Inteview with Rabbi Hershel Krinsky
KS: Where did you grow up? Where did you go to yeshiva?
RHK: I grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts and learned in Crown Heights at Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch at 770 Eastern Parkway.
KS: What did you do after yeshiva?
RHK: After yeshiva, in the summer of 1975, I married my wife Sterna and we lived in Crown Heights. In Crown Heights, I learned in kollel and traveled back and forth to Boston, Massachusetts were I worked as a shochet and head mashgiach at a chicken shechita where I represented Rav Zalman Shimon Dvorkin (a”h).
KS: When did you get involved in hashgocha work?
RHK: I first got involved in hashgocha work in the mid-1970s when I worked in Boston. Then, in 1979 I was a shochet at a duck farm in Long Island and I also served as the head mashgiach responsible for the kashrus there.
KS: When did you start working for the OK?
RHK: I started working for the OK in the 1980’s. I was a mashgiach for OK certified companies in the New York area.
KS: What is your current position at the OK?
RHK: I am currently a Rabbinic Coordinator for the OK and I have held that position since 1999. I oversee the kosher supervision of many OK certified companies and I specialize in companies that produce dairy products.
KS: What prepared you the most for working at the OK?
RHK: My nine year stint doing shechita and hashgocha at the duck farm, coupled with the hashgocha work that I did in the 1980s and 1990s for the OK and for other agencies, was definitely the best preparation for working as a Rabbinic Coordinator at the OK.
KS: What is the best thing about working at the OK?
RHK: There are many great things about the OK, but two stand out most. First, the OK is unique in that it has a custom-designed computer system to manage all data, from the rabbis’ observations at inspection visits to all of the ingredient and product information of our certified companies. This computer system enables all of our knowledge and data to be shared amongst our entire network of rabbis, mashgichim and support staff to ensure the highest level of kosher supervision. Secondly, there is great camaraderie and cooperation amongst the rabbis at the OK. Every rabbi can be counted on to share his knowledge and experience with others and work as a team to provide excellent supervision and service.
KS: How would you describe the OK today?
RHK: Technologically, the OK is the most advanced kosher certifying agency and we utilize the latest technology available to ensure kosher compliance and data security. In addition, the OK is a pioneer in technology-backed kashrus and always the first agency to utilize new technology.
KS: Can you share a unique experience that you had while working at the OK?
RHK: A few years ago, I did a two-week inspection trip in India and the Far East. During my travels, I wrote a daily log of what I did and the interesting things that I saw there (aside from the actual kashrus inspections) and sent it out to the whole office staff. I was quite amazed by the level of airport security in India. My bags were x-rayed, I was searched numerous times by army personnel, my bags were hand-stamped by officials to show they were inspected, and I (along with my carry-on luggage) was inspected yet again by army personnel after I boarded the plane! Everyone was very intrigued by my experiences in India and I received numerous comments about my adventures.
Over the many years that I have known Rabbi Krinsky, he has always impressed me with his exact and meticulous approach. He is not afraid to speak his mind, and leaves no stone unturned during his investigations of kosher standards and processes. Reb Hershel has developed expertise in many fields of kashrus and the companies he works with all admire and respect him. OK Kosher prides itself on the very high caliber of our Rabbinic Coordinators, and Rabbi Krinsky perfectly exemplifies that standard.
Rabbi Don Yoel Levy,
Kashrus Administrator, OK Kosher Certification
Rabbi Krinsky is very knowledgeable in all areas of kashrus and can always be relied upon for his expertise. He is studious, always seeks to delve into new depths of learning, and is always concerned with the needs of the companies he oversees. Rabbi Krinsky is a pleasure to work with and I am grateful to have him as a colleague.
Rabbi Dovid Steigman,
Rabbinic Coordinator, Platinum Accounts
Rabbi Krinsky is extremely thorough in his evaluations of certified facilities. It almost seems as the potential kashrus problems “line up to shake hands with him”! Rabbi Krinsky also has a unique focus and devotion to solving any issues that come up and he perseveres until the issue is resolved satisfactorily.
Rabbi Leizer Teitelbaum,
Senior Rabbinic Coordinator