Rubashkin, OU, KAJ, UMK Rebranding To Avoid Consumer Wrath?

Stephen Mendelsohn writes:

I was in ShopRite this evening and noticed in their circular that they were offering their own new brand of glatt kosher hot dogs, certified by the OU and KAJ. In the kosher hot dog section, there were also packages of another new brand, Nathan’s (the Coney Island folks), which was non-glatt and certified by R’ Zeilingold’s UMK. It seems to me that Rubashkin is trying to get around the boycott of his products by marketing them under private labels with no mention of AgriProcessors on the package. One wonders whether the OU or UMK may have recommended this deceptive practice to keep consumers from knowing where their meat was shechted. Watch for more grocery stores, especially in the Northeast, to sport private-label kosher meat to cover for Rubashkin.

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40 Comments

Filed under Kosher Business?, Kosher Meat Scandal

40 responses to “Rubashkin, OU, KAJ, UMK Rebranding To Avoid Consumer Wrath?

  1. Stephen Mendelsohn

    BS”D

    It would be good if someone in the NY / NJ area could contact ShopRite HQ in Wakefern, NJ and ask where the meat in their kosher hot dogs was shechted, and to let ShopRite know about all of the controversy around Rubashkin’s, who supply a good deal of the kosher meat the store sells. Ditto for Nathan’s. Obviously, I cannot be 100% sure both brands are Rubashkin’s in disguise, but given the hechshers on the products, and what we have learned from the NY Jewish Week’s article on the federal antitrust probe, that the industry frowns on “stealing away” the kashrut agency of a competitor, what I said above would seem to be the most likely conclusion. Does UMK certifiy non-glatt meat from any slaughterhouses other than Rubashkin’s? If not, then we know for sure where Nathan’s got their hot dogs from. I doubt they have their own private beit shechita. Follow the hechshers.

    Again, watch for Waldbaum’s/A&P, Stop&Shop, PathMark, Giant, and other grocery chains with stores in traditional Jewish neighborhoods to start marketing private-label glatt kosher processed meat products certified by OU and KAJ, and perhaps even for the OU to boast on their website how they have been able to lower the cost of glatt meat by having it go private label, while helping Rubashkin conceal the source of his meat. Next, they will get Trader Joe’s, which sells lots of other companies’ products under its private label for lower prices, and has a significant kosher-observing Jewish clientele, to re-brand David’s non-glatt into Trader Joe’s own brand, with UMK certification.

    If this is true, then there actually could be some good news here. It means that Rubashkin as well as the kashrut agencies that profess to impartially certify his meat, but who in practice are all too often his lobbyists, are finally feeling the heat and fearing a real loss of business. It means that the Rubashkin’s Aaron’s Best label is seriously tarnished in the minds of enough consumers.

  2. Anonymous

    OK.. Here’s the story —

    Both products, Shoprite and Nathan’s are made at Agri, but neither is an Agri product.

    The Shoprite product has been in the works for about a year. The Nathan’s is more recent.

    In each case their respective brands approached Agri to produce the products for them, commonly known in the food industry as ‘co-packing’. This means a company or brand asks a manufacturer with specific capabilities to make product that they themselves cannot. They may or may not have a special recipe/formula, the product is produced and paid for. Any marketing, selling, branding is done by the company, not the manufacturer.

    These 2 cases are certainly not any way for Agri/OU/KAJ to disguise themselves.

    Shoprite simply paid AGri to make product, they then took all of it to the SR warehouse.

    In the case of Nathan’s, the company selling the product did this in a small way to compete with Hebrew National. This is also the same compnay that sells Nathan’s non-kosher dogs at retail. (BTW- this company itself is a licensee, meaning they pay Nathan’s for the right to use the name, they are not actaully Nathan’s.

    Again, there are many things to beat up on the OU/KAJ about, this isn’t one of them.

  3. The safest way to go is vegetarian until this crisis is resolved.

  4. Anonymous

    I may be nieve, .
    But it would appear to me that meat labels should have some sort of numbers/ codes printed on them from the manufacturer in case of meat contamination.
    There has to be a way for the usda to track it. just like on cans of food and meds.

