Combining centuries of Jewish law and state-of-the-art computer technology, the Orthodox Union Kosher Division announced today its newly designed website, www.oukosher.org, to offer easy and quick access to kosher information for consumers — Jewish and non-Jewish — and corporations worldwide. The OU is the world’s most recognized and trusted name in kosher supervision and a global leader in explaining the intricacies of keeping kosher to audiences on the web.
The website, which is a joint effort of the OU MIS department, under the directorship of Sam Davidovics, and an outside consultant, receives close to two million hits a month (averaging 60,000 hits a day) and provides access to the many distinct features of OU Kosher. It is also available in Spanish and Chinese.
In a joint statement, Rabbi Menachem Genack, Chief Executive Officer of OU Kosher, and Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Officer of OU Kosher, stated, “In this age of modern technology we are pleased that the OU has a cutting- edge website which, we are certain, will be of great service to our clients in assisting them to run better and smoother kosher certification programs. At the same time, it will be of help to the kosher eating public by disseminating in a real- time fashion important information on our kosher certified products.”
Rabbi Yaakov Luban, OU Executive Rabbinic Coordinator, and website director agreed. “In our day and age the Internet has become a primary means of communication, and it is essential that the message of the OU, as the mark of trust, reaches consumers and companies everywhere.”
According to Rabbi Yonatan Kaganoff, OU Rabbinic Coordinator and supervisor of the website, “The user-friendly site provides an entryway to the world of OU Kosher. It is easy to navigate and within two to three clicks people find everything they’re looking for.”
A tour of the website indicates why it is so useful. Two photos on the home page, one taken at a plant and one at a supermarket, show that the website is intended both for consumers and companies alike.
Through the website, companies will find ways to learn about kosher and to apply for kosher certification. They are able to view videos on the basics of kosher, kosher requirements, and about OU Kosher. In addition, they will have access to Behind the Union Symbol, a quarterly magazine which is read by over 6,000 food executives and reaches thousands of food manufacturing facilities worldwide, as well as food industry leaders, editors and analysts.
On the redesigned website OU certified companies and brands are singled out on a rotating basis as an “OU Featured Company.” Each item includes a corporate or product image; a description of the company, product, or brand; as well as a link to its website.
“This is just another way that at the OU we are working with companies to maximize the benefits of their kosher certification program,” declared Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran, OU Kosher Vice President of Communications and Marketing.
Consumers using the website can search for OU certified products; view Kosher alerts for any products bearing an unauthorized OU symbol; locate an OU certified restaurant across the country; and e-mail their kosher concerns to the “Webbe Rebbe” staff, which answers questions on matters pertaining to Jewish kosher law.
Through oukosher.org, viewers are able to access OU Kosher’s other popular websites: OUDirect.org, a six-part website designed to provide a vast amount of financial information to companies certified by the OU and which, through its Universal Kosher Database feature, contains a record of tens of thousands of products that are kosher certified; KosherProfessionals.com, which provides industry professionals with insights into the increasingly complex and changing field of kosher certification; and, OUPassover.org, which helps consumers identify Kosher for Passover products and assists them in celebrating the holiday according to Jewish law.
“This website is a portal for the outside world to the OU and we hope that it will enhance the knowledge of all those looking to learn about kosher and its procedures,” Rabbi Luban said.
For more information contact Rabbi Kaganoff at 212-613-8283