Badatz Mehadrin Milan is an Italian kosher organization that issues the kosher seal of approval or “hechsher” to fapppctories, production centers and producers of food and raw materials in Italy and Europe. The organization has been active for over 30 years and is headed by Rabbi Avraham Hazan, known for his decades of experience both on Halachic Kosher matters and equally for his practical perspectives. In the beginning the organization concentrated on the supervision and certification of wine for Italian wineries which produced wine for the US market, where kosher certification was a basic requirement for entry into the market. Rabbi Gershon Mendel Garelik, currently serving as president of the organization, initiated the project, and he then appointed Rabbi Hazan to continue with its development. Since then the organization has grown, and is responsible for providing thousands of kosher certificates to factories and food manufacturers in Italy and throughout Europe.
Kosher as a standard for Quality
Over the years the subject of Kosher has become known around the world and quite a few segments and sectors recognize kosher products as being healthier and of higher quality. During thousands of years, Jews observed the dietary laws pursuant to Judaism that goes hand in hand with hygiene, healthy nutrition and food quality. Today factories that followthe practice of kosher production can be found in markets all over the world, using kosher ingredients as part of their manufacturing processes, for reasons of increasing the market volume and a desire to reach broad sectors of Jews and non-Jews. Badatz Mehadrin Milan assists food and food ingredients plants and various brands in Europe to comply with the meticulous standards of kosher as accepted by most of the world’s Kosher organizations, through“Hashgacha”,or supervision, during the year by a team of expert Kosher supervisors, the mashgichim, who help the company to receive the kosher certification.
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Badatz Mehadrin Milan supplies kosher services in two major fields:
- Kosher raw materials – This activity includes a visit to the factory, visual inspection of raw materials integrated in the production line, inspection of the industrial process in comparison to previous visits and more. This area often involves complex manufacturing processes, advanced and rapidly changing technologies. The team of mashgichim, guided by Rabbi Hazan, assist the manufacturers in adapting the production processes to meet the requirements of kosher, and in finding solutions for these complex issues.
- Food production processes – The manufacturing of a kosher products requires often a significant change in the production line or the establishment of a kosher production track parallel to the regular production line. This activity includes recommendations for modifications to the production line, replacement of raw materials and inspection of equipment. There are plants or products that require close supervision while others require periodical supervision. The degree of urgency to visit the plant is determined by the product or the necessary production process. All of this while endeavoring to maintain the original quality of the product.
Badatz Mehadrin Milan’s customers include international brands of food and raw materials manufacturers along with known local brands. Among them beverage manufacturers: Sanpellegrino s.p.a. and Hans Zipperle s.p.a. Coffee: Segafredo, Zanetti s.p.a., Luigi Lavazza s.p.a. and Illycafe s.p.a. International flavor compound manufacturers: Kerry Ingredients & Flavours Italia s.p.a. and Sensient Flavors Italia Srl. International manufacturers of fresh and dried yeast: Lesaffre Italia s.p.a. and AB Mauri Italia Srl. In the field of fats and special vegetable oils: Eulip Srl., Ital Green Oil Srl. and Cereal Docks Spa. Fresh, frozen and dried egg products: Eurovo Srl. and Ovodry Srl. Leading companies in the field of alcoholic beverages, to name just a few: Martini & Rossi s.p.a. and Campari s.p.a.
Our numerous customers produce a variety of food and food ingredients.
Rabbi Gershon Mendel Garelik – President
Rabbi Avraham Hazan – was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1953 and moved to Italy as a child. In 1972, after he graduated from high school, he went to study at the Rabbinical College of Morristown, New Jersey and then to Yeshiva Torat Tmet in Israel until 1979. Back to Brooklyn, he received Rabbinic Ordination at the Central Lubavitch Yeshiva. The beginning of Rabbi Hazan’s substantial activity of kosher supervision in Milan began in response to the requests by US companies and by kashruth agencies from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate in order to facilitate the import of Italian food products and ingredients into Israel. The project became an institution in the early 90ies, growing into the EuroKosher (Badatz Mehadrin Milano) organization of today. This organically developed in parallel with the growth of Rabbi Hazan’s continuing activities as a leader of the local community. Following his return to Italy in 1980 in fact, Rabbi Hazan became director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization, in charge of summer and winter camps, social and educational activities for the youth. In 1980 he opened the Centro Enzo Modena Synagogue with the Talmud Tora and connected activities which he directed until 2006. In 1994 Rabbi Hazan opened the Beit Menachem Center and in 1995 he was the founder of the Chabad House in the ghetto of Venice, which today counts a Yeshiva, a popular restaurant and promotes initiatives aimed at Venetian Jews and neighboring communities (Padua, Verona, and Mantua) in addition to the thousands of Jewish tourists visiting the lagoon. In 1996 Rabbi Hazan became diractor of the Merkos School in Milan, which includes a kindergarten, elementary and secondary schools. In 2008 he was appointed Rabbi of the synagogue Ohel Yaakov in Milan. In 2012 he opened the Chabad House of Florence and became Director of the activities of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch in Italy. Married to Mrs. Rivka Garelik since 1978, they are the proud parents of 11 children.
Rabbi Menahem Mendel Kaplan – joined EU-K in 2007 as a Rabbinic Coordinator. Born in Seattle, Washington in 1976 Rabbi Kaplan studied in England, United States, Canada and Australia and received rabbinic ordination at the Rabbinical College in Melbourne. Rabbi Kaplan lives with his wife and children in Milan, Italy. Rabbi Kaplan plays an active role in assisting companies through-out the kosher certification process. This includes ongoing support to help the companies in their search for new sources of kosher approved ingredients and the development of new kosher products.
Rabbi Levi Hazan – was born in Milan, Italy in 1979
From 1994 to 1998 he studied at the Central Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim in Israel, then in New York at Yeshiva Oholei Torah. Following the studies in Yeshiva Gdolah Lubavitch in London, in 2002 he graduated and mastered in Rabbinical Studies at the Smicha Programme Kimberly Garden in Melbourne, Australia. In 2003 Rabbi Levi Hazan studied at the Central Lubavitch Yeshiva in New York and in 2004 he achieved a Master in Rabbinical Law Studies, New York. In 2005 Rabbi Levi Hazan moved back to Italy and started his activity at Eurokosher, where he is Rabbinical Coordinator in charge of first plant visit and wine and spirits production supervision. Rabbi Levi Hazan is the Director of the Chabad Youth Organization and serves as Rabbi at the Hamakom Synagogue in Milan.
Married since 2003, he is the father of 4 beautiful children.
Bezalel Schutz – was born in the United States, and moved to Israel in 1972. He has been involved in the kosher field for almost 30 years. For more than 2 decades Mr. Schutz was part of the internationally prestigious kosher supervising office of Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib Landa, the Chief Rabbi of the municipality of Bnei Brak, Israel. There he served for over 15 years as the Director of the kosher Department – Ingredients & Food Industry. Five years ago Mr. Schutz joined the Badatz Mehadrin Milano staff, which has benefited greatly from his wealth of hands-on experience and technical expertise in a wide range of food and ingredient fields.
Badatz Mehadrin Milan aims to institutionalize the subject of kosher in enterprises in Italy and Europe and to be an acknowledged kosher organization, a leading expert in the field, providing services to its customers with the mission to produce best quality uncompromised kosher products.