  5. Anonymous

    Meat products do have code numbers, so they can be tracked. But consumers may not understand them, they look like random letters and numbers.

  6. Neo-Conservaguy

    Thanks to the anonymous author of the posting that provides an explanation of the new products. I suspect the author is a secret PETA mole placed at the highest levels of the OU, but hey, who knows?

  7. So what are the practical implications? If Nathan’s and Shoprite are buying privately branded kosher meat from Rubashkin we have no reason to believe the workers or the animals are treated any better for those lines than for their own brands.

    This suggests those who desire to put economic pressure on Rubashkin should try to get Shoprite and Nathan to find another kosher provider – or better still, try to get them to get Rubashkin to improve conditions across the board.

    Buying from these new brands is only a little better than buying from Rubashkin directly – Rubashkin gets paid by them for doing the shechita. So even if they don’t make as much money as they might through real private branding, it is still a source of income to Rubashkin.

  8. Stephen Mendelsohn

    BS”D

    Larry refocuses onto what I think is the central point. Kosher consumers should have the right to fully know where their meat (and other food, for that matter) is coming from, and at least one Orthodox rabbi in my area (R’ Yitzchok Adler of Beth David Synagogue in West Hartford, CT) has said as much. What is important to the informed consumer is that these brands are AgriProcessors under another label, and those who are currently discouraging (or more emphatically, boycotting) Rubashkin’s products need to know that these brands are included. What I said above may have been a bit provocative, and the kashrut agencies may well have nothing at all to do with this, but rebranding offers a way for Rubashkin to sell his meat to unsuspecting customers who may otherwise be boycotting his products. Indeed, Rubashkin’s AgriProceesors is working with a company called ReBrand in order to rebrand its tarnished image — you can Google this to find out more.

  9. Stephen Mendelsohn

    BS”D

    We do need to be on the lookout for more cases of co-packing of Agri meat. If the co-packed brands sell better than the tainted name brand, simple market economics will tell you where the future lies. The point is that the AgriProcessors name is nowhere to be mentioned on either ShopRite’s or Nathan’s hot dogs, unlike on all of Agri’s official brands.

  10. Anonymous

    Stephen –

    I agree with you and Larry, if one is looking to pressure Agri they shouldn’t buy these 2 new items, and possibly tell the companies why.

    In terms of knowing where your food comes from, why should we know more about meat than about cookies, beverages, or margarine. Do you think that each of the jewish/kosher brands own a slew of manuafacturing plants to make the 100’s of differant types of items they sell? They each employ the same number of plants to co-pack items for them. It is very common in all aspects of the food industry, not just kosher companies.

    Just to clarify I am not defending Agri, just not sure we should/can begin to force companies to disclose what is really confidential info.

    Lastly, I certainly do not work for (or volunteer), or have any connection to PETA. I eat meat many times a week, and dispise their tactics and most of their mission. I also do not work for the OU, and am not a mole in any sense of the word. Just happen to have my ear to the sidewalk….

  11. I’m toying with the idea of opening up a kosher hot dog stand. I’m only half serious because the municipality where I want to do it in doesn’t permit hot dog stands outdoors, lol. If I tow the cart w/ a police Harley trike though, I think I can say that it’s legally a roach-coach/lunch-truck, so I just might do it. A buddy of mine sold 1000 dogs a week at a coney on the same intersection.

    When I started looking into provisions, I deliberately avoided Rubashkin brands. Locally I can buy Meal Mart and International Glatt wholesale from a vendor. What is known about the business practices of MM and IG?

    As for private labeling. When I was a kid, my dad had friends in the deli biz and he’d bring home some great kosher knockwursts that were spiced just right and would literally explode in your mouth. They might have been natural casing, which would be hard to get today, but they were delicious. Might have been sourced from Isaac Gellis. I briefly looked into getting supplied from Romanian in Chicago, in part because as a small company I’m sure that they’d make stuff to my specs. Their quality is superb, but I’m in Michigan and they don’t have USDA approval for interstate shipments.

