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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Five Towns Chicken Scandal? Not Really.

A commenter a few posts south of this one was trying to stir up some mud by claiming I was somehow doing my readers a disservice because (in his/her own words):
the question is this...are you going to have the courage to report on the chicken sacndal brwing [sic] right here in Cedarhurst.....?
Now, anyone who has been reading this blog for a while might be aware of the fact that I don't lack courage for this sort of story. That said, the alleged "scandal" is actually far from a scandal. The Jewish Star, a local Jewish paper that has been vastly improved under a recent change in editorship, has the complete scoop here (front page, top-right item).

Apparently, a local kosher supermarket, the Gourmet Glatt Emporium, was discovered to have been packaging and selling kosher chickens under the labels of a different kosher brand. An investigation was done, and the mislabeling was determined to have been nothing more sinister than a clerical error, and all the chickens in question were from reliable hashgachas that are approved by the Vaad. However, in light of the error, and due to the busy atmosphere of the store and the potential for this type of mislabeling to occur in such a setting, the Vaad Hakashrut of the Five Towns decided to impose a new labeling system for Gourmet Glatt chickens, which would not allow for individual labeling according to brand at all when repackaging meat to be placed in the refrigerated display cases, though Gourmet Glatt states in the article that they will continue provide specific brands upon individual customer request.

The Vaad issued a statement on the episode:
After a thorough inspection of Gourmet Glatt of Cedarhurst was made, the Vaad Hakashrus discovered that a mislabeling indeed ocurred between the Empire label and another reputable kosher chicken company.
The mislabeling was verified by the Empire poultry Company after a consumer complaint. Empire independently investigated this matter and concluded that it was not their product.
No kashrus violations took place.
We have immediately directed the store to change their labeling procedure so NO company name appears on the label of their meat and poultry products.

So the new system seems to address the problem. But even though according to the Vaad, all was in order as far as the chickens being kosher, and there are assurances (in an adjacent Jewish Star article) that there is good enough Kashrut oversight here to prevent a situation similar to what recently occured in Monsey, the fact that this can happen at all gives me pause. For example, I have a close family member who only eats KAJ chickens. Whenever that relative is going to be eating in my house, I specifically purchase chickens labeled with that brand, sometimes from Gourmet Glatt. Though to me, it doesn't make much of a difference which brand of chickens I eat, to this family member, it does. So I have to imagine this news of the mislabeling error will cause a good bit of chagrin to at least some community members who had been relying on the labeling system Gourmet Glatt had been using, even with the Vaad's assurances that all certified chicken is safe in the Five Towns.

The only questions not really answered is whether this policy will be extended to the other, equally "busy" local kosher supermarkets that are mentioned in the article, who repackage different brands of chickens in the same manner as Gourmet Glatt did. Is this new policy an indication of a lack of faith the Vaad has specifically in Gourmet Glatt's capability to label chickens properly, or an indication that the repackaging system simply can't remain reliable enough in a large-scale operation? If the latter were the case, we would expect to see the new policy extend to all local supermarkets - which the article does not seem to indicate.

But why not? Shouldn't the new policy extend to all large repackaging operations? Or did Gourmet Glatt lose their chance to reliably repackage on a large scale by messing up once? Anyone have any clue?

142 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RECHILIAS, or maybe Brach's, Supersol etc are more careful. But in my mind there should be 1 standard for all establishments, immaterial of what their volume of business is. The difference in standards from 1 store to another was one of the reasons that many (specfically in Brooklyn where many Rabbi left a Vaad and joined Kehillah Kashrut) have seen a lack of trust in community Vaad supervision.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"The difference in standards from 1 store to another was one of the reasons that many (specfically in Brooklyn where many Rabbi left a Vaad and joined Kehillah Kashrut) have seen a lack of trust in community Vaad supervision."

Maybe you're right, but HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA -- you picked the worst possible example.

Years ago, Kehilas Kasharus went on their holier than thou crusade only to discover that kashrus was a nice little business.

Fast forward a few years and those bozos were the ones asleep at the wheel when the Kosher Spot treif meat scandal hit Brooklyn about year and change ago.

Self-righteous 'oversight' organizations typically become just as, if not more, corrupt and incompetent as those they claim to be watching.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good post and good questions.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

How about this question: now that branded labeling are verboten, will I be paying Empire prices for lesser quality chicken?

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you want empire, all you need to do is ask. The article was very clear about that.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you want empire, all you need to do is ask. The article was very clear about that.

The article may have been clear, but gourmet glatt isnt. I was there this morning. First of all, there is no labeling on the chickens in the cases. But when I asked the guy in the back for empire, he said they had none and werent expecting any. Does that mean that empire is no longer selling to GG because it wont be labeled anymore as their brand? (the article had a quote from an empire spokesman who sounded pissed off about the new GG policy) Or maybe it means that GG is no longer buying empoire which was always more $$$? Why should they pay empire prices to label them as generic?

There were actually a few women who were requesting emopire, and no one seemed to know anything about the new policy. The management seemed to be in no rush to tell them either, and were being very vague.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aside from OM's questions, a couple of big questions go unanswered:

1. What exactly happened in the back? Who did the mislabeling? Is he still working at GG? Was it one chicken, or many? I would have expected some reporting on this central aspect of the story. The Star seems to have bought the official line uncritically.

2. I don't understand the solution. What is so hard about labling the the meat properly? Aren't they labeling similar cuts of meat anyway (lean ground beef vs. skirt/neck)? What is the big deal? And how will the new system -- manually checking the meat upon request -- minimize mistakes -- especially in a "busy meat room"?

3. As a prior commenter mentioned -- how will they deal with the price issue? If all brands are being labelled identically than how is GG going to deal with pricing different brands differently? They will still have to put different price labels on each brand of chicken even if the brand is not identified. SO you are running into the same problem regardless. As a halachik matter, the potential issue of mispricing goods is just as serious as misidentifying the brand.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous TW said...

Anony 11:07 hit it right- what will they do regarding pricing. Up until now different brands have been priced differently. Personally, I like to know which brand of chicken I am purchasing- and the plumba is sometimes hiding in a part of the repacked package where one can't read it. Does this mean that there will be across the board pricing? I wonder what the Vaad will suggest for the other stores in the area.

If anything, I think it's a mistake to not label the meat as it should be. Some people like Empire, Marvid or Aaron's- for some it's a shechita issue. What happens when I want to buy chicken and there are no members of the meat dept. around to answer my questions. Perhaps the labeling should remain, but a greater eye should be placed on the proper labeling of such meat.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The jewish star story cant possibly be the end. are consumers going to accept the new policy? The pricing issues that others mentioned are a biggie. and the fact that this was going on? are we expected to believe the story that gg is selling that it was only ONE chicken that was discovered by a fluke?

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It also makes no sense from the meat company's perspectve, especially Empire. They spend lots of money each year on advertising and building their brand name which is all going to waste here. It's wouldn't surpise me if Empire isn't available because they are upset about the new policy.

