Vaad Hoeir announces restructuring of rabbinic oversight

The late Rabbi Sholom Rivkin was the Chief Rabbi of the Vaad Hoeir of St. Louis.

The Vaad Hoeir of St. Louis has restructured the rabbinic oversight for its communal operations, and appointed two rabbis from within the local community to fill new positions of Rabbanim Acharaim (Certifying Rabbis).

According to Perry Mendelson, president of the Vaad Hoeir, the Vaad recognizes that the wide range of communal functions under its purview require ongoing rabbinic direction and halachic guidance. Such guidance has traditionally been provided by St. Louis’ Chief Rabbis of the Vaad Hoeir, most recently, Rabbi Sholom Rivkin, and immediately prior to him, Rabbi Menachem Tzvi Eichenstein, both of blessed memory.

“Since the retirement of Rabbi Rivkin, the office of Chief Rabbi is no longer extant,” explained Mendelson, “and the Vaad’s rabbinic direction and oversight was being provided by the St. Louis Rabbinical Council. With the passing of Rabbi Rivkin last September, the Executive Board of the Vaad Hoeir felt the need to formalize that oversight role and grant it an official capacity.”

Rabbi Menachem Greenblatt and Rabbi Yosef Landa have agreed to assume the responsibilities associated with the positions of Rabbanim Acharaim of the Vaad Hoeir. Greenblatt is the Rabbi of Agudas Israel of St. Louis and Rosh Kollel of the St. Louis Kollel. Landa is the regional director of Chabad of Greater St. Louis and the Rabbi of Congregation Bais Menachem – Chabad.

While the most notable share of the Vaad’s activities are focused on providing kosher supervision, certification and information, the Vaad’s purview and the responsibilities of the newly appointed rabbis also include oversight for the operation of the Sylvia Green Mikvah at the Millstone Campus and the Rivkin-Zuckerman Shabbat Mikvah at Young Israel, rabbinic direction for the volunteers of the Ahavas Chesed Society, the Orthodox cemeteries as well as maintaining the halachic viability of the St. Louis Eruv. In addition, the Vaad facilitates the providing of a halachic “get” (Jewish religious divorce) for couples seeking a divorce, and administers the Rabbi Rivkin Maos Chittim Fund, the Barabara Mendelson Tomche Shabbos Fund and the Vaad Shatnez Center.