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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Five Towns Chicken Scandal Update

The Jewish Star files another dispatch on the Five Towns chicken controversy I blogged about here and here. Let me begin by saying that the Jewish Star's new editor continues to impress me with his thorough reporting and his clear insistence in following a story - no matter where it might take him, and who in the "establishment" it might annoy. We have a woeful dearth of responsible yet truthful and hard-hitting reporting on issues that pertain to the Orthodox community, so any steps in that direction are welcomed.

On to this week's story. This week's installment of the Five Towns Chicken Saga asks yet more questions that it answers. We learn from the article that Mark Bolender, the owner of Gourmet Glatt, is demanding a retraction from the Empire Kosher Poultry company for their statement in last week's Jewish Star article that some vendors mislabel their chicken deliberately to take advantage of the higher prices Empire's quality and reputation demand. He also disputes the Vaad's claim of last week that the mislabeled chicken that started the whole kerfuffle was actually problematic. The problem is, I can;t figure out what he's claiming as his defense. First, Mr. Bolender claims that the chicken was actually an Empire chicken after all:
The owners of Gourmet Glatt Emporium said they now believe that a one-and-a-half-pound Cornish hen their store was accused of mislabeling may have been an Empire bird after all, deep-frozen months ago, before Empire stopped producing birds of that weight.
...Bolender acknowledged that Empire no longer sold one-and-a-half pound birds. He said he believed the chicken that was the subject of a consumer complaint to Empire and was later found to have been mislabeled actually was made by Empire, and frozen.
"It's possible these hens were from older shipments. I didn't agree with their fundamental findings," Bolender said, referring to the Vaad Hakashrus of the Five Towns and Rockaway.
Okay. So Mr. Bolender seems to claim to have information that would seem to cause him to believe that the chicken that he sold was, in actuality, an Empire chicken, sold by his store after being frozen for over nine months. Fine. That's an intriguing, and seemingly plausible, line of defense. My only real questions with that line of defense are: (a)How does that theory jibe with the fact that last week, a spokesman for Empire was quoted as saying that the chicken was cut in a way that the Empire machines are not capable of producing, and (b)Why did it take Mr. Bolender two weeks (and two extremely damaging news cycles) to come up with this defense?

But that's not all that bothers me. Take a look at the next statement Mr. Bolender makes to the Jewish Star:
Bolender objected to the fact that he had never been offered the opportunity to confront the person who made the original complaint, and had not seen any proof, such as a register receipt, that the chicken was actually purchased in his store.
"I would be ready at any time to face my accuser," he said, "to see my receipt, my label and my alleged product, when it could have been from another store."
So, wait. Mr. Bolender first claims to have an idea of how the type of chicken that Empire says it no longer sells got sold from his store - and then he raises the question of whether it was actually bought at his store? Which is it?

But wait, there's more.

Please remember that in last week's article, Gourmet Glatt was reported to have been caught in two instances of mislabeling of chickens. So Mr. Bolender addresses the other, evidently indisputable case of mislabeling by his store, which was caught by the Vaad during a surprise inspection:
He said the other chicken believed to have been mislabeled was stored in his freezer at home, following its discovery by Rabbi Eisen.
Twenty-five thousand different packages came out of the Gourment Glatt meat room over the holiday season. Bolender said he strives for 100 percent accuracy, but acknowledged that mistakes will happen.
"We're human," he said.
Um, so, again? Which is it? Was the chicken in actuality a frozen Empire chicken, was it actually a chicken sold at another store, or was it a human error that could happen to anyone? I have no judgement as to whether any of the defenses presented by Mr. Bolender are true, but I do know that the triple lines of defense are confusing and seem contradictory. If I were him, I would try to pick a story and stick to it.

Moving on to another big question raised by Mr. Bolender's defense - but not, in this case, a Kashrut question. The frozen and thawed chicken claim:
Deep-freezing meat and poultry is a common industry practice, done to avoid supply interruptions, Bolender explained. Small notices in his meat and poultry cases alert customers that while most of what the store sells is fresh, some chickens and certain cuts of meat have been frozen to 15 degrees below zero, then carefully thawed and offered for sale at times of great demand. He said that when done properly, such freezing had no impact on taste.
First, on a note specific to Gourmet Glatt. I'm not sure how "small" the "small signs" that are claimed to have always been posted in Gourmet Glatt's refrigerator cases notifying customers that meat may have been frozen and thawed are, but they must be small enough to have been missed time and again by my naked eye in the close to a decade that I have been steadily purchasing meat at Gourmet Glatt. I mean, I frequently buy meat and immediately refreeze it without cooking it first. According to the following information from the USDA:
Q. May I refreeze the food in the freezer if it thawed or partially thawed?
A. Yes, the food may be safely refrozen if the food still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below.
Well, let's consider how that figures into the following scenario. I purchase chicken at Gourmet Glatt (or, if Mr. Bolender's claim that the practice freezing and thawing is an industry-wide practice is true, any other kosher market). Said chicken has been deep-frozen and thawed by the vendor. Then I put chicken in my car and do another errand or two. By the time I get home, the chicken is still quite cold when I refreeze it for later use - but has it been exactly below 40 degrees at all times, as recommended by the USDA's guidelines? No clue. But I also had no clue that it was required to be kept below that temperature, due to its potential frozen/thawed status. Is this claimed "industry-wide" practice as outlined by Mr. Bolender a food safety issue? Anyone have a clue?

Moving right along. Another issue that I have is this anonymous quote, in reference to Mr. Bolender's protestations of innocence:
A person knowledgeable of the history of the relationship between Gourmet Glatt and the Vaad Hakashrus told The Jewish Star, "He's missing the point, as usual." The person was granted anonymity so as not to give the impression of public disagreementwith the Vaad's handling of the situation. "It's less about the bird than the word. Whenever Bolender is confronted it's always duck and dodge." He said the store's history with the Vaad was marked with mistrust as a result of different episodes over the years. He declined to go into detail but said, "hashgacha is there to catch mistakes, but it assumes a basic amount of trust" which, he said, does not exist.
I just don't like the whole quote. Anyone who reads my blog knows how I feel about anonymous critics who take potshots at individuals in the news - which unfortunately seems to be a far too common occurence. I think it stinks. It's one thing if an anonymous source supplies certain facts that are essential to a story but insists on anonymity for personal or professional reasons. But when a source, who may or may not have a personal vendetta or axe to grind, levels criticism or poorly characterizes a subject in a newspaper article and then hides behind a veil of anonimity, I just hate it. If the source feels the urge come on to anonymously level criticism at someone/something, let him do what I did. Start a blog. Anonymous bloggers give up a large chunk of credibility by remaining anonymous - and that is something I am fully aware of. But we look to news for a far different service - facts. Mr. Bolender may or may not have been wronged here by the Vaad - I have no idea, and am in no place to judge. We can just hope the facts will eventually come out. I will say , however, that he has clearly been done a disservice at the hands of the anonymous source who brings nothing but innuendo and supposition to the conversation.

In addition, the anonymous source's credibility is further undermined by the rest of his quote:
Given the lack of trust, why does the Vaad continue to provide its hashgacha to the store?
"Because they trust the supervision," explained The Jewish Star’s source.
Huh? Which is it? First he says there are trust issues. Then he says that the Vaad does trust the supervision that Gourmet Glatt is hiring? What in the world is our anonymous source trying to say? Unclear.

All in all, the Five Towns Chicken Scandal (That Wasn't?) just seems to get murkier and murkier as the he said/she said continues. Doesn't the Kosher consumer deserve better than this?

142 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

perhaps rabbi eisen should have addressed this issue when he held the platform for 2 hours this week at the bustin shul in flatbush, but naturally, he was too busy pointing out other's failures.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

my question is....has the jewish press yet decided what they want to report, who their source is, if the source is credible, and what actions the consumer shoud take about an unconfirmed, unverified, unidentified, and unspecified kashrush violation?

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats funny. rabbi eisen gave a shiur on kashrus.

isnt he full of controversy?

that issue last year in flatbush, now gourmet glatt, who nows were else in the five towns.

thats the last person i want giving me a shiur on kashrus.

4:13 AM  
Blogger kosher consumer said...

The last post is right on the money.

7:17 AM  
Blogger kosher consumer said...

Where's the beef? Until I see the customer with the alledged "chicken" it may have been a potato -I believe this whole thing stinks from above!

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how the same commenters come to complain about the rabbis in charge of kashrus again and again. this has nothing to do with that. this is about GG and their kashrus problems.

and to the person who says they have not seen the alleged chicken, there were 2 mislabeled chickens, and the owner admits that himself. you can say whatever you want about the first one, but the second one existed.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kosher consumer, i love how you dont answer any of the points in om's blog above. your constant vaad bashing is getting highly suspicious.

7:30 AM  
Blogger kosher consumer said...

ANON above your comments would be counted if you would release your name.I am not Vaad bashing but as a attorney I dont see any evidence to date.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"kosher consumer said...

ANON above your comments would be counted if you would release your name.I am not Vaad bashing but as a attorney I dont see any evidence to date. "

I'm sorry, but is "kosher" your first name and "consumer" your last or vice versa?

8:30 AM  
Anonymous talmid said...

I agree that giving anonymous quotes in the newspaper is not a classy thing to do when you are bashing somebody else. However, in this case, the anonymous quote is 100% accurate. If instead of speculating on a blog you would go over to your local Rav who has been involved in the vaad for many years and ask him about the accuracy of that quote, you will find that it is right on the mark.
I do not think there is a shred of credibility to any of the comments made on this blog as they are full of ridiculous potshots and made up facts. Ask your local rabbi for their opinion and when they give a pareve answer like "so long as the vaad certifies the store there is nothing wrong with buying there" push them a little further by asking if the quote in teh paper was accurate.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Ear to the Sidewalk... said...

Mr. Kosher COnsumer-

Why do you contiue to assume that his whole situation was made-up?

You seem to not believe that this 'customer' exists.

How about calling Empire and asking them? This entie episdoe started with them, why lay the blame at R' Eisen's feet?

I am not defending him, or the Vaad, but why not ask questions to the people with the answers?

12:25 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"kosher consumer said...
The last post is right on the money.

7:17 AM

kosher consumer said...
Where's the beef? Until I see the customer with the alledged "chicken" it may have been a potato -I believe this whole thing stinks from above!"


Kosher consumer, the content of your comments are indicative of a bias based on interests, not factual evidence. Talk about stuff that stinks...

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be funny that in the end no chicken was found?

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In today's Jewish Star, GG himself admits that there was at least one 'mislabled' chicken, found by Rabbi Eisen and the he is keeping it in a freezer for safe keeping.

