KS: Where did you grow up? Where did you go to yeshiva?
EM: My father, a”h, was a Holocaust survivor who spent four years in the camps and he married my mother, a”h, who was living in Crown Heights at the time. I was born there and then moved around within Brooklyn during my childhood. As a bochur, I attended Yeshiva of Eastern Parkway.
KS: What did you do after yeshiva?
EM: After yeshiva I continued my education and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and History, as well as graduate studies in Public Administration. I married my wife, Susan, in 1974 and moved to the Flatbush area of Brooklyn. Prior to my career at the OK, I spent 32 years working for the New York Housing Authority in several administrative positions.
KS: What is your current position at the OK?
EM: I have 2 distinct positions at OK Kosher:
1. I evaluate and approve products submitted daily by OK certified companies. OK certified companies are required to submit all products used in their facilities
as well as formulas for all products that may receive kosher certification. The rabbis review and approve the ingredients and my job is to ensure that the ingredients in the products have been approved and the products meet the guidelines set for each facility. If all is in order, then I can approve the product.
2. I respond to consumer calls and emails concerning products certified by OK. This aspect of my job involves answering questions about pareve/dairy status, clarifying products that are under OK supervision, and helping consumers find answers to more general kashrus questions.
KS: What prepared you the most for your current position at the OK?
EM: I was previously responsible for overseeing the Data Analysis Department at the OK and became familiar with ingredient and product kosher requirements, which made for a smooth transition to my current role.
KS: What is best thing about working at the OK?
EM: I have the zechus of working for an organization that truly cares about spreading kashrus and increasing kosher products for Yidden of all backgrounds.
KS: How would you describe the OK today?
EM: The OK is an organization of people dedicated to ensuring that the highest level of kashrus standards are maintained for the benefit of Klal Yisroel all over the world.
KS: Can you share an interesting experience that you had while working at the OK?
EM: I was part of the professional working world for many years prior to my employment at OK Kosher and had often experienced difficulty in finding a Mincha minyan while working in field operations, especially in the winter season. However, I have been privileged to daven Mincha and sometimes Maariv every day at the OK office as well as learning with Rabbi Levy, Z”L.
What Other People Say
“Eli is a meticulous and detailed oriented person. He’s a Ben Torah, who can always be found with a sefer and a smile. Eli shows a true enjoyment whenever he hears a vort or geshmake Torah thought and his yiras shomayim and refined demeanor make him a pleasure to work with.” -Rabbi Chaim Fogelman, Kashrus Vaad
“R’ Eli is someone who takes the ma’amarei chazal of עשה תורתך קבע. אמור מעט ועשה הרבה. והוי מקבל את כל האדם בסבר פנים יפות …as a mission statement to live by. His dedication to getting things done and in the most pleasant manner possible is remarkable and a great example for others.” -Rabbi Levi Marmulszteyn,