Balkan Kosher is proud to be the leader of Kosher output in the Balkan region

The Balkans, USA and Israel and more

About Us

Balkan Kosher provides Kosher food Consultations

Balkan Kosher is proud to be the leader in strengthening Kosher output in the Balkan region and in facilitating availability of Balkan Kosher products throughout the world. 

Balkan Kosher provides Kosher food Consultations, Supervisions & Certifications primarily throughout the Balkans. From our offices in Thessaloniki and Tirana, we are easily available throughout Greece, Albania, Montenegro and all countries in the Balkan and Mediterranean region. With offices in Israel and the USA, and agreements with other Kosher organizations, we are able to help facilitate international commerce. 

We are working with clients and vendors to Kosherize products and services for the benefit of tourism and local economies. Our clients are:

  • Food manufacturers seeking to expand into the international Kosher marketplace.
  • Hotels that cater Jewish events and tourists in the Balkan region.
  • Consumers that rely upon the high standards of kosher certification for Halal and other dietary needs.

Balkan Kosher is a branch of Balkan Jewish Communities, a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Our Story

With the backing of the Rohr Foundation and Merkos Chabad, and with the encouragement of Rabbi Shlomo Amar (then Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel) and of Rabbi Moshe BenTov, Sephardic Kabbalist; the Kaplan family arrived in Salonika in 2009.

Their mission was to kindle the revival of the Sephardic-Ladino heritage and to develop Jewish infrastructure to accommodate the rejuvenation of Jewish life in the Balkans. 

The establishment of Balkan Kosher was one of Rabbi Kaplan’s first projects as a means of developing this infrastructure.

One of the goals of Balkan Kosher is to support the local economy by opening opportunities for Greek and Balkan exports to Israel, the USA, to Europe, Asia and more. 

To this end, Rabbi Kaplan is in contact with government agencies and travels the world to provide business opportunities for companies in the Balkan food industry and to bring much needed kosher ingredients to Greece and the Balkans.

Today, international cultural and government events are now much easier to host in the Balkans, because of the availability of kosher food and hospitality made possible through the work of Balkan Kosher since 2009.

Another obvious goal has been to supply kosher food for the Chabad activities and hospitality in Thessalonika and throughout the Balkans, as well as for local Balkan Jews and tourists. Previously, visitors to Thessalonika had great difficulty finding kosher food and accommodations. Those Jews seeking family and Ladino ties are now able to make the pilgrimage to “La Madre de Israel” with comfort, ease and fully kosher accommodations (both luxury and budget) at the Thessalonika Chabad Center and other venues.

We are proud to have been instrumental in the growth of Thessalonika as a prime tourist destination, with kosher food and hotels available, so that visitors can explore the rich Jewish history and beautiful Greek countryside and islands.

In addition to kosherizing local Balkan food products throughout the Balkans, many lives are being touched by the frequent stopovers of Rabbi Yoel Kaplan as he attends to the needs of Jews in cities scattered throughout the Balkan countryside; as well as by the constant presence of Rabbi Yosef Kaplan in Thessalonika.

Balkan Kosher is a non-profit branch of Balkan Jewish Communities Charitable organization, dedicated to providing the infrastructure of Jewish life in the Balkan States and supporting local enterprise.

Our Staff

Rov HaMachshir

Rabbi Yoel Kaplan

Chief Rabbi of Albania. Chabad Shliach to Thessalonika and the Balkan Region.

Rabbinic Coordinator

Rabbi Yosef Kaplan

Chabad Shliach To Thessalonika

USA Office Manager

Mrs Judith Kaplan

Accounts Manager

Balkan Area Manager

Mr Thomas Vassaras MBA IBEX

Reasons to become Kosher Certified

Industrial Sales

A kosher certified ingredient or product could very well make the difference between making or losing sales to another food processor or importer. Many companies maintain kosher certification because it makes their product more marketable. Many companies, processors, importers and distributors throughout Europe, the Balkans and Turkey are kosher certified and will buy only kosher certified raw materials and products for their own manufacturing and sales.

Business Sales

Areas that have strong Jewish/Israeli tourism are also markets for kosher foods. There has been a steadily growing Israeli tourism industry throughout the Balkan countries especially since Balkan Kosher has made kosher food more accessible to hotels and for catered events.

Retail Sales and Exports

Not only Jewish people seek kosher products. In fact, in Russia and the USA, the majority of kosher products are consumed by non-Jews. There are many reasons for this, such as the desire for a certifiable pure product, reliable food allergy content, and vegetarian and vegan verification. For the large Muslim Halal market, kosher is permitted.

Countries with large Jewish populations have viable kosher markets. These countries are: Israel, USA, Mexico, Argentina, UK, France, Russia and Australia and more.

The Kosher marketplace is one more aspect of the food market. And in order to compete within that market, a food processor must obtain the services of a Kosher Food Consultation and Certification agency.

Our Clients

Here you will find the list of customers that have been certified with Balkan Kosher.

(Links to the certificates will be updated soon)

Balkan Kosher Locations

With offices in Thessaloniki, Albania, Israel and in the USA; Kosher Balkan is here to help your company to develop your kosher products and to distribute them to kosher markets throughout the world.

Our staff makes regular visits to help manufacturers and hotels with Kosher Services in the following locations:

Israel, North Macedonia, Rhodes, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, USA, Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Crete, Croatia, Cypress, Greece, Herzogovia

Send Us A Message

Office hours

Our office hours are Monday through Thursday, and we are closed from Friday through Sunday, and on Jewish holy days. 

Our corporate office operates in USA Eastern Standard Time.  

To avoid delayed responses, please send requests before Thursday 2:00 PM (Balkan time).  

We understand that food production works under strict timelines, and therefore, we try to respond in a timely manner to your requests. 

Your understanding is appreciated.


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