So much for:

"Wouldn't it be funny that in the end no chicken was found? "

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Eisen found was a chicken labeled KAJ OR VINELAND on the store sticker and inside the plumbas said Marvid. All of these chickens are priced the same for sale.The only problem would be if a customer was looking only for Bruers(kaj) and recieved
Marvid instead for hasgacha reasons only. I really believe there was a mistake but intent to defraud customers I say no -so why where the plumbas left on?

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OM, yasher koach on the way you are reserving judgement here. I only wish your commenters were as responsible.

8:23 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

OK, round two!!!

Mr. Bolender responded to the Jewish Star in defense of the their initial article. He came to the conclusion that it is possible that a "frozen" chicken was sold but never said it was sold from his store. He came to the conclusion that it was possible that a chicken was from a frozen shipment after he was sent a shipment of chickens from Empire that were labeled "May 2005". He also noted that the bags of chicken only had plumbas on the ties of the bags and the individual pieces of chickens inside the bags did not have plumbas. Rabbi or Mr. Hess (whichever way you prefer to refer to him) was present at the time of the delivery and he immediately called Rabbi Eisen to inform him of this shipment which he refused and sent back to Empire. But since he recieved such an "old outdated" shipment from the distributer, he said it was possible that the chicken in question might have been from an old frozen shipment when the process and/or the size was different. He explained all this to me in answer to my inquiry.

If you want to know if the freezing and defrosting of meats and poultry is common practice in the supermarket business, call other stores to find out. You can easily call Landau's in Boro Park or even Brach's and Supersol or call Rubashkin in Boro Park and find out if this is a legitimate answer.

Regarding the infamous chicken - it is not in Mr. Bolender's freezer, it is allegedly in Rabbi Eisen's freezer which is also at the moment a conflict of interest under the circumstances. It should be produced along with the receipt and the person who brought it to the attention of the VAAD should come forward. Understand this and understand this very well. GG has video cameras, and the longer Rabbi Eisen holds back this information, the harder it will be to find the "tape" of that day's sales. In other words, if Mr. Bolender can run all the tapes of all the registers for the day the chicken was allegedly bought from his store, and the person who claims to have bought it does not show up on any of the tapes for that day, then he has proof positive that he is in the clear. However, if the person does not step forward with the receipt or at least the date of sale, and more days pass so the video is no longer available or is taped over, Mr. Bolender will not have the same proof to clear his name. So I ask you fine people, does he or does he not have the right to face his accuser?

Regarding the signs in the freezer - I do remember seeing signs that said to freeze the meat withing 24 hours of purchase or something to that effect. I don't remember exactly and didn't pay much attention to it.

One more comment about speaking to your own Rav, this goes back to what happened in Monsey. We seem to side and trust the people that look more frum and come from a more religious background. Who do you think your Rav is going to side with or trust more Rabbi Eisen or Mr. Bolender. Who do you think sways the opinion of the Rabbonim who sit on this board Rabbi Eisen or Mr. Bolender? In my very humble opinion I can only picture the scenario. All these very chashuv rebbeim sitting around a table being informed and probably pre-informed by Rabbi Eisen what to expect and then there is the accused. How much of what he says is really going to be heard and accepted? Who do you think our Rebbeim are going to side with, especially if he answers back and doesn't just bow his head and walk away? If you are going to ask your Rav a question, ask him if Mr. Bolender provided proof of his innocence or justification on the incidents he was called in on. That would be a much fairer way to get a broader full range picture of what happens at one of these meetings the VAAD calls.

One other little thing that maybe someone out there can help me figure out. I tried to find the Vaad listed on the NYS corporation list to see if it is a non-profit or not. It doesn't seem to even be a registered corporation. Can anyone explain to me how this is run legitimately? And if it is not run legitimately how can the Rabbonim approve it? There were some allegations on the other postings that the mashgichim get paid in cash, if this is true that presents a whole set of other issues and problems. I don't know about you, but we pay taxes and if any of you know anything about the Gedolei Hador they all insisted that we abide by the Laws of the Land. Rav Moshe Feinstein A"H, was a stickler about this. This doesn't sit well with me at all. If this is a regular "business" making profit for someone, they should be paying taxes like everyone else, and doing bookkeeping and payroll like everyone else.

So what we have here is a family being accused but the so called accuser "hiding" behind the VAAD. Evidence that has not been produced although it was requested. A neighborhood filled with loshon horah and richilus during the month of Tishrei, and a store that has been in business for more than 25 years being railroaded into selling out to the competition.

I think the people responsible for all this have a lot of explaining to do this community, at the very least I hope they are getting very busy right now rolling up their sleeves and trying to clean up the mess that they started. Because if this mess is not ended amicably and immediately, I am sure there will be a lot more truths and secrets that will come out than expected and things might not go as planned.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My humble thanks to the above writer. It is truly a shame that the community of the Five Towns can be brought into the limelight in such a horrible "loshon hora". I choose to not say my name but I was present at this Vaad meeting and witnessed Mr. Bolender bringing to the Rabbonim not once but twice two issues of Meats that was koshered by Alle Packing and questioning the Nikkur [ritual deveining]. Why Rabbi Eisen after being told the Nikkur [traditional devieining} was not done correctly and being requested to please come down at once to see for himself. The situations about Alle Packing[Under at least 2 or more supervisions] took place 5 weeks before the meeting and then the week before the meeting. The thousands of pounds of Meats which where corrected by Rabbi Ashkenzay and his staff at GG was never inspected by Rabbi Eisen after repeated phone calls. So one must ask when an owner cares so much what his customers are eating, in this case 5000+ pounds of meat and the Rabbi Eisen who doesn't take the time to followup on a potential that his community is consuming not correctly treibered [deveined] meats which could affect 1000's of our families table, so why one chicken which feeds at most 4 people can carry so much weight, especially since the question of Kashrus was never an issue. The answer, as heard at the Vaad meeting:Rabbi Eisen's answer:I know nothing about meat... so why are we paying him $120,000 plus benefits, doesn't make himself available to answer questions,but would rather spend his time at Hershey Park duing this week instead of correcting or clearing these wrongs. Sometimes we get what we pay for, in this case I would think twice.

12:41 AM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

Again, if he knows nothign about meat, why is he the head of our VAAD. Shouldn't the head of the Kashrus supervision be familiar with all aspects of Kashrus, or at least have the foresight to know who to call for quick answers to such shailot? As far as I am concerned the person who is in charge of choosing and placing mashgichim and is in charge of all the Kosher commercial kitchens in this neighborhood had better know a lot more about kashrus than I do, or anyone else in this neighborhood does. "I know nothing about meat" is not an acceptable answer.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

once again, we are finally seeing the true situation of a Vaad out of control. Where was rabbi Eisen looking when Kosher spot sold treif,,, where was he when Nathans did the same under his supervision? why wont the Vaad answer the question why someone with so little knowledge of meat be put in such a high authority? These are the real questions our community should be asking of our Vaad representatives. also, i am under the impression that GG Rabbi Ashkenazy is an OU Rabbi who I have personally observed training new Mashgiachim. Why would the OU send Rabbi Ashkenazy new students to train if he was not a knowledgable and reputable Rabbinic supervisor of Kashrus?

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets be clear about a few things:

The old Vaad was notorious for being absentee. So those who are complaining about R Eisen and singing R Chait's praises, you are dead wrong. R Chait didnt even employ any Mashgichim. That was brough about by the sweeping reforms of a few years ago. When I asked my Rebbe (a very well known Gadol) about eating in local Vaads, he told me that the Five Towns vaad provides top notch supervision in the recent years.

The story that Mr Bolender is claiming regarding the chickens may be true. Who knows. But the Vaad is there to investigate any anomalies to make sure that nothing happems on the scale of Monsey. Would you rather the Vaad had ignored Empire's complaint of mislabeling? You must be joking. The bottom line is, something fishy was going on at Gourmet Glatt. Was it Kashrut related? I trust that it wasnt, since the Vaad has allowed them to remain open. Were they bilking the customers? Possibly.

And to this guy:
"Regarding the signs in the freezer - I do remember seeing signs that said to freeze the meat withing 24 hours of purchase or something to that effect. I don't remember exactly and didn't pay much attention to it."

That has nothing to do with the refreezing of thawed meat, which is a health issue. Just because you are being tyold to freeze wityhin 24 hours, it says nothing about keeping below 40 degrees, or not freezing until after cooking. Is this a food safety concern?

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"
Regarding the infamous chicken - it is not in Mr. Bolender's freezer, it is allegedly in Rabbi Eisen's freezer which is also at the moment a conflict of interest under the circumstances"

you seem to miss a point: there were TWO problematic chickens found. The first one may not have been ascertained as coming from GG to your satisfactyion, but the second mislabeling was caught red-handed by mashgischim. I, for one, and much mor likely to believe a Masgiach that he found something thaen a store owner who is under the gun and claims a conspiracy theory along the lines of oliver Stone.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The so called "chicken found by Rav Eisen was labeled kaj or vineland on the store ticket but the plumbas inside revealed crc hasgacha. Call and Ask Rav Eisen yourself.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The post above makes certain sense and would put this to bed for all. shabbat shalom cholam

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, call the Vaad or it is a call center located in India to answer schaylas.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets be clear about a few things:

The old Vaad was notorious for being absentee. So those who are complaining about R Eisen and singing R Chait's praises, you are dead wrong. R Chait didnt even employ any Mashgichim. That was brough about by the sweeping reforms of a few years ago. When I asked my Rebbe (a very well known Gadol) about eating in local Vaads, he told me that the Five Towns vaad provides top notch supervision in the recent years.

The story that Mr Bolender is claiming regarding the chickens may be true. Who knows. But the Vaad is there to investigate any anomalies to make sure that nothing happems on the scale of Monsey. Would you rather the Vaad had ignored Empire's complaint of mislabeling? You must be joking. The bottom line is, something fishy was going on at Gourmet Glatt. Was it Kashrut related? I trust that it wasnt, since the Vaad has allowed them to remain open. Were they bilking the customers? Possibly.

And to this guy:
"Regarding the signs in the freezer - I do remember seeing signs that said to freeze the meat withing 24 hours of purchase or something to that effect. I don't remember exactly and didn't pay much attention to it."

That has nothing to do with the refreezing of thawed meat, which is a health issue. Just because you are being tyold to freeze wityhin 24 hours, it says nothing about keeping below 40 degrees, or not freezing until after cooking. Is this a food safety concern?

