering.
KS: Can you share an interesting experience that you had while working at the OK?
RYT: Many people are aware that products made in China need extra supervision. I was once at a facility and I was talking to the owner who was from China. He told me, without prompting, that everything made in China is fake and he won’t use anything from there. When I pressed him about the rice there he responded that they put in chemicals to make it white and look nice. When he goes to visit he only stays a few days because he won’t eat anything. How much more so when it comes to kashrus!
What Other People Say
“One of our new אברכים – אב בחכמה רך בשנים, Reb Yakov combines halachic knowledge, technical expertise and an amicable unassuming personality, which has contributed to his popularity amongst his peers.
His proficient handling of the infestation committee has greatly enhanced our kashrus standards.”
Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, Kashrus Administrator
“Rabbi Teichman is a blessing from G-d for ~ Kosher for many reasons. Above all of is the way he approaches his work – delving into details, thinking about all possibilities, and dealing with complex situations using his knowledge in Torah and real yiras shomayim.”
Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld, Director of Food Service
“Rabbi Yakov Teichman’s vast knowledge of halacha and technical understanding of its applications have been a trusted resource to myself and the entire rabbinic team at ~ Kosher. I look forward to our shared drive to Brooklyn from New Jersey.”
Rabbi Levi Y. Schapiro, Rabbinic Coordinator