True. Empire has every right to be pissed -- they spend millions of $$$ on building their brand name, which is all going to waste at GG.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone called Empire and asked if they will still be selling to Gourmet. If not -- we should just know, that no matter what they say in the store and not matter the price they are charging, if you want Empire, you need to look elsewhere.

Now, thinking about whether this was an isolated case.

Hmmm.. One person has a questionable chicken and calls Empire, it is found to be fraudulant. What a coincidence that would be if that was the only one. We should all check our freezers and see what we've got.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a cover-up. It's a lot worse. So much for the intergrity of Rabbi Eisen and the great morals and values he was supposed to bring us from Brooklyn. There's much more to come......this is just the beginning

2:34 PM  
Blogger The Town Crier said...

I cant imagine how many others of this type or kind (monsey) is actually going on in other communities that people are unaware of

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do the store label the different meat suppliers

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Facetious said...

It gets worse. I hear they sold matjes herring as shmaltz and dill pickles as half-sour.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard the old grouchy guy at Gourmet Glatt is really the guy from the Six Flags commercials before taking his anti-depressants.

4:50 PM  
Blogger WoodmereGuy said...

Presumably they were labeling the chickens because consumers wanted to know what they're purchasing. So now they're not going to label them at all and keep consumers uninformed. Is anyone else disturbed by this? Is there something to hid? Perhaps the solution is for them to be more careful.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Facetious said...
It gets worse. I hear they sold matjes herring as shmaltz and dill pickles as half-sour.


Go ahead and laugh.. but why should I pay for one brand then get a cheap imitation?

5:12 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Anonymous said...
It's a cover-up. It's a lot worse. So much for the intergrity of Rabbi Eisen and the great morals and values he was supposed to bring us from Brooklyn. There's much more to come......this is just the beginning"

Mr. Brachs....is that you?

7:41 PM  
Blogger Goy Guy said...

This is clearly a matter that needs to be looked into by the county department of consumer affairs. Mislabeling products is clearly illegal whether they're kosher chickens or Hickory Farm hams.

People are paying for the good stuff, or what they like, and getting whatever it might be. Like an Exxon station selling no name gas, or charging high test prices for regular. Or pouring Smirnoff into your glass and charging for Grey Goose. Even if it's by mistake it's still big trouble if you're busted.

And let's not forget that this is not even really a religious issue. People that aren't Orthodox or even Jewish patronize so called "kosher" supermarkets. I sometimes do. What do we care if it's kosher? It kosher pizza any different than "regular" pizza to me? Not really, some's good and some sucks, just like with all pizza. It's just another store to us (less the bacon). All of us deserve what we pay for, too. Do you think if Dunkin' Donuts was selling me a dozen donuts but only slipping eleven in the box (yet the donuts were still kosher), would I call Vaad, because they are supervising the store, or consumer affairs?

Since I doubt the Vaad is all that concerned with the ripping off of the public, especially me (Even though whatever the cost is of their supervision, I pay part of their salaries too. They're supported by a store's ENTIRE customer base. Not just the Orthodox shoppers), who's looking out for us? Vaad won't be calling consumer affairs, that's for sure. They were the ones supposedly looking out for us in the first place. They might get slapped with a fine, too, for that matter.



Consumer Affairs. Call them if it bothers you. 516 571 2600.

Or complain online:

http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Consumers/ComplaintForm.htm

It's your money. And make no mistake. This is ONLY about money.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous jb said...

Eisen's version of The Vaad bordered on a Taliban mentality. A few years ago he wanted the owner of establishment to post his degree of religious observance and synagouge membership. Why is this man getting paid almost as much as Hain or Teitlebaum? If the package says Empire I don't need Gourmet Glatt. I could by the item in Stop & Shop or Food Emporium

9:57 PM  
Blogger YMedad said...

You mean it's legal to take a product out of its packaging and place it nekkid on a shelf and sell it, even if there's a sign somewhere on the pane identifying this, that and that? Did I understand this shennanigan correctly?

4:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did I understand this shennanigan correctly?

I can't see how Empire would allow repackaging. Maybe some of the smaller slaughter houses would condone it so as to compete with Empire, but I can not see mighty Empire allowing this. That may be why they pulled their chicken from GG.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous ripped off in woodmere said...

I agree with Goy Guy. The Vaad needed to step in to make sure everyone understands this is not a kashrus issue. It is not. This is a matter of people who are always getting ripped off because of where they live getting ripped off even more.

I hope the ownership of Gourmet Glatt is reading this. There's a lot to love about your store. Particularly what you've done in the last year to improve it. Don't flush it all down the toilet by stealing from your customers.

The Vaad bailed you out this time...now don't screw it up.

Make it all good; change your protocols to make sure customers understand you're not ripping us off, and then, maybe then you can put this behind you and retain your reputation.

If not, you're being greedy, stupid, and will fail like every other greedy bastard that came before you.

7:56 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Read the article in the Jewish Star, and you will see that the shenanigan that is under review here is not the repackaging and relabeling of meat. Many of the local kosher supermarkets do that, and it seems to have been aproved by Empire, KAJ, and the other brands that were sold in that manner.

The concern here is that apparently, due to an error, the relabeled meat was relabeled incorrectly. The Vaad then said that because there is to much room for error in the system that GG was using, they will no longer allow the relabeling - but the repackaging will continue to be allowed. I think the reason that Empire might be unhappy is not becuase their meat was ever rapackaged - they seem to be comofortable with that action, and condone it from other markets. I surmise that they are not happy becuase due to the new system just implemented, all chickens will be rapackaged but NOT relabeled to reflect the brand - and Empire, who thinks their brand is something that is a selling point.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

since when is the jewish star such an authrity on what goes on in the frum community??????????

8:58 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

The Vaad bailed you out this time..

I don't know what local Mosdos and which Rabbis are involved with- the owners of Gourmet Glatt are involved in caused the Vaad to bail them out.


Presumably they were labeling the chickens because consumers wanted to know what they're purchasing. So now they're not going to label them at all and keep consumers uninformed

Don't buy there then-but Kosher products ant non Vaad stores and break the Mafia up.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

Why should anyone have faith in the Vaad? They don't disclose their finances. They have one of the most concentrated area of establishments supervised and instead of contributinm money to local mikvaot etc-they ask for contributions. CHUTZPA!!!

9:13 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

Five Towns Chicken Scandal? Not Really

Scandal is not Kosher or not Kosher foods-but the SCANDAL of how the VAAD acts.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

What a collection of morons. Did everyone here collectively decide to skip their meds today?

First, to the illiterate who wants to know why the Jewish Star is writing about the community -- in case you didn’t get the memo, the paper is under new management and is now being published by Mayer Fertig from WCBS radio and the Nachum Segal show. He is one of the most well known Orthodox Jewish journalists in the country. In the few weeks he has been running the paper, he has transformed it from a paper that was an embarrassment, if not insulting, to a paper that well represents the interest and sensibilities of the Five Towns frum community in the Five Towns. Maybe if you could read, you'd have realized that. If at all possible, might I recommend asking your babysitter to read it to you? I'm sure you'd learn a lot.