8:26 AM

It is clear to anyone reading the above two comments this anon writer who appears to be educated can easily "look, smell & taste and if worried call the Offical policing agents, for example The Dept of Health, food and Safety Division, the Dept of Weights and Measures and the Dept of Consumer Affairs which I HAVE DONE,Gourmet Glatt as a record you should be proud if your own child owned this store.Oh one additional note that you never saw anything relating to thawing or mataining food for safety purposes, please look in your freezer and perhaps now read the "Safe Handling Label" which is clear you didn't. What you miss is all these above Departments have Checks and Balances, the right to appeal there decisions, the right to sue them if found that there business waa hurt by "loshon Horah". We have given ultimate power to a person who "acted as the eyes and hears for the Rabbonim" a famous quote stated to this writer over and over again that All there trust lies in one man.Please ask your Rav or the person who shops for him if he ever had a problem with food not being fresh from GG? , the above allegations are an insult to all.I question who the above writer is and why shows the degree of anger. GG operates the Cleanless, most well organized store in our community, while I will say I would like to see more orthodox help in the store and lower prices would better my experience even more, I have always been treated fairly, I can clearly see every item on my receipt, so where is the isssue now, TRUST??? Think back is when we only had two kosher supermarkets? Who was the first to put in a computerized detailed scanning system? I don't believe this was Supersol.Enough of this and lets attempt to rebuild what we have wronged. Please, put your pride on the shelf and think about the "Loshon Horah", I personally do not like Mr. Bolenders choice in clothing,his haircut, the lenght of his sideburns but does that make him any less a person than you?? GG as helped to build this communtiy, its time for the community to start seeing and less hearing from others and go see for yourself how a store this size is managed.This store should be the standard for the Vaad of the Five Towns, not the stage to raise there personal feeling of importance. Good Shabbous and Good Yom Tov to all.
P.S. FYI Rabbi Chait did employ a roving Rabbinical overseer,a real Rabbi,Rabbi Cohen, FULL TIME and most stores did have on site supervision except for bakeries, so the above post please go back and study your history,

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Ear to the Sidewalk... said...

OK.. The 'orignal' chicken in question, bought by a consumer, was picked up in the 5T by an Empire rep and sent back to their facility in PA. It is not in the hands of Rabbi Eisen. The second chicken, found by Rabbi Eisen, is being held by him.

In terms of questionable nikur from Alle meat, what doe sthat have to do with re-lableing chicken?

Regarding, the re-labeling of Marvid as Vineland, how can you say the only ppl potentially dameged are those seeking KAJ ? Wat baout those that like Vinland's taste? Or dislike Marvid's? Or just don't like buying Candian food (it has a funny accent...)

If I am correct there has not been a scandle regarding Hershey's, maybe we should all just eat chocolate. (Yes, yes, it's not Cholov Yisael.)

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

heres a scandle.

rabbi eisen ripping off the the five towns community.
oust rabbi eisen now. make up bumper stickers. call a board mearing of your local shul. if we can be the school budget we can beat osama eisen.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many jobs does Rabbi Eisen have?? He must work 40 hours a day to honestly collect all the salaries he is alleged to earn??

10:21 AM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

"you seem to miss a point: there were TWO problematic chickens found. The first one may not have been ascertained as coming from GG to your satisfactyion, but the second mislabeling was caught red-handed by mashgischim. I, for one, and much mor likely to believe a Masgiach that he found something thaen a store owner who is under the gun and claims a conspiracy theory along the lines of oliver Stone."

Which Mashgiach? Produce the chicken and the mashgiach. No more secrecy!!!!!!! If you know sooooooo much state the facts and only the facts. Produce the chicken and the mashgiach or keep your mouth shut and stop being a motzi shem rah!. Everything I am saying I am checking out before I write it. I have gone to the source to ask questions and get answers and I am stating clearly who I have spoken to. You are full of inuendo and mystery on what you have heard and having gotten from a good source. Who are you and who is your so called good source. Enough of spreading this loshon horah. If you have a fact produce the source. Which mashgiach found the chicken and state clearly what the problem was, no guessing here, you are spreading loshon horah to many people, we don't even have a clue how many are reading this. BE CAREFUL, VERY CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY. KNOW THE FACTS BEFORE YOU SPREAD MORE LOSHON HORAH.

And once again, if you bothered to go into GG and ask. The VAAD mashgichim are in the back in the butcher shop. THEY are responsible for accepting the deliveries of all the meats and chickens. They are responsible for supervising the cutting and packaging and everything that goes on in the butcher shop. The VAAD mashgichim are supervising and are responsible for the KASHRUS in the entire store, so why are you picking on the owner once again? If the VAAD mashgiach found a chicken that is no good, then it would have been his responsibility to not have accepted that chicken in the first place.

In addition, if you don't want to believe that mistakes can happen, why don't you put your sweater on and go stand in the back for an hour and watch the process and see that everyone that works there is only human. They are working as fast as they can to satisfy the demands of the customer. If you think they have the time to make "shtick" back there you really need to go check things out for yorself. I am pretty sure you are "male" and not female, because many women have knocked on those doors and peeked in asking for some special cuts of meat and we have seen how hard they work and how busy they are back there. But again, you have the opportunity at least 12 hours each and every day, 6 days a week, to go see for yourself what goes on at Gourmet Glatt. So why don't you investigate for yourself instead of just mouthing off here behind the security of anonymity.

11:21 AM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

"The so called "chicken found by Rav Eisen was labeled kaj or vineland on the store ticket but the plumbas inside revealed crc hasgacha. Call and Ask Rav Eisen yourself. "

First of all what is wrong with the "crc"? Secondly I did ask Rabbi Eisen and his answer was "mistakes happen".

11:23 AM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

To ear to the sidewalk:

Who saw Rabbi Eisen find this chicken? What "eidem" does he have to prove that he found this alleged chicken in GG? In addition "right back at him", it is his mashgichim that accept the delivery of chicken and all meat from the distributor and it is his mashgichim that supervise the entire buthcer shop. If there is any controvery in regard to the alleged chicken that he allegedly found in GG, the responsibility for that chicken no matter what the problem lies with the mashgichim he himself placed in GG to supervise every aspect of Kashrus in that store. END OF THE STORY!!

It is high time that we all understand and realize that as adults we have to be responsible and accountable for our actions and that includes the VAAD. Rabbi Eisen placed the Mashgichim in the store and told them what their jobs are. They are responsible for the Kashrus. He removed that responsibility from the owners of GG, and whatever other store that he place Mashgichim Temidi in. If that is the case he has no RIGHT to place "achrius" on the owner of the store if a problem arises. NOW THAT SMELLS FISHY TO ME.

If his own mashgichim are in charge of the butcher shop, the kitchens, refrigerators and the showcase and he just "happens" to find a chicken that he is not happy with. Why is he blaming the owner? Why is he not blaming his own mashgiach? And if he were to blame his own mashgiach would we ever have heard about it? Of course not!!!!! It would not serve his purpose to bring it to the public's attention. He would mearly make some changes in practice and bring to the owner's attention some suggestions on what can be done to assure no more mistakes happen. Or he might not even have told the owner, because he would not want the owner to document the mistake of the mashgiach. But I question why this was brought out to the public? I am wondering if there isn't a personal agenda here and that concerns me tremendously because I am a loyal Five Towns resident and I moved here to enjoy the harmony and achdus. I don't appreciate outsiders coming here and attempting to start machlokes here to destroy our status quo. This is not what we are about.

And here is another question I am going to look into? Why has all the "Express Salads" been removed from the shelves? Since when do we not trust the Star K and Rabbi Heineman? Has all the other Star K products been removed from all VAAD supervised stores in the neighborhood or just the salads. I know that we are all buying these salads at Stop and Shop, Key Food and the fruit stores, they cannot stock enough to keep us happy. So why can't our "kosher" stores stock it? I heard that Rabbi Eisen is developing his own line of packaged vegetables in Mexico. If anyone knows how to investigate this please let me know, because I want to check this out. In my book, that would smell of a conflict of interest; clear the shelves and make way for my brand.

I am so sick of this whole thing. I don't want to believe that this is happening in our neighborhood. I don't want to hear anymore loshon horah. I don't want to have to defend the underdog. I don't want to head up and investigation, what is next?

OK, anyone out there willing to form an independent investigative committee? How about a couple of lawyers who can bring in some Mashgichim from the Kaf K or OK? No one from the OU since Rabbi Eisen is affiliated with the OU. Is anyone willing to form a non-biased panel to investigate all the allegations? Look at GG's files of documentation and those of Rabbi Eisen and see if he is actually picking on them? If he is and the Rabbis backed him up, the VAAD should be dismantled and the VAAD Harabonim should just decide which Kosher Supervisions they will allow into the neighborhood and then allow healthy competition. If the independent non-biased panel shows Rabbi Eisen to be above board and honest, then we put this whole issue to rest and we have nothing more to say about it.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there are so many shul rabbis in the community standing behind the vaad's actions and many of them have publicly or privately suggested to their followers that they purchase their meat elsewhere, why should their position be discounted by tales from aries2756, who still remains anonymous (unlike all of these rabbis) or fumbling responses from GG ownership and management. Or, are all of our rabbis tainted because they're in cahoots with the big bad rabbi eisen?

If aries2756 feel so strongly about his version of everything, let him come out of hiding like all of these rabbis have and let him produce local rabbinic authorities with established credibility that will agree with his position.

Until then, I'm going to have to rely on all of the rabbis that I've heard from (over an anonymous individual who calls himself aries2756 and probably has no established credibility in the community or rabbinic ordination).

12:16 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

found out that Steve Savitsky is President of the VAAD HaKashrus of the Five Towns. Does anyone know, does that mean he owns it?

1:42 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

I have sent he following email to Mr. Steve Savitsky at stevesavitsky@ouradio.org, and I was brave enough to include my name and address. I hope the rest of you do the same.

Dear Mr. Savitsky,

With all due respect to your position and accomplishments over the years, due to the current controversy and Loshon Horah I have a few questions about the VAAD. I cannot find it listed on the NY State Registry. Is it incorporated? Is it a Non-profit organization?

What are Rabbi Eisen and Rabbi Hess's credentials? Information has come out that Rabbi Eisen has admitted to not knowing anything about "meat". This is not really acceptable to many members of this community. In addition, his right hand assistant who was labeled Rabbi, we were told is not a Rabbi and knows very little about kashrus. Is this true?

There are also other issues that have arisen. Was Rabbi Eisen the Mashgiach supervising Nathans and Kosher Stop the 2 establishments in Brooklyn that was caught selling Treif meat?

