The OU Honors Gustave and Henriette Jacobs with Kashrut Chair

At a dinner reception attended by a large gathering of Jewish communal leaders at Orthodox Union headquarters in New York this past June, one of the OU’s most enthusiastic and longstanding leaders, Gustave Jacobs of Forest Hills, New York, and his wife, Henriette, were honored at the naming and dedication of the Henriette and Gustave Jacobs Chair in Kashrut Education in the OU Kosher Division.

The chair will support the growing variety of education programs offered by the OU Kashrut Department to synagogues and schools across North America. It will specifically support the newly announced “Coming to a Yeshiva Near You” initiative, in which Orthodox Union rabbis visit Jewish schools to shed light on the increasingly complex world of kosher certification.

In his tribute, OU President Stephen J. Savitsky—who is also chair of the OU Kashrut Commission—cited Mr. Jacobs’s years of service to the OU, his involvement in its activities and his philanthropic spirit. Rabbi Genack lauded Mr. Jacobs, calling him “the ultimate lay leader.”

Mr. Jacobs, who has been a member of the OU Board since 1969, emphasized the importance of the OU’s kosher education programs, declaring that while it is easy to keep kosher today—just look for the OU symbol—it is important nevertheless for those who keep kosher to understand the intricacies of Jewish law as the kosher marketplace burgeons. That is the purpose of the chair he endowed, Mr. Jacobs said.

This article was featured in the Fall 2006 issue of Jewish Action.