Next, mycroft, I don't know what you're smoking, but the issue with Gourmet Glatt has to do with the fact that they were mislabeling chicken, one brand when it should be another. This is an issue of seeming fraud. I won't say it is because you need to give people the benefit of the doubt. The reason the Vaad is involved is because they give the hechsher and are very responsibly taking any irregularity in how kosher food is packed and represented to kosher consumers seriously. That is their job. However, it is also their job, once they determine that there is no issue of Tarfus, to NOT put people out of business. They MUST take a strong stand to communicate that the issue is not kashrus. I personally think their solution is dopey. (Frankly, I’m not crazy about how the Jewish Star covered it because it seems a bit too charitable. But, then again, why should they sling mud at Gourmet Glatt? Who benefits from that?) But they're not corrupt for imposing it. Just a bit short sighted. Certainly no reason for any responsible adult to demand a boycott of Vaad supervised establishments. Use your brain. Really!!

Then -- mycroft again! Are you an accountant? The IRS? You need to see the Vaad's books? Who the hell are you? And don't give anyone this crap about it being a community organization. If you're so hot to trot, then use your brains and track down the Vaad’s IRS Form 990. This will tell you a thing or two. I’ll even help. Become a paying member of guidestar.com and eat your heart out. You'll find all the nonprofit financial info you can swallow. Happy now? You jerk!

Last....well, what do you know…mycroft again! Winner!!! Scandal of the Vaad? Are you practicing for a hyperbole contest? What the hell is the matter with you? Did the Vaad at some point fire you? Are you Rabbi Eisner's long neglected love child? Get over yourself. Why are you trying to make trouble? It makes no sense unless you have some agenda. And if you do, it’s as transparent as a Paris Hilton evening gown. I think you need to stay off the Internet for a few days. I think you need to take a break.

Thank you very much. You've been a great crowd! A g'mar chasima tova, good Shabbos, and an easy fast to all!

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont you love it when this blog becomes a soap opera!!!!

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

quite a story

Former President Bill Clinton Defends Handling of Usama bin Laden in Combative FNC Interview

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay well here we go

Former President Bill Clinton Defends Handling of Usama bin Laden in Combative FNC Interview

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No No No....the real issue is that the ownership of GG is not Shomer Shabbos and that profile has alwys been on the Vaad hit list from the start...ask Jay at Toddy's (who knows how to behave himself). If a kosher merchant is not observant himself how can you expect him to resist cutting corners when it comes to kashruth? Of course that doesn't answer the Monsey puzzle....

4:41 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

The reason the Vaad is involved is because they give the hechsher and "are very responsibly taking any irregularity in how kosher food is packed and represented to kosher consumers seriously. That is their job. However, it is also their job, once they determine that there is no issue of Tarfus, to NOT put people out of business. They MUST take a strong stand to communicate that the issue is not kashrus"

So if the issue is only kashrus-and nothing else would the Vaad give a hashgacha to a strip club that serves only Kosher-after the issue of a strip club is not Kashrus.

12:14 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

And don't give anyone this crap about it being a community organization

I thought the Vaad is a community organization. They ask for contributions.

12:17 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"So if the issue is only kashrus-and nothing else would the Vaad give a hashgacha to a strip club that serves only Kosher-after the issue of a strip club is not Kashrus."

"I thought the Vaad is a community organization. They ask for contributions."

And these responses make sense because.......why??

1:15 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

Still Wonderin' said...
"So if the issue is only kashrus-and nothing else would the Vaad give a hashgacha to a strip club that serves only Kosher-after the issue of a strip club is not Kashrus."

Response to your comment "The reason the Vaad is involved is because they give the hechsher and are very responsibly taking any irregularity in how kosher food is packed and represented to kosher consumers seriously. That is their job. However, it is also their job, once they determine that there is no issue of Tarfus, to NOT put people out of business."

Thus, if only responsibility is tarfus not the rest of the Torah-they should give hashgachot to strip clubs.

"I thought the Vaad is a community organization. They ask for contributions."

In response to your "And don't give anyone this crap about it being a community organization"

If they are a private organization-not claiming to represent the community fine and good. But then I don't think they woold get the market penetration that they have in the 5T's. Also I believe there are appeals on their behalf in many local schuls.

And these responses make sense because.......why??

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll say it again

Dont you love it when this blog becomes a soap opera!!!!

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthomom.

Gamar Chatimah Tova. New Tpoc after the fast please.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

mycroft, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX!!! XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX? XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX??

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX! XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX??XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX!!XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX…XXXXXXXXXXXX.

XXXXXXXXXXXXX. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

XXXXXXXX.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX?? XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX!

(in the spirit of the day or atonement, the rancorous, antagonistic, wilting comments originally written by small wonderin' in responce to mycroft have been blotted out as we hope all possible bad edicts and judgements directed toward the Jewish people will be blotted out in the coming new year. G'mar tov everyone! Have an easy fast. You, too, mycroft!)

12:01 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

who the heck is small wonderin'?

12:01 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'If a kosher merchant is not observant himself how can you expect him to resist cutting corners when it comes to kashruth? Of course that doesn't answer the Monsey puzzle....'

How about non-Jews? My wife and I recently had dinner in a kosher restaurant owned and operated by a non-Jew. My wife posed a question to the owner, and he responded, "The rabbi won't let us do that." I bit more discussion made it clear to me that the non-Jew was as careful about kashrut as any Jew I know, and actually did whatever the rabbi wanted.

'would the Vaad give a hashgacha to a strip club that serves only Kosher-after the issue of a strip club is not Kashrus '

True story: I once ate in a restaurant that had a large screen television. It was tuned to a program whose main characters were a porn film director and a DA -- and whose main plot theme was the sexual relationship between their respective children. I felt sleazy and felt very uncomfortable saying blessings there. I'm not making this up! You can guess which restaurant I plan to continue patronizing.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthomom - please shut down this comment section. AS a community Rav I can tell you that nobody commenting here knows anything about what happened and there is baseless lashon hara being spoken here. All I can say is that Rabbi Eisen is one of the most respected (deservedly) and expert proffessionals in the field of kashrus in America today. If you know anything about the ins and outs of giving a hashgacha you would be very thankful to have him. Also, Gourmet Glatt is still under the vaad and is therefore 100% reliable. The new rules are in place for good reason - and you should trust the vaad. There is accountability. Every Rav in the community is apprised of the situation and Rabbi Eisen works very faithfully for us as we represent our constituents.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK.. This is Erev YK, but with due respect, why hasn't the public been told what really occured?

As someone that is also involved in Kashrus, I have been told that the in-store Mashgiach has said that this 're-branding' has been ongoing for some time.

That being true -- it is outright theft.