Why is the VAAD closed for Chol Hamoed when all the catering and food establishments are open and have issues and sheilos this week? I myself was at Gourmet Glatt this week and asked to meet the 2 mashgichim of the VAAD. Only Rabbi Pinchus was there at 1:45. Rabbi Sharabi had already left a while before. I asked Rabbi Pinchus why he hadn't phoned Rabbi Eisen to inform him that he was there alone and he said watch what happens. He called Rabbi Eisen in the office which was closed and left an emergency message that he needed help, he was there alone and he was busy koshering meat and his attention was also needed in other areas of the store.

He left the same emergency message on Rabbi Eisen's cell phone. At 2:00 the next day I phoned Rabbi Pinchus and asked if Rabbi Eisen had returned his phone call, he hadn't. I asked if Rabbi Sharabi had returned to the store the previous day, he hadn't. What kind of agency are you running and what kind of supervision is Rabbi Eisen providing? He is then going to blame Gourmet Glatt when he himself is not answering his own Mashgichim's phone calls? IF RABBI PICHUS LOSES HIS JOB BECAUSE OF THIS I WILL LET THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

In addition, I was told that the VAAD does not have a payroll for the mashgichim, and that the stores themselves have to pay them. This is a conflict of interest and makes the mashgichim divide their loyalties and forces confusion as to who they work for, the VAAD or the store; after all their parnasah comes from the store.

I also recall that Rav Moshe Feinstein Z"tl was a stickler for following the Laws of the Land, it saddens me greatly to hear that the VAAD has asked store owners to pay the Mashgichim in cash and that at least one that I had heard of admitted to be on unemployment and food stamps at the same time he was working for the VAAD. This is out and out fraud and no Rav in their right mind should promote this kind of behavior.

In addition, many people have been speaking about Rabbi Eisen's exorbitant salary yet his lack of availability and cooperation in this neighborhood has aggravated not only the store owners but the consumers as well. If we are paying higher prices at the register to compensate for his salary and the VAAD supervision of the stores, we expect him to be here, in the Five Towns, at the very least 40 hours a week, and available by phone other hours. We are also not pleased and confused that the "free" office at the Young Israel of Woodmere was not good enough for him and therefore new offices at an expense to the consumer had to be obtained and yet once again, they are not being used properly.

There are many issues coming to light at this point and the community is considering an independent investigation into the VAAD and Rabbi Eisen. It would be very helpful if you would come forward and help us out. Or even consider hiring someone from our own community who will have a fuller knowledge of kashrus, more loyalty to this community and sensitivity to needs of the members of this community. We are not happy with this machlokes, with this loshon horah and being Motzi shem rah on other Jews.

FYI, I met Rabbi Eisen in Hershey Park. When my husband asked him if the owners of GG were frum his knee jerk reaction was "NO". He then back peddled and said let them provide proof. Well, let me tell you that I walked into GG and asked for proof. They gave me the same proof that they provided to him, a letter from Rabbi Paltiel of Chabad of Port Washington dated 2000. He was motzi shem rah. He should never have answered me that way. It shows a character flaw and shows me that he does not like these people. He should have answered he doesn't know, or he cannot discuss it. Personally, after such an incident I have no confidence in Rabbi Eisen and would prefer to have another Mashgiach or just general OU, Kaf K or OK supervision in the neighborhood.

I plan to post this on another website to let people know that I am giving you the opportunity to answer their questions, because I want to stop the Loshon Horah and rechilus that has been spreading through this neighborhood. We have to be exemplary role models for our children. Everything we do in a negative vein will be used against us. This is pure fodder for them and it is destructive to the makeup of our community.

I am going to ask other members to write to you directly instead of spreading innuendo and loshon horah. I am also asking you to hold and open forum meeting for the community where we can voice our concerns and you can answer our questions.

WE WANT TO MEET THE MEMBERS OF THE VAAD OF KASHRUSH.

WE WANT TO SEE FOR OURSELVES WHO IS SUPERVISING OUR STORES.

WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT THEIR QUALIFICATIONS ARE AND KNOW THEY ARE ABOVE REPROACH.

WE WANT TO KNOW THAT THEY ARE ACTING IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THIS COMMUNITY AND DO NOT HAVE ANY PERSONAL AGENDAS.

Please help heal this community at this time by addressing the questions I have raised above.

1:40 PM

1:44 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

"If there are so many shul rabbis in the community standing behind the vaad's actions and many of them have publicly or privately suggested to their followers that they purchase their meat elsewhere, why should their position be discounted by tales from aries2756, who still remains anonymous (unlike all of these rabbis) or fumbling responses from GG ownership and management. Or, are all of our rabbis tainted because they're in cahoots with the big bad rabbi eisen?"

Once again I don't appreciate your "personal" attack on me or my charachter and my responses where very concise and not at all fumbling. I have not hear of any Rabbonim coming out in public claiming that the Olem could not eat meat from Gourmet Glatt or that people should not shop there. On the contrary, even Rabbi Eisen told me personally that there is no problem. I have heard from my Rav that there is no problem and I have hear that although Rabbi Reisman doe not have them on his "approved" list, he neve came out and said, you can't buy there. Not being on Rabbi Reisman's approved list, is being in "good" company.

So if I may use a quote form "Top Gun", it sounds like your "ego writes checks your body can't cash", you are the one hiding behind anonymoty. Many, many people on this line have already figured out who I am, it doesn't take much seichel to do it. So there is a skill you obvisouly lack if you couldn't do it. As for yourself own up and let us know who you are. In addition, since you claim that "many" rabbanim have come out publicly to say that peoople should not shop at GG, you may list those Rabbanim right here and now, if not once again, keep your big mouth shut or better yet your fingers off the keyboard because you are continuously spreading loshon horah and not coming up with any productive solutions to this mess. Attacking me and any ideas I come up with is just making you look foolish and childish.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have sent he following email to Mr. Steve Savitsky at stevesavitsky@ouradio.org, and I was brave enough to include my name and address."

I don't see the name and address copied here

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does a "a letter from Rabbi Paltiel of Chabad of Port Washington dated 2000" prove that the owners are shomer shabbos or frum?

2:14 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:45 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

"I have sent he following email to Mr. Steve Savitsky at stevesavitsky@ouradio.org, and I was brave enough to include my name and address."

I don't see the name and address copied here

2:12 PM

OK genius, did I say I was posting my name here? What did you get on your reading comprehension score? I told you I am not going to help you figure out who I am, stop being so lazy and do it yourself, and own up and let the rest of us know who you are.

"How does a "a letter from Rabbi Paltiel of Chabad of Port Washington dated 2000" prove that the owners are shomer shabbos or frum?" In answer to your second genius question, the letter in fact states enequivocably (look that one up) that he is in fact "Shomer Shabbos" and committed to Torah and Mitzvos. The letter is dated March 9, 2000. Do you want to challenge the validity of Rabbi Paltiel now? How far do you want to push this or I you willing to apologize right here and now for spreading this loshon horah? Give it up already, enough is enough. I would rather hear what Mr. Savitsky has to say.

Here is one more question. I just came back from GG and I would like to know why Rabbi Yosef another VAAD Mashgiach, who just had his 4th child and desperately needs the parnasah, was just fired today, without an explanation neither to himself or to GG. Don't you think that if a Mashgiach is being removed and replaced both he and the owners deserve an explanation why? Especially when a new Mashgiach will have to be trained in and that takes time and expense, and the keys are being exchanged as well? At the very least an explanation and the courtesy of a phone call is in order, none of you would expect any less.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Yosef was fired because he could not find anything wrong at GG.Good sources have said quite frankly he felt the store was superior and Super Glatt!!!, only problems he found was with the systems in place and created by Holy Rabbi Eisen.Please contact Rabbi Yosef if you think this is "Loshon Horah" Shabbat Shalom.
It is time to heal and stop this nonsense.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe R Eisen could give a kashrus shiur to the 5 towns like he gave to flatbush.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"

Rabbi Yosef was fired because he could not find anything wrong at GG.Good sources have said quite frankly he felt the store was superior and Super Glatt!!!, "

You sound quite partisan. Mr. Bolender, is that you?

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

has anyone ever heard of Wilk caterers in Nassau County?

5:45 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

"You sound quite partisan. Mr. Bolender, is that you? " So do you, Rabbi Eisen, is that you? And here is another question, why was GG given another fee hike this Friday? We as consumers are sick and tired of this game, we are not stupid, each time R' Eisen raises their fee it is passed along to the consumer.

I've had enough of this, I haven't slept all Yom Tov. This is eating me up. I want you all to be aware that both Larry Gordon of the 5TJT and Meir Fertig of the Jewish Star both access this blog and watch what we all have to say and the outcomes of these discussions. In addition, enough has been said on both sides for me to make the following observation and recommendation which I will send to Mr. Steve Savitsky the President of the VAAD, and I hope at least some of you have the guts to do the same.

1. Since Rabbi Eisen broke the rules of confidentially of the VAAD and answered my husband and me that the Bolenders were not Shomer Shabbos and told me that they should provide proof that they were, even though they already had...

A. He should provide us with proof of his commitment to Torah and Mitzvos by producing his Teudos Smicha, which proves that he is indeed a Rav.

B. Let's be honest here, no RAV in this community would have answered me the way R' Eisen did. If he said it to me, who knows how many other people he said it to. That was a breech of confidence and against the code of silence and confidentially of the VAAD and the privacy of the meetings that they held. That alone should be enough to consider his removal from his position. He started a campaign of Loshon Horah in this community in the month of Tishrei, which makes me question his commitment to Torah and Mitzvos.

C. Why did R' Eisen give Lori Garber Mark Bolender's personal cell number to broker the sale of Gourmet Glatt? What is in it for him? Again this is way out of line and has nothing to do with Kashrus. This is a conflict of interest and again shows that he is biased against the Bolenders and is trying to push them out of business.

2. Under the current circumstances it has become very clear to me and most of the people who have spoken to me in the neighborhood that the head of the Kashrus organization in our community should be a member of our community and not some outsider who is distracted by his other projects such as lectures, books or possibly even bringing in his own line of vegetables from Mexico. A Mashgiach such as Rabbi Ehrlich who everyone loves and respects would be perfect for the job. There isn't one Rav here who would not vote him in, nor any community member or shopkeeper that would not approve his appointment. Furthermore, he is totally devoted to Kashrus and after interviewing a few storeowners I have been told that he would stay up all night looking for an answer to a Sheilah. That is the kind of devotion I would like to see in charge of my Kashrus, wouldn't you? Not to mention what he could do with the $120,000 salary that is being wasted on someone who is never around or doesn't return phone calls or answer Sheilos because he knows nothing about meat. (IF R' Ehrlich loses his job because of this post, Mr. Savitsky you can expect to have hoards of community members at you doorstep in Hewlett) We want someone who lives here and is committed to the harmony, achdus and ahavas yisroel of the community.

