Harvey Blitz Named Chair of OU Kashrut Commission

January 24, 2011

HARVEY BLITZ, PAST PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, APPOINTED CHAIR OF OU KASHRUT COMMISSION

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Orthodox Union President Dr. Simcha Katz today announced the appointment of Harvey Blitz of Kew Gardens Hills, NY, President of the OU from 2000-2004, as Chair of the highly prestigious OU Kashrut Commission. The Commission oversees the work of OU Kosher, the world’s largest and most respected kosher certification agency. Mr. Blitz, who has served as OU Chairman of the Board since the conclusion of his administration and is now Honorary President, succeeds Dr. Katz as Commission Chair, one of the key leadership roles in the organization.

OU Kosher certifies more than 500,000 products in 80 countries, on every inhabited continent. Its unparalleled expertise in both the centuries-old laws of kashrut and in modern food production techniques enables it to provide the highest standards of kosher certification, which permits the consumer to use OU certified products in the fullest confidence. The Kashrut Commission, together with the leadership of Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher, and Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of OU Kosher, are at the head of this international team of experts.

Mr. Blitz combines years of kashrut expertise as member of the Commission, with great success in the outside world. He is Senior Vice President of AXA Financial, Inc., a large financial services company in Manhattan. Born in Detroit, he holds a B.A. degree from Wayne State University, a law degree from the University of Chicago, and a master’s degree in tax law from New York University. He is a member of the Jewish Agency’s Executive and has served on its Board of Governors for a decade.

In a joint statement, Dr. Katz and Rabbi Genack declared, “We are delighted that Harvey Blitz has accepted the position of Chair of the Kashrut Commission, as yet another way he serves Klal Yisrael through his involvement with the Orthodox Union. With his longtime experience on the Commission, his deep knowledge of the intricacies of kosher, and his leadership skills, as demonstrated during his Presidency and his service as Chairman of the Board, he is the perfect person to guide the Commission in its work over the next two years. He is a very trusted advisor, and one of the OU’s outstanding personalities.”

Mr. Blitz declared, “Every time I see the OU symbol on an item, I am very proud that I have represented this organization in leadership positions. As Chair of the Kashrut Commission, I will be following in the huge footsteps of my friend, Simcha Katz. He went from Chair of the Commission to President; I went from President and Chairman of the Board to Chair of the Commission. Working with Simcha, Rabbis Genack and Elefant, and Commission members, my goal will be to assure that OU Kosher and the word “trust” continue to be synonymous for the kosher consumer around the world.”

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