That doesn't mean that in this instance the Vaad needed to remove the Hashgocha, but it should be made public, that although the product and store are 100% Kosher, the owner is not being honest with the consumer.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-As someone that is also involved in Kashrus, I have been told that the in-store Mashgiach has said that this 're-branding' has been ongoing for some time. -

Once again, it does not matter what you have been told. All that matters are the facts. The facts are that Gourmet Glatt remains under Vaad supervision which will ensure that there are no violations in Yoreh Deah or Cheoshen Mishpat. Whatever issues may have existed or may exist are being handled by the ENTIRE community's rabbonim who are amongst the most com[etent, sensitive and knowledgeable group of rabbonim in AMerica. It would be absurd to try to drag this through the court of public opinion when everything can be handled with dignity.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

" AS a community Rav I can tell you that nobody commenting here knows anything about what happened and there is baseless lashon hara being spoken here. "

So what iw wrong with the facts-is it not true that GG was rebranding chicken?
Why do you not insist that there is disclosure so that thereb be confidence in the Vaads work. Even assuming arguendo you are doing everything to be good beinei elokim-one must be haki beeinei elokim vaadam.-one must give the appearances of being clean too-
It is clear Community Rav( who you obviously have more influence in a Vaad than I have-unless I were a multimillionaire which I am not-because you know community Rav how sad things are that "bakeseph Yaaneh hakol") that the Vaad by acting in the maneer in which it has has lost the confidence of a sizeable portion of the community by its arrogant attitudes of how it runs things.

"If you know anything about the ins and outs of giving a hashgacha you would be very thankful to have him"

Plesase explain precisely to those of us who are ignorant why we should be thankful to him. BTW-do you meant to imply that the Vaad was not run well before Rabbi Eisen was here?

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SOAP OPERA

2:19 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

There is accountability. Every Rav in the community is apprised of the situation and Rabbi Eisen works very faithfully for us as we represent our constituents.

No-does Rabbi Eisen work for the Rabbis or the Community?
To the extent a Rav is an Halachik expert he must be followed. It might pay Community Rabbi to read Rabbi Michael Broyde on how a Rav should behave and that he is listened to if he is correct. Most commentators of yo tasur min hadar asher yomru lecha yamim usmaol-yachol that you should listen if they tell you al yimin shsmul and smul sheyamin talmud lomar al yamin sheyamin and smol she smol.

A Rabbinical Union doesn't neceessarily represenst the community anymore than a union of transit workers represents the community-both are experts in important knowledge.


"rabbonim who are amongst the most com[etent, sensitive and knowledgeable group of rabbonim in AMerica"

Maybe true or not-but self promotion does not make it true.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assuming that mycroft is correct and that the only function that a rav is hired for is to issue a psak halacha (which I guess would make every derasha with guidance in how to live a more complete religious and spiritual existence, and every word of comfort to somebody going through a tragedy is beyond the scope of a rav's job or field of expertise), what makes you think that theis is not a halachic decision. Should the rabbonim in the community be required to cause incredible amounts of lashon hara to be spoken and leave their psak based on their unique understanding of how kashrus works up for public opinion. You hire a rav to deal competently and sensitively with communal matters, especially those that are halachic in nature. Bitterness and undue criticism serves nobody's interest.
Mycroft, I humbly ask your mechila before yom kippur if anything I have said offends you in any way, but I am posting on a widely read blog on erev yom kippur instead of preparing my derasha right now because I think this is an important point and the cynicism is uncalled for.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mycorft, do you honestly believe that 35 rabbonim in the five towns far rockaway area can easily be bought off? Did you believe this about your rebbeim? Please stop this insanity.
And, no, I do not mean to say anything about the vaad before Rabbi Eisen was here - only that Rabbi Eisen is a true expert in kashrus and was recognized as such at the OU (I know, you think the OU are the bad guys also - but for the overwhelming majority of us who trust and respect their work this means something) and has proven his worth with his organization knowledge and proffessionalism in this community.
I invite you and encourage you to speak to your local Rav about whatever issues you may have. I know that he is a kind, sensitive, and honest person who will hopefully deal with your concerns appropriately. Please do not air your complaints on erev yom kippur in such a public forum.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

that the only function that a rav is hired for is to issue a psak halacha

not the only function hired for-but the only place where their word is binding.

"(which I guess would make every derasha with guidance in how to live a more complete religious and spiritual existence, and every word of comfort to somebody going through a tragedy is beyond the scope of a rav's job or field of expertise), "
An extremely important part of a Rav's job-but his word is not binding in these matters-they may be and are likely to be very persuasive.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

"what makes you think that theis is not a halachic decision."


An important question what is ande is not a local halachik decision-for example should Glatt be required is probably not a halachik decision-Rav Soloveitchik for example gave Hashgacha on non Glatt.His quip was always "It is Glatt but is it Kosher"?
The issue is for the consumer do they wantregular Kosher or pay the premium for Glatt. The Halachik decision is the meat that claims to be Glatt , glatt or that is regular Kosher regular Kosher.

Part of the issue frankly is probably the local Rabbonim's personal hashkafot do not in general coincide with those of the community in general. I believe that no current Orthodox Rav in the 5T's currently sends their children to either HAFTR or HALB-yet those two schools probably have the largest attendance of 5T students. If a counter example can be found my general point remains. It is not the place for a Rav to impart his personal chumrot on the general Jewish community.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

"but I am posting on a widely read blog on erev yom kippur instead of preparing my derasha right now because I think this is an important point and the cynicism is uncalled for."

I wish you a Chatimah tova-and wish you and your kehilla a great Yom Kippur.
It might help like Cross Currents has leading spokesmen answer questions politely-including those who post anonymously.Obviously, the Rav would have to post by name his response. You might be surprised how the tone would change if questions were answered.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has absolutely nothing to do with bein machmir to only have glatt or any other such "chumra" such as not sending children to a co-ed school. I don't see the relevance

4:20 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

"do you honestly believe that 35 rabbonim in the five towns far rockaway area can easily be bought off?"

Res Ipsa Loquitor. Not that all 35 Rabbonim need be bought off. But certainly, many if not all Rabbonim to close ranks will not disagree publicly-even if they are vehemently disagreeing with what the local Vaad says. They may do it/ correctly or incorrectly out of a belief of keeping peace among Rabbonim or whatever.

" Please do not air your complaints on erev yom kippur in such a public forum"

Issues should be aired publicly.

I should note in closing that I don't believe I know all 35 Rabbonim are-but I know many-and many of them are intelligent, smart, shrewd. and knowledgeable Rabbonim. Many are well worth listening to.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Reisman spoke about this in his Shabbos Shuva drasha. He said he has been advising against buying frrom GG for some years now, and none of thois was surprising. I think we can safely say that if a community Rav is speaking about this openly to a crowd of 100s, OM is perfectly within her right to post it.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

Rabbi Reisman spoke about this in his Shabbos Shuva drasha. He said he has been advising against buying frrom GG for some years now,


So Rabbi Reisman has been advising against buying in a store that is under Vaad hashgacha. Does that mean he doesn't trust the Vaad?