3. In addition, we would like to have the VAAD of the 5 Towns offer more opportunities to members of this community by offering Kashrus training. There are many men here who need parnasah and an organized Kashrus Training Institue and placement right here in the neighborhood can afford them dignified parnasah. There are not enough "Rebbe" jobs to go around, and since many men do not go to college and do not have any other training aside from learning Torah this would be a good opportunity for them. We are a model community in many ways and this is just one more way we can help our own people.

4. We are not fools here, we all realize that the VAAD has a monopoly on Kashrus here and that you have literally locked out all other supervising agencies from coming in. Therefore the only way to make harmony in this neighborhood again and to be secure and confident in the VAAD once again, is if you, Mr. Savitsky, listen to these arguements with serious concerns and take some pro-active action to satisfy the needs of this community. We are telling you straight out that we are not happy with your choice and are asking you to make a change for valid reasons. This is not going to go away on its own. I am surprised that Larry hasn't already written a piece on it, but I am sure that the Jewish Press would be happy to come in and write about it since they wrote the article on the OU giving Kashrus classes in the Gourmet Glatt Meat Department. I don't know what your connection to R' Eisen is, and why you would allow an outsider to effect this community so negatively. As a member of this community you should care more about how your neighbors feel, and concern yourself with healing the dissention that your employee has already caused.

I am not trying to be disrespectful in any way. I don't know you and have nothing against you, but this situation has caused a lot of heartache to a lot of people. The customers of GG have not only maintained a wonderful relationship with the owners but also with the employees of the store. These goyim have learned to respect Yiddin in a very special way. They are respected not only by their bosses but by the customers that come in. This is a kovod hatorah, when goyim understand the beauty of Yiddishkeit and that we are good, kind and generous people, that we live in harmony and wish to always help each other.

The Loshon Horah that has permiated through the town has caused tzar for many people including the employees of this store who have worked there for many years. Some for over 20 years who are now at risk of losing their jobs. They are looking at us fearfully and asking us if we would really allow them to close down and put them out of business? We tell them "of course not, it is only a rumor". What do they think of us now, with all these rumors going around? It is a huge "Chilul Hashem" and where did it start? Someone has to be accountable for all this Loshon Horah and chilul Hashem that is happening here. Kashrus is Kashrus and everyone should know their positions and their job and know it well and not overstep their boundaries, be biased in any way, get involved with issues that are not their concern, or let power go to their heads. If that happens it is time to make changes because then the validity of the whole organization is in question.

You alone have the power to make the changes necessary to put this whole scenario to bed quietly. You alone can right this wrong and put harmony back into this community quickly and quietly. You are the president of the VAAD and you are the only one that can make the necessary changes to clean the "VAAD's" character as an organization and put the consumer's trust back into it. Otherwise I see no reason for this community to pay fees, support the VAAD in anyway, and actually look for ways either by holding board meetings in every shul to bring in other supervising agencies or by starting boycotting the stores with VAAD approvals and shop in Queens and Brooklyn. You do know that we can buy Empire chicken at Stop and Shop and at Key Food and you do know that Rubashkin delivers. We can organize a weekly delivery of meat to this neighborhood from Boro Park. As a matter of fact, if we got together block by block I am sure that Landau's in Boro Park would be happy to deliver to this neighborhood on a weekly basis, or even Glatt Mart in Flatbush. There are ways and means for us not to use the VAAD supervision if we choose not to and it wouldn't cost us a penny more since the Brooklyn stores are cheaper so the delivery fee would just balance things out.

So if you intend to keep R' Eisen on and he keeps this campaign running to put GG out of business, it won't bring more business to his friend Lori Garber, we can just start ordering in from Brooklyn which would defeat his purpose anyway. So I am asking you as a very concerned community member who works very diligently here helping people in the community, do what you can to mend and heal this community. Listen to the concerns of neighbors, stop the Loshon Horah and the Chilul Hashem. Replace R' Eisen with a local Mashgiach and let him take a fresh and an unbiased look at the situation. The Bolenders said that any Rav from any shul can inspect the store and ask questions, they invite the OU or any other Kashrus organization to do the same. Give them a chance, we have a lot more invested in GG as a community than we do in an employee from Brooklyn that is really not concerned about us.

9:18 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

"has anyone ever heard of Wilk caterers in Nassau County? "

Do you Seaview Caterers from Bethel in Cedarhurst? The owner's name is Wilk. http://seaviewcaterers.com/aboutus.html

9:21 PM  
Anonymous fellow 5 townser who knows who you are said...

aries2756, I know exactly who you are and let me just put it this way. I take everything this woman is saying with a grain of salt, as should OM's readers. You are very clear in showing your bias. You yell and scream about no rush to judgement for GG, and about all the L'H being said here. Then, you rush to judge Rabbi Eisen and call for his ousting, which would leave a family with no means of income without any proof of your own. I always knew you were a loose cannon, but this just proves it.

You should be embarassed at your last post. Its just pathetic how hypocritical you are. And why drag Lori Garber's name into this? "His friend Lori Garber". You are as bad as everyone you are criticising here.

9:25 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

Well I would like to know who you are if you are calling me a loose cannon, but I have an idea. I spoke to both Rabbi Eisen and to the Bolenders. Who did you speak to? Did you speak to any of the two parties? Did you check anything out for yourself before your judge me? I have the facts because I bother to check. So before you are motzi shem rah on me, check the facts out for yourself. SHAME ON YOU!!!

9:31 PM  
Anonymous fellow 5 townser who knows who you are said...

"Well I would like to know who you are if you are calling me a loose cannon, but I have an idea."

I dont think you have an idea. But I have no reason to tell you who I am. Thats why I didnt post under a name that I use elsewhere, like you did. If you didn't want an honest opinion on your credibility then you should have picked an untraceable AKA, like the rest of us including our hostess.

"I spoke to both Rabbi Eisen and to the Bolenders. Who did you speak to? Did you speak to any of the two parties? Did you check anything out for yourself before your judge me?"

Sure. A rushed casual conversation with Rabbio Eisen is enough for YOU to decide to call for his job to be taken away from him. Talk about decisions that have ramafications. And youre the one talking about taking the Bolender's family's parnassah. I will tell you this. The Bolenders side of this is not enough to go on. You are being silly if you try to present is as enough. And I too, spoke to someone very close to Rabbi Eisen, and he told me very clearly that GG was caught doing something he called "inappropriate" as far as Kashrut labeling standards. Was the meat kosher at all times? It seems yes. Was their dishonesty? It seems yes. You tell me that I should be more inclined to trust a storeowner who is Nogeah B'Davar in the bigest possible way over a Rav who has the utmost respect of my very holy Rav. I tell you that you are talking bunk.

9:42 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

Yes, I am sticking my neck out here, because you all know who I am and most of you know how hard I work to help people in this community. That is why this bothers me so much. Because as adults we have to be an exemplary role model for our children and this has gotten so completely out of hand. I have helped a lot of people and I continue to do so on a daily basis. When this happened I was very hurt and shocked that the community was turning into gossip mongers and so I wanted to know the truth. I went in and spoke to the Bolenders. My husband and I saw Rabbi Eisen at Hershey Park on Chol Hamoed and we talked to him, then I went back to the Bolenders to get the proof Rabbi Eisen told me to get.

Anyone who has not bothered to look for the truth by asking questions from both parties have a real chutzpah and nerve to throw stones and post judgments. What have you done for the community lately fellow 5 towneser who knows who I am? Have I hurt you in some way, are you trying to get even, or have I not helped you to your satisfaction? Are you going to use this forum to get even?

You call me hypocritical yet you hide behind anonnymity. Why did you say I am dragging Lori Garber's name into it? Rabbi Eisen did, and who else but a friend passes on someone else's personal cell phone number? Ask Mr. Bolender if he saved the message on his cell phone if you need more proof. Like I said before GG keeps meticulous records. So if you want truth you can have it by asking questions of the parties involved, if you want fiction keep on throwing shmutz on this blog, but people are smart enough to sort fact from fiction.

9:47 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

"And I too, spoke to someone very close to Rabbi Eisen,"

Again anything that Rabbi Eisen divulges from any meeting of the VAAD is breaking the "code" and confidentiality of the meeting. This is one of my points exactly. In addition speaking to someone that is close to him is not speaking to him directly or seeing or hearing the tone of his voice when he was answering us.

The head Mashgiach can not be biased in any way. I know that had I asked my "holy" Rav the same question, he would have given me a much different answer. He probably would have said "He didn't know, the Vaad gives a hechsher and if I had such a sheilah I should go into the store and ask them myself" He would never give me a curt "no their not" because it is not his place to say so number one and number two the VAAD had already received the same proof that the Bolenders gave me.

So again, YOU DID NOT SPEAK TO ANY OF THE PARTIES IN QUESTION AND YOU DO NOT HAVE THE FACTS. Even your RAV did not have the right to divulge anything that was brought out in a VAAD meeting. However, by all means you must respect your RAV and do what he advises you to do. No one is suggesting otherwise.

PS. Things are not always as they "seem" to be.

9:57 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

"A rushed casual conversation with Rabbio Eisen"

Who said it was rushed, were you there?

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, as another fellow five townser, I have an opinion on this mess. There is precious little hard information to come by here. Aries, even your claims are all heresay of an anonymous blogger, all Om's stuff is from Jewish Star, who tel a diferent story every week. We need facts. The Vaad owes it to us in the wake of the Monsey scandal. And no one is giving it to us save OM and the JS. I want info. Now. And with all due respect Aries, you are saying that you are giving facts but we have no idea whther they are really true.

10:04 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

"And with all due respect Aries, you are saying that you are giving facts but we have no idea whther they are really true."

Yes, but what is stopping you from doing what I said I did and going in to talk to the Bolenders? You can do the same thing I did. Call the VAAD and speak to the Bolenders and also send an email to Steve Savitsky. I am not making things up. I stated clearly what I did and asked others to do the same. I am only defending the fact that no one else who haS been posting comments have bothered to check out the facts. Whether you believe me or not is your business and I am not asking you to believe me. However, I am asking you as a JEW and kosher consumer in the neighborhood to stop in at GG and/or call the VAAD or ask the VAAD mashgiach at GG some questions. You can even ask other stores if they are happy with R' Eisen and the Vaad as I did. What is stopping you from finding out the truth. THAT IS THE REAL ISSUE HERE AND THAT WAS MY WHOLE POINT TO BEGIN WITH. LEARN THE FACTS AND STOP SPEAKING LOSHON HORAH!!!

10:11 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

OK, I want to sleep tonight. I really have done and said all that I can.