    So are Meal Mart and International Glatt decent folks, and are there any other wholesale USDA approved provisioners of kosher deli meats?

  12. D

    > What is known about the business practices of MM and IG?

    Not very much. Both of these are family owned businesses, the operations of which are kept pretty close to the chest. A glimpse of the internal workings of IGK was made available recently during the crisis at their Windom, MN operation a couple of years back in which their Rav HaMachshir was locked out of the PM Holdings plant where most of their ShB”M operations took place. I think most production for these companies now takes place in South America, unburdened by HACCP or OSHA guidelines or US labor law.

  13. Anonymous

    OK..

    To clarify, IGK or any of it Schochtim were NOT locked out of Windom, they walked out. WIth hundreds of heads of cattle on hand waiting for Schechita.

    Yes, much of of the slaughter does now happen in S America, but there are some, although not as inforced, US regulations in place otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed to ship into the US.

    Still with my ear to that sidewalk…..

  14. Anonymous

    > To clarify, IGK or any of it Schochtim were NOT locked out of Windom, they walked out. WIth hundreds of heads of cattle on hand waiting for Schechita.

    Rabbi Eliezer Jakob, the Rav HaMachshir of the IGK WIndom operation, was locked out of the plant by PM management. IGK said the lockout was because Rabbi Jakob refused to relax kashrus standards to increase the glatt yield. PM management insisted that Rabbi Jakob’s suspension was for business reasons related to tax withholding and worker visa issues with IGK employees at the plant (sound familiar?). That was when the IGK ShB”M crew walked out.

    Just a point of clarification, here.

  15. Anonymous

    Exactly when was Lazer Yaacov locked out? Did he attempt to enter the facilty and was denied access?

    Or did he refuse to supply the PM Beef managament with a list Rabbinical staff personnel, so they could all be properly insured?

  16. D

    This according to IGK.

    http://www.kashrusstandards.com/hartly.htm# 11.

    The Star-K website used to have PDF reproductions of the letters mentioned here but has since taken those down.

  17. Anonymous

    Exactly my point… http://www.kashrusstandards.com/hartly.htm# 11 — is giving IGK’s side of the story.

    BTW – These same Rabbis accused R’ Heineman of forcing them to sell treif meat. This was in ad placed in the Jewish Press.

  18. D

    Sorry, I was a bit hasty in digging up links. The Star-K letters would have been a proper counter-point if I could find them (anyone out there with better luck plese speak up).

    This article provides some perspective from the Star-K’s vantage point.

    http://www.jewishtimes.com/scripts/edition.pl?now=8/18/2004&stay=1&SubSectionID=48&ID=2368

    At any rate, my point was that there were allegations of improper worker documentation, tax withholding and HACCP violations at that IGK operation as well. Whether this is still the case at their current operations is a question that cannot be easily answered and IGK will not volunteer that information, understandably. Suffice to say that if we think that by avoiding Agriprocessor’s we avoid supporting animal cruelty and shady labor practices we are deluding ourselves.

  19. D

    Got them! See pages 7-9 for the letters I mentioned.

    http://www.star-k.org/pdf/PM.PDF

  20. Schneur

    It is common practice for large chain markets to contract with manufacturers and sell under the chain name. That does not worry me. In addition the Rubashkins have been selling their stuff under many names for years Aaron’s Best, Shor habor, Rubashkin and still others . So this is not new either.
    I am upset that of all people trying to revive the Baser kasher meat in the US it is the Lubavitcher Rubashkins.
    For years the Lubavitchers have more than implied that Baser Kaser is not acceptable, and of course for them it remains so. Yet it is Rubashkin through his “rabbi” Zeilengold who is pushing a heavy duty advertising campaign for Nathan’s dogs. Yelamdainu Rabbanu is this brand any MORE kosher than Hebrew national ?