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. He has a list of stores and restaraunts that he considers "recommended"
They are, in his opinion, kept to a more rigorous standard. As I said, that's just his opinion, and he did NOT tell anyone present at the drasha to throw any already purchased meat out. Just that it hadn't been on his recommended list all along.

Mycroft, stop looking for a pot to stir. The Five Towns Vaad is behaiving appropriately in the GG case. There's no reason the Vaad should close the place down on the basis of these findings. They are behaving responsibly by allowing the owner to find a new buyer while still keeping the store running.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all R Reisman said was that is wasnt his most recommended store. th owner is not observant and he felt that could affect his level of interest in kashrut.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

Anonymous said...
all R Reisman said was that is wasnt his most recommended store. th owner is not observant and he felt that could affect his level of interest in kashrut.

9:51 PM
My problem is once any Rav who is part of the Vaad can have different standards for his recommendations-you don't have one standard. One follows ones one Rav rather than Vaad. If so why not 35 different hechsherim and people will accept those that they wish to. I may or may not want Rabbi R's opinion I may want Rabbi X's opinion-everything can follow their own opinion.
BTW-would a MO Rabbi publicly challenge the Vaad. I know of cases where some were unhappy with decisions but the agreement among Rabbonim was to have one decision of the Vaad.
Whether or not Rabbi Reisman is correct empirically is not my question. It is the process of whether or not a respected community Rav can publicly being part of the Vaad effectively say there are two different types of kashrut-when the Vaad has one type of kashruth.

Mycroft, stop looking for a pot to stir
Do you tell theat to Rabbi Reisman for apparently in shabbath Shuiva drasha who is "if a community Rav is speaking about this openly to a crowd of 100s" about the issue

10:12 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

" The Five Towns Vaad is behaiving appropriately in the GG case. There's no reason the Vaad should close the place down on the basis of these findings"

Was GC acting appropriately or not-if not they should withdraw Kashruth-if yes what is the relevance that owners are looking for a buyer. What is the relevance." They are behaving responsibly by allowing the owner to find a new buyer while still keeping the store running. "

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mycroft the difference between R Reisman and you is exactly THAT R Reisman gets up in his real name before hundreds of people to say his piece. he is not stirring the pot anonymously as you are, without accepting responses or disagreement as it comes. also, we know he is a talmid chochom so his opinion is relevant as far more that pot-stirring. you might be but we will never have any way to know that. as far as we know about you, thats all you are doing here. but ive been reading your comments on the lawrence school affairs for a while and i dont expect anything difernent from you anyway.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

difference between R Reisman and you is exactly THAT R Reisman gets up in his real name before hundreds of people to say his piece

I am not differentiating between different places under a hashgacha that I am part of the Vaad of.

BTW-unlike anonymous-people know what my views are on different matters and various anonymous are capable of attacking me. There are people who I respect who know who I am and have told me privately when they disagree with me. They can figure out who I am because I am for better or worse consistent in my beliefs while blogging and talking to people.


" without accepting responses or disagreement as it comes."
I respond to criticism of my beliefs-if one believes I am not worth listening to-don't bother responding. I believe the power of ideas is what counts. For better or worse most people in the Orth blogosphere go by pseudonyms. Orthomom is a good example-to the best of my knowledge I don't know here. BTW someone who knows both me and her told me that he does not think we know each other-but Orthomom and I have disagreed quite often on her blog and we have agreed at other times. I don't believe I have ever accused her of "stirring up the pot"-I might disagree with her positions on issues but she expresses them cogently and I disagree with positions not with the person. In this matter too-disagreeing wth what Rabbi Reisman said in no way means that I don't think highly of him and no way reflects on any opinion that I have on a leading Rabbi in the community.
Nevertheless there are basic issues that come to the fore based on what apparently happened in GG.
Assuming anonymous knows what he is talking about there is some fire behind the smoke. The cases of the fire need to be investighated and discussed openly by people living inthe 5T's. Local Kashrut is not and should not be a club. It is the concern of all of us. Concern does not only equal paying salaries-concern equals knowing what standards are used and what policies are made. They should be discussed in the community. Why doesn't the Vaad start a blog where they can put out their opinions and respond to questions openly for the community as a whole to know.

11:02 PM  
Anonymous talmid said...

Mycroft, I am curious - do you think the vaad's decisions should be put to a popular vote of the Orthodox Jews in the community? How many of them know the first thing about kashrus? How would we determine who is orthodox enough?
Does the fact that the rabbis of the community dont send their kids to HALB and HAFTR have any relevance to this discussion? Weren't these rabbis hired by their congregations who apparently either didn't see a major hashkafic difference betweeen themselves and the rabbi or didn't care if there is one because they trust their rabbi to represent their interests.
I am not going to get involved with your beef with Rabbi Reisman, but your beef with the vaad seems to be a real stretch. Do you know of any well run and reliable kashrus organization that starts a public discussion every time an issue comes up with one of the stores?
In my opinion the overwhelming majority of the people in this neighborhood trust their rabbis to handle these issues in the proper manner, and understand that they are simply not equipped to deal with them. I don't know you, but based on your ideas I would guess that you are a "frustrated rabbi" who probably got semicha from YU many years ago but never worked in klei kodesh and now hold yourself to be on par or above every rabbi in the community. Perhaps the 35 rabbis involved (and maybe Rabbi Reisman skipped this meeting) are really doing what is best for the community that they represent, and you are not interested in the greater good as much as getting a scoop or stirring the pot?

11:25 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"difference between R Reisman and you is exactly THAT R Reisman gets up in his real name before hundreds of people to say his piece"

mycroft, for the sake of your family and all subsequent generations, don't follow your own advice. After the idiocy you are sharing here, I strongly recommend you keep your name anonymous.

11:33 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

This has absolutely nothing to do with bein machmir to only have glatt or any other such "chumra" such as not sending children to a co-ed school.

If the Rav believes it is wrong to send ones child to a coed school let then say so and on what basis. See Seth Farber on Maimonides and Coed schools and Rav Soloveitchik. Note by JHS neither school has mixed classes.
Note again Rav Soloveitchik personal hashgacha on non Glatt meat. If the Rav believes Rav Soloveitchik was wrong let him say so. Otherwise once something is allowed by a major gadol one is being machmir when one won't follow him. But that is mere semantics.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous talmid said...

mycroft - what are you talkin about?
Every major talmid of the Rav has said that co-ed schools are a real b'dieved and the Rav only did it in Boston because there was no other option (sha'as hadchak k'dieved dami). I have heard this from Rav Shcachter shlit"a, Rav Willig shlit"a and others. The only people who assume it was a lechatchila are those who grew up in Boston. Obviously, it is poor chinuch to teach kids that their school is a b'dieved. Furthermore, I would like for you or anybody else to present a single posek who ever published a teshuva or even spoke on record about coeducation being preferred or even permissible lechatchila. There is a wealth of literature to the contrary (see Rav Moshe). But this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with gourmet glatt other than the fact that you like to criticize on both topics.
Furthermore, I think you may be getting confused by the name of the store. Just because it is called "gourmet glatt" does not mean that the issue has anything to do with being makpid about glatt. Again the only connection between the two issues is that you enjoy complaining about both of them.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

I am not going to get involved with your beef with Rabbi Reisman,

I have no "beef" with Rabbi Reisman. I have a disagreement with people who say a Rav part of A Vaad can recommend against eating in stores that receive that Vaads hechsher. If Rabbi Reisman states that I have a disagreement with him on this matter-if not then he has been misquoted.


but your beef with the vaad seems to be a real stretch. Do you know of any well run and reliable kashrus organization that starts a public discussion every time an issue comes up with one of the stores?

