KS: Where did you grow up? Where did you go to yeshiva?
RYR: I was born in Australia and lived in Israel from age 10 to 17. I studied in Lubavitch yeshivos in Israel, the UK and Florida, and I received semicha from Machon Ariel in Jerusalem and from Machon LeHora’a in South Africa.
KS:What did you do after yeshiva?
RYR: After I received semicha, I studied for Yadin Yadin and did shimush by Rabbi Yoram Ulman, a dayan in the Sydney Beth Din. I got married to Chanie Bialestock in January 2010 and continued to learn in kollel for another year and a half.
KS:What is your current position at the OK?
RYR: I am a Rabbinic Coordinator, coordinating the rabbinical aspects of an account. I determine how a facility can become kosher and create mashgiach instructions, visit each facility annually to ensure that their kosher program is being maintained, and resolve any kashrus concerns that arise.
KS:What prepared you the most for your current position at the OK?
RYR: The biggest preparation was learning for semicha with Rabbi Wineberg in South Africa. In addition to teaching me the halachos that pertain to kashrus, he also opened my mind to learning with a practical application, whereas before my learning was all theoretical.
KS: What is the best thing about working at the OK?
RYR: From my first day everyone has been so accommodating in helping me do my part in making this organization maintain its high kosher standards. Everyone, in all departments, will make time for me to assist me with what I need.
KS: How would you describe the OK today?
RYR: The OK is a very efficient team. Each person in every department is an integral part of this organization. Everyone’s contribution facilitates the maintenance of high kashrus standards with outstanding customer service.
KS: Can you share an interesting experience that you had while working at the OK?
RYR: here were two different visits scheduled for the same day and I had the chance to accompany the rabbi on either one. I really wanted to go to both, but I had to pick one, so after much deliberation I picked the beverage facility.
On one of the bottling lines there was a non-certified beverage being filled that contained grape juice. The company used kosher grape juice for that beverage to avoid the downtime of koshering that line. When I went to the cooler room to inspect the ingredients, we were directed to where the drums of grape juice were kept. Sure enough, they were kosher.
We spent about 20 minutes looking at different ingredients and asking the workers to take down some drums to see the labels. We were on our way out of the cooler room and suddenly I noticed an area by the entranced that we missed, so I decided to just give it a quick peek as it was really cold in there. When I had a look, I saw that there were a few drums of grape juice that were certified but did not meet our requirements for a kosher approved ingredient. Needless to say, this matter was swiftly resolved.
Certifying products as kosher is a massive responsibility since the kosher consumer is reliant on us. I learned from this experience that as humans we will always be prone to human error, and the only way to maintain a near flawless operation is with Divine guidance. When we first saw the drums of kosher grape juice we weren’t expecting to see anything else. Only with G-d’s help were we directed to the right place and were able to succeed in our holy mission.
What Other People Say About About Rabbi Yoni Rappaport
“We welcome Rabbi Yoni Rappaport aboard as the latest member of our RC team. His quick perception and deep understanding have helped him quickly fit in with his more experienced peers and his youthful vigor and enthusiasm are greatly appreciated in our office.”
— Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, Kashrus Administrator
“Rabbi Yoni Rappaport is simply a pleasure and even an inspiration to work with. The “mentchlichkeit” that defines him is perhaps only overshadowed by his rapid progress in applying his book knowledge to the practical application of OK Kosher policies and procedures of commercial kashrus certification. He would be the first to admit that there is so much to learn, but we are truly impressed and are certain that Klal Yisroel will benefit from his exuberance and attention to detail in all things kashrus for years to come. Hatzlocho Rabbah!”
— Rabbi Levi Marmulszteyn, Rabbinic Manager
“Rabbi Rappaport is a young, energetic talmid chochom, and in the short time since he has joined the ~ he has displayed a thorough grasp of practical kashrus and its manufacturing applications. He possesses a keen mind and pleasant personality, and it’s a pleasure to work alongside him. Having had the merit to help train Rabbi Rappaport, it is very impressive how quickly he identifies and grasps kashrus challenges and viable solutions in any given situation.”
— Rabbi Yitzchak Hanoka , Rabbinic Coordinator