The CRC Seal
The Value and the Standard
The CRC provides kosher certification to food processing plants around the world, dispatching rabbinical teams to inspect plants and oversee production. It is all part of the meticulous processes that the CRC has put in place to assure that all kosher production meets the highest standards of its rabbinic authorities. The certification process includes carefully researching the source of every ingredient to ascertain that it not only complies with the Jewish dietary laws but also meets the lofty standards of the CRC. Its mashgichim travel all over the globe, dealing with some of the most complex problems in addition to scrupulously enforcing kashrus protocols.
In addition to its global certification of plants, the CRC kosher certifies hundreds of retail and wholesale establishments in the US and Canada. They include such retail businesses as bakeries, butchers, fish, candy, and take-out stores as well as slaughterhouses, meat processing plants, and restaurants.
Common CRC Issues – Some examples of common issues faced by CRC rabbinical teams include:
- Products may contain animal derivatives which are usually off limits unless the animal was properly slaughtered in accordance with Jewish law and the item is sold as a meat product. As ingredients are produced nowadays in every corner of the globe, tracking down the source of each is a formidable task.
- The machinery on which the food is produced must also be kosher – meaning that it cannot be contaminated by anything that is not kosher. If non-kosher food was produced on previous production runs, the machinery must be thoroughly cleansed with boiling water or blowtorched before kosher food may be processed on that same line. This common for plants that produce most of their food without kosher certification and utilize kosher supervision for only a small percentage of their production runs, usually intended for sale in heavily populated Jewish areas. The CRC rabbinic teams are particularly adept at dealing with such facilities, resulting in the production of quality food products for the kosher community.
Central Rabbinical Congress
The Central Rabbinical Congress of the U.S.A. and Canada, commonly referred to as the CRC; or Hisachdus HaRabbonim D’Artzos HaBris V’Canada (התאחדות הרבנים, its Hebrew name), is a rabbinical organization that is a consortium of many Orthodox Jewish groups.
The years following the Second World War was a period of rebuilding and rebirth for tens of thousands of Jews who managed to survive the horrors of the Nazi reign of terror. For most, it meant rebuilding their personal lives as well as the communities that were ruthlessly destroyed. Many settled in the US where they were determined to re-establish the rich Jewish life they were forced to abandon in Eastern Europe. A significant number of the survivors settled in New York City, establishing shuls, schools, and many organizations – in what turned out to be a massive rebirth of Jewish life, customs, and rituals.
In 1955, the Central Rabbinical Congress of USA and Canada, התאחדות הרבנים דארצות הברית וקנדה, the “CRC”, was founded. As a widely representative rabbinical body, it was designed to unite orthodox communities and to serve orthodox and Hasidic Jewry. It was founded by Grand Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum OBM of Satmar, along with other leading rabbis, including Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Greenwald of Tzelim, Rabbi Yosef Greenwald of Pupa, Rabbi Shimon Yisrael Posen of Shopron, Rabbi Yonasan Steif of Vien, and Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum of Siget, (future Satmar rebbe), who served as the organization’s executive board.
Early on, a special panel of Rabbis וועד לחיזוק הדת was established to maintain and enforce traditional Jewish law. It was led by Rabbi Refael Blum of Kasho, Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein of Krasna, Rabbi Yakov Lebowitz of Kapish, and Rabbi Moshe Bick of Mezbu’z. An advisory board, the Vaad leinyonei hoiro’ah, was directed by Rabbi Naftali Henig of Sharmash. The first beth din clerk was the late Rabbi Shabse Mordechai Berkowitz, succeeded by Rabbi Yishai Buchinger after his passing, and subsequently Rabbi Yitzchok Glick who served for close to 40 years as the Executive Rabbinic Administrator and stood at the helm of the organization with much success till his recent passing on Friday כ”ה אלול תשפ”א
The CRC at a Glance
BOARD OF KASHRUS – A board of kashrus was originally established to supervise and approve the kosher status of foods for consumption by orthodox communities, in accordance with the standards and requirements of those communities. Led by Rabbi Issachar Dov Rottenberg of Voideslav, and Rabbi Usher Babad of Tartikov, one of its first major kashrus projects was the founding of a shechita, producing a full line of meat and poultry slaughtered and koshered under the high standards and requirements of the CRC.
MAJOR CERTIFICATION AGENCY – The CRC has emerged as the largest and most respected kashrus agency for the “Heimishe” (strictly Orthodox) community. The CRC certifies hundreds of foods manufacturing plants, producing thousands of kosher products, as well as many retail establishments, catering halls and eateries. It also provides kosher certification to two large poultry plants, and five meat processing plants, employing 50 shochtim, as well as several large dairy farms and world-class wineries.
HIGH STANDARDS AND PROFESSIONAL TEAMS – The kashrus division of the CRC is a well-run professional kosher certification agency, employing a large staff of kashrus experts including well -trained supervisors – mashgichim – who travel the world to visit and supervise food production facilities for kosher certification by the CRC. These supervisors and their teams meticulously assure that all kosher requirements are met. The team includes professionals who conduct research and study ingredients. They also coordinate production dates for kosher runs with food manufacturers all around the globe, arrange the logistics for the kosher supervisors to arrive at the site on time, and help prepare the company and the mashgichim with the proper instructions and guidance to ensure full kashrus compliance.
STATE OF THE ART RESEARCH LABORATORY – The CRC kashrus laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility, including a separate division for בדיקת תולעים, bug and food infestation checking.
PUBLICATIONS – The CRC publishes an annual Kashrus Information Guide before Passover, the מפתח הכשרות. It also publishes a full color brochure on kashrus news and alerts several times a year, or whenever there are relevant important updates in the kashrus field.
The kashrus division is led By Rabbi Lipa Klein who’s the Rabbinic Administrator and CEO of the Organization.
For inquiries, please email email@example.com
LARGE ASSEMBLIES – The CRC organizes large rabbinical conventions and assemblies, addressing Jewish issues and concerns throughout the USA, Canada and abroad. These gatherings typically bring together some of the foremost rabbinic leaders and scholars as well as community leaders and activists.
THE BETH DIN – As part of its public service activities, the CRC sponsors a Beth Din – rabbinical court, arbitrating and adjudicating hundreds of cases annually, from business disputes to marital conflicts, siddur kiddushin and divorces, and other relevant issues to a Jewish court – beth din. Its rabbinical board is directed by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Silber, who serves as the head of the beth din, with a panel of prominent dayanim. The Beis Din Secretary is Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Illovitz and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
BEIS HAOROAH – The CRC serves the community with a full-time office, the Beis Haoroah, with rabbis manning shifts to answer public inquiries in Jewish law. The service, which is available from early morning until late evening, is a very popular program for the local community. It is led By Rabbi David Mentzer and can be reached email@example.com
GROWING MEMBERSHIP – The organization grew rapidly, quickly emerging as a highly respected rabbinical organization, with hundreds of rabbis joining as members. It eventually became the voice and umbrella organization for hundreds of groups and communities with thousands of members throughout the USA and Canada, giving it extraordinary influence internationally.