I have asked you all to stop "assuming" and check out the facts for yourselves.

I have responded to your inuendos by checking out facts myself and relaying what I found out, believe me or not it is your choice.

I researched to find out who is really in charge of the VAAD and wrote to him to ask him to get involved and straighten this mess out and passed along the information to the rest of you.

I asked the President of the VAAD to take our concerns seriously, and brought forth some of what I feel are constructive ideas for the community. I hope others will do the same.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone that I might have offended here. It was not my intention to do so. I certainly got caught up in the heat of the arguments and in the defense of following "the right thing" by checking things out and going to the source. I have been accused here of being "dumb, fumbling, a loose canon, hypocritical ,silly, biased and then some I am just too tired to go over all the blogs to recall. It has taken up valuable hours of my time to keep going back to GG and discuss all the issues that were brought up here on this blog and get the proof from them, but again that is up to you as individuals to believe me or do the same. I was willing to invest the time because I thought it was important to the community to check out the truth. I am exhausted from all of this and will wait for a reply from Mr. Savitsky. You know the old saying about "killing the messenger", so at this point you are going to have to let me know if you want me to post his response or not.

Otherwise, I am putting this to bed because I have all the proof I need to make my own decision. My Rav said there was no problem with GG and I know what I will do if they are forced to close. As far as I know monopolies are illegal and I will bring that point up with my Rav as well. I wish all of you do what you think is right in your minds and hearts and that allows you to sleep well at night too. This is a community of GOOD PEOPLE. I love this community and everyone in it and just want to see harmony restored. Hatzlocha to all.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been following this comment thread without having any other insight into what has been going on with GG, and I'm left with a couple of questions:

1. Why is there so much distrust between GG and the vaad (apparently much more than any other store under the vaad's supervision)?

2. Why is aries2756 the chief defender of GG (while no one else seems to be defending GG so staunchly or accusing the vaad of so much wrongdoing)?

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RABBI EISEN CATEGORICALLY DENIED GIVING BOLENDER LORI GARBERS NUMBER OR SUGESTING HIM. I WOULD FIND IT HARD TO BELIEVE GG'S TAKE ON THIS. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO ARE TRYING TO HOLD ON IN THE FACE OF HIGH CRITICISM. THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

THE LORI GARBER STORY IS JUST TOO STUPID TO BELIEVE. EVEN R EISEN WOULD NOT DO SOMETHING SO DUMB AS SHOW THAT HE IS IN SOMEBODYS POCKET.

YOU GUYS ARE LOSING IT.

11:27 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

"RABBI EISEN CATEGORICALLY DENIED GIVING BOLENDER LORI GARBERS NUMBER OR SUGESTING HIM. I WOULD FIND IT HARD TO BELIEVE GG'S TAKE ON THIS. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO ARE TRYING TO HOLD ON IN THE FACE OF HIGH CRITICISM. THIS IS RIDICULOUS."

Are you saying that you PERSONALLY spoke to him and asked him? In that case did you also personally speak to Mark Bolender or listen to the message on his cell phone from Lori Garber and then the follow up message from R' Eisen asking him if he spoke to Lori Garber?

Stop assuming you know anything. Go into the store and ask questions and get answers for yourself and STOP SPREADING INFORMATION THAT YOU HAVEN'T RESEARCHED OR HEARD FROM THE SOURCE YOURSELF. Ask for verification directly. Be fair to both sides, that's how a Jew behaves you ask the question to both parties involved in a dispute and you listen to the answer of both parties before forming a judgment.

11:44 PM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

"Why is aries2756 the chief defender of GG (while no one else seems to be defending GG so staunchly or accusing the vaad of so much wrongdoing)?"

Because I went into the store and spoke not only to the owners but also to the Mashgichim there. I also went into other stores and asked questions about the VAAD and their experiences with them. And anyone can do the same but no one seems to want to do anything but write shmutz here on this blog.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HE DID NOT SUGGEST THAT BOLENDER CONTACT GARBER REGARDING THE PURCHASE OF THE STORE. PERHAPS GARBER CALLED BOLENDER REGARDING SOMETHING ELSE, BUT NOT REGARDING THE PURCHASE. YOU ARE TAKING INKBLOTS AND PUTTING A BIG PICTURE INTO THEM. OR ALLOWING BOLENDER TO DO THAT FOR YOU.

USE YOUR OWN BRAIN. R EISEN IS NOT GOOD AT PR. BOLENDER IS.

THINK FOR YOURSELF IF YOU ARE BEING SOLD A BILL OF GOODS FROM SOMEONE WHO HAS ALREADY PROVED HE IS VERY GOOD AT THAT.

ARIES, YOU SEEM NICE. BUT TOO EASILY SWAYED.

THINK.
THINK.

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assuming there was a meeting of the minds between the vaad and GG that the store would be sold, what would be so bad about rabbi eisen assisting Bolender by putting him in touch with someone who may have expressed interest in buying the store? I don't think anyone has alleged that rabbi eisen has some stake in supersol or would be entitled to a commission.

12:10 AM  
Anonymous another fiver said...

" Anonymous said...

Assuming there was a meeting of the minds between the vaad and GG that the store would be sold, what would be so bad about rabbi eisen assisting Bolender by putting him in touch with someone who may have expressed interest in buying the store? "

I agree and think that this whole line of thought that there is some vast right wiong conspiracy is out of control. there is one commenter here agitating for Bolender and against Eisen, all guns blazing. I dont understand it but it seems to be a very one-sided argument. so are the arguments that are anti-Bolender. Im sure there are two sides to this.

But. I for one am willing to believe that if the Vaad thinks that GG needed to be sold, there is good reason. I find it hard to believe that the Vaad is doing something sneaky. I definitely find it harder to believe it about a collection of Rabbanim then about a businessman. Just my 2 cents.

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI - Rabbi Feitman (Kehillas Bais Yehudah Tzvi - Red Shul) stated publicly that he shopped at GG on Friday. So at least on Rov HAS spoken out on the issue.

Also, where did this guy Yossi Eisen come from anyway? What happened to Rabbi Chait? Was he doing something so terrible that warranted his removal/forced retirement in place of another community outsider?

Let's bring back Rabbi Chait, ship YE back to the OU and call it a day.

Aries - athough I agree with you, were you at the forefront when Rabbi Chait "left" the Vaad? Were you a defender of his as well when YE stepped in and - in effect - took away his job and parnassah? Forget the kashrus for a moment - where's the yashrus???

Investigate that, and get back to us, please. If only we had blogs on which to vent a few years ago, this terrible Avlah of forcing someone out of his job in the manner in which it was done would have never happened. Where's the accountability? Let's speak out about that, then the cowardly meatheads can worry about whether or not Bolender is "frum" enough for them.

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont think that aries is wrong about everything. I just think he is too quick to believe something that someone with a vested interest says.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"FYI - Rabbi Feitman (Kehillas Bais Yehudah Tzvi - Red Shul) stated publicly that he shopped at GG on Friday. So at least on Rov HAS spoken out on the issue."

What exactly did rabbi feitman say, and in what context? Did he say that he bought packaged food there or did he say that he repackaged meats?

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does that matter? If the store has no credibility in one area, it would follow that it does not have credibility in another.

It was clear from Rabbi Feitman's words that he was not concerned about shopping at Gourmet Glatt - period. Therefore, he did not believe that any of his congregants should refrain from patronizing them and, by way of example, he indicated that he in fact shopped there on Friday.

The fact that he made no distinction whatsoever between various products (i.e., packaged meats vs. other products) can only mean that he was not concerned about any of the allegations from a halachic standpoint.

Unless, of course, you believe that Rabbi Feitman was intentionally misleading his members by only telling them half the story while idly acquiescing to the blind consumption of unreliable meat based on his silence/failure to make a distinction.

Now that, my friend, is a fairly harsh accusation leveled against a well-respected community Rabbi.

Knowing Rabbi Feitman, he's not the type of person who would rationalize a blatant lie on the grounds that it was a glaring omission as distinguished from an affirmative statement.

1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that certainly doesnt answer the question

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

exhausted from all of this and will wait for a reply from Mr. Savitsky.

Is Savitsky still head of the Vaad? Isn't he head of the OU a competing Kasruth organization?

It was clear from Rabbi Feitman's words that he was not concerned about shopping at Gourmet Glatt - period.

Whuich should be his answer if he is part of the Vaad. Either Vaad Hashgacha is good or it isn't.
The issue to the laymen is not GG it is what if anything is wrong in the state of the Vaad. Maybe mothing maybe everything-with the circle the wagons approaach and no answers -which are only found in OM and Jewish Star the worst correctly or incorrectly has a reasonable basis for belief.

5:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"FYI - Rabbi Feitman (Kehillas Bais Yehudah Tzvi - Red Shul) stated publicly that he shopped at GG on Friday. So at least on Rov HAS spoken out on the issue."

The Rabbo of my schul spoke against the gossip and blogs criticizing the blog-naturally in a similar circle the wagon approach -just stated one can eat anyplace where the Vaad gives its hechsher.

5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

120,000 dollars for Rabbi Eisen? Wow-With all the controversy surrounding him we could get three Rabbis do do the job better.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

120,000 dollars for Rabbi Eisen? Wow-With all the controversy surrounding him we could get three Rabbis do do the job better.

And lets remember there is a claim that Rabbi Eisen ahs at least 2 other jobs besides V5T

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why do we allow anyone to "Dictate" or "permit" the shoppping of one store over another.? If a Rabbi says it is the Truth, is it really? is the Rabbi the same one who insists on cash salary? Is someone who defrauds the government by not reporting salaries still "frum" I would love to know how one still considers themselves "frum" while speaking L"H constantly? as a fairly new five towner....i have been disgusted by what i read.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how one still considers themselves "frum" while speaking L"H constantly

So let me understand. A complete Chillul Hashem is going on (there are differing opinions as to waht the chillul hashem is: is it GG's actions or the VAAD's inaction), and to discuss it and posit soultions is LH? Yeah the whole situation is bad for evetone, but Come on. Maybe we should just tape our mouths shut and not breath air, it full of schmutz also.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Assuming there was a meeting of the minds between the vaad and GG that the store would be sold, what would be so bad about rabbi eisen assisting Bolender by putting him in touch with someone who may have expressed interest in buying the store? I don't think anyone has alleged that rabbi eisen has some stake in supersol or would be entitled to a commission."

I guess that could be a logical concept if R' Eisen was ASKED for assistance if the store was actually for sale. Is it???

