As the kosher community continues to expand and grow, so does OU Kosher’s commitment to serve it. The just-concluded 2015 Passover season clearly highlights the great lengths that OU Kosher went to once again to meet the needs of the kosher consumer. “People told me how wonderful it was that the OU was there for them,” exclaims Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher. “When last minute inquiries came up, even minutes before the holiday, people around the world knew there was only one place to turn: OU Kosher.”
How did OU Kosher respond to the community’s needs? This year was one of firsts, with the Passover Hotline being open the Sunday before Passover, with extended hours until 6 p.m. the week before Pesach, and two rabbis staffing the hotline even on erev Pesach. This was in addition to OU Kosher being accessible via email, website, Facebook, Twitter, mobile apps, radio shows, the printed OU Passover Guide (also available online), and ASK OU presentations at various locales as far from New York as Phoenix, Arizona, featuring OU Kosher’s rabbinical experts.
“We listened to the many suggestions from previous Passover seasons and tried our best to implement them,” remarks Rabbi Eli Eleff, OU Kosher rabbinic coordinator and consumer relations administrator. “People wanted longer hours, we gave it to them; consumers needed questions answered faster, and we provided more rabbis answering the phone simultaneously.” Clearly, these efforts met with success, as the numbers show: OU Kosher received some 8,000 calls for Passover 2015, with a high of 803 on Tuesday, March 31; 2,000 emails; had 49,000 app users; distributed nearly 100,000 Guides; and saw close to half a million visits to the dedicated OU Kosher for Passover website.
“It was a team effort,” points out Rabbi Moshe Elefant, chief operating officer of OU Kosher. “We all did our part. I was in a meeting with a firm, and had to excuse myself in order to answer questions about Passover on the radio.” More than two dozen staff members pitched in to help consumers and answer the deluge of emails, phone calls, and other inquiries.
Clearly, success can’t stop here and OU Kosher invites consumers’ input on how to best serve the community’s needs year round. Suggestions and inquiries should be directed to 212-613-8241; firstname.lastname@example.org; facebook.com/oukosher; or on Twitter @OUKosher. We touch all the bases.
As you might have imagined, planning for Passover 2016 is well underway. It began the day after this year’s Passover concluded. The first Seder is Friday night, April 22. Passover 2016, like this year, will be a Shabbat to Shabbat festival. We’ll be ready.