Rabbi Evan Rubin moved to Louisville recently for one employment opportunity, but then the Louisville Vaad HaKashruth offered him to take on an additional role where he could use his talents and expertise.
Rabbi Rubin was hired in January as the Vaad’s new kashrut administrator. He is a newcomer to Louisville, but not to the vital work he will carry on in this role. He has worked as a kashrut administrator for over 25 years, and his interest in this work began while he was still a student at Yeshiva University in New York City.
“I started working with caterers,” Rabbi Rubin said. “I was trained to check out everything from the kitchens where the food was prepared, to the trucks that delivered it. I had to be sure that the meal that left the caterer’s premises was the same one being served to the customer.” When Rabbi Rubin moved to Toledo, OH, in 1994 to serve as cantor at Congregation Etz Chayim, he worked with large manufacturing plants throughout the state of Ohio.
“I was involved in every aspect of production,” Rabbi Rubin explained, “from sanitizing the equipment early in the mornings, to working on the assembly line, to showing up periodically and unannounced to make sure all of the standards continued to be met.”
In his new position with the Vaad, Rabbi Rubin is looking forward to assisting the organization in its mission of promoting and providing kosher food, facilities and services to the Louisville community. He succeeds Rabbi Avrohom Litvin, who served in this role from 1985 to 2013.
“I am here to nurture what we already have,” Rabbi Rubin said, “and to see if there is anything else we can do to make it as convenient as possible for our community to acquire kosher food.”
Rabbi Rubin came to Louisville to work as an educator. A year ago, he was recruited to help establish the school, Aryeh Kaplan Academy, and serve as its director of Judaic studies. The school is still in its early formation stage, he said.
At first, Rabbi Rubin commuted back and forth between Toledo and Louisville, but in August he, his wife, Kerry, and three daughters moved to Louisville. His parents are also planning to join Rabbi Rubin’s family and make this area their new home.
Rabbi Rubin said that his two new roles in the community ensure that his days are “action packed.”
“I love what I do,” Rabbi Rubin said. “I live to get up in the morning and go to work.”
During a typical day, Rabbi Rubin teaches students who are already enrolled in the Aryeh Kaplan Academy and visits the Jewish Community Center during the senior lunch hour and the food preparation facilities at Jewish Hospital.
“I am checking on procedures and inventory,” Rabbi Rubin said, “and making sure that the food preparation is being done in a way that is appropriate.”
Rabbi Rubin expects his days to become even busier as time goes on. “We are looking to expand the umbrella of the Vaad,” Rabbi Rubin added. “We welcome new ideas, and ask the community to share those ideas with us.”