Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran, Senior Rabbinic Coordinator in the Orthodox Union’s Kosher Division, has been named Vice President for Communications and Marketing of OU Kosher, Orthodox Union President Stephen J. Savitsky and OU Kosher CEO Rabbi Menachem Genack announced today.
Rabbi Safran’s new position reflects both the increasing emphasis the Kosher Division is placing on communicating with its worldwide market – both companies and consumers – about its work, as well Rabbi Safran’s obvious skills in this area.
“Rabbi Safran has demonstrated tremendous creativity and innovative skills in marketing,” declared Mr. Savitsky, who is also Chair of the OU Kashrut Commission, which oversees the Division. “I am most anxious to continue to work with him in developing educational and marketing programs that will benefit not only the Orthodox Union but the entire Jewish world.”
According to Mr. Savitsky, Rabbi Safran will work closely with other OU divisions, such as Communications and Marketing, and Community and Synagogue Services. “The Kosher Division is a fully integrated component of the OU and we intend to take the talents and skills that we have there, and which are represented so well by Rabbi Safran, and have them interact with all of the work of the OU.”
As Rabbi Genack explained, “Rabbi Safran has a new title, but his work expands on what OU Kosher is already doing to bring the message of what kashrut is all about to companies and consumers. We want people to understand kashrut and how the OU serves the kosher community through its high standards and expertise. Rabbi Safran’s efforts in this regard have been extraordinary.”
Among his other responsibilities, Rabbi Safran is Editor-in-Chief of Behind the Union Symbol, the OU’s quarterly magazine for current and prospective companies. The publication, which in only a few years has become the premiere kosher trade magazine, features technical articles on the halachic and scientific aspects of kosher production, company profiles, as well as sometimes whimsical and always fascinating articles on how the OU’s rabbinic experts bring their skills to more than 6,000 plants in 77 countries worldwide.
Rabbi Safran has been at the OU since 1994, in the new companies area, and has escorted hundreds of companies around the world through the complexities of kosher certification, making the task as easy as possible.
The scion of a distinguished rabbinic family – his late father was Chief Rabbi of Jasi, Romania and later Professor of Jewish Education at Yeshiva University and his late grandfather was the rabbinic leader of Romania and the author of major responsa volumes — Rabbi Safran was educated at Yeshiva University where he received ordination. He taught history and philosophy at YU, and served as rabbi of a major Pittsburgh Orthodox synagogue and as principal of highly regarded yeshiva day schools in Pittsburgh and Lakewood, NJ, as well as Yeshiva University High School in New York.
Rabbi Safran is the author of several works, including Kos Eliyahu: Insights into the Haggadah and Passover, which is now in its second printing. He recently earned a doctorate in Administration, and speaks in his charismatic fashion as a scholar-in-residence and visiting lecturer at schools and synagogues around the country. He is married to Klari Safran, manufacturer and designer of Clary’s Wigs, the internationally renowned wig company.
A world traveler, Rabbi Safran recently brought the OU’s message to Argentina, where he represented the organization at South America’s largest kosher show; he is as at home deep in the heart of Turkey, in plants in which olive oil, figs and other Turkish products are certified, as he is in Israel, or for that matter, in the United States. He has worked with firms in Egypt, Greece, India and other exotic locales on achieving OU certification.
Regarding his new responsibilities, Rabbi Safran declared, “I look forward to working with Rabbis Genack and Moshe Elefant (COO of OU Kosher), as well as with the distinguished array of the finest kashrut professionals in the industry that we have here at the OU, so that OU Kosher’s message and mission can benefit the international community we serve with our highest standards and personalized service.”