KS: Where did you grow up? Where did you go to yeshiva?
RER: I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. My parents actually lived in Crown Heights, right around the corner from where the OK is now located, but they moved to Boro Park before I was born. I went to elementary school at Yeshiva Torah Temima and for high school and Bais Medrash I went to Yeshiva of Philadelphia (Rabbi Levy’s alma mater). I also learned in Eretz Yisroel at Mir – Yerushalayim and then in Lakewood at Bais Medrash Govoha.
KS: What did you do after yeshiva?
RER: I married my wife Dena in 1994 and learned at Bais Medrash Gevoha for about 7 years. During that time I started dabbling in kashrus and then got a full time job in the kashrus field.
KS: What is your current position at the OK?
RER: My current position at the OK is Rabbinic Coordinator focusing on companies in Japan and Germany and flavor companies.
KS: What prepared you the most for your current position at the OK?
RER: I was initially trained as a mashgiach through a specialized internship program. After I completed my training, I went on to work for a major kashrus agency and was given the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of kashrus. In addition, I strive to keep up with the latest developments in kashrus and network with other kashrus professionals.
KS: What is best thing about working at the OK?
RER: The best thing about working at the OK is Rabbi Levy’s constant drive to improve and focus on kashrus without compromise. I also like visiting the factories I am responsible for and getting to know the staff and production processes. Finally, the exceptionally knowledgeable, warm and involved staff at the OK make it a great place to work.
KS: How would you describe the OK today?
RER: The OK is a kashrus organization that first and foremost focuses on maintaining the highest standards of certification on all of the products that bear the OK symbol. The OK also strives to provide the best customer service to its clients and kosher consumers, aiming to provide the best to those on both sides.
KS: Can you share an interesting experience that you had while working at the OK?
RER: On a recent trip to Europe, I managed to daven with a minyan in 5 countries in one week. It was certainly an interesting (if not ironic) feeling to be walking down the street in Munich and Barcelona with my hat, jacket and tzitzis (hanging out) while holding my tallis and tefillin.
On a recent trip to China I was doing an initial inspection at a potential new company. I asked them the source of their ingredients and they dutifully provided me with a list.
I asked, “Do you have any other sources?” and they said, “No.” I asked them for copies of their most recent receiving records for the potentially kosher sensitive ingredients, and again, the company supplied them without a problem.
However, they only supplied the information in Chinese. Then I said, “You know, I can’t read a thing in Chinese, but of the 1.3 billion Chinese in the world, quite a few know English, including the official translator at the OK’s China Office and the receptionist in my hotel.” Suddenly, they “remembered” a few alternate sources that they sometimes use for ingredients.
What Other People Say About Rabbi Rubin
Thoroughness, attention to detail, technical knowledge and Yiras Shamayim are natural attributes of Rabbi Rubin and make him a perfect fit in our young guard of Rabbinic Coordinators. Although he received his training from a different agency which is sometimes detrimental to fitting into our unique system, Rabbi Rubin easily became a part of our team. He immediately accomplishes any task he is given, no matter how difficult, with great expertise. His contributions to the OK are greatly appreciated. We are proud to have him as a member of our Rabbinic team.
Rabbi Don Yoel Levy,
Kashrus Administrator, OK Kosher Certification
Thorough, organized, and easygoing – with no agenda and no airs about him. Elisha is proficient in all facets of kashrus, from halacha through processing. Rabbi Rubin has a great general knowledge of the kashrus world and all areas of evaluation. His reports and plant descriptions are a pleasure to read and easy to understand.
Rabbi Leizer Teitelbaum,
OK Kosher Certification, New York Office
I have worked closely with Rabbi Rubin for the last few years, and it is a total pleasure to work with him. He is very efficient and devoted to the job. Every issue that comes up is seriously reviewed, and immediate action is taken. Reb Elisha is in total command of the companies he is responsible for and he raises the levels of kashrus wherever possible.
Rabbi Shimon Lasker,
OK Kosher Certification, European Office