April 1, 2019

Kashrus Agencies Shift to Helping Jews Make Passover

New York…Most production of Passover products has been completed. Mashgichim who supervised special runs for the holiday have already moved on to their next assignments. For kashrus agencies, there is still the task of assuring that Jewish owned companies “sell their chametz,” a requirement by most to maintain kosher certification. Rabbi Harvey Senter of the Kof-K says his rabbis meticulously follow every company to assure that the “selling takes place.” But mostly, the major agencies are busy answering inquiries by Jews. Rabbi Dr. Avraham Pollack of the Star-K says that a team of rabbis at his agency is already responding to 300 inquiries a day and that he expects it to increase to 1000 as Passover draws closer. When all is said and done, the Orthodox Union (OU) will respond to more than 10,000 inquiries, according to the OU’s COO, Rabbi Moshe Elefant. These questions will come via phone calls, e-mails, and on-line (Vebbe Rebbe). In addition, hundreds of inquiries will be fielded through the rabbis who work at the OU.At the OK Kosher Certification, a major medium for the inquiries is through a dedicated What’s App, according to Rabbi Chaim Fogelman. Most of the agencies also have special Apps with the Passover products that are very popular with Smartphone users. A major category of inquiries for the agencies are the Passover worthiness of medications. Rabbi Gershon Bess of the Kolel of Los Angeles publishes a special guide to the medications. In addition, most of the agencies publish special guides with thousands of products that are kosher for Passover.