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos to Rabbi Feitman for seting an example. And maybe we can all learn a lesson. There has been too much l"h thrown onto both camps, enough already!! Maybe its time to just wipe the slate clean and start fresh.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FINALLY, sOMEONE WITH A bRAIN!!!wHAT A great idea....

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to the OU web site for a lecture that RYE took part in about the job of the VAAD vis a vis the on site mashgiach. His point is that the on site mashigach must have someone in the home offoce to talk to. (Apparently on sukkos he viokated his nown rules). He says the rule is that the VAAD should not always win, but should do "truthful" work. RYE also said that a VAAD can not pay the mashgaich directly because it would cost to much to pay payroll taxes and benefits.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, so aside for pointing out the problems we already know, how about offering some productive solutions. Anyone willing to come up with problem solving creative ideas so there are some checks and balances in place and there is a trail that forces accountability?

I'll start:

1. The VAAD run its own payroll. That way the community can also easily see if the local mashgichim are getting a fair amount of hours or not.

2. Each mashgiach should be issued a rubber stamp with a control number on it, which he should use to stamp the bill of laiding on the products for which he accepts delivery, since it is hard to read a person's signature. In this way one can again trace back accountability if a non-kosher product or a questionable product was accepted into the store.

3. There should be standard training and testing for all mashgichim approved for jobs in the comunnity.

4. Each mashgiach should be given a written discription of what his position is and what his job at that particular establishment entails in detail. Nothing must be assumed. That job description should be on file both at the VAAD office and with the store owners so there are no misundertandings.

Does anyone else have some suggestions that can help organize and maintain some stability to avoid future conflict?

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Update for all of you following the chicken scandal. Gourmet Glatt has obtained a new Hashgacha, The Vaad of New Mexico City. Now there's a scam!!

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

read the news release...now there are two supervisions to make sure we are all protected.... if the Vaad mashgiachim did not do their job properly ( since they are the ones who signed in the chickens in the first place) I feel better now there are checks and balances.. wasnt rabbi eisen in charge of Kosher Spot in bklyn? and Nathan's?? I hear from OU sources that Rabbi Kravitz is very highly regarded. why shouldnt there be multiple hashgachas? is the Vaad a monopoly???? in brklyn ( where i just moved from) some stores have several.. the more the better i say.. ( recent transplant from Brooklyn)

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To whom it may concern: Please correct the "New Loshon Horah", GG as taken a 2nd reliable supervision by Rabbi Yedhuda Kravitz Schlita, noted Rav and lecturer along with being an 8 year veteran of the OU in charge of 5 industries, including the entire Meat Industry for the OU. Rabbi Kravitz lives in Brooklyn and believed to be neighbors to Rabbi Eisen.So to all the tale bearers, get your facts straight.Happy to see a Rav in Town who knows more about the food industry then a Rav who only knows "bugs". End this nonsense now, time to grow up.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hear, hear another voice of reason. I, too, was hesitant to shop at GG since all this happened...but tomorrow i will be there first thing to shop....!!! I am pleased to hear about Rabbi Kravitz... I am told he is very well regarded by all as an expert in Kashrus....so..I echo the earlier person who said" enough already of this L"H "

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I see we jumped from Tishrei straight to Adar. A freilichin Purim to all.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RYE also said that a VAAD can not pay the mashgaich directly because it would cost to much to pay payroll taxes and benefits.


Baloney-payroll taxes and benefits would be paid by the store then-same total costs

GG as taken a 2nd reliable supervision by Rabbi Yedhuda Kravitz Schlita, noted Rav and lecturer along with being an 8 year veteran of the OU in charge of 5 industries, including the entire Meat Industry for the OU. Rabbi Kravitz lives in Brooklyn and believed to be neighbors to Rabbi Eisen

either the Vaad is reliable or it isn't. There should be a rule that the Vaad will mot give hashgacha to anyone who uses another hashgacha. Otherewise any Rabbi can shakedown the store by saying either add my hashgacha or I'm going to say your olace is not reliable.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Otherewise any Rabbi can shakedown the store by saying either add my hashgacha or I'm going to say your olace is not reliable.


REISMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Baloney-payroll taxes and benefits would be paid by the store then-same total costs"

You were responding to RYE's quoute. Of course its all baloney, but these guys dont want the responsibility, because then he really has to work for his 120K, on top of his shul salary, on top of his alleged bug consulting, on top of his alleged mexican vegtable business, on top of the parsonage etc.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos for Gourmet Glatt seeking a strict Kashruth agency-Kravitz to already enhance the Vaad of the 5 towns thats in the store already.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"either the Vaad is reliable or it isn't. There should be a rule that the Vaad will mot give hashgacha to anyone who uses another hashgacha. Otherewise any Rabbi can shakedown the store by saying either add my hashgacha or I'm going to say your olace is not reliable. "


just the opposite.....pay some attention to the Vaad's position...I am a monopoly and will not allow anyone else in my town..or i will pull the supervision....does that sound fair or even a legal situation?? are they afraid of other more recognized supervision usurping their domain? any lawyers out there see a problem with a "shakedown situation"

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"BH" Finally some sense of all this nonsense. Best of luck to GG and may your strenght to stand up to what is wrong be rewarded for your deeds.A fellow Vaad Store Owner...thinking about following your lead, enought is enought....and believe others will follow.. no more un-controlled monopoly.Store Owners Unite!!!!

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Sherman Clayton said...

Anyone want to call/email the FTC and initiate an antitrust violation against the Vaad? Any consumer can cause them to launch a preliminary investigation. I hope they don't turn up tax fraud while they are there...

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Ear to the Sidewalk... said...

The FTC wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot pole.

Any store that doesn't want the Vaad, is free to get any other supervision. The Vaad will then tell ppl that it does not certify this store and connot vouch for its Kashrus.

That is not anti-trust. That is not a monoply. Its also not the mafia, unless you can prove Tony Soprano has been doing colletions for Rabbi Eisnen.

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"any lawyers out there see a problem with a "shakedown situation"

Any Rabbis worried about the situation? They should be worried more about "Glatt Yosher" rather than "Glatt Kosher".


"The FTC wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot pole."

Agreed only because of the religious situation

"Any store that doesn't want the Vaad, is free to get any other supervision. The Vaad will then tell ppl that it does not certify this store and connot vouch for its Kashrus."

True-but unstated is that the local mafia has restriant of trade- in general they won't let you bring in food from ANY Hashgacha except for the Vaad.

6:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope they don't turn up tax fraud while they are there...


The FTC wouldn't find tax fraud-it is not in their jurisdiction-there marbe other agencies federal and state that probably could find fraud.
Lets be serious many in the Jewish community don't care.
Yo avoid the 5T area-but how many care that when a Yeshiva which was headed by who many claim was the "Gadol Hador" engaged in money Laundering?
Do any care or remember about certain aggressive illegal ways of "bettering" the surrounding area of a schul. Hint Maharal.

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gourmet Glatt is not an innocent victim in all of this. They have numerous violations against them that the public is not aware of. They should have had their hashgacha pulled years ago.

In addition having a Mashigiach on premises that is also a partner to the business is a major conflict of interest.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

once again,... GG has three to four mashgachim on a daily basis...this is a fact ...speak to Rabbi Eisen who has placed three of them there himself.. Also there has never been Kashrus violations against GG,,, go back and check with the Vaad... if there3 were any, they would have pulled the hasgacha years before instead of stating in recent articles that there are NO KASHRUS ISSUES... please pay attention and quote facts not more LH.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Numerous violations? A jar of Roland mustard that was approved by Rabbi Chait and then disallowed by Rabbi Eisen. This and other "mishaps" are no reasons to take away a Hasgacha.This whole balagon smells from the top!!!!

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Full sentences please - no vague conspiracy theories said...

True-but unstated is that the local mafia has restriant of trade- in general they won't let you bring in food from ANY Hashgacha except for the Vaad.

Who is the 'local mafia'?
Who are 'they'?
They 'won't let you bring in food' to where?

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Gourmet Glatt is not an innocent victim in all of this. They have numerous violations against them that the public is not aware of. They should have had their hashgacha pulled years ago."

Who are you that you know so much? Where are you getting these so called "facts"? This is just more speculation, more L"H and more being motzi shem rah.

"In addition having a Mashigiach on premises that is also a partner to the business is a major conflict of interest."

I whose book exactly? If this is a conflict of interest, why does the VAAD send their masgichim for training under Rabbi Ashenazy? Ask the VAAD how many mashgichim Rabbi Ashkenazy has already trained. Then speak from facts not from speculation. Why do you enjoy spreading gossip and garbage around the neighborhood? Call the OU and find out what Rabbi Ashkenazy's credential's are.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They 'won't let you bring in food' to where?"

No Rav from any shul will allow you bring in a caterer or food, into that shul, or shul function that has not been approved by the VAAD.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the article in the 5TJT and it was a lot of double talk which didn't say much of anything. One thing is for sure he was very careful not to offend anyone, I guess he didn't want to hire an attorney of his own. But one thing he did concur with, which was spoken about on this blog, get the facts and stop spreading rumors. I'd like to second that.

In addition, I was very impressed with GG's ads and now understand why there was talk on this line about them taking the 2nd Kashrus Supervision. I guess they felt they needed to do so under the circumstances or maybe was advised to do so by their attorney. At any rate, the ad does invite anyone to come in and look around, you also have another Mashgiach that you can ask questions of. And everything is caught on camera, what more can anyone want?

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ad didn't say there was another Mashgiach, just another supervision.

What standards is this new Rav working with?

Has anyone asked?

Will he have his own Mashgiach there all the time, time-to-time, or once every third month - if its not Tuesday?

Why is another agency/Rav better? Was the Vaad really not good enough?

It sounds like GG is just looking for good press. It seems like they didn't like the Vaads supervision and are setting themselves up to go at it alone.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In whose book exactly? If this is a conflict of interest, why does the VAAD send their masgichim for training under Rabbi Ashenazy? Ask the VAAD how many mashgichim Rabbi Ashkenazy has already trained. Then speak from facts not from speculation. Why do you enjoy spreading gossip and garbage around the neighborhood? Call the OU and find out what Rabbi Ashkenazy's credential's are."

1:57 PM

I am not discrediting this Rabbi's credential but it IS a conflict of interest to be a moshgiach at a store that you have partnership in!

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This extra Hashgacha was not to impress you it was to screw over the Vaad. The Vaad gave them a choice, sell or we pull our hechsher, so they don't want to be forced to sell the business (which I don't blame them) so they took another hechsher that they are hoping will be good enough for their customers, just in case the Vaad should pull their hechsher.

What they probably should have done is found another way to work with the Vaad of 5 Towns. Our local Rabbanim are part of the Vaad and will most likely NOT endorse this new hechsher.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am not discrediting this Rabbi's credential but it IS a conflict of interest to be a moshgiach at a store that you have partnership in!"

