The recent discovery of significant and deliberate kashrus violations in a kosher certified Chinese restaurant in New Jersey was devastating and shook the OK and the kashrus world. It also imparted the lesson that the OK is still at the forefront of transparent kashrus supervision. Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, OB”M, would often say, “The strength of a kashrus agency is not measured in the number of products they certify, but rather how they deal with the problems they encounter. Do they immediately inform the public, or do they try and sweep it under the rug?” We’ve shown that, as an organization, the OK chooses to do what’s right, not just what may be expedient; this is one way in which we perpetuate Rabbi Levy OB”M’s legacy into the present and future of kashrus.
We recently held our annual International OK Rabbinic Conference, attended by rabbonim and mashgichim from all over the world. A major focus of the conference this year was Food Service enhancements and the importance of adhering to established kashrus systems and protocol in production facilities.
Chanukah is the time we spread light into the darkness, not only in our homes, but out in to the streets as well. Darkness is not chased away with a stick or with mighty power; all that is needed is a small amount of light and the darkness will disappear. I invite you to read our interview with the leaders of our Food Service department, Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld and Rabbi Yakov Teichman, to shed some light on the systems we use in our Food Service department as well as some additional meaningful protocols that are now in place.
I once read an explanation of why cars and trucks are designed with windshields that are much bigger than the rear-view mirror. In order to move forward, our main focus must be on what lies ahead, not on the past. Interestingly, one of the reasons given why the Torah begins with the letter beis is because the
only side of the beis that is open is in the part that is facing the future. Let us look forward to a brighter future and better days, and may we continue with Hashem’s help in our mission of kosher without compromise.
Best wishes for a Freilichen Chanukah,
Rabbi Chaim Fogelman
Editor in Chief, OK Executive Vaad HaKashrus