February 14, 2011

Kashrus Agencies Forge New Relationships With Rabbinic and Chasidic Groups

 New York…Major kashrus agencies are increasingly forging ties with all segments of the core-kosher market. The agencies are also said to be working closely with other kashrus groups in an effort to project unity and espousal of high kashrus standards. As part of its Harry H. Beren ASK OU Outreach program, several hundred participants in Boro Park heard a group of rabbis discuss kashrus issues. The OU Kashrus Department held similar seminars in Monsey, Flatbush, Far Rockaway/Five Towns, and Los Angeles. Participants said there was a concerted effort to demonstrate the OU’s close working relationship with other Orthodox and Chasidic kashrus groups. The OU leadership in the past several months has also visited with Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe of Kiryas Joel in Upstate, New York. It also met with the Sephardic sage Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in Jerusalem, to forge better ties with the Sephardic community, who rely on the Bet Yosef certification. Observers say that there is “unprecedented cooperation amongst the kashrus agencies despite the competitive environment.” They say that this is an extremely positive development for the kosher consumer who must negotiate “the complex kashrus maze.” One rabbi familiar with the kashrus scene said: “The good news is that there is more uniformity of standards than ever before.”