No but this issue is one of policy-among others-is kashruth certification only for kashruth? If so, state so and don't be concerned what else goes on in the restaurant-eg entertainment-dancing in Tisha Bav etc. If that is assur-and certainly drabbanan isn't a hypothetical fraud on a purchaser assur midoraisa-not kashruth but assur.
I am responding to hypothetical facts-I have not attacked any individual in this case. The only disagreement apparently with any individual is what Rabbi Reisman is quoted as saying and that is only if he is part of 35 Rabbi Vaad-if not I have no complaints.

" you are not interested in the greater good as much as getting a scoop or stirring the pot"

Those who check other Jewish blog spots can see that the vast majority of my blogging does not involve issues of kashrut. I personally believe a la Chafeitz Chaim we should spend more effort on what comes out of our mouths than in it-and thus unless attacked will not further comment on this issue on this case. Of course, that is a tnai if not attacked.

12:24 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

talmid said...
mycroft - what are you talkin about?
Every major talmid of the Rav has said that co-ed schools are a real b'dieved and the Rav only did it in Boston because there was no other option (sha'as hadchak k'dieved dami). I have heard this from Rav Shcachter shlit"a, Rav Willig shlit"a and others. The only people who assume it was a lechatchila are those who grew up in Boston. Obviously, it is poor chinuch to teach kids that their school is a b'dieved. Furthermore, I would like for you or anybody else to present a single posek who ever published a teshuva or even spoke on record about coeducation being preferred or even permissible lechatchila. There is a wealth of literature to the contrary (see Rav Moshe)
.

I am limiting my response to the non kashrut matters per my 1224 post.
I have posted elsewhere and had discussions where people can disagree on the issue. Suffice it to say what the Rav did is more important than comments he made in shiur.Maaseh rav beats everything. If Maimonides had parralel classes on ability when thenhad enough for both a boys and girls class it speaks volumes. I suggest you read Seth Farbers book on Maimonides,

To some extent I believe people who grew up in Boston and/or spent time in Boston are probably more reliable as to what the Rav practiced than learning chakirot in shiur-but we obviously differ. Both Rabbonim you mentioned are wonderful RY-but there can be different impressions of facts .I f you haven't as of yet please read Prof. Kaplan on Revisionism on the Rav.
I don't think Orthomom's blog is the place for this discussion-but if you read the Jewish blogosphere you will find these discussions often.

12:37 AM  
Blogger Shmilda said...

OM: You may inform your relative that the only-eat-KAJ mentality died out in Washington Heights with the demise of Adas poultry.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite the meeting, remember- not all 35 rabbis (whose count is that?) attended the meeting.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

see now the truth comes out. If the statements are true then the merger of far rockaway and 5 towns vaad was a sham, and the rabbi(s) who were black listing 5towns vaad stores before the merger are still doing so. So what did they acomplish??

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the meeting. there were roughly 35 rabbis there, but not everybody.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous NoCookies4Me said...

In response to those who questioned whether the Vaad is a "just" a kashrus certifying agency.

ChoSen was not allowed to serve fortune cookies last week becuase the Vaad wouldn't let them put them out during Aseret Y'Mai Teshuva.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure that's true? Maybe pas akum? Can't think of any other sensible reason. Not that they revoked the dunkin donuts hashgacha for the week.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fortune cookies are baked. donuts are fried

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ChoSen was not allowed to serve fortune cookies last week becuase the Vaad wouldn't let them put them out during Aseret Y'Mai Teshuva.


BUT DID THEY HAVE MIXED DANCING??

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Dunkin Donuts-- are their bagels boiled and then baked, like real bagels?

A question: Is CY milk used in all drinks at the 2 DDs under Vaad supervision, or only upon request? What about cream, half & half and whipped cream-- I know that the donuts/buns/crullers aren't CY.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point of this discussion has so totally waivered off the original topic

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"mycroft said...
I have no "beef" with Rabbi Reisman. I have a disagreement with people who say a Rav part of A Vaad can recommend against eating in stores that receive that Vaads hechsher. If Rabbi Reisman states that I have a disagreement with him on this matter-if not then he has been misquoted.
"

The question you are asking is the wrong one. It doesn;t matter whether R Reisman said those things abi\out the Vaad if he isn;t on it. Which he isn't. He is not part of the Vaad therefore the whole discussion is moot.

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My recall is that ARK is Rabbi Reisman and that after the "merger" of FR and 5towns Vaad, ARk no longer gives hasgacha locally. Is that correct?

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the issues are with GG? Personally, I'm inclined not to shop there just because there may be issues, and there are plenty of other choices (better safe than sorry), but it would be nice to have a better understanding of what types of problems have arisen. At this point, I'm left with the sense that the management has been less responsive to the vaad than other stores, and/or has been less diligent in its repackaging and oversight, than other stores.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regardles of the particular issues with GG, there is no reason not to shop there. The vaad kept the certification (with a few new restrictions they put into place) and it is therefore completely reliable. If it weren't the community rabbonim would never have kept the certification.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I am sensitive to the interests of the owners, I would have to admit that a simple cost/value analysis of this situation leads me to shop elsewhere. As unfortunate as this may be for the owners, even I were to assume that there was no intentional violation of any kashrus, legal or ethical standards, the circumstances that were reported in the press (and were not disputed) indicate a lack of oversight on some level by the ownership or management. At the same time, it probably indicates a lack of oversight by the vaad, but ultimately, the needs of a kosher consumer are best served by a "dream team" combination of a diligent and attentive vaad and a diligent and attentive manager/owner. Of course, for all we know, there are more flagrant abuses going on at other similar establishments, but as long as there is no evidence of any failure in oversight at other establishments, why would anyone reason (as Anon 4:21 does) that "there is no reason not to shop there"?

Of course, everyone is entitled to, and should, make their own personal assessment, but this is mine and I think it's reasonable.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got back from GG. Much lighter then usual crowd.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not saying that you are being unreasonable for not shopping on the grounds that where there is smoke there may be fire, I am just saying that with the new restrictions the vaad has put in place it would be virtually impossible for GG to have any problems with kashrus.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In that case, you raise an interesting question -

If the vaad has imposed stricter guidelines on GG (and it is now "virtually impossible for GG to have any problems with kashrus"), one may reason that is more reliable than its competitors.

