December 6, 2016

“No Chabad Emissaries, No Kosher,” Says OK Kosher’s Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

Brooklyn - There is an idiom that “Wherever in the world there is Coca-Cola, there is Chabad.” However in recent years this can really be turned around to: Wherever in the world there is Chabad, there is kosher! When nearly 5000 emissaries met in Brooklyn last week, a good number of them were involved in kashrus supervision. It was Chabad’s charismatic leader, the late Rabbi M.M. Schneerson, who encouraged his followers to set up Jewish centers around the world to cater to the spiritual and material needs of all Jews. A wonderful byproduct of this campaign is that the entire world is now within kosher reach. Products that were once considered too difficult to certify because factories were in far-flung places such as Thailand or India are now being certified a plenty. Rabbi Chaim Fogelman, Director of PR/Education at OK Kosher says plainly that “without the Shluchim (emissaries) there would be no kashrus in many parts of the world. I don’t just say this on behalf of the OK, but on behalf of kosher in general.” The OK employs 380 mashgichim in 80 countries and approximately 85-90% are Shluchim, many living in countries such as Russia, Singapore, and China. Most of the other large certification agencies also employ these emissaries. “The International Conference of Chabad Emissaries in New York was the perfect time to bring all our mashgichim together as many of them wear the hat of Shliach as well. We host this day-long conference every year around this time, including classes on kashrus, kosher trends, and face time with our local staff.” This week also marks the anniversary of the tragic murders of Rabbi Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg, Chabad Emissaries to Mumbai, India. Rabbi Holtzberg was very involved in kosher certification in India, helping the OK with many regular and unannounced kashrut inspections to ensure that companies around the world would have the kosher ingredients they needed. “In fact, a few moments before the attack Rabbi Holtzberg spoke to a representative at our New York office. When she tried to call Rabbi Holtzberg back the line was dead as the attacks were unfortunately already underway.”