KS: Where did you grow up? Where did you go to yeshiva?
RYP: I spent my childhood in Tel Aviv. At age 14 my family and I moved to Jerusalem, where I went to the Belzer Yeshiva.
KS: What did you do after yeshiva? When did you get married?
RYP: I got married to my wife Miri in 1997. After the wedding I learned in the Belzer Kollel Le’hora’a in B’nei B’rak.
KS: What is your current position at the OK?
RYP: I am in charge of the Israeli Companies department, which includes working with both local Israeli manufacturers and importers. I also serve as the head of the mashgiach staff for Cholov Yisroel productions in Hungary.
KS: What prepared you the most for your current position at the OK?
RYP: I was blessed with the very best teachers a mashgiach can have. Rabbi Haskel, head of OK Israel, literally taught me everything I know about kashrus work. Rabbi Shmuel Levi also did much to instruct me and help me. I have been working at the OK for the last 11 years, and filled almost every possible role. I started as a mashgiach in a sausage factory, went on to work in Gat Foods, and then worked in many other facilities, especially wineries. Then, I started traveling to supervise productions and make visits abroad, and also worked for two years as the head of hashgacha staff for the Cholov Yisroel projects in Denmark.
KS: What is best thing about working at the OK?
RYP: The best thing about working at the OK is the family-like environment, and the way we look out for each other. A mashgiach going abroad knows he has a reliable backup— if he comes across any problems/questions, there will always be somebody available to answer him. I, myself, answer my phone 24/6, so the mashgichim working with me can always reach me.
KS: How would you describe the OK today?
RYP: The OK is a dynamic organization, which is aware of all the advances and changes in technology and knows how to use them for kashrus needs. The methodical and organized way in which we operate is, I believe, our greatest advantage. Under the leadership of Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, I believe that the OK has positioned itself as unique in being able to keep high kosher standards along with high customer service standards. We are as uncompromising with the latter as with the former. I once asked a company manager why he chose to work with us, when we are stricter than other kosher agencies. He said that it is because we take his projects as seriously as he himself does.
At the OK, we believe that it is our responsibility to help the customer in every step: finding kosher ingredients, introducing him to suppliers, giving recommendations to other kosher agencies which rely on us…that is the reason most of Israel’s big companies like to work with us. We make their concerns our concerns.
KS: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
RYP: Needless to say, working in the OK means you are bound to lead an interesting life…there are so many special stories we, the mashgichim, can tell.
I would like to share one especially memorable experience from one of my trips to China. An Israeli family who knew I was headed there approached me with a request. They had a relative who needed to undergo a transplant and was in a Chinese hospital with his wife. Since the stay became longer than expected, they had almost run out of kosher food, and the morale wasn’t high either. I took the contact details and the hospital address, but I warned them that I wasn’t going to this area and since China is somewhat bigger than B’nei B’rak, it was not very likely that I would be able to reach their relative.
Well, it happened that I went to China for a Kosher for Passover production of pear concentrate. However, the local farmers chose this time to go on a strike and no production was possible. Therefore, our Chinese representative, Alex, suggested we go to a new plant, quite far from there, which had pears and could hold the production.
We had no choice but to set out for a 15-hour long drive. After 13 hours on the road, I noticed a sign with a city name—the very city where the hospital was located. Of course, we entered the city, and went to the hospital. The man was extremely happy to see me and to receive news from his family as well as kosher food. I promised him I would come back to spend Shabbos with him.
I was supposed to take a Friday flight to Beijing, buy kosher food there, and fly back. However, due to hard weather conditions, it turned out I would have only 15 minutes before my second flight! I contacted the Chabad shliach in Beijing, Rabbi Shimon Freundlich. He told me not to worry – he would bring the food to the airport and check it in for me! I will never know how he managed it, but he did.
It was a very special Shabbos in the hospital. The man underwent the transplant a week later and always maintained that this Shabbos gave him the strength necessary before the operation. I wanted to pay Rabbi Freundlich for the food, but he refused. He said he wanted a part in the mitzvah – and since the OK paid for the plane tickets he wanted to pay for the food. He told me he has a rule: it always pays to be shutaf (partner) with Rabbi Levy!
What Other People Say About Dayan Yitzchak Teller
Kobi, as he is affectionately known, has the unique combination of being exceptionally bright, firm and yet extremely affable. Rabbi Perlov’s distinctive approach to implementing kashrus, and to life in general, makes him loved by all and yet highly respected—truly the attributes of an OK kashrus representative.”
Rabbi Don Yoel Levy,
Kashrus Administrator, OK Kosher Certification
Rabbi Perlov is totally devoted and committed to the companies that are assigned to him while maintaining OK kosher standards. In a typical day’s work, he is constantly receiving phone calls from numerous companies to assist them with their kosher certification, all while he is traveling throughout Israel and beyond to inspect different manufacturing facilities.
With his kind character, he is liked and welcomed by the companies and facilities that he visits, and they respect his strength in implementing kashrus standards. As Rabbi Perlov himself says, “תורשכ has the same letters as the word תורש – service and devotion.” He is devoted to the certified companies, and most importantly he serves the consumer with devotion, so that when they eat an OK certified product they can be assured that it has the highest standard of kashrus.
Rabbi Moshe Fox,
U.S. Office, OK Israel Liaison
First of all, Rabbi Perlov is truly G-d fearing. ‘Shiviti Hashem Lenegdi Tamid’ is much more than words for him. He has been known to leave his home in the middle of the night to go to the far end of the country and check a cargo of vegetables to find out whether they have been grown under any shmitta leniency (which we don’t approve). He is a mashgiach 24/6. He never goes on a real vacation. Even when he appears to be on a vacation he is still working, fully available, and always ready to help. His customer service standards are legendary. The clients are not supposed to like him – after all, he makes their lives rather difficult! But since they soon discover how much he cares about their businesses, and how hard he works to find original solutions to their problems, they become his fans quite fast!
Rabbi Perlov has been vital in the process of getting so many wineries under our certification. This is the field closet to his heart, and his contribution has been enormous. He has the ability of taking suspicious, far-from- Yiddishkeit winemakers and turning them into enthusiastic kosher producers…
Rabbi Aharon Haskel,
Executive Rabbinic Coordinator, OK Israel
The main thing about Rabbi Perlov is his extraordinary dedication to kashrus and to the OK. He is always ready to go to any length, to do whatever is needed, for the kashrus work. He does everything thoroughly and persistently – nothing can stop him from achieving his goal – doing what has to be done in the best way possible, no matter what efforts he has to make. Rabbi Perlov is also one who would never say ‘no’ to a request for help. None of the staff can ask him a favor and be refused. And whether he works with customers or with the OK staff, he is always pleasant, smiling, and make makes sure to create a good atmosphere.
Rabbi Binyamin Neufeld,
Rabbinic Coordinator, OK Israel