Or, one might reason that if it was necessary for the vaad to impose stricter guidelines on GG, that's an indication that one should be skeptical of the oversight there even with the stricter guidelines.

So I think it's reasonable to suggest either that it's a more reliable choice or a less reliable choice (depending on which way you see things), but there's no reason to say it's on equal footing with the other stores.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHY SHOULD A VAAD HAVE A SLIDING SCALE OF RESPONSIBILITY. IF THAT IS HOW IT WORKS THEN IT IS NOT A VAAD.

Brachs, Supersol, GG, etc should all be treated the same and have the same level of requirements. If that means that Brachs and Supersol ahve to change too so be it.

The vaad is not in the business of making one store "more kosher" then another. If it does then it is not a vaad, it is the Taliban. A Vaad should have 1 standard for all. All stores under the Vaad are equal or they dont get the hasgacha. As long as they have the hasgach they are reliable. If they cant meet the requirements let them sell, close or sek another hasgacha

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Brooklyn world of hechsheirim, it seems that kashrus agencies have no qualms about pulling their hechsher when something goes wrong, and when you see a store changing hechshering frequently, it's a fair indication that something stinks. Has anyone seen the 5T vaad doing this? Have there been any occassions in the 5T where the hechsher on a restaurant or store has suddenly changed? If not, that may indicate that the vaad runs its business in an overly accomodating fashion.

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hasgacha is a business for you, the clueless. Rabbi Reisman gets paid directly from the stores (Brach's, Supersol, etc) for his extra supervision. That is OK with me but for him to stand on a pedistal without clearly disclosing his negius, is a little outrageous. Make money but just let everyone know where you are coming from. From what I read in the above comments, I doubt if any of you would know Chelev if it hit you or how ot trever or do nikker. Most if not all of those 35 rabbis don't not know either. You think there ar such big poskim in our community, sadly no. Writing a book on bugs in vegetables is not the same as knowing the diffrence between the Rema and Bais Yosef and how ot even tell by looking at the lungs to start with. Give me a break. Rabbi Eisen was the Rabbi incharge of Kosher Spot in Brooklyn and he was the Rabbi many years ago when they tried to have a Kosher Nathans in Brooklyn. Both were clsoed down because of treif mammish not because someone mislabled a chicken. rabbi Eisen did not bring in treif the owners. I picked up a chicken in Brach which was labled chuck roast and it cost 8,99 a pound. Where is rabbi Eisen and the Vaad? I think they are out for GG and I would like ot know why.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is one standard - if the vaad feels that the controls in place are sufficient to avoid any mishaps (be they in Choshen Mishpat or Yoreh Deah) they can give a hashgacha. If they see that the controls are not good enough in one place, they must tighten them. The idea that every store should have the same rules is absurd. Each store is unique and each must be dealt with to give a hashgacha to that particular store. The vaad has handled this correctly.
I believe Jinil is an example of a store that lost the vaad hashgacha. Also, in the current market, it would probably be a death blow for a store in the 5T to lose the vaad hashgacha. It isn't like Brooklyn where other hechsherim are lined up to take your place.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Also, in the current market, it would probably be a death blow for a store in the 5T to lose the vaad hashgacha. It isn't like Brooklyn where other hechsherim are lined up to take your place."

This is a serious problem, if this is true. In reality, there are hechsherim lining anywhere and everywhere to take over any business. If you don't believe this, you can attend the kosher food show and see how many of them try to steal business away from the others.

The vaad understands that they have the monopoly in the area, and they may also be sensitive to the fact that taking away their hechsher would be a big blow to any store owner. However, without that threat, it's difficult to imagine standards being as good as they are elsewhere where store owners always have this threat looming over them.

Admittedly, I don't know much about how the vaad operates, but my common sense tells me that their modus operandi of not pulling their hechsher (even to set an example) stems from a desire (1) not to cause any financial harm to any of their supervised establishments or their owners and (2) not to lose any $ business for the vaad (and possibly (3) not to allow outside kashrus agencies an opportunity to penetrate the market).

And if these are the vaad's priorities, we're in big trouble. If there is nothing else to be learned from the Monsey incident, it has become clear that kashrus agencies must maintain and unflinching and relentless dedication to the ideals of kashrus, cut no slack for store owners and take no shortcuts.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hasgacha is a business for you, the clueless. Rabbi Reisman gets paid directly from the stores (Brach's, Supersol, etc) for his extra supervision. That is OK with me but for him to stand on a pedistal without clearly disclosing his negius, is a little outrageous"
Who ever told you that Rabbi Reisman gets paid?
Do you know that for a fact?
The fact is, Rabbi Reisman IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE VAAD.
There is no double standard here. He simply provides a service to HIS CONGREGATION, by advising them whether or not he feels an establishment is doing all they can to keep to certain Kashrus standards or not. Many of his mispallelim will eat in Vaad places, WITH OR WITHOUT HIS OK. He makes recomendations, not rules. Ask the owners of the establishements if their business increased or not when R' Reisman issued his recomendations. Every one will tell his business INCREASED. Ask Wok Tov, Chosen Island, Hapina.
So if you were a business owner, and had the opportunity to increase your business by a large percentage, just by allowing a Rav to visit your store and make sure you are using the "correct" ingredients, wouldn't you welcome him?
What if someone advised you to change an ingredient in a dish that would increase your business, wouldn't you do it. What's the difference if the ingredient is SPIRITUAL or PHYSICAL?

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if you were a business owner, and had the opportunity to increase your business by a large percentage, just by allowing a Rav to visit your store and make sure you are using the "correct" ingredients, wouldn't you welcome him?


DOES THIS MEAN THAT IF RABBI R MAKES A RECOMENDATION FOR CHANGE THAT THE VALIDITY AND/OR QUALITY OF THE VAAD HASGACHA IS NOW IN QUESTION??

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely not, R' Reisman's recomendations are 'above and beyond' the Vaad's. If the Vaad says (EXAMPLE ONLY) 'use grade B potatoes', and the store owner decides to use grade A, did he do anything wrong? It is his perogative to use better ingredients. That does not change the validity or quality of the Vaad's hashgacha

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Rabbi R is saying even though the Vaad is satisfied I am not and unless you do the following I am going to black list you. But if people want, they can come to Brooklyn and buy from an ARK supervised store

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he doesnt black list anyone. i daven in his kehilla yet i do not eat exclusively from the recommended list. so how are his recommendations creating a blacklist if not even his kehilla is uniform in sticking to it?

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just because u don't listen to him does not mean that his recomendation not to patrinize an establishment is not a black list.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are wrong. its called his "recommended list" and it only includes the places he DOES recommend eating in.
theres a big difference between a positive and a negative.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are wrong. its called his "recommended list" and it only includes the places he DOES recommend eating in.
theres a big difference between a positive and a negative.

So by inference if a store is not recommended, one should not patronize. I saw a comment earlier in this thread that any store that gets his "approval" can expect an increase in business, so obviously his word, or silence is a strong recomendation (even if u don't accept it yourself).