Really, if that is the case, why are the other stores not required to even have a mashgiach temidi, and are only required to have a "yotzei and nichnas" because they rely on the owners to be the mashgiach.

Once again get your facts straight!!

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It sounds like GG is just looking for good press. It seems like they didn't like the Vaads supervision and are setting themselves up to go at it alone."

And it sounds like another assumption on your part, another juicy rumor to start right here on this blog. Maybe they are just tired of the conflict and looking to have a checks and balance system in place on their own if the community didn't offer to put one in place or investigate all the allegations. Sounds to me like they have a smart attorney who placed an eyewitness in the store to take notes.

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What they probably should have done is found another way to work with the Vaad of 5 Towns. Our local Rabbanim are part of the Vaad and will most likely NOT endorse this new hechsher."

Who said they are not working with the VAAD? Again another very dangerous and hurtful rumor that you are starting here on this blog.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Really, if that is the case, why are the other stores not required to even have a mashgiach temidi, and are only required to have a "yotzei and nichnas" because they rely on the owners to be the mashgiach.

Once again get your facts straight!!" "

Maybe you should get your facts straight, Buddy. First of all some other stores are required by the Vaad to have a Moshgiach Temidi not only that but in cases where they are relying on the owners in the instances of a Yotzei and nichnas the owners are frum, and even some stores with frum oweners have a Mashgiach Temidi. The owners of GG are not frum and obiviously the Vaad feels that they are not trust worthy!

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Who said they are not working with the VAAD? Again another very dangerous and hurtful rumor that you are starting here on this blog."

Yeah I'm sure this is just what the Vaad wanted. Just wait and see what happens after their meeting. Who are you any way GG's lawyer?

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Think The Conservative Rabbis From Our Community Should Be More Involved InThe Vaad

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should divert funds from the school budget to the Vaad. After all, it's our tax money and we all have to eat. And somebody has to pay that wealthy man who travels in from Flatbush once every 3 months if it's not Tuesday.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our local Rabbanim are part of the Vaad and will most likely NOT endorse this new hechsher.


Who cares what political machinations the local Rabbis engage in.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

. It seems like they didn't like the Vaads supervision and are setting themselves up to go at it alone.


I currently don't purchase at GG-nut if they would get a Non-Vaad hashgacha I might just start purchasing there to fight back against the Vaad monopoly.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again get your facts straight!!" "

Maybe you should get your facts straight, Buddy. First of all some other stores are required by the Vaad to have a Moshgiach Temidi not only that but in cases where they are relying on the owners in the instances of a Yotzei and nichnas the owners are frum, and even some stores with frum oweners have a Mashgiach Temidi. The owners of GG are not frum and obiviously the Vaad feels that they are not trust worthy!

In response with respect to your statement, just because the owner is frum, for example Shevach Meats ,Monsey, New York has a beard down to his knees,of course we can count on his honesty. If GG owners are frum or not is not the issue, the issue is does the Vaad behave and act in concert to create an "Aura" of respect with the store owners who we all count on for our daily needs... by the way did you walk behind the owner of any Vaad stores this past Shabbat?
Stop the nonsense, most of us have come from various backgrounds,please throw the first stone, perhaps it may hit you in in your face.Think before you speak.

12:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to owners frum, I daven with him on shabbat and I walk the same direction home with him.

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bagel Island owners are not frum and dont have a Masgiach Temidi and are under the Vaad. I recently asked for the Masgiach and the boss without a kepa said he only comes in for one hour a day to check the scallions etc..I know its only a bagel store but bread is being cooked there-challah taken/yoshen issues/cholov yisroel.They should have a fulltime masgiach for evey establishment . one standard please

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the 5T there are many stores with owners that are not frum (Toddy's and Ruthies come to mind) and many owned by non-Jews(donut anyone???) Are we foolish enough to think that a frum owner is anymore ehrlich than a goy or a mechilah shabbat?? Look at the guy in Monsey? Do we know that the owners of Pepperidge Farms or Entenmans are frum? Yet we continue to "chap" in these products. If the O-U trusts Rabbi Kravitz to supervise it's meat-then I guess I should too. I can't wait to go back to GG-sick of shopping at a "chaza shtetl"!

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

During this Shabbos, take a moment and reflect on your thoughts a bit.....are you guilty of L"H? can you look at your children and ask them to follow your example? Why is one Rabbi more "frum" than another? Can you personally throw the first stone? our parents should have taught us to be "MENSCHEN" first.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

by the way.. Golden Blintz, (also known as old fashioned kitchen) that we all know and love and is OU, is owned by a nice italian old lady. in california. are we so ignorant as to think that everything kosher is owned and made by Jews?? enough already...this is shabbos.. make a promise to HS" not be speak LH"

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of non-frum owners, do you know that the Hielega Empire Poultry was taken over by a venture capital firm two years and the new president Mr. Vaardamn or something like that and his brother-in-law Barry Rosenbaum said at the press conference when they took something this: "I am 48 years and I do not think I ever had kosher chicken in my kitchen, but I expect to learn a lot more about the benefits of kosher eating in the future." Kineret Kosher was also bought out around nine years. An establishment is a kosher as the mashgichim are good not how frum the owner is.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone asked why three separate machgiachim, placed by Rabbi Eisen personally into GG, have been pulled from GG? It seems once they told Rabbi Eisen that there is nothing to substantiate Rabbi Eisen's claims..they were let go... one of the Rabbis even wrote a letter stating the above.. Rabbi Lerner was summarily fired. Perhaps the Vaad is not aware of Rabbi Eisen's personal vendetta. why is the vaad allowing this one rabbi to threaten a business owner parnusha? As a shopper at GG, I was appalled to learn that Rabbi Eisen told GG that they had to sell within 4 mos. Is this even Legal?? if the Vaad is reading these blogs, perhaps they would consider placing another Rabbi in GG to tell the whole story ( truth). it has become apparent that this one rabbi wants to close down the business for non kashrus issues... what is really going on with our local vaad representation?

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any reason not to assume the owners of GG are behind all the anti-vaad chatter on this blog, given their proclivity for public relations and bolstering their image (see this week's newspapers)

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edys marshmelow ice sold @ Brachs. Pull the Hasgacha mentality

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Any reason not to assume the owners of GG are behind all the anti-vaad chatter on this blog, given their proclivity for public relations and bolstering their image (see this week's newspapers)"

Maybe they are and maybe they aren't. Who knows and who cares? Why shouldn't that particular business have a right to defend themselves against lies or support themselves with truths?

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what would be so bad with new owners? Isn't it about time we start paying acceptable prices for our kosher food?
WHy is it that GG prices are so high compared to other places?
Is it b/c they know we will pay it anyway???????

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last I heard...it's a free country-buy where you want. Do you always buy at Payless or do you sometimes shop Jildor?? Jildor seems to be sticking around! It must be their "bargains"!! Let's give this a rest already-stop kvetching-noone is twisting your arm to shop at GG. Maybe you enjoy being a diletant and shopping in nicer surrounding...no insult meant-I do too...it's why I shop at Jildor, AND at GG.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"what would be so bad with new owners? Isn't it about time we start paying acceptable prices for our kosher food?
WHy is it that GG prices are so high compared to other places?
Is it b/c they know we will pay it anyway???????"

2:20 PM

If you feel that GG has prices that are too high...shop elsewhere. this is still a free country. would you like a scenario where your husband's company was told..sell or we will close you down?? put yourself in someone else's shoes before you open your mouth and speak more loshen hora! bracha66

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it;s hard enough paying yeshiva bills. the stores don't need to rape us as well!!!!!!!!!!!

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GG prices are too high as compared to who SuperSol or Brachs? Oh Pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaase. Grow up!

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF ANYBODY WANTS TO PASS THIS ALONG YOU SHOULD ALL KNOW THAT THE VAAD OF THE FIVE TOWNS IS NOT A LICENSED CORPORATION IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK JUST LOOK IT UP YOURSELVES AT THE NYS CORPORATION WEBSITE THIS SHOULD EXPOSE THE SO CALLED RABBI EISEN TO PERSONAL LIABILTY FOR DEFAMATION AMONG OTHE THINGS-----

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
IF ANYBODY WANTS TO PASS THIS ALONG YOU SHOULD ALL KNOW THAT THE VAAD OF THE FIVE TOWNS IS NOT A LICENSED CORPORATION IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK JUST LOOK IT UP YOURSELVES AT THE NYS CORPORATION WEBSITE THIS SHOULD EXPOSE THE SO CALLED RABBI EISEN TO PERSONAL LIABILTY FOR DEFAMATION AMONG OTHE THINGS-----

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right. The bloggers protecting GG are most likely the non religious owners themselves.. None of the partners are frum and one sibling is married to a goy,, Go figure....My Rabbi told us not to patronize the store. I am going to shop elsewhere...Everyone must do whats right for them....

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this entire episode is a disgrace. Is the chickem kosher or isn't it. I do not approve of anyone driving someone out of business. I can still buy fruit, vegetables, toilet paper etc. at this store - last I heard I do not need rabbinic supervision for these items.
Personally, I think this is about control. If the owner of Gourmet Glatt has decided to get a different Rabbi to supervise Kashrus- and if his reputation is OK - there should be no problem. I for one am going to check out this new supervision at Gourmet Glatt.
The five Towns Vaad is beginning to remind me of the mob- you will use our Rabbis or else!!!
In a community where so many people have gone to jail for stealing millions of dollars from innocent people - Maybe the Vaad should have been busier teaching business ethics members of our community. I can assure you - the Vaad probably makes sure they get Kosher food in jail.
This is all about money. This is about control.
This is the same Vaad who wanted to make a distinction on restaurants - who was religious and who was not.
Shame on all of you. Get busy teaching again and start with yourselves

7:58 PM  
Blogger No Blind Faith said...

I would like to know how anyone can say that the owners of the store are not frum? How could you possibly know this? Give me an example of how you know this, who you are, where you saw each and everyone of the 5 partners being mechalel shabbos. The stupidity you are spouting is worse than L"H and motzi shem rah, it reeks of racism and bias. What kind of vendetta are you running here? And why on earth should anyone here believe you?

Anyone who would believe the garbage and L"H that this stupid person is spouting is just as bad as he is. Please disregard his post.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous big booger said...

this is all highly overated

3:53 PM  
Anonymous groyseh putz said...

just become a vegetarian

3:54 PM  
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you ladies seem very bored and boredom.... stirs trouble... im sure that is not what Hashem wants, rather that e should be doing good.. personaly i just want to make an order....

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