KS: Where did you grow up? Where did you go to yeshiva?

RYH: I was born in Highland Park, New Jersey and subsequently grew up in Monsey, New York and Brookline, Massachusetts. I learned in Lubavitch Yeshiva of Brookline, got my Bachelor’s Degree at the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, NJ, and got semicha from HaRav Yisroel Yitzchak Piekarski, z”l, at Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch at 770 Eastern Parkway. I continued learning and got dayanus from HaRav Yisroel Pinchas Hirshprung, z”l.

KS: What did you do after yeshiva?

RYH: After yeshiva, I married my wife Pnina and settled in Crown Heights. In Crown Heights, I learned in kollel for four years under HaRav Avrohom Yosef HaLevi Heller shlita.

KS: When did you get involved in hashgocha work?

RYH: I got involved in hashgocha over ten years ago, when I started working as a mashgiach for the OK. I started as a mashgiach in the Tri-State Area for training, working in large factories. I trained under my senior colleagues at the OK.

KS: What is your current position at the OK?

RYH: I am currently a Rabbinic Coordinator for the OK. I am responsible for OK certified manufacturing facilities in the Tri-State Area. I also collate halachic policy for the OK and thus have the z’chus to spend a lot of time working with highly respected rabbonim to solidify and clarify complex kashrus issues. I believe the proper approach to kashrus is, “The better the company understands their responsibility, the better the quality of the hechsher. Education and communication are vital – “communication + clarity = connection.”

KS: What prepared you the most for working at the OK?

RYH: The hashgocha work that I did for the OK as a Tri-State Area mashgiach was definitely the best preparation for serving as a Rabbinic Coordinator at the OK.

KS: What is the best thing about working at the OK?

RYH: My favorite thing about working in kashrus is that there is something new to learn every day. There is always a challenge that comes up and I enjoy meeting those challenges in conjunction with my colleagues at the OK.

KS: How would you describe the OK today?

RYH: The OK is an international kashrus agency, which constantly strives to uphold and improve kashrus standards the world over. The OK stands behind all of its rabbis, through all of their challenges and decisions. It is very gratifying to be directly involved in projects with such a positive global impact.

KS: Can you share a unique experience that you had while working at the OK?

RYH: I was once visiting a new facility in New Jersey about 15 miles from where I lived as a child. While meeting my contact (a nice Jewish fellow) we got into a discussion about my last name. After about a minute we discovered that his father and my grandfather were best of friends and davened in the same shul, etc. It was a perfect way to begin our initial meeting.

Rabbi Hanoka puts an emphasis on outreach and providing consumer kashrus education to help people live a kosher lifestyle. You can hear his audio classes on his website: www.rabbihanoka.com.

Rabbi Hanoka shows great perseverance, is an energetic and dynamic speaker and first and foremost a Talmid Chochom. His youthful and vibrant approach to kashrus is indicative of the continuity of the OK. Rabbi Hanoka has been instrumental in the qualitative and quantitative growth of the OK over the past several years.

Rabbi Don Yoel Levy,
Kashrus Administrator, OK Kosher Certification

Rabbi Hanoka is a rare combination of a highly respected Rabbinic Coordinator, with a vast knowledge and clarity in halacha, combined with sterling character traits, who with his virtues helps guide the OK through many difficult kashrus issues. Over the last decade that we have worked together, we have overcome serious challenges. His mission is to strengthen the OK polices, and he brings respect to the OK with his presentation and dedication to kashrus.

HaRav Usher Anshel Eckstein shlita,
Belzer Dayan & Kashrus Administrator

I have known Rabbi Hanoka for many years, as a Talmid Chochom and a kashrus expert who goes about his work with care, precision, and faith, and when faced with a scenario he is uncertain about, he will ask the necessary shaila in a proper manner to be sure to do the right thing.

HaRav Menachem Meir Weissmandel shlita,
Rov of Nitra Monsey & Rov of Nitra Kashrus

Rabbi Hanoka is a pleasure to work with. He is very conscientious and caring, and is someone who really gets involved with the companies he helps certify.

Rabbi Dovid Steigman,
Senior Rabbinic Coordinator, OK Kosher Certification