Baltimore…A recent visit by the leadership of the Orthodox Union (OU) to the headquarters of the Star-K Kosher Certification was not surprising to kashrus officials reached by Kosher Today as they took note of the growing cooperation between kashrus agencies. Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Executive Vice President of the OU and Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Kashrus Division of the OU, met with Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, Star-K Rabbinic Administrator and Rabbi Avrom Pollak, its President on a variety of kashrus issues. Rabbi Genack delivered a Torah lecture on gelatin to a group of the Star-k rabbis. Kashrus officials say that the visit is part of a burgeoning relationship between kashrus agencies who view themselves as one kashrus community.
One kashrus official says that rabbis from agencies often consult with one another on important kashrus question. “We all recognize that kashrus has become so big and diverse that we may certify products that contain ingredients from another kosher certification agency necessitating contact,” one leading rabbi told Kosher Today. Some of the rabbis credited the expanded role of the Association of Kashrus Organizations (AKO), headed by Rabbi Sholem Fishbane. In fact, many of the leading agencies are represented on AKO’s Board and in the process deal with other agencies on a regular basis. “I don’t think twice if I need information that another agency may have or has had tested,” one of the rabbis said.