    In addition would rabbi Zeilengold eat one of nathan’s dogs at his cook outs or that of the machon channa school ?
    is it not odd that a Chassidic company and a chassidic rabbi are the chief instigators in the attempted revival of Baser kasher in the US. the advertisng of Nathan’s is also aimed at least to some extent at the modern orthodx community.
    Is it not genaivas daas to have a chassidic rabbi supervise meat that is not glatt and meat he would not feed himself or his family ??
    The chief and only purpose of Rubashkin is to amke as much money as possible until Mashiach comes.
    I am happy to hear that the US govt may be investigating the finacial practices of Rubashkin for price fixing. But should not some one investigate the collusion of KAJ, OU, CH rabbinate and others in their supervision of Rubashkin.

  21. Stephen Mendelsohn

    BS”D

    The Jewish Telegraphic Agency quoted Temple Grandin regarding the changes to animal handling procedures at AgriProcessors:

    “What we have to do is make sure we keep them that way.” http://jta.org/page_view_breaking_story.asp?intid=3428

    I think she realizes that this cannot just be a one-time publicity stunt.

  22. Stephen Mendelsohn

    BS”D

    As for the earlier post regarding full information on products other than kosher meat, I am certainly for that. For example, the UK (and I believe other European countries as well that have not yet banned battery cages) mandates that all eggs and products containing eggs be labelled as to whether the eggs came from battery cage, barn, or free-range hens. I believe this is also the law in parts of Australia, and New Zealand may be heading in the same direction. Unfortunately, no such law exists in the US or Canada — or Israel for that matter.

    Guess who would likely oppose such additional consumer information? You guessed it: the Orthodox kosher lobby. They are worried that if non-kosher meat from kosher shechted animals were to be so labelled, consumers might boycott it, especially in Europe.

  23. Anonymous

    OK.. Again — the Nathan’s franks are NOT being marketed, sold, or advertised by Agri.

    Is this product better than Hebrew National? It depends who you ask. People that won’t eat Lubavitch/Agri won’t eat it. Glatt or not. But if this is good enough Schechita to be Glatt for the OU, then it should be good enough to eat, if the only problem is the lung needed further inspection.

    (BTW – Glatt meat as we know and buy it isn’t really 100% glatt. Most national/frum/heimish Hashgochos allow a ‘sircha’ or 2, than can easliy be removed, and still call it glatt.)

    Generally the Hebrew National and Shofar meats are schechted in less reliable slaughterhouses and that is the reason most Rabbonim/Vaadim didn’t or don’t accept it. Ontherwise, there isn’t a reason why the overall Frum consumer shouldn’t be eating St’am Kosher if its Schechted in a reliable place. Glatt was a Chasidish and/or Hungarian Minhag that was barely present in US before WW II. In fact most people, yes very frum people, hadn’t heard about glatt until the late 60’s or mid 70’s.

    Imagine if the one cow slaughtered a month in some Shtetl in Europe ended up not being Glatt, what a would they have done?! It was nerve raking enough hoping it wouldn’t be a treifa or nevaila!

    Lastly, this product isn’t being ‘marketed’ to the MO consumer anymore than anyone else. They have so far only run ONE ad. It ran this past week in NY Jewish Week. A paper where more than 50% of the readers don’t keep kosher.

    Does Zeilengold eat his own Hashgacha? I hope so.

    BTW – I currently subscribe to the community standard and only eat glatt.

    Still keeping my ear to the sidewalk….

  24. C-Girl

    “Generally the Hebrew National and Shofar meats are schechted in less reliable slaughterhouses”

    I’m sorry, but I’ve heard that HN, in recent years, has had very reliable shechita. What’s your source here?

  25. Anonymous

    Only in the passt year has Hebrew National changed Hashgochos. Word is that it is better than it has been, but no one has been in to see this first hand.

    They do not claim to be glatt and to my knowledge this is the first and only Hashgocha that Ralbag gives on beef/schechita.

    Ear to the sidewalk….

  26. Neo-Conservaguy

    “Only in the passt year has Hebrew National changed Hashgochos. Word is that it is better than it has been, but no one has been in to see this first hand.”

