OU Issues Statement Following Troubling Article

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oul1.jpgAn extensive article posted HERE this past Sunday on YWN regarding the OU Hashgacha in Israel, has prompted the organization to issue the following statement, and dispatch their Senior OU Rabbinic Coordinator to Israel next week.

Statement from OU Kashruth Department:

A recent article raised questions about the standards of Israeli food establishments under OU supervision. The article did not claim that kashrus was compromised. Rabbi Yosef Minsky, the OU representative in Israel, has informed us, and our initial review and  consultation with other agencies in Israel indicate, that the standards in place are essentially comparable with other reliable mehadrin agencies and Badatzim in Israel.

Rabbi Yaakov Luban, Senior OU Rabbinic Coordinator, who has extensive knowledge of food service establishments, is being dispatched to Israel this week, and will perform a thorough review of the OU operation. For the past 25 years, Rabbi Luban has been involved with food service establishments in various capacities; as a Rabbi in Edison, NJ, OU Rabbinic Coordinator, and auditor of local Vaadim around the country.

(NOTE: The article was written by Yechiel Spira – Jerusalem Kosher News)




25 COMMENTS

  1. the fact is the ou israel is not run by the same administration as the american ou therefore is may not be as reliable.
    והמבין יבין

  2. between the OU USA and the OU israel
    there will be a shake up on some level

    as far as i can tell the overall Haskafa of the OU USA is more inline with the Charadi Black Hat world

    while the offices of the OU israel is somewhat inline with the Dati Leumi world

  3. OU stands for “Orthodox Union”, an all out US outfit.
    What business do the Israelis have with using this American name in the first place?
    Smacks of “Geneivas Daas”!

  4. Baruch hashem that an organization takes the concerns of the people seriously and is ready to make an ‘on site’ visit. Rabbi Luban, talmid chocham of the OU will hopefully make the needed changes.

  5. This is not comparable to other Mehadrin hechsherim (at least from a restaurant supervision point of view) – according to the report which i not only trust but many of the aspects i have noticed for myself when visiting restaurants with OU Israel and not once meeting a mashgiach!

    Let`s see if any real progress is made with this visit.

  6. I once heard that OU Israel is under rav Rubin from Rechovot ??
    And all the milchig products are Cholov Yisroel.
    Can someone clarify this info.?

  7. The article did not claim that kashrus was compromised.

    Politics in its purest form
    The article did not say anything about the kashrus, just the level of supervision (or namely, the lack there of).

    Nice spin

  8. on a related topic, there is now a hotdog stand in midtown Manhattan called the Koshe Oasis that says its under the supevision of Rabbi Yisroel Belsky. Since I had never heard of Rabbi Belsky putting his own name on an establishment, I called the O-U to find out if it was legitimate. They did admit that it was unusual, but wouldn’t say whether or not it was legitimate. Does anybody know anything about the legitimacy of this certificate? Is there a way to contact Rabbi Belsky directly to find out?

  9. How come, just b/c something is dati leumi, does it automatically mean it is less frum, or they don’t have the same standards as the the yeshivish/ chareidi world. In the Yeshivat Hesder where i had the zchut to learn in, the posek hayeshiva also happens to be the shamash of rav elyashiv, and rav elyashiv answers his shailos. Its pretty sad that on erev rosh chodesh elul you were motzei shem ra about a huge percentage of judaism!

  10. To # 8

    i did not say the difference between the OU israel /USA is Kashrush

    i am saying that there is a Haskafa difference between the 2
    the Dati Leumi world is not the same as the Yeshivis world

    and there will be a shake up if the OU USA starts to run the OU israel office

  11. To #7- Rav Rubin broke off his connection with the OU years ago. At the time he was mashgiach for israeli foods that were shipped abroad. In those days there was no OU here in Israel.

    To #8- Sorry, but dati leumi is much less. They rely on the non-heter mechira, which by the way, Rav Kook himself would not hold of today. Thay also in general do not care as much to keep a mehadrin line.