Don"t get me wrong, I am against any Taliban, (Vaad sponsored or otherwise).

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard that a most prominent MO rabbi in the area also does not patronize GG>

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RABBI EISEN WAS IN CHARGE OF KASHRUTH UNDER KEHILLA IN WHICH HE FORMED @ KOSHER SPOT AND THE OTHER RESTAURANT OWNED BY THEM. EVEN THOUGH HE KNEW FOR SIX MONTHS OF TREIF MEAT HE NEVER DISCLOSED IT . HE ONLY THOUGHT OF HIS REPUTATION AT STATE.IN ADDITION THE DEAR RABBI CHAIT FORMER RAV OF 5TWONS WAS DISCRACED AND PUSHED OUT OF HIS JOB BY RABBI EISEN-ASK YOUR RABBI YOURSELF -THEY ALL FEEL TERRIBLE EXCEPT FOR REISMAN-EISENS CROONY.EISEN IS TRYING TO EARN HIS CREDITS AGAIN IN DESTROYING GOURMET GLATT FOR NO REASON-ONE KNOTCH ON HIS BELT TO BRAG ABOUT -WHOSE NEXT? SUPPORT GOURMET GLATT

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The UPPERCASE COMMENTER above obviously has a horse in this race and is clearly not just nobly stepping up to defend GG. Why would Rabbi Eisen want to be in the middle of this mess if there wasn't an issue? (Let me guess, Rabbi Eisen is Brach's cousin's uncle, and he's trying to squeeze GG out of the market for Brach's, or maybe Rabbi Eisen is secretly taking extra money from Supersol to squeeze out their competition)

While there's no shortage issues with the kashrus supervision industry, these assertions about Rabbi Eisen going after GG for no reason are utter stupidity. Anyone who has been around here long enough should only be critical of the vaad because they've never forced any stores to find another hechsher after catching them with something.

1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Reisman and Rabbi Eisen, you both should be ashamed of yourself. Rabbi Eisen you were the Rabbi in charge in Brooklyn for Kosher Spot where mammish treif was found after 6 months under your watchful eye.Gourmet Glatt and others that have provided your community with a superior level of fresh products and fair pricing for years doesn't deserve what you are attempting.For the non informed readers please call Rabbi Eisen and ask him personally about his involvment with Nathan's* Famous Hot Dogs in Brooklyn that was selling Treif under his nose. Rabbi Eisen futhermore is most educated when he must poskim a question on vegetables, but when it comes to meats please ask if he knows Chelev or if a piece of meat is deveined promperly. It is time for the Five Towns to wake up. The Vaad is nothing more than a Mafia, and uses its influence unchecked, though in prior posts mentioned the 35 Rabbonim who do not know anything about Kashruth other than what Rabbi Eisen tells them, SHAME ON THEM!!!.Perhaps a better approach would be to invite a Rav Dovid Feinstein, Schlita and a group of knowledge laden Rabbonim independently seek the facts and not depend on Rabbi Eisen who's claim to broadway is "Bugs". I am personally appalled by the "Lashon Hora" being spoken against GG. Did anyone check with the Department of Consumer Affairs, Weights and Measures, US Dept of Agriculture and Markets, I did and they have a stellar record. Sometime Stinks here!! perhaps we need to look at the leadership of this Mafia and who would benefit to see GG erased from the the landscape of the Five Towns.

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gourmet Glatt and others that have provided your community with a superior level of fresh products and fair pricing for years doesn't deserve what you are attempting.

What does this have to do with kashrus or mislabeling chicken at the expense of customers?

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spoke to the mashgiach @ gg and he told me it was not a mistake of taking more money for one chicken company over another. He even went so far as to say that sometimes they give more expensive substitutes when they run out of stock of a advertised special.To me that good business ethics.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Vaad maintained ONE standard for all community stores this entire Blog would be empty. Call your Rabbi and insist on a Vaad Handbook, outlining in Black and White what and how a Vaad store is to function. With saying the above, it is also to note,the Vaad operates as a "so call secret organization", except when they like to leak information to the public and then look confused? My answer, clean house, like we do in government every so many years to avoid the terrrible power of domination and control, sounds like a Mafia, doesn't it??? I pay an assestment fee to support the Vaad, so shouldn't the community and the business owners who pay ridicous fees have a right to be voted on and off as the Rabbi's themselves and including changing the Rabbi Eisen every 4 - 8 years. If it's good enough for the United States of America, and we are suppose to respect the law of the land so why are we putting our "blind trust" in leaving these people in power unchecked. Time to clean house and re organize a real Kashrus division, not a kangeroo mock one. Would like to hear some feedback, Thank you for your time and a good Yom Tov

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read several comments here and can not believe the stupidity being voiced by most of you.Jew's are their own worst enemies as the saying goes.Imagine if this was a site with postings from a religion other than yours,you would say "what a bunch of trash" badmouthing a group of business peple who have been serving the jewish community and have been trusted for dozens of years.Mistakes do happen in business, unfortunately SLIGHT DECEPTION is COMMON in many businesses(farm raised salmon sold as wild-91 octane gas sold as 93-measuring of carpet-auto repair-insurance premiums)etc. Are you all just vultures.You are a bunch of heartless people.This family took an oath and has an obligation to sell kosher foods with proper supervision and that is what they have done in the past and continue to do every single day.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw someone asked if Rabbi R is paid for his recommended. Does anyone know?

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi R hasgacha ARC has for his chief mashgiach Rabbi Ullman who was in charge of watching the Monsey meat store with the problem. I thought those who live in glass houses should not throw rocks.

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the head of the local Vaad who under his watch Nathan's in Brooklyn & Kosher Stop were both found to be serving treif. Thats the blind leading the blind.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just submitted a letter to the editor of The Jewish Week in response to the article by Stewart Ain on the Vaad and Gourmet Glatt. I am outraged at the action of the Vaad and hope that the entire 5T Jewish community will support GG as I feel they are the victim of a devious plot. I lived in the Boston community in the 60's and saw this happen to the only kosher caterer who was forced out of business by the Vaad of Boston. Don't let it happen again!! Appeal to the local Rabbis to intervene and mediate.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you. The VAAD is acting like the Mafia, I have lost my respect for the local Rabbies. It is so sad to hear, for the first time people speaking against our beloved Rabbie. The VAAD has done more damage then they know! They need to stop and listen to the people talking and understand what they have done.
West Hempstead

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one standern is not true. I was working for a place under the O. U. the VAAD came in and demanded that we get the VAAD! One was not good enough for them. We are forced to spend the extra money for no reason. Don't believe what they are saying!!!!
I agree I too have lost my respect!

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should all boycot places under the VAAD! Lets all shop in queens or better yet shop in Waldbaums!

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think the VAAD is aware of the problems and the rift that this has caused in the community?

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in a conservative home, maybe I should go back....
this is making me sick!

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who knows Brach's history knows that they have head many many issue's, so i would not put it past them if they were behind this. If there were real reasons the VaaD would not be so mysterious!

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