    No, they changed about two years ago, and some people have certainly checked into the current situation and declared the meat to be reliably kosher, but not glatt:

    http://www.forward.com/main/article.php?ref=weiss20040609924

    http://www.kashrut.org/forum/viewpost.asp?mid=5868

    Quoted story from another source:

    Hebrew National, which in its advertising claims it “answers to a higher authority,” has answered to yet another authority – the Conservative movement – and passed with flying colors. For more than a decade, the movement has declined to recommend Hebrew National products because of “questions raised about the quality of its kosher supervision,” according to Rabbi Paul Plotkin, chairman of the kashrut subcommittee of the Rabbincal Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards. “At no time did we ever say it wasn’t kosher,” Rabbi Plotkin stressed, adding that the movement simply never accepted Hebrew National products.

    Then that changed in November with kosher supervisors from Triangle K. Rabbi Plotkin, Rabbi Joel Roth and Rabbi Mayer Rabinowitz met with the supervising rabbi at Triangle K, Aryeh Ralbag, and inspected the two slaughterhouses that provide meat to Hebrew National in Green Bay, Wis., and Temma, Iowa. In addition, the three toured Hebrew National’s koshering and processing plants in Indianapolis, IN.

    It was not a cursory inspection. All of the questions that had been raised over the years that led to our not being able to recommend Hebrew National were totally addressed by what we saw. Appropriate and significant changes have occurred in the slaughter and the packing and koshering process that have satisfied us: The company now places the Triangle K logo on all of its products and there are “no plans to advertise” the change in supervision because the information is “readily available to those who are interested.”

    Rabbi Plotkin has been working with Hebrew National since at least 1998 “trying to ascertain whether the product was acceptable to us. Hebrew National said it would like to make the product acceptable and it took a while for that to take place. One of the changes is that the kosher supervision is “transparent” – all of the details involved in the operation are available and the entire premises is open for inspection.

    The RA’s kashrut subcommittee reported its findings to the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, which on June 2 accepted the supervision of Triangle K for all products. Until now, Triangle K had provided kosher supervision for only non-meat products.

  27. Schneur

    Even though my late father was a kosher butcher for 40 years in the US and prior to that in Poland, pardon my ignorance, .
    What is a “less reliable slaughterhouse”?
    Does it mean that the structure may collapse, or does it mean that the shochetim do not study Chitath every day ?
    Why is rabbi Ralbag questioned as a rav hamachshir, but the charedim in Flatbush endorse his services as a Dayan and Borer in Dine Torah ?
    A slaughter house is as reliable as the rabbis who supervise it and the shochetim who work there.Hebrew Natioanl does not aim for a Glatt product
    Clearly the meat products sold under Zeilengold’s hashgocha have failed to meet the mark according to standards of the OU, KAJ, Chabad, Rabbi Weissmandel, and still other “authorities”. Zeilengold’s meat is the final step before its sold as treifa.
    Again how much more kosher is this than Hebrew National ?
    No response yet.
    By the way I am certain that Rabbi Z. would not eat Nathan’s Franks and the other products he signs off on.As a Lubavitcher he only eats glatt. Would it not make more sense to have a more modern rabbi supervise this product.Would a chabad rabbi edit or translate a Nusach Ashkenaz Siddur ? Would a chabad rabbi build or endorse a non Chabad mikveh ?
    Is it not “genaivas daas” for a Chabad rabbi with a beard and kapote to sign off on meat that is not glatt and that was slaughteed with the intention for the glatt market but rejected as noted above.
    Until I carefully checked I too thought Nathan’s was Glatt.
    Another question why not have Rabbi Zeilengold supervise the Glatt product at the plant, if his hashgocha is so much better than Rabbi Ralbag’s why the need for the Crown Hts beth Din, KAJ, OU ETC etc. let rabbi Asher Zeilengold a Chabad chassidic rav in the Twin Cities supervise the whole meat product produced in Postville ?

