New York – More than 100 supervising rabbis and organizations met at OU headquarters in Downtown Manhattan on Thursday November 16th as part of the annual conference of the Association of Kashrus Organizations (AK0). According to Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, the executive director of AKO, “it was a packed day of topics and discussions,” Amongst the topics discussed at the conference was protecting kashrus agencies from fraudulent labels and the status of citrus oils for Passover. A growing issue for many of the participants were practical questions relating to catering on Shabbos. A relatively new concern was how kashrus agencies should deal with bad third world employment practices (led by Rabbi Moshe D Gutnick; KA Australia).
In his report of the proceedings, Rabbi Fishbane noted: “The most intersting sessions of the day were how modern metals need to be viewed by Halacha (Jeweish law) today and examing this year’s tumult of the Braekel chicken. Shmuel Goldenberg and Dovid Shaffier have years of experience in researching metals and have recently opened a company that makes “chalafim” (slaughtering knives) for shochtim based on their knowledge. The Braekel chicken session was opened by Rabbi Menachem Genack of the OU who talked about the role of mesora (tradition) of what we eat, which was followed by Rabbi Chaim Loike (OU) who had some fascinating props to show the attendees on this subject. Rabbi Fishbane also introduced Rabbi Avrohom Weinrib from Cincinnati as the new Assistant Executive Director of AKO.