(as appeared in Arutz 7 Online Hebrew News at the following link – translated from Hebrew)
The supervisors who enter the largest companies
We attended the OU Kashrut’s annual conference which celebrated 100 years of observance this year around the world.
12 Iyar Tashpag 3.05.23, 5:08
The OU organization celebrates the centenary of the establishment of the organization and the event connects to the annual rabbinical conference, where every year hundreds of the Organization’s rabbis gather to discuss the halachic issues involved in progress and contemporary technology.
The CEO of OU Israel, Rabbi Avi Berman, talks about the festive feeling, about the meeting of the team that came with him from Israel to the rabbinical conference with corresponding teams from Australia, the Caribbean, China, Japan, the USA and much more. “To come together and discuss the issues that everyone deals with over the years in their own corner… So although there is a Zoom throughout the year, but when you come to one place and learn together, in one room rabbis sit and learn in fellowship the ins and outs of Halacha, it is amazing!” he describes.
Among the rabbis who gather are also those who join the largest companies in the USA as kosher supervisors, and Rabbi Berman tells of a set of considerations that go into their halachic decisions, “It is many times greater in size,” says Rabbi Berman and makes sure to give great praise to the rabbis who are engaged in the work of kashrut in the peripheral cities and towns here in Israel , “sweeter than honey”, he defines them.
Regarding the treatment received by the supervisors in those huge factories, Rabbi Berman says that in many of these factories the only Jew they know is the supervisor. “Their job is also to sanctify the name of heaven. When you enter a position you have to be a respectable person, respect them and they respect you. When I enter factories I receive the feedback from the CEOs of the giant companies and the feedback is positive with a big smile, you can say that the Mashgiach not only gives kosher certification but also deals with the smallest points of halacha, except that he also gets to sanctify the name of heaven, which is a wonderful thing.”
Rabbi Berman was asked about the consensus his organization has gained among the various currents of Judaism, and he points out that at the conference you can find Satmar Hasidim, Belaz Hasidim, Lithuanians, Sephardim, Ashkenazim and Yemenites. “Everyone is here, there are knitted kippahs and black kippahs here. The beauty of the OU is that politics does not enter here, considerations of outlook and what my rabbi and his rabbi said do not enter here. There is a halacha established by the OU and it is the halacha, these are clear standards , an iron economy in every generation and everywhere. That’s why everyone trusts the OU.”
Rabbi Berman also points out that a significant part of the trust gained by supervisors on behalf of the organization stems from the knowledge that the supervisors are not pocketing profits from the supervision of yet another factory and above, but receive a fixed and regular salary. “Each enterprise that we bring in and give it supervision is also another kosher food in the world, and also additional funds that go to the Jewish community in projects like Hezroni’s Zula, Oraita and more, and what is available in America is several times what is available in Israel. All of this comes from the profits of the OU. Doing wonderful things for the people of Israel.”