Rabbi Sholem Fishbane
As Director of Kashrus for the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc), Rabbi Sholem Fishbane is considered one of the bright stars in the field of Kosher Supervision. Respected for his broad expertise, energy and dedication he brings to the job, Rabbi Fishbane’s diverse talents render him uniquely suited for his post. Under his guidance, the cRc has become one of the five leading kashrus organizations in the world and many of his innovations have become the gold standard in the industry.
His proficiency in all Kashrus-related issues has made his opinion and advice widely sought by both the lay and rabbinic community. Rabbi Fishbane also acts as the Executive Director of the Associated Kashrus Organizations (AKO), an umbrella group of major kosher-certifying agencies. Under his direction, AKO has made tremendous inroads in raising the level of kosher supervision and awareness, has set minimum standards for the kosher supervision industry, and has increased the cooperation between the many kashrus organizations in the United States, Israel and Europe.
Rabbi Fishbane has been sought as a keynote speaker by many groups and organizations. His presence was requested in Washington, D.C. for a meeting with the Department of Agriculture and the executive board of the USDA. He has lead several other conferences around the world, including meetings with various organizations regarding the humane treatment and slaughter of animals. He has lectured throughout the world and has published many articles for kashrus publications, Jewish organizations and food production companies.
Rabbi Fishbane attended Telshe Yeshiva in Chicago, after which time he studied in Yeshivas Mir, Jerusalem, for eight years. Upon returning to the United States in 1997, he worked in the kashrus field for the Orthodox Union (OU). As the OU’s Regional Director of Upstate New York, he was responsible for the kosher supervision of several major food manufacturers.
In 1997, he became the rabbi of the Saranac Synagogue in Buffalo, New York. In Buffalo, Rabbi Fishbane’s skills in Jewish outreach and education were in great demand. He conducted classes and workshops in Hebrew and Talmud, and classes in laws and customs for adults and children. In addition, he implemented outreach programs for Project Seed and Gateway, bringing the timeless truths of Torah to unaffiliated Jews and those with limited Jewish background. Though he moved from Buffalo 2001, he is still very much involved in the community. He travels there monthly and continues to serve as the spiritual leader for many of his congregants.
Rabbi Fishbane holds a number of degrees from a diverse group of universities. He holds a degree in Dryer Maintenance from the University of Wisconsin at Madison; a Bachelor’s Degree in Hebrew Studies from Telshe Yeshiva in Chicago; a Bachelor’s Degree in Jewish Studies from Ohr Somayach Tannenbaum College in Jerusalem, Israel; and a Masters of Arts and Leadership degree from Bellevue University in Nebraska. He has received Smicha (Rabbinic Ordination) from Rabbi Yitzchak Kolitz, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Telshe Yeshiva, Chicago; Mirrer Yeshiva; as well as Reb Zalman Nechamia Goldberg’s Jerusalem Beth Din. Rabbi Fishbane holds a teacher’s license from the Ministry of Education in Israel, and has also been certified as a Shochet, one who ritually slaughters animals, by Rabbi Klein, Av Beth Din of Yesodot, Israel.
Rabbi Fishbane has been married for 25 years. He and his wife have 7 children.