  28. Schneur

    Re the Jewish Week ad, while many readers of the JW are not Orthodox , many are. With the appointment of a modern orthodx Jew as editor and his assistant being an MO as well, the paper is read by many Modern Orthdox Jews.I In certain areas by more than read the JP.f the readership is as non Kosher as claimed by the above commentator, why bother advertising a Kosher meat product there at all ? Pray tell me. NO the answer is that the ad is aimed at the MO market in Riverdale, the Upper West Side, Bergen County and Queens.

  29. D

    > this product isn’t being ‘marketed’ to the MO consumer anymore than anyone else.

    I reiterate what I stated earlier that most “kosher” marketed foods are consumed by non-Jews, about 80% according to some surveys. I suspect that part of AP’s strategy is to access those non-Jewish kosher buyers via the UMK, “David’s” and “Nathan’s” brand pathways. Seems like a reasonable business strategy to market a value-added product to a consumer population willing to pay a price premium. This certainly includes those Muslims who allow shechted animals as a substitute for Zabihah (not all Muslims do so but most will AFAIK), certain Christian groups that prefer to follow O.T. dietary mandates as well as consumers who fallaciously read kosher=healthy.

    If the Jewish population is steering more toward the Glatt standard the “Stam” prioducts can easily be steered toward this larger market.

  30. Ear to the Sidewalk.....

    OK.. Zeilengold’s meat is just as Kosher as the rest of Agri’s, just doesn’t meat the Glatt standard, meaning the inspection of the lungs and other organs required more looking than for the Glatt standard, which requires it be a good inspection on the first look.

    So, that may be better than HN, which although isn’t looking for Glatt, there are manyother diff. in their process both at Schechita and beyond, that seemingly don’t meet the stadards of the larger agancies.

    In terms of eth Conservative movemnt saying that HN is apprioved, thats all fine, but I can’t subscribe to a HAshgiocha of a rabbi who’s shul I wouldn’t daven at, and who’s standards for other religious issues are at odds with mine. Why woudl the Conservative movement get involved in Hasgochios, when a vast, vast majoraty of their congragants don’t keep kosher in-home, or out? Why wouldn’t they leave that to the Ortho, where Kosher is a bigger issue.

    The ad in the Jewish Week was placed there because they wanted a large population of Jews, and the JW is large and well-known. Believe me the marketing ppl at Nathan’s licensee don’t know any of the politics of the Kosher industry. They simply wanted to have a product to compete with HN.

    Oh yeah.. most Kosher food products, taht are marketed as Kosher are not sold to non-Jews. (HN being the notable excpetion, but they barely market to Jews of any type.) If Jewish/Kosher companies relied on non-Jews for 80% of the business, they’d all be out of business. Those 80% numbers make no sense. Do you really think that 80% of Agri’s kosher and glatt business, Alle, Manischewitz, Kedem, etc… is bought by non-Jews?

  31. D

    > By the way I am certain that Rabbi Z. would not eat Nathan’s Franks and the other products he signs off on. As a Lubavitcher he only eats glatt. Would it not make more sense to have a more modern rabbi supervise this product.Would a chabad rabbi edit or translate a Nusach Ashkenaz Siddur ? Would a chabad rabbi build or endorse a non Chabad mikveh ?

    Schneur, these are false arguments. By your logic Chabad Shluchim have no business kashering homes, stating specifically that they make no requirements to use Cholov Yisroel, Glatt meat, etc. Likewise, OU rabbis (your “more modern rabbi[s]”, most of whom are strict on Glatt themselves) have no business offering an OU-M (non glatt meat) nor can the Baltimore Vaad offer a Star-D for Chalav Stam. Nevertheless, there they are.

    There is no contradiction in the world of Hashgacha in permitting a standard for the public that you will not use yourself. As one rabbi told me “I use only my own community’s standard because I am a meshugena”, implying that he has reasons external to basic acceptability for not using a product. ‘Nuff said.

  32. D

    > If Jewish/Kosher companies relied on non-Jews for 80% of the business, they’d all be out of business. Those 80% numbers make no sense. Do you really think that 80% of Agri’s kosher and glatt business, Alle, Manischewitz, Kedem, etc… is bought by non-Jews?

