Orthodox Union, Kosher Certifier, In Disarray

Leadership Squabbles HIt Supervision Group: Report

By JTA

Published January 14, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The leadership of the world’s largest provider of kosher certification, the Orthodox Union, is in disarray.

Sources on Monday confirmed massive infighting among the O.U. leadership and a slew of managerial changes as members of the board of directors vie for control.

The situation at the O.U. was first reported last week in The New York Jewish Week.

Harvey Blitz, the chairman of the O.U.’s kashrut commission, reportedly is challenging Simcha Katz for the presidency of the group. Meanwhile, the group’s executive vice president, Rabbi Steven Weil, has retained his title and an office at headquarters despite being stripped of any executive responsibility.

Rabbi Steven Burg, the former head of the O.U.’s youth group, NCSY, had been made temporary caretaker of the group last year but recently departed.

Michael Cohen, the former New York state political director hired less than a year ago, also has left abruptly.

With its logo appearing on more than 500,000 consumer products, the O.U. is the largest kosher supervision agency in the world. The total revenue from the operation – a closely guarded institutional secret – is used to fund an array of religious services and communal operations, including a public affairs office in Washington, a publishing house and a congregational umbrella group for synagogues.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.