    As to the OU: R. Minsky’s response is insulting. He does not address the points made in the article. There is tremendous genavas da’as on the part of OU Israel led by Minsky. No mashgiach. Claims to give hechsherim, when the mashgiach himself says he works for the rabbanut. I wrote a letter to the OU and am dissappointed that I didn’t get a reply. The above statement doesn’t make me feel any better. For now the OU is not on my approved list.

  12. there is a huge range in dati leumi, it is like calling something chareidi, that can refer to chassidim or the yeshivish world, which is very different haskafikly and follow differnt poskim. just bc ou is “dati leumi” doesnt mean it neccessarily is less strict than chareidim. btw they kept shmitta lchumra, #13- again more motzei shem ra… hashem yirachem- you are so makpid on certain halachos like kashrus but forget other ones like lashon hora!!! i hope ur mochel me if im too harsh, but im right

  13. While I eat things under the OU in America,the OU has no place in Eretz Yisroel there are enough competent mashgichim and hashgachos in
    Eretz Yisroel whether you trust the Eida Charadis, Belz, Rav landau, or the Rabbanut, etc. It is a matter of money, lets call a spade a spade, the OU does not do it for free, they charge a lot of money, the price for the extra hechsher is passed on to the consumer or the hotel guest. The olim from North America must realize they live in Eretz Yisroel and have to start to rely on what there is. The OU is just another Beis Din porush, in Eretz Yisroel.

  14. To # 2 and # 13 many people in the US do not trust OU even though as you say they are more black hat, because the OU is huge and it really depends on who is the real mashgiach, in addition I find it interesting that #13 knows what Rav Kook would do in this day and age. The Rabbanut does a great job in keeping food and atmosphere Kosher in eretz Yisroel if not for them there would be many people in Eretz Yisroel eating traif they may not be machmir on every thing but they do know what they are doing, no one says you have to eat from them.

  15. It is very impressive to see how the OU takes the case serious and sends up someone to investigate the situation, and they don’t just wipe it away like many other kashrus organizations would do!!

    TEN POINTS FOR THE OU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  16. 10, call rav belsky shlita. he is in the book or if there is a kosher certificate in the store, get the number off the letter. if all else fails there is always the yeshiva.

  17. #10 i know with rav belskys grandson, and i can ask him to ask his grandfather if you would like. where in Manhattan was the stand located, and did it have a kashrus certificate or did the guy with the stand just tell you that it was under rabbi belskys hashgocha?

  18. # 13 as #15 so eloquently put it you are being Motzi shem ra on a whole community.
    Regarding shmitta the majority of Dati Leumi Rabbanim encouraged their kehilos to abide by otzer bet din / otzer haaretz during shmitta. Some could argue that this is even more machmir than buying from arabs which the charedi world does. Especially since the source of the produce is clear and there is not the haskafic issue of financing people who wish to destroy us.

  19. I have the Red Heifer Steakhouse with the OU Hasgacha. We were the first with OU supervision under Rabbi Kuber. I am not here to comment about the OU in general and thier relationship with other restaurants here and abroad. What I would like to say is-
    1)(re to comments) There is a huge need for the OU in todays Israel Hasgacha business. They are the only Hagacha that offers a range of shechitas (all major Badatz) which in turn offers the best possible products for the consumer. Unlike all other Hagacha which limit you to one vendor only!
    2) We at the Red Heifer have only offered the highest level of Kashrut since we have opened. Currently our meats are from Rubin and Hagar. We also have someone in our place from opening to closing who is shomer Shabbas(mashgiach) besides that we only have yidden working for us.
    (All other Israeli Hasgachas to not typically obligate a shomer Shabbas person on premise besides owner.
    3)We have contacted several Rabbonim to come visit our operation whenever they should choice. I would like to extend this offer to all readers to contact thier possek and to please have them take us up on this offer.
    If anyone has further questions please feel free to contact me at the restaurant 02.624.0504 or at [email protected]
    Sincerely,
    Yosef Wuensch

  20. #23 – there is a letter from Rabbi Belsky hanging in the window. I didn’t see any number on the letter. The stand is located on 47th street off of 6th avenue. If you can ask Rabbi Belsky’s grandson that would be great, as Rabbi Belsky himself is hard to get a hold of. Thanks