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Living Higher: Issue 910

At the AKO conference, it became clear that all parties are working for the same Boss


he annual Association of Kashrus Organizations (AKO) event, where mashgichim and administrators from the various kashrus organizations around the world join to network, share ideas, and gain chizuk and inspiration, has always been a highlight of the year for kashrus insiders in an ever-changing industry. Though always memorable, this year’s gathering, hosted by KOF-K, had one distinct function: The words “Al Gabei Anakim  — On Giants’ Shoulders were emblazoned upon the banner that greeted those entering the conference hall — a reference to two titans of the kashrus industry, Rabbi Zechariah Senter of KOF-K who passed away last year on Acharon shel Pesach, and Rabbi Don Yoel Levy of the OK, who passed away one year prior, at the height of the pandemic.

This theme was highlighted with a siyum haShas and hachnasas sefer Torah held in honor of both these men. Following the siyum were two video presentations, but rather than each agency speaking about the merits of their own director, they crossed party lines. Rabbi Ari Senter, current rabbinic director of KOF-K, lauded the work of Rabbi Levy, head of the OK for 33 years, and Rabbi Chaim Fogelman, son-in-law of Rabbi Levy and member of the OK’s executive rabbinical council, spoke movingly about Rabbi Senter, founder and director of KOF-K for over 50 years.

Corporate America is characterized by competition, the drive to outdo business opponents spurring the endless race to the top of a mountain that forever seems to grow taller. But at the AKO conference, it became clear that all parties are working for the same Boss.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 910)

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