January 7, 2013

Mashgichim in a ÒThankless JobÓ Get Thanked

CHICAGO — Kosher supervisors – mashgichim – in food service establishments are often said to work long hours and under some of the most difficult conditions. It was for that reason that the Chicago Rabbinical Council last month hosted an event to express thanks to its food service mashgichim.  

The event, held at the newly refurbished Emma’s Bagel Café in Skokie, brought together the cRc administration and its food service mashgichim and their spouses for an intimate gathering, away from the daily pressures of working in a food service establishment. “The goal is simply hakaras hatov (expressing appreciation)”, said Rabbi Yaakov M. Eisenbach, the Rabbinic Coordinator of Food Service. 

“The food service mashgichim are our eyes and ears in the commissaries, and we are extremely grateful for their hard work.”  Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, the cRc’s Kashrus Administrator, commented on how many good ideas were shared amongst the mashgichim who rarely have a chance to speak with each other in a relaxed atmosphere.  “These good ideas and tips will be a great benefit to the cRc’s foodservice division and the kosher consumer at large”, expressed Rabbi Fishbane.

Food service mashgichim work in a broad range of settings that range from commissaries of catering establishment to the kitchens of major hotels. Yaakov, a 36-year old food service mashgiach in New York often leaves his family for extended weekends, not to speak of the many evenings he returns well past midnight from work. “It is a thankless job,” says Yaakov, who adds that he’s “not complaining because he has plenty of work and a job that must be done.”