Orthodox Union President Stephen J. Savitsky announced today that Rabbi Menachem Genack, the Rabbinic Administrator of the OU Kosher Division for the past 25 years, will assume the additional title of Chief Executive Officer, and that Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Executive Rabbinic Coordinator, will become Chief Operating Officer of the Division.
In addition, Rabbi Genack announced the appointment of Rabbi Nosson Neuberger as Associate Director of the Ingredient Approval Registry.
Mr. Savitsky, who also chairs the OU Kashrut Commission, which oversees the Division, declared: “The Orthodox Union sets the standard worldwide for kosher certification. The work of Rabbi Genack and of Rabbi Elefant in directing the department not only involves their skills, knowledge and experience as rabbinical scholars and interpreters of Jewish law, but also their ability to employ sound business practices to bring OU Kosher to its great heights. Their new titles are reflections of their dual roles and the great respect they have earned in the world of kashrut.”
OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb emphasized new directions for the department as reflected by the new titles. “In part, these new titles reflect a reality that has been true for some years,” declared Rabbi Weinreb, “but more importantly, they reflect the new direction of the kashrut program. We hope to strengthen our program in terms of commitment to halachic (Jewish law) standards, public service, education, personnel training, new technology, new markets and in many other ways. These titles will empower the rabbis to move ahead vigorously with new ideas and plans, which will result in unparalleled benefit to the kashrut consumer.”
Rabbi Genack, who has built the Division from one certifying less than 300 plants in 1980 to one that now certifies more than 5,000 plants and 400,000 products in 82 countries worldwide, declared that his and Rabbi Elefant’s new titles reflect Mr. Savitsky’s determination to “secure the future of OU Kosher and to make certain its continued growth.” Rabbi Genack expressed particular pride that OU Kosher is “the only communal kashrut organization which uses its profits to support programming, by helping to make possible the wide variety of OU activities and services.”
Besides his responsibilities in running the Department, Rabbi Genack is editor of the Torah journal Mesorah, which is published by OU Kosher. “Kashrut is such a dynamic area,” Rabbi Genack commented, “because it combines halacha, economics, food technology, marketing and government.”
Rabbi Elefant’s skills are vital in all of these areas, Rabbi Genack explained. Regarding the new title for Rabbi Elefant, who has been with OU Kosher since 1987, Rabbi Genack declared, “In terms of management talent, he could be Chief Operating Officer of any Fortune 500 company.”
The OU’s Ingredient Approval Registry is a critical component of the Department’s work; it includes hundreds of thousands of ingredients and is continually expanding. The promotion of Rabbi Nosson Neuberger to the position of Associate Director of the IAR, in which he will assist Rabbi Raymond Morrison, will enable Rabbi Neuberger, in the words of Rabbi Genack, “to disseminate information within the OU and beyond through use of new and developing technologies to quickly identify the kashrut of different ingredients, so that the OU can maintain its high standards with increasing effectiveness and efficiency.”