November 9, 2015

As Kosher Food Industry Continues to Grow, So Does Demand for Mashgichim

New York - In just the last few weeks, kashrus organizations and local Vaadim (kashrus committees) seemed to be frantically looking for kashrus personnel to supervise plants and establishments in different parts of the country. Kashrus officials say that as kosher expands around the country and even globally, the demand for qualified rabbinic supervisors as well as other kashrus personnel continues to grow. The challenge for the kashrus community is to find qualified personnel willing to travel or in many cases relocate to another state. Oregon Kosher was recently looking to fill a new position, a salaried full time RFR (Rabbinic Field Representative) position focusing almost exclusively on industrial kashrus. Positions were also available in other communities such as Orlando. Many mashgichim jobs throughout the world are filled by the shluchim (emissaries) of the world-wide Chabad organization. More than 4,000 shluchim from around the world are currently meeting in Brooklyn in what is by far one of the largest such Jewish gatherings in the world. Major kashrus organizations have stepped up their training of prospective qualified mashgichim. Conditions for the job have greatly improved in recent years, including in many cases offering health benefits. Wives of young RFR’s who relocate often work in local day schools or other Jewish organizations. Mashgichim work in a variety of settings ranging from restaurants to major production facilities. Kashrus officials say that there is no shortage of applicants in the major Jewish communities, but that there is always a need for qualified mashgichim and RFR’s in “out-of-town” communities. Rabbi Yosef Wikler of Kashrus Magazine refers to the mashgichim as the “unsung heroes of our generation.” He presents an annual award to the Mashgiach of the Year at Kosherfest.