    Consider this quote concerning Empire poultry. http://www.ok.org/Content.asp?ID=60

    “”The kosher-conscious Jewish market is growing only slightly, and doesn’t offer much opportunity for new sales,” says Empire’s president and CEO, Michael Strear. “That’s why we’re so interested in the crossover marketing to non-Jewish customers.” The company says observant Jews made up only 25% of its $120 million in sales last year.”

    And, concerning Kedem:

    “”Gaining part of the non-Jewish market would be the ultimate seal of approval,” says Avi Fertig, a spokesman for Royal Wine Co., which sold about $100 million of kosher wines and grape juices last year. “These are people interested in quality, not just certification.” “

  33. Ear to the Sidewalk.....

    D-

    Your first quote is from a former Presdient of Empire that took the company $90MM into the hole with that philosophy. He hasn’t been there in about 3 years. I don’t doubt he said it, but I can tell you that Empire’s sales to Jewish/Kosher consumers is closer to 90% (if not higher) than to 25%. Just call them and ask. Why would non-Jews pay $2.69/lb for chicken, when non-kosher sells for $1.29 ?

    Your second quote, doesn’t say that Kedem’s business is a majority of non-Jews, just that they are gaining and wish to gain more non-Jewish business, because it shows their wines to be of great quality, kosher or not.

    Also, regarding your previous post, the OU doesn’t give OU-M certs on non-glatt. The OU only certs Glatt meat. If it says OU-M, its glatt.

  34. Neo-Conservaguy

    “In terms of eth Conservative movemnt saying that HN is apprioved, thats all fine, but I can’t subscribe to a HAshgiocha of a rabbi who’s shul I wouldn’t daven at, and who’s standards for other religious issues are at odds with mine.”

    Are you aware that JTS has always had a mechitsa minyan? Don’t confuse choices offered to congregations via the RA with personal decisions made by some of the senior JTS rabbinate. Promoting kashruth is a big deal these days in the Conservative movements; it’s sad that they have some many potential “converts”, but it’s great that they are spending the time and resources on the effort.

  35. Ear to the Sidewalk......

    I am well aware of the Mechitza issue at JTS and the Conservative movement on general.

    I never made a comment about a Mechitza, just that I don’t subscribe to may issues in the COnservative movment and that many of their congragants don’t keep Kosher.

    BTW — Why has promoting Kashrus ‘become’ a big deal “these days” for Conservative Rabbis? Hasn’t it been important for years?

  36. D

    Sidewalk guy,

    In fairness, the Conservative Movement has always placed strong emphasis on kashrus at the official level. Granted, they take certain leniencies that you or I would not consider valid. Nevertheless they do have a consistent message on the matter.

    AFA the “many of their congragants don’t keep Kosher” argument, you cannot blame their Rabbis for not laying out standards.

    http://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/law/contemporary_halakhah.html

    Perhaps you can blame them for not exhorting stronger public fealty to those standards. It can be argued, however, that by doing so you will alientate more people away.

  37. The Windom plant did not lock out Rabbi Jacobs. Rabbi Jacobs allegedly broke US law by knowingly employing non-resident aliens. When he refused to comply with US law, the plant refused to pay the aliens. Then Debretzin and Rabbi Jacobs walked out.

  38. D

    Shmarya,

    Read the letters I pointed to. CEO of PM Beef Holdings, Jay “Chip” AuWerter specifically announces to International Glatt, Debrecyn and the OU that, because of a series of business improprieties, “effective immediately, PM Beef is suspending Rabbi Lazar Jacob from entering our plant in Windom MN”.

    Rabbi Jacob did not resign, he was fired.

  39. Schneur

    Would rabbi Osdoba supervise a standard non Chalav Israel Milk product ?
    The answer is no.
    Should a well known chabad pulpit rabbi with beard and kapote give a heksher on Rubashkin rejects ?
    Well “far gelt ales is kosher”.

  40. alan

    Is there any published list of which meat brands are Rubashkin’s and which aren’t?

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